Join Rockin'Town
Rockin'Town Artist Bio


By 1987, Punk was over a decade old - a lifetime in pop culture. Funny thing, the same conditions and sense of desperation that initially sparked the movement still existed.

In a blue-collar California backwater (Albany) guitarist/vocalist Tim Armstrong and bassist Matt Freeman (aka Matt McCall) started the short-lived Operation Ivy. When that group bit the dust, Armstrong and Freeman teamed with drummer Brett Reed to form Rancid. The group produced a five track "single" "I'm Not The Only One."

They considered adding Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong as a second guitarist but went with Lars Frederiksen during the recording of their debut album. The self-titled '93 album on the legendary Epitaph Records launched the group on their first national tour followed by European dates.

In '94, the epic (23 songs) "Let's Go" was released to critical acclaim and platinum sales. Success like that doesn't go unnoticed. Soon the group was offered a contract with Madonna's Maverick label and Epic Records.

Rancid turned them down deciding to stay with their "friends" Epitaph. " And The Wolves Came Out" hit in '95 and it too was a major seller. The album, notable for "Time Bomb" and "Ruby Soho," saw Rancid broaden their sound. Three years later "Life Won't Wait" featured tracks recorded in Jamaica and the song "Cash, Culture and Violence" recorded with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' vocalist Dicky Barrett.

After and extended break, including some side projects, Rancid unleashed "Indestructible" in '03. But after a supporting trek, Rancid went on yet another hiatus. Armstrong's The Transplants issued "Haunted Cities" ('05) and he released a solo LP, "A Poet's Life" ('07). Freeman toured with Social Distortion until a permanent bassist could be found.

Rancid got back together for some '06 acoustic shows that became part of Hellcat Records' "Hellcat Nights." The group released a DVD containing all their music videos to date in advance of a world tour. However, Reed checked out and Branden Steineckert was selected as his replacement. Next, the group issued "B Sides And C Sides" which as the name implied was a collection of songs that were on the flipside of singles or had appeared on compilations.

Rancid released "Let The Dominoes Fall" in '09. It was their first album without the original line-up (thanks to Reed's departure). But before the album hit, Rancid launched a joint U.S. tour with Rise Against. "This tour is the face of Punk today," said Rise Against's Tim McIlrath.

"Rancid Essentials," an online-exclusive massive box set celebrating the band's 20th anniversary was followed, by "...Honor Is All We Know," an album of new material.

Rancid played on their first cruise ship tour in '16 before venturing to Brazil for the first time for a Lollapalooza appearance in San Paulo.

"Trouble Maker," the group's ninth studio album, was produced by Epitaph founder and Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. It was the band's first album since their self-titled '93 debut to feature the original Rancid logo on the cover.

Rancid Discography


1993 Rancid
1994 Let's Go
1995 ...And Out Come the Wolves
1998 Life Won't Wait
2000 Rancid
2003 Indestructible
2008 B Sides and C Sides
2009 Let The Dominoes Fall
2017 Trouble Maker

Favorable comparisons with The Clash have appeared throughout Rancid's career, though the approach is far more frantic and self-referential. Rancid's drawing card is their ability to "amp it up and crank it out" without fail.

Rate This Bio | Join Rockin'Town | Related Artists | Rockin'Forum