Drawing an enormous influence from The Clash, the Bay Area quartet Rancid followed the lead of fellow latter-day punks Green Day and The Offspring to mainstream success. The group was led by singer/guitarist Tim Armstrong, a lifelong hardcore fan who first found underground success teamed with childhood friend and bassist Matt Freeman in the late-'80s ska-punk band Operation Ivy. After becoming fixtures at the legendary Gilman Street club, Op Ivy released a series of singles before issuing their debut LP Energy in 1989. Unable to deal with their growing popularity, however, the group disbanded shortly after the album's release, and Armstrong and Freeman briefly reteamed in the Dance Hall Crashers Freeman later served a stint in the band MDC, while Armstrong recorded with a series of other groups. Both were working a string of day jobs when Armstrong fell prey to alcoholism; Freeman helped him to get sober, and as part of his recovery they founded Rancid in 1991 with Gilman Street staple Brett Reed on drums. The trio issued their five-song debut in 1992, followed in 1993 by a self-titled full-length release on the prominent indie label Epitaph. After the addition of second guitarist Lars Frederiksen , formerly a member of the U.k. Subs Rancid recorded its 1994 breakthrough album Let's go, which sold close to a million copies on the strength of the single and video "Salvation." A major bidding war followed, but the band remained with Epitaph for 1995's and out come the wolves, which featured the hits "Time Bomb" and "Ruby Soho." Life won't wait followed in 1998.
All Music Guide