Entertainment“The acoustic guitar is the most punk rock instrument because it’s the...

“The acoustic guitar is the most punk rock instrument because it’s the most independent. You don’t even need an amplifier!”: Laura Jane Grace might be an obsessive collector – but all she really needs is a Yamaha acoustic

Laura Jane Grace’s smile and humor are as infectious as the blistering yet catchy rage inherent in her music with Against Me! and across a trio of outstanding solo records.  

The latest of those, Hole in My Head, offers equal servings of raw and rowdy punk mashed up with laconic folk. Anyone who’s settled in Transgender Dysphoria Blues (2014), Shape Shift with Me (2016), Bought to Rot (2018) or Stay Alive (2020) knows what to expect.

But they probably don’t know that Grace is a full-on guitar junkie. “My love for the instrument has never changed,” she tells Guitar World. “That’s demonstrated by the number of guitars all over my living room as we speak. There’s like four open cases and several others in boxes, along with six acoustics lying on couches and chairs in here.”

Six-string addiction aside, Grace uses her guitars to increase the depth of emotion she covers across Hole in My Head’s 11 tracks. “Coming out of a global pandemic, everything is shaken up and new,” she says. “Then, the songs are going to be about figuring out what you took for granted, and who you now are in this brave new world.

“Whatever I’m going through reveals itself in the songs. I don’t want to be conscious of that; it’s for others to pick up on. I want to create art without justification. There’s always selfishness because this is like a coping mechanism; it’s how I’ve survived. But I also want to connect with people because it makes us feel less alone.”

Since the release of Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose in 2002, Grace has been a beacon of strength, positivity, perseverance and honesty through song. She’s undoubtedly taken on damage – but she’s alright with that, and judging by Hole in My Head, she’s still got a fire under her.

Asked what lies ahead, she says: “Getting out on the road. And in December, I recorded a six-song EP that’ll be out this year. I also did a lot of tracking of songs this past month that I can’t necessarily get into, but there’s a lot of excitement. Who fucking knows? The sky is the limit.”

When did you start to put ideas together for Hole in My Head?

“The genesis was circumstantial, and the circumstance was that everyone in the world was coming out of a pandemic. I was starting over, just like everyone else. I was splitting time between Chicago and St. Louis, and I got to know the St. Louis community and the city.

“This was kind of written on the road when the world opened back up. I recorded the record in a studio called Native Sound, above a bar called The Whiskey Ring on Cherokee Street.”

Through that process,

 » …
Read More

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe Today

GET EXCLUSIVE FULL ACCESS TO PREMIUM CONTENT

SUPPORT NONPROFIT JOURNALISM

EXPERT ANALYSIS OF AND EMERGING TRENDS IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE

TOPICAL VIDEO WEBINARS

Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Exclusive content

Latest article

More article