The third album from L.A. ska-punk band The Interrupters, Fight the Good Fight gets its title from a piece of graffiti spray-painted outside the studio where they made their debut. “It’s a phrase that’s followed us around for years, and it kind of embodies the message of this album,” says guitarist Kevin Bivona, whose bandmates include singer Aimee Interrupter, bassist Justin Bivona, and drummer Jesse Bivona. Aimee adds: “There’s a lot of darkness in the world right ow, but we’re trying to drive that out by making our music the light. We’re fighting through everything with a smile on our faces.”
The follow-up to their 2015 album Say It Out Loud, Fight the Good Fight finds The Interrupters delivering their two-tone-inspired, powerfully melodic, punk-fueled sound with more vitality than ever before. Working with Rancid frontman and Grammy Award-winning producer Tim Armstrong (who’s now produced all their albums) and Grammy Award-winning mixer Tom Lord-Alge, Aimee and the Bivona brothers channeled that raw energy in part by recording almost entirely to tape. “There’s a certain feeling you get from that process that you can’t really get digitally,” says Kevin. “There’s no overthinking anything—everyone’s got to be fully present and committed. It was definitely high-pressure, but also really fun.”
True to the album’s theme of persevering through hard times, Fight the Good Fight opens with “Title Holder”—a fast-paced anthem that celebrates the notion of “taking all the bad things you’ve overcome and turning them into a beautiful part of your character,” according to Kevin. On “She’s Kerosene,” The Interrupters slip into a more intense but still-triumphant mood as Aimee reflects on breaking free from narcissistic abuse (“I really hope when people listen to that song, it helps them feel empowered to leave a toxic relationship,” she says). Aimee also brings her fearlessly honest storytelling to “Gave You Everything,” an aching but glorious, no-regrets ballad she describes as “a true story, and a story as old as time.”
One of the most exhilarating tracks on Fight the Good Fight, “Got Each Other” offers a message of street-punk unity and features vocals from all four members of Rancid (including Armstrong, bassist Matt Freeman, guitarist Lars Frederiksen, and drummer Branden Steineckert). “It was always in the cards for all the guys to be on that song, but we were getting nearer and nearer to deadline, and a few of the verses were still empty,” Kevin recalls. “We ended up having Jesse and Justin drive up to the Bay Area in our tour van with a mini studio in the back, record Matt and Lars, and then drive back down again. It was like the third act of Goodfellas, where the clock was totally working against us, but somehow we made it happen.” In another moment of collaboration, the brash and bouncy “Broken World” was built from a riff and melody passed on by Billie Joe Armstrong while The Interrupters were on tour with Green Day. “Billie Joe played us that riff and melody and told us, ‘If you guys wanna take that and make a song out of it, go for it,’” Kevin remembers. “I think it’s the first ska song he’s ever been a part of, which is a cool thing for us.”
Formed in 2011, The Interrupters got together soon after the Bivona brothers’ former band appeared on bills with Aimee during a 2009 tour. With their self-titled debut arriving in 2014, the band soon shared stages with bands like Rancid, Blink 182 & Bad Religion. In support of Say It Out Loud, they toured all around the world headlining their own shows as well as supporting Green Day in Europe, Australia and South America. Proving their irrepressibility as a live act, the Say It Out Loud run included a Salt Lake City date where Kevin broke his arm after falling off the stage, then immediately duct-taped his fractured limb and completed the set.
As they gear up for the release of Fight the Good Fight, The Interrupters hope the album provides some solace to anyone feeling disillusioned. “Music’s gotten me through the toughest times in my life, so now my mission is to give back what I’ve been given—to help other people know that if they feel defeated or not good enough, they’re not alone,” says Aimee. And with appearances at festivals like Punk In Drublic and Warped Tour planned for spring and summer, the band’s especially thrilled to achieve an up-close connection with their audience. “The only time we’re not worrying about what’s going on in the world is when we’re onstage,” says Kevin. “It’s this beautiful escape where it’s just us and the crowd, and everyone’s dancing and having a good time, and hopefully we can all forget about our problems for a while.”
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