Interview with Lars Frederiksen of Rancid

October 28, 2012

Lars Frederiksen interviewInterview by: Dod M.
Big Wheel Overseas Staff Reporter

I first met Lars last year during his Old Firm Casuals tour, taking photos at the 3 of the shows, he is a very nice guy, instantly allowing me access to the band, some bands can be prima donnas but none of that here, we kept in touch, and when Cock Sparrer announced they were doing 2 shows with Rancid in San Francisco in March of this year, it was a no brainer,  I had to go - it was a good start to 2012 and with both bands doing Rebellion Xmas Bash and 3 shows in London ending their UK December tour. It will be a great end to 2012.


Lars had kindly taken time out of his very busy schedule to answer some of my questions.

Wow 20 years of Rancid, did you ever think it would last this long?
Never really sat down and thought about it to be honest. We just played the music we wanted to play and enjoyed doing it.
Were you in any other bands before Rancid?
My first real band was called The Knowhere Men. We where an Oi! band straight up. Gordy who sings for the Forgotten was the lead singer. He was also the Unknown Bastard in the Bastards with me. I guess the one that most might know or heard of is the UK SUBS.

What originally attracted you to the Punk scene?
I came from a working class background. I didn’t grow up rich or middle class so it was natural for me to get into it when I look back. My brother was a skinhead and into alot of the Punk music. He was the one that brought it home back in 79-80 and turned me on to it. We where both outcasts like our other friends who where into it. When the Oi! stuff hit that’s what really hooked me. I related to it 100% even though it was from the UK. The lyrics and the attitude was how I felt inside. I liked the fact that it was our community. It was my culture and has been since I got into it all those years ago.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
I know there have been many challenges for us but I can’t really think of one that really stands out hahaha. I’m sure we all have personal ones and for me these days it’s leaving the kids to go on tour.

You started the celebrating of 20 years of Rancid this year with 2 shows with Cock Sparrer in San Francisco how did this come about?
Daryl and I have been trying to get these shows together since 2003. At that time Sparrer where maybe only doing 1 show a year. We knew them for a while since the Sparrer family’s would come down to the Rancid gigs when we where in town. After we worked on the record together and they started getting a little busier we talked and we made a loose plan. It took some time to figure it out but thank god it happened. I’m actually glad it happened when it did and not sooner. The way it worked out with milestones for both bands made it that much more special. Those shows where some of the best nights we ever had as a band. I’m just stoked to do it again in the UK.

I was at both shows and thought they were totally rocking, how did Rancid feel about the shows?
Plain and simple we loved them!!! It was a dream come true for me personally since I grew up listening to them. They inspired me so much and still do. Also they are a such great guys.

You have just played Rebellion Punk festival this year for the first time, did you enjoy it?
Fucking loved it!!

Did you also know at Rebellion you set the record for people coming over the barrier -367?
My count had it at 329, but I was bouncing around allot and could have missed a few.

Having your own solo project must be a completely different experience from Rancid. What are the biggest differences?
Rancid and The Old Firm Casuals are full time bands for me. There are many differences for sure but the real big ones for me are the amount I sing and the style.

And how do you manage to fit it all in?

You toured with the Old Firm casuals last year, I was lucky enough to catch the shows, how did the band come about and where did the name come from?
We started in October of 2010. I knew Casey from around and he knew Paul from being in other bands with him. Me and Casey where doing allot of time together and I asked him if he wanted to start a band. We both loved the same music whether it was Oi!, Punk or hardcore and it seemed like we would have a few laughs playing together. He was into the idea and I asked if he knew any drummers who where into the same stuff. He mentioned Paul and I called him up. We talked for a few hours and the next weekend we practiced for the first time and wrote 2 songs. The name Pays homage to 2 things. First off the Cockney Rejects song “we are the firm”. That was always one of my favourites by them and I always thought that would be a good band name in some way shape or form. Secondly it pays homage to The DMS family that I have been a part of for 15 plus years. DMS was one of the first skinhead crews to form back in 86-87 in NYC. After all it’s just a band name.

What makes a good crowd for Lars Frederiksen?
When they show up

You have a UK Tour in November/December, What can we look forward too?
First of we are really excited to be playing with a lot of our friends again, so I’m sure the energy will be great. We always love coming to the UK. The country itself was one of the first to get what we were doing and made us feel like one of there own when we first toured back in 93. I think if there is anything to look forward to it would be all the bands that are playing as a whole. Hope to see you there.

Any last words?

Rancid UK Tour 2012

Mandela Hall Belfast          28-11-12
The Academy Dublin         29-11-12
Rock City Nottingham         1-12-12
Barrowlands Glasgow         2-12-12
02 Academy Liverpool         3-12-12
02 Academy Newcastle         4-12-12
02 Academy Leeds                6-12-12
Manchester Academy            7-12-12
Rebellion Xmas Bash, Birmingham 8-12-12
UEA Norwich                     10-12-12
02 Academy Bournemouth         11-12-12
02 Academy Bristol                 12-12-12
The Forum London           14,15,16, -12-12  (3 nights)




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