WARREN OAKES

WARREN OAKES

 

Basic Background Info

 
Birth: Unknown
Location: Gainesville, Florida
Band: Against Me!
Genres: Punk Revival, Alternative Rock, Alternative Folk
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Drummer/Activist
Links:  
 
 

Biography

 
 
Already when he was fifteen, Warren Oakes had a very strong independent D.I.Y. ethic and socially conscious mentality. Warren Oakes began volunteering at the Third Place in Venice, Florida, where he was exposed to a plethora of new ideas that would continue to refine is personal and political philosophies. Warren Oakes, along with a small group of like-minded D.I.Y. teens, rented a store-front and used it as an after-school hang-out. They supplied used computers and offered homework help and music to local area youths. The group also attended city council meetings to discuss zoning issues, obtain bulk postage permits (for mailers), and get waivers to hold free park concerts in downtown Venice. Of growing up at the Third Place, Warren said, ìThere was a lot of broadening of my horizons all at once. Being involved in setting up shows and everything at such a young age was [a] pretty empowering experience.î

Being a part of the activist scene (and the live music shows that helped support it) encouraged Warren Oakes to follow his own musical ambitions. He played in a variety of bands, the most notable of which was called (in a brilliant move towards free advertising and exposure) Leland Plumbing. Leland Plumbing was also the name of a legitimate plumbing company in the area that employed a fleet of work vans all of which had the words Leland Plumbing on the side of them. Thus, the band's name was, quite literally, all over town.

From there, Warren Oakes joined up with Food Not Bombs and wrote Why Freegan in 1999. It would go on to become the manifesto for the entire freeganism movement. At the same time, Tom Gabel (of roughly the same D.I.Y. mindset) was touring with the acoustic version of Against Me! and barking out his folksy brand of political punk rock to whoever would listen, wherever he wouldnít get chased away. It was inevitable that the two would eventually meet.

Warren and Tom Gabel crossed paths a few times in the late 1990s. Warren Oakes recalls one instance where he saw Against Me! play at a campground: "I thought it was a fully intentional thing, like Tom wanted to do acoustic. I remember complimenting him after a show on how well it all worked, and he was like, 'Iím going crazy; I want to rock!'"

Little did either of them know that three short years later, Warren Oakes would be the thumping force backing Against Me!'s incendiary guitarist, lyricist, and singer, Tom Gabel .

Following a car accident that involved a big rig, the original band configuration dissolved. Warren Oakes stepped in to replace Kevin Mahon and his infamous snare-and-pickle-buckets drum set. Still to this day, the band's drum section remains fairly minimalistic. Warren Oakes explains, 'When I first joined, Tom and Dustin were playing acoustic with a pickup amplifying, and I had a few extra cymbals, and it just didn't sound right. It just drowned them out. I found laying on the snare fit the sound better. So most of the cymbals had to go. I held onto the crash for a while, but even that's gone now. It's just unnecessary.' 

 
 

Discography

 
 
Album Year Album Name Album Band
2002 Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose Against Me!
2002 The Disco Before The Breakdown EP Against Me!
2003 As The Eternal Cowboy Against Me!
2003 Experiments In Audio Rocketry Against Me!
2003 Go-Kart MP300 Raceway Against Me!
2003 Against Police Injustice Against Me!
2003 The Shape Of Flakes To Come Against Me!
2004 Cavalier Eternal 7" Against Me!
2004 Anti-Floyd - The Terrier State Against Me!
2004 Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1 Against Me!
2004 We're Never Going Home (DVD) Against Me!
2005 Sink, Florida, Sink 7" Against Me!
2005 PROTECT: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children Against Me!
2005 Rock Against Floyd Against Me!
2005 MySpace Records Volume 1 CD Against Me!
2005 Don't Lose Touch 12" Against Me!
2005 Take Action! Vol. 4 (Disc 1) Against Me!
2005 Throw Up Your Horns: A Compilation To Benefit Rhino's (Disc 2) Against Me!
2005 Searching for a Former Clarity Against Me!
2006 Punk Rock Mix Tape 2006 CD Against Me!
2006 From Her Lips to God's Ears (The Energizer) 12" Against Me!
2006 We'll Inherit the Earth: A Tribute to The Replacements Against Me!
2006 2006 Warped Tour Compilation CD Against Me!
2006 iFloyd Download Against Me!
2006 Take Action! Vol. 5 Against Me!
2006 Shine Some Light: A Benefit for Dan Lang-Gunn Against Me!
2006 Fat X-Mas Bonus Download Against Me!
2006 Remember Your Roots CD Against Me!
2006 Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live in London!!! Against Me!
2007 New Wave Against Me!
2007 White People For Peace 7" Against Me!
2007 Thrash Unreal 7" Against Me!
2007 White People For Peace 12" Against Me!
2007 Live At The Key Club (DVD) Against Me!
2008 Stop! 7" Against Me!
2008 New Wave 7" Against Me!
2008 Warped Tour 2008 Tour Compilation Against Me!
2009 The Original Cowboy Against Me!
2010 White Crosses Against Me!
2011 Black Crosses Against Me!
2011 Total Clarity Against Me!
2014 Transgender Dysphoria Blues Against Me!
 

Noise

 
 
  • Warren Oakes got his first tattoo when he was fifteen and he has gotten several more since. He has a snowman on his ankle, a garlic clove on the back of his calf, and the words "Youth Gone Wild" on his bicep. His two favorite tattoos by far, however, appear on his back. They are based on sketches by 20th century Armenian-American writer William Saroyan. They are of a little boy (left shoulder) and an old man (right shoulder).
  • As of 2008, his favorite Against Me! song to perform is “Full Sesh” and he considers “White People For Peace” to be the most difficult test of his endurance.
  • Warren cites Woody Guthrie's autobiography as personal inspiration.
  • Warren grew up in Saratosa, but is the only member of Against Me! to have actually been born in Gainesville, Florida.
  • The Third Place in Venice, Florida was named after a social philosophy put forth by Ray Oldenburg. The first place is home; the second place is the workplace; the third place is an “anchor” of community life and, according to Oldenburg, necessary for a well-rounded existence.
 

Instruments of Choice

 
 

Drums

Drums: Gretsch Renown Maple, 100th Anniversary Gretsch, SJC
Cymbals: Zildjian
Hardware:  
Heads:  
Electronics:  
Percussion:  
Sticks: Pro-Mark
 
 

Pics & Clips