FORMED: 1991, Berkeley, CA
Rancid's history starts in the end of 1991. Tim and Matt had played in Operation Ivy who ended up in -89 and Tim was in serious drugs and alcohol problems. Matt saw that Tim must have something to do to get off that problems and they formed the band "Downfall" but it was over almost at the same time.Tim "started all over" and had nothing to do, and at that time he and Matt formed the band RANCID.
It was very impotant for Tim to have a band, to get off all the problems and have something to do. They also after a while got Brett Reed on drums and now they were three in the band. Brett had played in the local band "Smog". Exept Operation Ivy, Downfall and Rancid, Tims have played in other bands like: Shaken '69, Silencers and Dance Hall Crashers etc. More about that on " Bandmembers ". Rancid was at the start like all the other new bands, no famous at all. Their debut was in a house in Oakland, a frined to Tim's house. Matt had another band too, Gr'ups, but leaved them and began seriously with Rancid. 1992 they debuted on the label "Lookout Records" with the single "I'm not the only one". It was the most of Rancid's song, a quite slow beginning, and then more "speed" and more heavier in the end of it.
After this, Rancid needed a second guitarist and asked Billie Joe Armstorng in Green Day but he wanted to continue with Green Day. At the same time as this, Rancid recorded their first album, and under this time they visited their "hometown" Berkley when Breet "ran into" Lars Frederiksen. He was in the band "Slip" who once had been on a show with Rancid, he was now in "UK Subs" but wanted to change band, because he was sick of that band. After a while in Rancid he said in an interwiev: "Punk rock to me is not about making a better life for yourself, not sitting around and moping about shit. Personally, I can't do that. I do what comes naturally to me, making music; keeping my convictions
inside and going on with what I'm doing. Rancid isn't one of those bands that wants to change the world."
Rancid's first album was finished in April -93. Lars wasn't on that album because he wasn't in the band from the beginning and didn't want to take the honour from the others. On the back of the album is a picture on Rancid pointing on the sing with the text: St Gilman St. where they lived under the time when they recorded the album. The most famous song on that album was "The Bottle", "Unwritten Rules", "Get outa my way" and "Another Night". After the album there was a lot of tours in Europa etc.
In the new year, they released the "Radio Radio Radio" single, on Fat Wreck Chords. This was Frederiksen's debut on record; the title song, "Radio" was co-written by Green Day's Armstrong. "Radio" was the perfect cross between Green Day and Rancid; the song was played at normal Rancid hyperspeed, but the chorus was pure Green Day pop harmony. "Dope Sick Girl" was also a lightening-speed track, featuring split vocals and one ofthe fastest guitar leads ever played. "Just a Felling" reached with. Lars providing a guitar lead that rivaled "Dope Sick Girl" and a chorus drenched in melody. The middle section slows slightly, and Tim Armstrong's vocals drop to a chant. "Someone's Gunna Die" was Freeman's turn to excel, the song a hardcore gem with a chanted chorus of "oi, oi, oi."
In February 1994, the band began recording "Let's Go." The album was overflowing with tight melodies, choruses that rang with hooks and anthemic lyrics. The radio single chosen was "Salvation," a pure crowd sing-along, but it was the loosest of the songs, and for that reason alone, not representative of the rest of the album. "Salvation"'s lyrics were semi-autobiographical, telling of Armstrong's experiences at the Salvation Army, where he exchanged a bed for driving around the burbs, picking up the well-to-do's cast-offs.
As almost always, there's a lot of ska and reagge in Rancid's songs and syncopated bass lines that sneak in, like the slow passage in "Burn". It was as if Rancid had rolled the whole of the larger punk genre into "Let's Go." An in a way they had. But it's really the intangible things that make "Let's Go" a punk classic. This includes the lyrics that ring with truth, sincerity, and reality. Equally important, though, was the sustained level of energy, a hyperkenetism that infuses the record, spraying out over the listener like a jolt of double espresso. That spring, with the album completed, Rancid put together a side project, Shaken '69. Joining forces with ex-Op Ivy drummer Dave Mello, the Uptones' Paul Jackson and Eric "Dinwitty" Dinn, and featuring Skankin' Pickles' Lars Nylander and Mike Park on horns, Shaken '69 is a pure ska band.
The group recorded a couple of songs which hopefully will be turning up in the near future on compilation. Shaken '69 would like to do more, but as all the members are in working bands, it's difficult to schedule time. In June, Rancid embarked on a month-long tour that covered the south and midwest. After a brief break, they spent August with Sick of It All playing the west coast.
But the highlight of the summer shows was the Epitaph Summer Nations shows. A label celebration and party, the celebration stretched across 3 days at L.A.'s Palladium, a gala event to rejoice in the rise of punk and Epitaph. The highpoint for many fans was when Pennywise invited Armstrong and Frederiksen onstage for a rendition of Minor Threat's "Straight Edge." 1994 also saw the release of the Epitaph compilation, "Punk-o-Rama", which features two Rancid tracks, "Hyena" and "I Wanna Riot." Rancid was also featured on the Kill Rock Stars compilaiton, "Rock Stars Kill." Their track, "Brixton," is cloaked in an early reggae sound, down to the '60s sounding keyboard lines.
The album was subtitled "23 More Bands that Don't Want to Be Rock Stars," which might have been true in some cases, but at least one band wasn't so sure. By now, Rancid was a hot commodity, "Let's Go" went swiftly gold, and is currently working toward platinum, thus label reps were turning up at numerous shows. And when the dust settled, Rancid went back to work. January 1995 saw the release of their new single "Roots Radicals" b/w "I Wanna Riot." The single was extremely catchy, with snatches of punk guitar leads vying with the ska-infested bass and drum line. The chorus is anthemic; heard once, you'll be chanting it forever. The song has since reappeared on their new album.
In February, Rancid returned to the road for a short tour encompassing L.A., Chicago, New York, Boston, and other big cities. Then it was back to the studio in March, where they spent the next six weeks recording the new album. After "Let's Go" it was hard to imagine what Rancid's next step would be. Many bands would have been satisfied recording an extension of their last album. But Rancid have an ability to scour out new musical crests and mount them with seeming ease. And it was with "...And Out Come the Wolves."
Even the brief intro to the opening track, "Maxwell Murder" was unexpected: a dark, eerie sample from the movie, "Gringo." And although the rest of the song was standard Rancid punk, the album quickly shifts gear with "The 11th Hour". This song was slower than almost anything they'd done before. The new single, "Time Bomb," was full-on ska. Two more ska tracks, "Daly City Train" and the hook-laden "Old Friend" also appear.Rancid's propensity for trade-off vocals has increased, to great effect. With each member having a distinct voice and style, the trade-offs give each song and the lines within added power and individuality. As always the lyrics were ripped from the band's personal experiences.
There's the good times to be found in "Olympia, WA," Op Ivy's demise in "Journey...," the chilling look at addiction in "Junkyman," the misery of homelessness in "As Wicked," and the ubiquitous songs about girls, including "She's Automatic," "Old Friend" and "You Don't Care Nothin' "
"...And out come the wolves" was nothing short of sublime, and will inevitably bring Rancid even greater success. After its completion, the band took a well-deserved break. A September tour of Europe is scheduled followed by another national tour. At the time of writing in early August. RANCID's last album ( Life Won`t Wait ) is REALLY to recommand, but just a little bit much ska and reggae i think.
RANCID are of course my favourite punkrock band.