Silversun Pickups ‘Really Surprised’ by Tom Gabel Coming Out as Transgender
The music community was a little bit in shock when Against Me! singer Tom Gabel recently came out as transgender and revealed that she is planning to live life as Laura Jane Grace in the future. But for the most part, a lot of musicians have come out in support of Gabel’s decision, including the band’s onetime tourmates, Silversun Pickups.
Speaking with AbsolutePunk, Silversun keyboardist Joe Lester explained, “I think all of us were really surprised. Tom’s one of the sweetest people I know. We all support him a hundred percent. That’s got to be a really tough decision to make. We know his wife and his bandmates really well, and I’m sure it’s going to be a tough road. If that’s what he needs to feel fulfilled, then God bless him. I hope it works out for him, I really do.”
Lester says part of the reason for the surprise was the masculinity that comes from the sound of Against Me!, but he’s hoping that the move will bring happiness on a personal level for the singer.
Gabel isn’t the only one dealing with self-revelation, as Lester says Silversun Pickups singer Brian Aubert had his own emotions to work through with while making the group’s ‘Neck of the Woods‘ album. Lester says that returning to the area where Aubert grew up lent a certain tone to the new music.
“It was kind of a mindf— for him the whole time because on the way home from recording at one o’clock in the morning, he’d drive through his old neighborhood and totally trip out,” says the keyboardist. “Here he was 15-20 years later, so a lot of the lyrics reflect that weird sense of half-remembered childhood stuff. Where does that fit now? Yeah, he grew up there, but he’s basically a stranger … He’s not from there anymore, so there’s that weird psychological disconnect.”
Even though the band flourished with their sophomore set, ‘Swoon,’ they resisted the temptation to jump to a major label and remained with Dangerbird Records for the newly released disc. Lester says, “With the way the f—ing record industry is right now, there’s no bonus to being on a major. They’re getting smaller and smaller and less well equipped to do anything, anyway. We have some friends on major labels and just heard horror stories — records the bands finished and someone political decided they didn’t like it and then it go shelved.”
The keyboardist says they’ve got a more personal relationship with Dangerbird, and he really couldn’t imagine a better situation for putting out a record. The Silversun Pickups’ ‘Neck of the Woods’ album is out now.