Rancid as a band have always been imbued with a sense of place: the blue collar neighborhoods where they grew upin Berkeley, California, their place as individuals within their band, their band as part of a movement and their evolvingsense of place in relation to the world at large. This year Tim Armstrong (vocals, guitar), Matt Freeman (bass, vocals), Lars Frederiksen (vocals, guitar), and Branden Steineckert (drums) are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Rancid.
Born in the midst of the post-Reagan economic downturn in the San Francisco Bay Area, the East Bay regionspecifically, Rancid came to light as Armstrong and Freeman were moving forward after the first band they founded,Operation Ivy, reached a friendly demise. As Rancid, the band took up the torch of social commentary and theexamination of the local scene and instantly inflamed the newly revived punk community, setting the stage for whatwas to come.
To date, the band has released numerous bodies of work, including 8 full-length albums – Rancid (1993), Let’s Go (1993), …And Out Come The Wolves (1995), Life Won’t Wait (1998), Rancid (2000), Indestructible (2003), Let The Dominos Fall (2009), …Honor Is All We Know (2014).
After having seen the American dream dwindle and fade within their country, community and homes, Rancid put theirdescription of its aftermath into their songs. Each album served as a layer cementing Rancid’s natural place in punk.Their lyrical themes established their identity in the punk rock world while musically they incorporated horns,rockabilly bass lines, reggae rhythms, rasp, and distortion. Balancing their personal tales of love, loss, and heartbreak with attitude, Rancid gave their listeners a community.
Over the past 2 decades, Rancid has shown awareness of their changing environment and have established their place in it, all while never losing sight of themselves as individuals or as a band.