Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jun 3rd 2009 3:00PM by Dan Reilly
Though Armstrong is the band's main songwriter and has worked on many other projects, including the Transplants with Blink-182's Travis Barker and his own 2007 solo album, 'A Poet's Life,' Armstrong resisted his creative urges until the band reunited. "I was in Spain writing another record but I didn't want to start writing the Rancid record without them," he says. "We wanted to do it as a team -- to make it a Rancid record and not a Tim Armstrong or Lars Frederiksen record."
Most of the album was written at the Utah home of drummer Branden Steineckert, who joined the band in 2006, to replace original member Brett Reed. Reed left amicably to "do different things," according to guitarist/vocalist Frederiksen. "Branden's been in the band for three years and I think we would all agree it's like walking or breathing," Frederiksen tells Spinner. "It's just natural now."
The songwriting didn't end once the band left Utah to record at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in California. "At night time when everybody would go to bed, there was the four of us around a mike playing acoustically and jamming out new s---," Frederiksen says. "'Last One to Die' came out that way, like a lot of songs." The record seemed finished by the time the band hit the road for last summer's headlining tour, but more songs popped up. "We started making the record in 2008, then did some extensive touring and came up with four more songs," Frederiksen says. "Thank god we did because the first song on the album, 'East Bay Nights,' which is one of the best on the record, and 'Damnation,' another favorite of mine, were two of those four."
As with many Rancid records, survival, loyalty and the bond between the bandmates are constant themes. Though Amrstrong, Frederiksen, and bassist Matt Freeman -- Armstrong's former Operation Ivy bandmate and friend since the first grade -- have all taken turns on vocals throughout the band's career, 'Dominoes' has them trading off more than ever. "This is our first record with songs where we each take a verse and come together on the chorus," Frederiksen says, referring to 'Disconnected,' 'I Ain't Worried' and 'You Want It, You Got It.' "It says that Rancid's a crew," Armstrong adds. "We're always going to come from that angle because it's true for us. Whether we're touring or making a record, we're best friends. We're a band in the true sense of the word."