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Roger Miret (Agnostic Front)

Interview with Roger Miret from Agnostic Front
by Calen Nesten at 25 March 2015, 3:11 AM

AGNOSTIC FRONT has announced their newest album, “The American Dream Died” set for release on April 4th from Nuclear Blast records. Metal Temple writer Calen Nesten had the opportunity to talk with AGNOSTIC FRONT frontman Roger Miret  about the upcoming release, the slow death of underground music, their love of Berlin and $3000 punk jackets.

Hello! This is Calen Nesten from Metal Temple.

Hey man, how are you?

Not too bad dude! How about you

I'm doing alright man.

That's great! So let's talk about your new album, “The American Dream Died”. It comes out next month and is very much politically focused, more so than your previous album \[“My Life My Way”] what else can fans expect?

Almost all of our records have an element of world politics, mostly we speak about social-political stuff, oppression how to overcome oppression and stuff like that. This one is in the same vein, just more current. You can see that in the title itself, and everything going on currently it definitely kicks off more political.

Yeah, the release actually comes at a great time. There is a lot of screwed up stuff happening in America right now.

That's what I mean. The timing is just happens to be right, it's one of those weird things. Especially in the last five years we've seen a lot happen starting with that housing market crash into the bank crash and the corruption and police violence that's been going on. People are starting to watch and take notice, with video and the internet we can see so much of it now. Aside from that there is the noMiretal stuff we talk about. Family, unity, it's just the time that makes this album stand out better.

Absolutely, it's important to get the word out and you guys are going on a tour in Europe soon to promote the album, any plans for a US tour?

Definitely, you know, we can't tour the States like we used too we go to Europe in small parts, there may be three times we go to Europe but only for two, three weeks at a time. We're all family men, we have children, we all have jobs, we have to be with our children. We can't just disappear for 12 weeks in Europe then 12 weeks in America like we used too. We used to be on the road for months at a time and we just can't do that anymore.

So speaking of Europe, you have mentioned that Agnostic Front loves Berlin several times. What makes the city so special to you guys?

Berlin, it's one of those cities like New York, there are a lot of similarities, actually. I mean, we're just really close to it,  a lot of our friends and most of our road crew is from Berlin, our booking agent. Do you realize that a lot of Americans started moving to Berlin? You would see a lot of people from New York or America in general moving to Berlin. It's one of those magic cities we love just like Prague. It's just great, you know!

I have never been to Berlin, I would love to go, it seems fun.

Oh it is, man!

So, Agnostic Front is credited with helping shape the hardcore scene and influencing a lot of bands. What I would like to know is what sort of music influenced you?

Personally, my biggest influences were bands like: The Clash, Ramones, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, The GeMirets. And bands like Minor Threat, you know, a lot of guys we grew up together with. Negative Approach, Void. A lot! There have been so many great bands that we have played with that were coming out at the time. My influences are all directly related to early punk, hardcore. It's all just punk rock,, you know!

For sure! So, I noticed something while I was on Instagram. I saw a picture you posted of a jacket in the store where the old CBGB used to be. The jacket just looked like an old punk leather, studs and patches, the works! But it was nearly $2,000! To me, that is a huge slap in the face to CBGB and underground music in general.

Absolutely! You know, I was a little disgusted. I went there to take a friend, he wanted to see the old CBGB and I happened to be in town so I said “let's do this”.  They turned it into this high end clothing store, they still have all the old stickers, Agnostic Front has a few up there, a bunch of stuff. So we see this rack of punk jackets so we picked one up thinking “what's this shit?” It was some kid's old punk jacket but it was around $3,000! I couldn't believe it. I started thinking, how cool would it be if Agnostic Front walked into that shit-hole place, bought up all these jackets and did a full on music video an just return them.

That would be awesome! (laughs)

(laughs) Oh yeah, it would be pretty funny. But seriously, it is pretty disgusting. New York city just isn't the same anymore, you know?

Yeah, a lot of those old, iconic places are going away. It seems like underground music in general has lost its edge compared to the 70's, 80's and early 90's.

Well that's the thing. What we want people to get out of this new record, just in general, is just to wake up. Maybe all this talk about something will get people charged again, a lot of bands need to step up a little more, be a little more harsh and confrontational. That's what's important, that was the whole magic of the scene in the very beginning. Everyone, all those bands I mentioned were very confrontational. Questioning authority, questioning society, you know what I mean? I think we just need to wake people up again.

Yeah man, this seems like a really great album to continue what you guys have been doing for, what is it? 35 years?

Wow, yeah, let's see, I joined  the band when I was 16 years old, I'm going to be 51 so yeah about 35 years you nailed it.

That's what's great about Agnostic Front. There are a lot of bands that have been playing music just as long or longer than you guys that seem to get stale or irrelevant. Agnostic Front has managed to keep it fresh all these years!

Yeah, you know, we're still touring. We see all the stuff going on worldwide and tour with younger bands so we stay current. There are a lot of bands that are around but don't seem to do much. There are also a lot of bands that just re-unite for one big paycheck, there is really no return. With Agnostic Front we're passionate, we believe in giving back to our scene. That's why we're still writing, it's our passion we show our devotion, we're genuine. We don't live off one or two records like a lot of bands do. And there are a lot of other bands as devoted as ourselves, Sick of it All, Madball, guys like that.

There always needs to be bands like that!

For sure.

So you were born in Cuba, and Agnostic Front had a chance to play there years ago but it never got off the ground. Now that the United States has sort of eased relations with Cuba, are you planning on playing there anytime soon?

That would be my dream to play in Cuba, it's where I come from, it's where I was born. Being there and playing a show would be incredible. We have some connections out there, there is a Cuban band called Arrabio we played with in Canada. It was pretty successful so I got them to come to New York and play at one of the Black and Blue balls.

Sorry, what was that band again?

Arrabio. I had them come to play the Black and Blue Ball, it's really a big deal for a band to come all the way from Cuba, especially to New York before all this US Cuba relations stuff happened. Two years before. For a hardcore band to come all that way, play a show, and go back to Cuba is a really big deal and no one made any noise about it. It's surprising that no one cared. This is a band that traveled from Cuba! It's insane!

Well man, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today, anything else you want to say.

No, I'm good man, thank you for the interview. I have about fifteen more to do today (laughs).

Well thank you man, have a good day.

Hey, you too man.


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Edited 28 May 2023

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