Narrow Interview: Laura Jane Grace

Laura Jane Grace (of Against Me!) talks to Narrow

...about her solo set this year at FEST

by Manu Osorio

Fest is a community. For those of us that participate, there are friends that we only see once a year - at Fest. We know our favorite bands will come out with killer sets for the weekend. The festivities include, but are not limited to, pool parties and wrestling matches.

Fest is a place for newer local bands to become seen in our scene. It is also a space that is increasingly becoming more diverse. At the Civic Media Center (CMC), we asked for our Fest line-up to be representative of the growing gender diversity in the music scene. Sunday, November 3 Fest line-up at the CMC includes acts like Laura Jane Grace (of Against Me!). We asked Jane a few questions leading up to the set at the CMC.

N: What is your personal history with attending and playing at Fest?

LJG: I've lost track of how many times Against Me! has played the Fest... I know we played the first 5 years in a row at least, if not more than that (...first 6 or 7 years?) and then came back to play every other couple years since. The last time we played was 2017.

N: What is your personal history with the Civic Media Center?

LJG: I started volunteering at the Civic Media Center when I first moved to Gainesville in 1999. I didn't really feel like I fit in anywhere else in town other than at the CMC, that was where I found my scene of people. The CMC was also where all of the first Gainesville Against Me! Shows were, no other venue in town would let us play but the CMC welcomed us. Eventually Joe Courter let me book other bands to play to so I would try and book bands to raise money for the space. I'm not sure how successful I was at raising funds but I set up some fun shows. The CMC was a real sanctuary for me when I first moved to town.

N: What are you most looking forward to during Fest this year?

LJG: It's always great to see old friends and just to see all the ways that Gainesville has been changed and also all the ways it's stayed the same. I moved away from town in 2009 and so much has happened since then. I'm also genuinely looking forward to the set at the CMC. It will be way different than the two AM! shows at Bo Diddley Plaza and it will also be the end of the weekend for me, before I go back to Chicago.

N: What can we expect from your solo set at the Civic Media Center this year?

LJG: You can expect me with an acoustic guitar singing my heart out just like I've always done at the CMC.

dave kosciolek