A Godfather figure is understood to be a purveyor of genre; a pioneer in a particular realm of creation. Perhaps more importantly, and after over three decades shaping the hardcore realm, Agnostic Front have protected and nurtured hardcore music in such a way that it still exists healthily and in its proper form, today. As a band that has cultivated their reputation with honesty, and that prioritises affirming their social messages to the world, Get Loud! is well suited as the title for their twelfth full length studio album. Although the socio-political climate has transformed considerably since the release of the United Blood EP in 1983, the basic concepts of political corruption and social unrest have only been enhanced, and with them the fuel on AF’s fire. “We’ve always had a voice; had a lot to say. We’re always screaming for a change” says frontman Roger Miret. “Speak up, get loud, say what you have to say. Be the change you want to see in the world. You can’t change the whole thing, but you can make little differences that will matter, eventually.”
For such a memorable album, the reappearance of Cause For Alarm artist Sean Taggart was vital in order to deliver a piece of art that perfectly combined the old school with the current state of the world. Bringing the CFA characters back to life in a new age, the art-work will be familiar to Agnostic Front fans the world over, but still maintains a modern freshness. When CFA was initially released in 1986 it was a distinguished and prosperous time for the world of hardcore, and it is that time, and that vibe, that this album aspires to reassert.
Get Loud! is compiled of fourteen tracks that are nothing short of classic, home grown, New York Hardcore, but still includes some thrashy and punky variety. The title track carries a common message for the entire album. It’s a moody and riveting version of “speak up, aren’t you sick of the same day to day routine? It’s time to make that change and stop climbing up that same exact wall…
“That’s what Get Loud! is all about.” says Miret.
Songs like I Remember are important glimpses into the lives of the men of Agnostic Front and thus tie in strongly with their recent release of Ian McFarland’s 2017 documentary The Godfathers Of Hardcore. Although it was written after the release of the film, the track serves almost as a theme song for the documentary in which Miret and founding guitarist Vinnie Stigma recall their pasts and their most groundbreaking records; even first meeting one another. Songs like Conquer And Divide speak to the current state of where we as humans are today. “It’s like all the government has ever wanted is to divide the people, and then come in and conquer. I see it happening today; social media is a huge let down in that way. Now everyone has a voice, and I get it, but I can’t believe how quickly some people are willing to jump headfirst into something that doesn’t care about them” Miret explains. “Power of expression, power of the mind, freedom of speech, live free or die, stand up and resist, gotta fight to exist, break down the walls that divide.”
The raw and emotional journey of The Godfathers Of Hardcore can be credited as having some effect on the course of this record cycle. “It was nothing like I expected, it was mind blowing because it was so us” Miret reflects. “It was pretty incredible to have that, for my family, the future of my family. Put something out there digitally, and it’s out there forever. I’m really happy we never did anything like this, that this is it. It will hold through the tests of time. It’s not just a movie about punk, or hardcore, or metal, it’s about humanity and it’s awesome.”
An old school band in a new era can be an adjustment, but there’s something to be said for the technological advances that have enabled Agnostic Front to write this new album, even with distances between the core members of the band. Ideas, lyrics, and riffs were tossed around amongst the guys in a digital universe, and once solid skeletons were formed, the final portion of the writing, the finessing, and the recording began in person. Produced by Miret himself, longtime friend Paul Miner of Buzz Bomb Studios then tracked, recorded, mixed, and mastered the album. Get Loud! is now arranged, groomed, and ready to make its debut to fans the world over.
“Something real. I think that’s the secret to our longevity. People see us, and they see some-thing that’s real and genuine, and they want to be a part of that. Who wants to be a part of something that’s fake? If you feel a connection to something and it feels real, you wanna know about it and be a part of it.”