Tim Armstrong

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Tim Armstrong
TimLiveSept2008.jpg
Armstrong in 2008
Background information
Birth name Timothy Ross Armstrong [1])
Also known as Lint, Tim Timebomb
Born November 25, 1965 (age 51)
Albany, California, United States
Origin Albany, California, United States
Genres Punk rock, ska punk, street punk, hardcore punk, reggae, ska, 2-tone, country, rapcore
Occupation(s) Musician, guitarist, songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboards, synthesizer, harmonica, melodica
Years active 1980–present
Labels Lookout!, Hellcat, Epitaph
Associated acts Rancid, Tim Timebomb, Transplants, Operation Ivy, Devils Brigade, Dance Hall Crashers, Downfall, Basic Radio, Shaken 69, The Silencers, The Distillers, Box Car Racer, The LJs, Generator, Danny Diablo, Jimmy Cliff, Green Day, Stubborn Allstars, Vic Ruggiero, The Armstrongs
Website timtimebomb.com
Notable instruments
Fender acoustic 6-string
Gretsch Country Club
Hagström Viking
Gibson SG
Gibson Les Paul
Gretsch Signature Electromatic
Fender Signature Hellcat

Timothy Ross “Tim” Armstrong (born on November 25, 1965[2]) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor.[3] He is best known as the singer/guitarist for the punk rock band Rancid and hip hop/punk rock supergroup the Transplants. Prior to forming Rancid, Armstrong was in the influential ska punk band Operation Ivy; in 1997, along with Brett Gurewitz of the band Bad Religion and owner of Epitaph Records, Armstrong founded Hellcat Records. In 2012, through his website, Armstrong started releasing music that influenced him, along with stripped-down cover songs of his own work under the name Tim Timebomb, he has released at least one song per week since late 2012. Armstrong is also a songwriter for other artists. Armstrong won a Grammy Award for his work with Jimmy Cliff and Pink and he has also worked with Joe Walsh.

Early and personal life[edit]

At the age of five, Armstrong met Matt Freeman while playing Little League Baseball in Albany, California. Freeman and Armstrong formed a band many years later based on their shared love of bands such as The Clash and the Ramones, they both went to Albany Middle and High School. Armstrong married musician Brody Dalle in 1997, when she was only 18 however the two were dating prior to that when she was underage, the couple went through a bitter divorce in 2003 after Armstrong saw Dalle making out with Josh Homme, her now husband, in Rolling Stone magazine.[4] Some of Rancid's songs on 1998's Life Won't Wait ("Who Would've Thought", "Corazón de Oro") detail their relationship and songs on 2003's Indestructible ("Fall Back Down", "Ghost Band", "Tropical London") deal with Armstrong's feelings about his divorce. Their divorce also led to a back and forth feud between Armstrong and Homme. Homme claimed he received death threats from Armstrong.[5] Dalle claims Armstrong was very controlling of her and it took her three years to leave him. When she did she said Armstrong and his friends had her blacklisted from the music scene which forced the break-up of her band The Distillers. Armstrong denies these comments and that she had used Armstrong to come to the United States and his status in the music business to help her form a band and get noticed.[6]

Tim's cousin, Scott, was the guitarist for Canadian punk band Desperate Minds, they did not know each other until they were introduced at a show in Chicago in 1988 by John Jughead of Screeching Weasel.[7] Armstrong's father, Don Armstrong, died in June 2012 at the age of 81, and Armstrong dedicated many songs on his latest solo album to him.

Due to their same last names, Armstrong is at times assumed to be the brother of Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and although the two actually are not related they are longtime friends. Billie Joe has covered Operation Ivy's songs in the past on Green Day albums and co-wrote and performed on Rancid's song "Radio". Armstrong even invited Billie Joe to join the band as a second guitarist in 1993 however he declined so Lars Frederiksen got the job. Tim Armstrong also directed the music video for Green Day's 2016 single Bang Bang;[8] in 2017 Tim Armstrong and Billie Joe Armstrong, together with Tim's nephew Rey Armstrong and Billie Joe's son Joey Armstrong formed a supergroup "The Armstrongs" and released their first single "If there was ever a time" [1]

Music career[edit]

Basic Radio[edit]

Basic Radio was founded in 1985 and included Matt Freeman and Tim Armstrong. The band never released any albums or EPs, but recorded demos and were featured on local compilations. 2 years later they broke up and Operation Ivy was founded shortly after.

Operation Ivy[edit]

In 1987, along with singer Jesse Michaels, bassist Matt Freeman and drummer Dave Mello, Armstrong formed the ska punk band Operation Ivy and enjoyed modest success before the group disbanded in 1989, the same night the album was released. The band would go on to achieve worldwide cult success in the years following its break-up.

Downfall[edit]

Downfall was an aftershock of Operation Ivy. Armstrong, Freeman, and Mello were joined by Mello's brother Pat, and Jason Hammon. Pat and Jason would both play guitar, while Armstrong took up duties on vocals, they lasted three months (December 1989 to March 1990), playing only at a few parties and twice at Gilman St. They released one song on Maximumrocknroll's They Don't Get Paid, They Don't Get Laid, but Boy, Do They Work Hard! compilation, one song on David Hayes' Very Small World compilation, one song on Lookout! Records' Can of Pork compilation, and recorded a demo. It disbanded when Freeman joined MDC on bass while Armstrong was a roadie for the band, while Pat and Dave went on to form Schlong.

Rancid[edit]

After the demise of Operation Ivy, Armstrong (being severely depressed) began to suffer from alcoholism, and eventually became homeless,[9] during this time, Freeman suggested the two start a new band together, partially in hopes of curbing Armstrong's alcohol addiction. Armstrong began writing songs that would appear on their first album, their new band, Rancid would eventually go on to become one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful punk rock bands of all time. Rancid has released eight studio albums since their formation.

The Transplants[edit]

In 1999, Armstrong invited roadie Rob Aston ("Skinhead Rob") to add lyrics to some solo material that Armstrong had been creating in his basement, and the two worked together writing and recording music, they formed the group Transplants with drummer Travis Barker, of Blink-182, and released their self-titled debut album on October 22, 2002. A second Transplants album, Haunted Cities, was released on June 21, 2005, the Transplants break-up was confirmed by Rob Aston on January 16, 2006, when he told a reporter that the group had split. However, Barker later announced that the trio was working on a new album, they played their first show since 2006 on Conan to promote Barker's new solo album, on which the song "Saturday Night" is featured. It was announced in November 2011 on the Transplants official Facebook page that their new album would be "finished" in December 2011, the latest album entitled "In A Warzone" was released June 25, 2013 on Epitaph Records.

Solo Albums/Tim Timebomb[edit]

In 2007, he released his first solo album entitled A Poet's Life with The Aggrolites as his backing band, the track from that album "Into Action" was reported as the number one most played and requested in 2007 on then XM Satellite Radio channel Fungus 53.[10]

In 2012, he launched a side project under the name Tim Timebomb, initially releasing a download only album, entitled "Tim Timebomb Sings Songs from RocknNRoll Theater", containing songs from his musical film series, since October 29, 2012 he has released a series of songs via YouTube, at a rate of one track each day starting on October 29, 2012. These songs make up a series of download only singles, to date more than 200 tracks have been released, a mixture of original compositions, covers, and re-workings of his previous songs, including those of Rancid.[11]

Other projects[edit]

Armstrong produced and co-wrote eight songs with Pink for her 2003 album Try This, her song, "Trouble", a 2003 Rancid outtake, went on to win her a Grammy Award. He has also contributed guest vocals on songs for such bands as Bad Religion, Time Again, The Matches, Mest, Good Charlotte, Head Automatica, The Aggrolites and Box Car Racer. He and Matt Freeman also play in a psychobilly band called Devils Brigade and he co-produced their debut album.

It was announced on August 12, 2011 that Tim Armstrong was working on an album with reggae artist Jimmy Cliff,[12] their first single, a cover of The Clash song "The Guns of Brixton", was released on October 4, 2011. Sacred Fire EP was released late November 2011. Rebirth was released in July 2012 and won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album. And in 2012, Armstrong written and performed on the song "Hi-Roller Baby", with Joe Walsh and it was released on Walsh's critically acclaimed and commercially successful solo album, "Analog Man".

In 2016, Armstrong directed the music video for Green Day's single, "Bang Bang".

Armstrong also helped with Anti-Flag's song "Brandenburg Gate"

Armstrong in Nashville, Tennessee, on June 27, 2008

Hellcat records[edit]

Armstrong started Hellcat Records in 1997 as a sub-label of Epitaph, owned by Armstrong's friend and Bad Religion member Brett Gurewitz. Armstrong acts as a talent scout for Hellcat, and has final say concerning what groups are signed to the label. Armstrong also owns the merchandise manufacturer Machete Mfg,[13] which provides merchandise for bands on Hellcat Records.

Signature Model Guitars[edit]

In 2010, Gretsch Guitars introduced the G5191BK Tim Armstrong Electromatic guitar, the single cutaway hollowbody electric guitar featured a 17" wide body in a flat-black urethane finish, parallel tone bars and sound post, two "Black Top" Filter'Tron pickups, Grover tuners, big block fretboard inlays, a harp tailpiece and gold-plated hardware. Gretsch advertising for the model prominently features Armstrong with the guitar.[14] Armstrong's signature model is based on his 1971 Baldwin-era Gretsch Country Club which he spray-painted black and flipped to accommodate his left-handed playing,[15] the signature model is available in both right and left-handed models. Fender also put out a signature acoustic model based on Tim's favorite 60's era Fender acoustic guitar, the "Hellcat" has hellcat inlays in the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th fret positions and two skulls in the 12th fret. It is outfitted with a tortoise shell pick guard and Fishman brand electronics, it is available in right and left handed models, as well as a 12-string version.

Discography[edit]

Operation Ivy[edit]

Guitar and backing vocals. Credited as "Lint".

Downfall[edit]

  • Can of Pork – "North Berkeley"
  • Very Small World – "New Regulations"
  • They Don't Get Paid, They Don't Get Laid, But Boy Do They Work Hard! – "Long Way to Go"
  • Later That Same Year – "My City"

Special Forces[edit]

Bass Guitar. Credited as "Lint".

Rancid[edit]

Guitar and vocals.

Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards[edit]

Transplants[edit]

Guitar and vocals.

Devils Brigade[edit]

Guitar and backing vocals.

  • Stalingrad/Psychos All Around Me (2003)
  • Vampire Girl 12" ep (2005)
  • Devils Brigade (2010) – Lead vocals on "Bridge of Gold" and "Gentleman of the Road".

Tim Armstrong/Tim Timebomb[edit]

Guitar and vocals

Pink[edit]

Guitar, acoustic bass, keyboards, backup vocals, loops, sound effects, engineer, producer

Jimmy Cliff[edit]

Guitar and Production

Travis Barker and Yelawolf[edit]

Guitar and Vocals (chorus).

  • 6 Feet Underground (single, 2012),

Vocals (chorus).

  • Push 'Em (single, 2012)

Joe Walsh[edit]

Guitar and writing

Produced albums[edit]

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ TIMOTHY ROSS https://www.ascap.com/repertory#ace/writer/187112375/ARMSTRONG TIMOTHY ROSS Check |url= value (help).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Punknews.org. "Tim Armstrong". Punknews.org. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1180192/
  4. ^ http://www.feelnumb.com/2013/10/12/brody-dalle-covered-up-rancids-tim-armstrong-tattoo-after-hooking-up-with-qotsa-josh-homme/
  5. ^ http://www.contactmusic.com/queens-of-the-stone-age/news/homme-blasts-rancid-singer-over-dalle-treatment
  6. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/apr/10/brody-dalle-interview-im-not-going-to-be-held-down
  7. ^ Episode 04 – Operation Ivy's Energy | Alternative Music Podcasts | PodOmatic. Jugheadsbasementtnh.podomatic.com (February 1, 2013). Retrieved on 2016-09-27.
  8. ^ Lecaro, Lina. (April 22, 2009) LA People 2009: Punkissance Man – Tim Armstrong. L.A. Weekly. Retrieved on 2016-09-27.
  9. ^ Duxbury, Micky. "White Punks on Warner Bros. | Feature | Oakland, Berkeley & Bay Area News & Arts Coverage". Eastbayexpress.com. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Archive". LouBrutus.com. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Rancid's Tim Armstrong to release new album as Tim Timebomb and Friends". consequenceofsound.net. Retrieved February 29, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Jimmy Cliff working on new album with Tim Armstrong". Punknews.org. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Punk T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Stickers, Buttons, Patches, etc". Machete Mfg. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 
  14. ^ Gretsch Specification Sheet Archived February 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Tim Armstrong Gretsch Electromatic". The Fifth Fret. January 18, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 

External links[edit]