The Interrupters Fifth Member: Tim Armstrong

The Interrupters Fifth Member: Tim Armstrong

The Interrupters released their third full length album, Fight the Good Fight, on June 29th, 2018. Back in 2014, Rancid front-man, Tim Armstrong, signed the band to his label, Hellcat Records, before later producing and being featured on all 3 of their records.

The Los Angeles, CA based ska-punk band consists of brothers Kevin, Justin & Jesse Bivona who play guitar, bass & drums, respectively, with lead-vocalist Aimee Interrupter belting out her signature punk raspy vocals. On their first album, 2014’s self-titled, The Interrupters featured Tim Timebomb on “Family,” and again on their 2016 album release of Say It Out Loud where Armstrong is on the track “Phantom City.” 2018’s Fight the Good Fight features all four members of Rancid on track 5, appropriately titled “Got Each Other.”

Listen: The Interrupters – “Got Each Other” (ft. Rancid)

About the band’s relationship with Armstrong, Kevin tells The Pier: “The cool thing about Tim producing all of our records, is he’s not just a great producer, he’s like a great band-dude who was in Operation Ivy, he’s in Rancid and these are bands that we love. So it’s like having another band member. He could be a band psychiatrist. He just knows the deal! So if we’re ever having any issues, he’s just like: ‘Well, this is kind of how I’m seeing it from over here as a band-guy!’ And it’s really good to have that angle.”

“We call Tim the 5th Interrupter,” Aimee adds.

In addition to signing the band, producing all of their albums while also being featured on them, Armstrong also directs their music videos and such is the case with their latest single, “She’s Kerosene.” With including all four members of Rancid on the song “Got Each Other” we’d be happy to bet there will almost certainly be a video and we wouldn’t be surprised if it was again directed by Tim. He’s as big a contributor to the band as each of the members we see on stage.

Commenting on “Got Each Other,” Kevin shares: “We get a verse from each Rancid member. Tim Armstrong, Matt Freeman & Lars Frederiksen. It’s a really fun track. It’s like a street-punk unity song.” Even Branden Steineckert, Rancid’s drummer, adds background vocals to the chorus and counts the band back in after a break in the song.

[Related: Exclusive Interview – The Interrupters]


It’s no surprise that Armstrong’s guidance has been essential to the Interrupters, considering he has been writing, recording, and producing punk rock since the band members were children. Now 52, Armstrong has led a successful career in music since the late 1980s when he formed Operation Ivy with Jesse Michaels, Dave Mello, and founding Rancid member Matt Freeman.

After Operation Ivy split up, Armstrong and Freeman went on to form Rancid in 1991. In 2003, Armstrong rebranded a discarded Rancid song, “Trouble,” for pop artist Pink, and the song went on to win her a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Armstrong went on to propel another Grammy winning effort by producing the album Rebirth, which won Jimmy Cliff the nod for Best Reggae Album in 2012.

You can hear Rancid’s influence across all 3 albums by The Interrupters as they’re very much likened to the group with Aimee’s raspy punk-rock vocals being compared to that of Tim Armstrong. The Interrupters are leading a resurgence for a ska-punk genre that is experiencing a swell of new momentum which is only further crystallized by their meteoric rise.

Related Links
The Interrupters Website
Rancid Website
Hellcat Records Website

Article By: Aidan Leddy
Photo of Tim Armstrong by: David Norris
Photo of The Interrupters by: In The Barrel Photo

Watch: The Interrupters – “Family” (ft. Tim Armstrong)

Watch: The Interrupters – “Phantom City” (ft. Tim Armstrong)