Before becoming a full-fledged punk band, Against Me! was an acoustic solo project spearheaded by Tom Gabel, who began playing shows as a 17-year-old in Gainesville, Florida. Starting in 1997, Gabel performed as a solo act wherever anyone would have him, drawing much influence from early acoustic protest music. By 2001, he'd beefed up his sound with the help of a full band -- including guitarist James Bowman, drummer Warren Oakes, and bassist Andrew Seward -- but there would always be some anarchism and Billy Bragg in the group's raucous braggadocio. After a few initial 12" and 7" releases, Against Me! issued the fan favorite Reinventing Axl Rose in 2002. The underground hit blended elements of punk, folk, and country into socially conscious and impassioned anthems. Continuing their reputation of always being on the road, the musicians logged countless tour dates around the country in support of their early material.