by Jeff Jolley
Rancid, a punk rock band on the Epitaph Record Label, has been out there
pounding the streets the last couple of years trying to let the
aggression out. They recently played "Playskule" (the coolest garage
club--literally), and RAD took time out of their busy schedule to talk
to Rancid. Their aggression is real enough, so thank God they're
touring in a band rather than walking the streets.
- Epitaph seems like a great record label. The way they
talk about their bands and the way they're behind them, it's
- There's a lot of love at Epitaph. I think that's one
of the reasons why we love it there, I mean it's not like, I've
experienced like regular American type labels before, but not
really. It's more like a strict business type of thing, where
this is more like "family oriented." Everybody's kinda like
family. It's like going to see your brother and your sister and
your cousins. It's a totally comfortable atmosphere and they
make you feel like somebody instead of treating you like a
check. That's why I think we really like it, because they treat
us like human beings.
- I see it in the bands, too. They might be totally
different in musical tastes, but they're friends--they all hang
- I think that's the whole thing...where everybody wants
everybody to fight or something, if you're in different bands or
different music. And that's gotta be one of the lamest things
in the fucking world. I mean, when it all comes right down to
it, there's a message behind music, at least music that's on
Epitaph, or punk rock music all together. Whether it be, take a
look at the world around us and do something about it. Using
one of those types of direction in music as far as changing the
world or just laughing at it or whatever is totally relevant.
Bands like Pennywise, NOFX, and The Offspring, yeah we may be
different musically, but I mean we're all in it for the same
fucking reason--because we love to do it. The bottom line--it's
all about the music--that's all it's all about. It's not about
fucking signing to Warner Brothers, or fucking you know--
whatever people want to perceive music to be. It's not about
- No politics between each other.
- Exactly. Music is just supposed to be fun. You're
supposed to have a good time when you listen to it. It's
supposed to educate you, or whatever. At least that's the type
of music I listen to. I mean I can only speak for myself.
Bottom line--it's the music that's important, it's not what the
fuck you do in your business life. You know what I'm saying?
- What is it that Rancid stands for?
- I don't mean.... It's kinda like a hard thing to say,
because it's a broad question. All I can really say is what
we're all about is we're just this street-level punk rock band,
you know. We've got something to say, we've got something on
- You go out and get listeners through music.
- Sure, but even if the listeners weren't there [and
thank God that they are, and I appreciate it. If it wasn't for
the people that listen to us, who knows. Because those are the
people you owe everything to, I believe anyway.), but even if
there wasn't anybody out there listening to us or liking us,
we'd still be doing the same fucking music, saying the same
goddamn thing. Because for me, music is my outlet, it's my
therapeutic. I'm just that type of person. I'm very angry
inside, more so now than I've ever really been. Because I have
music, I mean, it's my way to go up for 45 minutes and kick the
shit out of an inanimate object and walk off feeling pretty
good. And happy that everybody else is out there fucking
everything else up, too. It's great to see when people are into
the music. I don't like to feel like I'm the only one at
things, which makes me feel like I'm not the only one out there
angry. A lot of kids, I think, really feel like they ARE the
only ones that're out there pissed off at what's going on around
them and shit like that. And I think that music is one of those
things that is a language in itself, and breaks through every
barrier in the fucking world. Every little wall that society
puts up around you, music can get through. You know, hopefully,
people will understand that that's what it's all about--that
it's about unifying things.
- I take it that you'd rather be touring than recording?
- I don't know. I mean, I love 'em both. I love writing
music. The guys in the band with me, I love them to fuckin'
death. They're more than just brothers to me, they're
immaculate human beings in my eyes. And playing with them,
whether it be in the studio writing songs with them (I mean
they're fuckin' incredible song writers), being a part of their
energy when they write songs it's the best feeling in the world.
And playing live with those guys, it's 45 minutes of nothing but
oneness with somebody else. I know that sounds hippyish, but
that's kinda what I feel like.
- Rancid has just the one album out so far?
- No, we have a 7" from Lookout records, 2 Epitaph
records, we just released our brand new record on the fifteenth
of June. We've got a 7" on Fat Records, that's got 4 songs, we
got two split singles coming out in 6 months time--one on
selfless records with the Voodoo Bro Skulls, and one with the
Veil on Lookout records. The new record has 23 songs on it.
Music just kinda pours out of us. We're always constantly
writing. Like right before we came out on tour, we went into
the studio and recorded 10 songs. That's just the way we are,
we're just fuckin' maniacs.
- Is Epitaph cool about releasing singles and stuff on other
- Yeah, I think they want us to do that, they're really
cool about that.
- If it get's Rancid known better, then it's better for
- Sure, there's business behind it. When I got in the
band, all I basically knew was that we're making records with
Epitaph, but it's OK to make records with other people, too--7"s
and stuff. I think Bad Religion, when they were still on
Epitaph were doing singles with other labels, NoFX has done
records with Fat Records. It's pretty much for the benefit of
the band. I mean, they're more worried about us as a band, than
I think that they are of selling a record. And that's getting
back with the family orientation of Epitaph.
When we play with other Epitaph bands, that's what we like the
most. With Epitaph bands, it's like we're friends and hangin'
out--we just happen to be on the same label.
You can write Rancid at:
PO Box 4596
Berkeley, CA 94704
They answer everybody's letters.
© 1994, Rational Alternative Digital