Athens, Greece and AN Club have the honor to welcome Agnostic Front for a live show. In the night of 13th June, 2023, the pioneers of hardcore are showing their power and attitude to the Greek audience and we go back to the past, to see how everything started and how we actually came here today!
by Dimitris Zacharopoulos
- Agnostic Front were formed by guitarist Vincent "Vinnie Stigma" Capuccio in 1980 in New York, USA, originally as Zoo Crew. The band, apart from Vinnie Stigma comprised also of Diego on bass, Rob Krekus on drums and John Watson on vocals. They soon added Ray Barbieri on drums and Adam Mucci on bass. John Watson was arrested, the band hired James Kontra as vocalist, who eventually quit before a live performance and was replaced by Roger Miret - despite never having spoken to him before, Vinnie Stigma told his friends to ask Miret, if he wanted to be the vocalist of Agnostic Front. The band’s first release was the EP “United Blood” in 1983 and a year later, the debut LP “Victim in Pain” (Rat Cage Records), followed. A fundamental hardcore release, this album pushed Agnostic Front to the forefront of New York's hardcore scene.
- Some months before the release of “Victim in Pain”, Mucci had departed from the band and been replaced by Todd Youth. Dave Jones replaced Ray Barbieri on drums after a mutual agreement among the band members that Barbieri needed to focus on his drug problem. Additionally, Rob Kabula took over on bass and Jimmy "The Kid" Colletti joined on drums.
- “Cause For Alarm” was another significant album, since it introduced thrash metal elements to the hardcore sound of Agnostic Front. With this album, Vinnie Stigma and co. became the godfathers of crossover thrash, together with other great bands like Suicidal Tendencies and Stormtroopers of Death. It was released on Combat Records in 1986.
- Although there were many line-up changes and personnel problems, the band continued its glorious march on the hardcore/thrash metal fields with a new album in 1987, titled “Liberty and Justice For …”. It didn’t sell as much as the previous releases, however, it was another genre-defying album, containing hardcore songs with many metal guitar solos.
- Later, Miret was arrested on drug charges after releasing a live album, and spent his time in prison writing new songs while Stigma and the band toured Europe for the first time. The lyrics written by Miret while in prison formed most of 1992's “One Voice”, which featured members of Madball and Sick of It All. Not long after its release, the band decided to call it a day.
- Vinnie Stigma and Roger Miret reformed Agnostic Front in 1997, signing to Epitaph Records and recruiting Jimmy Colletti on drums and Rob Kabula on bass. Their next album was a classy come-back, named “Something's Gotta Give”. In 1999, they followed up with “Riot, Riot, Upstart”. They also won an MTV Award for the title track music video. These albums have sold well and been mostly acclaimed by critics.
- The hardcore legends carried on in the new millennium, offering albums of an unparalleled quality and an unstoppable passion, like “Dead Yuppies” (2001, Epitaph Records) and “The American Dream Died” and “Get Loud!” (in 2015 and 2019 by Nuclear Blast respectively).
- Agnostic Front continue today with an penchant to persevere, releasing honest, aggressive music and playing soulful, punchy live shows!
Respect the true force of New York City hardcore, and remember the following line: "From the East Coast, to the West Coast ... gotta gotta gotta go!" …