Against Me! frontwoman, Emmy-nominated artist, acclaimed author, and activist, Laura Jane Grace has shared her brand new solo album, ‘Stay Alive’ via Polyvinyl Records. To celebrate the release, Laura will be performing live from Lincoln Hall in Chicago as part of Audiotree’s STAGED series on Saturday, October 17. This will be her first official set in support of ‘Stay Alive’ – tickets on sale now!
As detailed in her Rolling Stone interview, Laura Jane Grace wasn’t planning on making a solo record this year. In fact, she was planning on making a record with Against Me!, the band she’s fronted for the past 23 years. But clearly, nothing went according to plan this year. “I sat around for a month-and-a-half at a home just being shellshocked being like, ‘What the fuck happened and what the fuck is happening with the world?’ As I started to get my bearings, I just came to the realization that waiting was going to kill the record and kill the songs. I spent two years working on all these songs, and the idea of throwing them away didn’t sit well with me,” says Grace. “But then I was like, ‘What am I waiting for?’ All I have to do is adjust my scope. I can sit here on my fucking ass and do nothing, or I can work.”
So, Grace got to work. She picked up the phone and called Electrical Audio, the iconic studio in her adopted hometown of Chicago, Illinois, to ask if she could make a record with famed engineer Steve Albini. The goal was to go in and document these songs exactly as she’d been playing them in her home, straight to analog tape. When she hung up the phone, she had four days booked. The result of the session at Electrical Audio is ‘Stay Alive,’ a record that doesn’t just embody that title, it serves as the guiding principle behind its creations.
The album’s title is one that surfaces in the record itself, and serves as a subtle rejoinder to her labelmate Chris Farren, who gifted Grace a hat that said “Can’t Die,” and she’s spent the last two years running in it every single day. By flipping the phrase on its head, Grace built her own message; one based around work, struggle, and reaffirmed commitments. The songs that make up ‘Stay Alive’ are documents of a time and a songwriter who experienced enough to find levity in the simple act of doing the work. Recorded with nothing more than an acoustic guitar, an occasional drum machine, and her own powerful voice, Grace’s distinct songwriting signature is front and center. What’s more, she made it purely for herself.
“I just want to put this out because it makes me feel alive and it’s giving me something better than sitting here losing my mind while the world falls apart,” says Grace. “It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about what you do. Just stay alive.”