[BANDS] - [COMPS] - [LABELS] - [ZINES]
[BOOKS] - [FILMS] - [FLYERS] - [LINKS]
[NEWS] - [CONTRIBUTORS] - [CONTACT]
|Agnostic Front started in 1982 on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Although they were not the first New York hardcore band, they are the most well known, and are also one of the few from that early scene to last into the 90's. The core of Agnostic Front has always been guitarist Vinny Stigma and vocalist Roger Miret, although lineup changes have been commonplace throughout the group's history. Before ever putting anything on record, previous singers included Rob Kabula, John Watson, and Jimmy the Mad Russian, and Rabeez from Warzone was the band's original drummer (he plays on the United Blood EP). Agnostic Front identified themselves as skinheads, and as part of the "Lower East Side Crew," a group of punks living in a neighborhood which was, at the time, both poverty-stricken and dangerous (at least more than it is today). In the early 80's, Stigma also organized the New York chapter of the Better Youth Organization (a group started in Los Angeles, California, by Shawn Stern of Youth Brigade).|
In 1983 Agnostic Front self-released a 7" EP, recorded with fledgeling producer Don Fury. United Blood was short, fast, angry, and raw. In a year's time, Agnostic Front put out a full length LP, Victim In Pain, on New York's Ratcage label. The band's skinhead stance, and the fact that the record's cover featured a photograph of a concentration camp execution, was controversial, especially in San Francisco's MRR zine, whose writers were beginning to see violent neo-Nazi skinheads causing trouble at shows on the West Coast. The fact that Miret was half-Cuban prevented Agnostic Front from realistically being labelled white power, but not from being seen as a conservative, right-wing, nationalist band.
Controversey, however, seemed to benefit the band, at least in terms of popularity and album sales. Agnostic Front's next (and best-selling) LP, Cause for Alarm, marked several changes for the band. Rather than being released by a small local punk label, the record came out on a large independent heavy metal label -- Combat Core (the "hardcore" division of Combat Records). Also, Agnostic Front was now writing crossover songs with a distinct metal influence. Several members of the band appeared on Phil Donahue's talk show to discuss "Public Assistance," one of the tracks from Cause for Alarm. The song criticized people on welfare -- and singled out minorities -- for abusing the system.
Agnostic Front put out two more records in the eighties, one studio (Liberty and Justuce for...) and one live. Soon after, Roger Miret was arrested on drug charges and spent 18 months in jail. He continued to write lyrics while in prison, and upon his release, the band recorded a new album, titled One Voice. Agnostic Front played their "last show" in December of 1992. Vinny Stigma continued playing hardcore in Madball, with Miret's brother Freddy on vocals. In 1997, Agnostic Front reunited, and now play oi-influenced hardcore. They have since put out a few records on Epitaph.
UNITED BLOOD 7" EP (1983)
VICTIM IN PAIN LP (Ratcage Records, 1984)
CAUSE FOR ALARM LP (Combat Core, 1986)
LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR... LP (Combat Records, 1987)
LIVE AT CBGB'S LP/CD (In-Effect/Relativity Records, 1989)
ONE VOICE LP/CD (Relativity Records, 1992)
LAST WARNING LP/CD (Relativity Records, 1993)
TO BE CONTINUED CD (Rough Justice Records, 1992)
RAW UNLEASHED CD (Grand Theft Audio Records, 1995)
EXTREME NOISE 1 tape (Extreme Noise)
MESSAGE FROM AMERICA LP (Urinal Records, 1985)
DISORDER DISORDER DISORDER tape (Höllenqual Zine, 1985)
SUNDAY MATINEE: THE BEST OF NY HARDCORE LP/CD (Another Planet Records/Profile Records, 1994)
Agnostic Front Interview from Task #02
Here's a good Victim in Pain-era interview from this excellent New York zine.
Agnostic Front Interview from Ink Disease #10
Agnostic Front is interviewed in California on their "Beat Up Tim Yohannan Tour". This is both an amusing and interesting interview - draw your own conclusions about what they say.