Progressive punk rock icons Anti-Flag, who this year celebrate 20 years as a band, have joined forces with Art For Amnesty to release an electrifying version of "Toast To Freedom," the now-classic commemorative song written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International. The track - inspired by the imprisonment of Russian activist punk band Pussy Riot - will go on sale in the UK and Europe on February 8th via the iTunes Store and all leading DSPs. All net proceeds benefit Amnesty International.
The track's genesis began in July 2012 at Anti-Flag's Berlin concert benefitting the three then-jailed members of Pussy Riot - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich. Among the audience that night was longtime music industry executive, activist, and entrepreneur Jochen Wilms. In 2011, he and his friend Bill Shipsey conceived and co-executive produced the original all-star Art For Amnesty Band rendition of "Toast To Freedom" and had since seen their brainchild become an organic worldwide phenomenon, with diverse artists from all over the globe creating their own unique interpretations.
Long active in the worldwide struggle for human rights, Anti-Flag quickly agreed to record their own take on "Toast To Freedom." Not three months later, the Pittsburgh-based band hit Berlin's historic Hansa Studio, accompanied by a roster of special guests that included Billy Talent guitarist Ian D'sa, Bernd Kurtze (of Berlin punk heroes, Beatsteaks), and Münster's own DIY favorites, Donots.
With Wilms producing, Anti-Flag and Co. reveled in Hansa Studio's extraordinary history, even going so far as to use the same microphones employed by David Bowie and Brian Eno when recording "Heroes" back in 1977. The result is the most intense and exhilarating rendition of "Toast To Freedom' thus far, a loud and powerful rallying cry sure to activate audiences everywhere.