On her new solo record, Laura Jane Grace goes back to her two most trusted partners in crime: her voice and her acoustic guitar.

Photo by Travis Shinn

On her new solo record Hole in My Head, the folk-punk singer and Against Me! founder gets back to basics: her voice and her guitar against the world.

Laura Jane Grace’s schedule from last December through the first month of the new year was, to put it gently, busy. She performed with Dinosaur Jr. at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg, then spent some time in the studio working on a top-secret cover project. She got married in Las Vegas, and flew to Mississippi for a week of recording with Drive-By Truckers’ Matt Patton. She hopped up to Memphis for Lucero Family Christmas, then played solo dates in St. Louis, Denver, Omaha, Minneapolis, and Lawrence, Kansas. In early January, she performed at a star-studded fundraiser in Wisconsin before jetting to Greece for a string of solo shows. Grace doesn’t take the intensity for granted. Over her 25 years as a professional musician, she’s learned the value of momentum.

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Jade Puget wields one of his Gibson Les Paul Studio models onstage with AFI. The model's simplicity and lighter weight make them Puget's favorite road axes.

Photo by Josh Massie (@scatteredpictures87)

His playing and production pack a potent punk punch, and now he's leading the group into new darker, more atmospheric territory with the album Bodies.

AFI has always surfed their own dark wave. Although lumped in with the rest of the Warped Tour pack during the pop-punk explosion of the early aughts, the quartet from Ukiah, California (a few hours north of San Francisco) has been defined by their dramatic aesthetic and melodic, hook-laden songwriting—with both typically more refined and art-minded than those of their immediate peers. AFI's anthemic, radio-ready songs and charismatic frontman, Davey Havok, are often the focus of the group. However, the band's secret weapon has long been Jade Puget, a fleet-fingered guitarist and Havok's trusted cowriter. (The band is completed by Adam Carson on drums and Hunter Bergen on bass.)

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