Ahead of modern street punk heroes RANCID's highly anticipated November UK tour and upcoming as-yet untitled seventh studio album (and first with new drummer Branden Steineckert), VLP brings you the facts about the Bay Area boys.
1) ‘B Sides and C Sides’ is the band’s first release since ‘Indestructible’ in 2003 and their hiatus from 2004 to 2006.
2) Lars Frederiksen has worked as producer for many bands, including the Dropkick Murphys, Agnostic Front and The Business. Recently he produced and wrote on The Masons new album ‘We Rule The World’, which features punk legends John Robb, Charlie Harper and Steve Ignorant. London’s ‘70s punk heroes Cock Sparrer brought in Frederiksen to co-mix their 2007 album ‘Here We Stand’, their strongest album for years.
3) While Rancid were writing ‘Let’s Go’ as a three-piece (Armstrong, Freeman and Reed), their friend and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong co-wrote the fan favourite ‘Radio’ and played a gig with the band. Tim Armstrong asked Billie Joe to join Rancid but he stuck with Green Day. Lars Frederiksen left the UK Subs to become Rancid’s second guitarist in 1993 and play on ‘Let’s Go’.
4) In 2002 the three original members of Rancid formed the psychobilly side project called Devil’s Brigade, and released two 12-inch vinyls – one with the songs ‘Stalingrad’ and ‘Psychos All Around Me’ and the other with ‘Vampire Girl’, ‘Ride Harley Ride’ and ‘What Have You Done Lately’. Hunt them down Rancid fans!
5) Over the years Rancid have collaborated with a wide range of artists, including reggae artists Buju Banton and Stubborn All-Stars, Iggy Pop and Pink! Tim Armstrong also contributed guitar and backing vocals to the Cypress Hill single ‘What’s Your Number?’ in 2004.
6) Tim Armstrong’s record label, Hellcat Records, released a full-length movie in 2006, titled ‘Live Freaky! Die Freaky!’ The film used string puppets, was produced by Armstrong and had an insane plot. It involved Charles Manson’s story being misinterpreted by a nomad in a post-apocalyptic world (obviously) and included voice acting from members of Rancid, Green Day, The Transplants, AFI, Tiger Army. Oh and Kelly Osbourne.
7) In the five years since the release of ‘Indestructible’ the members of Rancid have been busy with solo projects. In 2004 Lars Frederiksen released his second solo album, ‘Viking’ and 2005 saw the second album, ‘Haunted Cities’ from Tim Armstrong’s now on hiatus side project The Transplants. Last year saw Armstrong return with his first solo album, the reggae/dub flavoured ‘A Poet’s Life’. Bassist Matt Freeman played on the Transplants album and tour as well as touring with punk legends Social Distortion. No wonder it’s been five years!
8) According to the liner notes of the ‘BYO Split Series Vol.3’ split album, on which Rancid covered NOFX and vice versa, after Operation Ivy split and before they formed Rancid, Tim Armstrong (vocals/guitar) and Matt Freeman (bass) started a short-lived hardcore punk band called Generator.
9) In January Rancid entered the studio with long-time friend, producer and Epitaph president Brett Gurewitz to record the highly anticipated follow-up to 2003’s ‘Indestructible’. Gurewitz has worked with the band on virtually every record in Rancid’s career. The album was written in new drummer Branden Steineckert’s Unknown Studios in Utah and is being recorded in California.
Rancid’s as-yet untitled seventh studio album is due to be released later this year on Epitaph.