Based in New York Agnostic Front have been playing their own distinctive brand of hard-core for over 20 years. We caught up with frontman Roger Miret to find out what its like to release an album called "Dead Yuppies" in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in America, how they still stay true to the cause when younger bands have just walked away and how they will always walk out of step with society.
Q: The new album "Dead Yuppies" is released this week.
Kind of social politics for the year 2001?
A: The whole record deals with what Agnostic Front has always dealt with - Social Politics. Nothing is ever planned and the message has pretty much been the same though out the years, its about the politics and the issues you deal with on an everyday basis.
It is a little more difficult at the moment to say anything remotely anti-American or anti-government because everybody is so pro American after the recent events. Its a different style of Pro America than most people would assume...its not a right wing thing or an Aryan thing...but its pro America from all different races and all types of religions.
Its pretty much people are just so upset about what has
happened and are into rebuilding the country, strengthening up and fighting
terrorism. For instance our album "Dead Yuppies" was supposed to be launched
with the whole fly posters and full page ads, the label stopped it of course.
Its just that black cloud that we have over us at the moment.
Q: What's the atmosphere like in New York at the moment?
A: Its getting a little bit better but you can't really go out and plaster something like "Dead Yuppies" all over the centre right now - a lot of people wouldn't understand or wouldn't want to understand at the moment. There's a lot of anger and that's why we posted a message on our website. We don't condone any type of terrorist act and were not into that type of stuff. Then again were a punk band, yer know.
Q: You've been going for over 20 years now. Do you
still get the same buzz as in the early days?
A: Well it was different in the early days. It was smaller and more family orientated. Its not like it used to be but you have to move forward, you can't just dwell on the old days. When the scene first started, with bands like Minor Threat, SSD and ourselves, we played this place called A7 which held about 40 or 50 people. Everyone just new each other, it was like a family thing, and nowadays its in the hundreds and thousands and those family values just don't exist.
Q: How do you feel about all these younger bands which
might suggest you are too old?
A: Well, they can say whatever they want but the true test is - they may be young enough for now but then they'll be gone. Its not about a fad or about how old you are - its a lifestyle!!!! People live in certain ways and they live it because they love it. A lot of rebellion starts with youth but to me its something you keep in your heart - eventually everyone adapts to society and we still walk out of step with.
At first I always thought I was on my own and then I met these people that thought just like me. Were still rebellious bastards in everything that we do...everything I do is always out of step!!! I knew from 6th or 7th grade that I couldn't live within society. I was a rebellious kid and I had nothing to associate with those people and I found the people who I could associate with were in the punk hard-core scene of New York.
The music scene for me died about 1994 / 95. The whole values of Led Zeppelin or even Madonna just switched. MTV pretty much destroyed the whole music scene.
"Dead Yuppies" is out now on Epitaph