Oct 18, 2021 • 59M

Sellout Stories: Chris #2 Barker (Anti-Flag)

An interview with the bassist about turning down Rick Rubin to sign with RCA.

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A podcast companion to Dan Ozzi's REPLY ALT.
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Hello and welcome to REPLY ALT, the greatest email newsletter about music in the world/shameless hype machine for my new book SELLOUT, which is out NEXT WEEK. (BUY IT!)


Today I’d like to introduce a new podcast segment which I’m excited about called Sellout Stories. These are interviews with people whose major-label experiences (or near-miss experiences) deserve a full hour of chatting. Some people will appear in SELLOUT, some won’t. Today’s guest does!

Listen above or anywhere you listen to podcasts: SpotifyApple, etc.

I mentioned this in the introduction to SELLOUT, but there were a lot of bands to whom I would’ve loved to have devoted chapters. At the top of the list is Anti-Flag. Sometime in the early 2000s, the politically vocal and often deliberately anti-commercial punk band came under the radar of none other than Svangali producer Rick Rubin. Rubin pursued Anti-Flag for a while, prompting other labels to join the quest to sign them and the negotiations got competitive, but ultimately Anti-Flag turned him down to go with RCA.

That last sentence should hang in some sort of museum of indie rock. Just a perfect encapsulation of a music industry moment that would never exist today. Anyway, I interviewed none other than bassist Chris “2” Barker for the book in Chicago, and once he started telling me about his wild major label story, I knew I had to have him tell it to me in full one day. So here it is—the story of how Anti-Flag came to sign with a major label.

This story, as well as the above photograph, appears in my new photo zine, MAJOR LABEL DEBUT, which features over 70 original photos that I took while working on SELLOUT, as well as additional interviews, essays, and stories. Pick one up!

Pre-order my forthcoming bookSELLOUT, here: 
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