When Agnostic Front vocalist Roger Miret calls modern “hardcore” bands up on the carpet for degrading and bastardizing the genre, you don’t look at him as a grumpy old scenester. You snap to attention.
Accredit it to over two decades of proud loyalty to the scene he and Agnostic Front helped create. After all, if there were no AF, you surely wouldn’t be rockin’ out to Hatebreed and their throngs of clones today.
That frustration is the focal point of the band’s forthcoming full-length Another Voice. With tracks such as “Hardcore! (The Definition)” and “Pride, Faith, Respect,” Miret heralds the honest while pointing a heavily-tattooed finger at wagon-jumpers.
“Twenty-three years later I’m still telling you it’s not easy,” he says with a sigh. “There’s a lot of adversity in and around hardcore, but I can look in the mirror and say I’ve done the best I could. I’ve tried to make a difference. You can’t change the world but you can try. That’s good enough for me.
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in life but I’ve learned from it,” he rants. “I think the part I hate is that it’s so easy to call yourself a hardcore band and you have an instant following. If you’re honest and admit you’re a rock band, it may be harder but at least you’re being honest. Be true to yourself and the people you’re playing your music to.”
Looking to regain some of the passion-fuelled delivery Agnostic Front (completed by guitarists Vinnie Stigma and Lenny DiSclafani, bassist Mike Gallo and drummer Steve Gallo ) lost during their last few misguided and decidedly more commercial albums, Miret had found the path once more, making Another Voice a raucous return.
“I’m an outcast again,” he laughs. “I really decided to go into a full-on hardcore pride feel with this album. This is my life. I live this stuff… it’s not something you read in a book. I’m living it and I’ll be here ‘til my dying breath. Hopefully it will make some confused people understand the hardcore lifestyle as well.”
Titled in response to the band’s own enigmatic early ‘80s effort One Voice, Miret says that Another Voice aspires to show that hardcore is more than aesthetics or scene. It’s an inherent lifestyle.
“(The album is) my definition of what hardcore is. You can’t just have tattoos, this or that piercing… it’s about being yourself; a feeling of pride when you look in the mirror and say, ‘This is who I am.’ It’s honest individuality, not about being tough or anything. There is a fashionable and musical part, but that’s not supposed to be all of it. If you don’t have pride, faith and respect what are you living for? But I don’t wanna be the Hardcore Police. I’m not jaded. I just focus on Agnostic Front. If I worried about the other shit I’d be long gone like a lot of other bands.”