Agnostic Front singer Roger Miret says his New York hardcore band is feeling the pain of the pandemic and race riots. A 13-year resident of Arizona—most recently Scottsdale—Miret has been on lockdown with his wife and kids.
“Our air conditioning just blew out, too, which is bad timing,” Miret says. “Other than that, we’re good. But we’re all here just worried, waiting and wondering what’s coming next.”
Agnostic Front features vocalist Miret, original guitarist Vinnie Stigma, along with additional guitarist Craig Silverman, bassist Mike Gallo and drummer Pokey Mo. In the 1980s, Agnostic Front created hardcore with the extreme sounds of punk and fury of metal, crossing over for fans of both.
“Agnostic Front played our last show before the pandemic the last day of January. We were in Europe,” Miret says. “As we speak, we were supposed to be on tour with our friends in Sick of It All, in the U.S., for our new album, called ‘Get Loud.’” Agnostic Front’s monthlong U.S. tour was supposed to start on April 25, but all the dates were rescheduled to 2021, Miret says.
As for now, Miret is happy to be home in Arizona.
“I love living in South Scottsdale,” he says. “I live in Old Town. It’s great. My family and I love it here. The weather is nice, and everything is walking distance. Also, we enjoy the calmness. It’s not New York City where I’m from. Not to say that it’s isolated. We’re a thriving city here, and I also love how there are some music venues here, too. We just love this community.”
Miret says while he would love to get back to the road, Agnostic Front hasn’t considered virtual or streaming gigs.
“We have to feel it,” he says. “That’s how we approach it and work it through with other people in the room. That’s the process. It’s fun but also very personal for us.
“I would rather see bands doing more interviews and Q&As online and using the internet to interact with fans on a more personal level with social media,” Miret says.
When it comes to the future of live music, Miret is not sure social distancing can work at punk rock, hardcore or heavy metal shows due to the nature of the music.
“We’ll see how everything goes with shows and tours after things calm down a bit and it’s safer,” he says. “At this point, no one really knows. This COVID-19 is a game changer.”
Miret doubts any major concerts or shows will happen until 2021. He thinks smaller clubs will probably open first, but they’ll have to cut their capacity by at least half.
“I always loved clubs and smaller venues for sure over big concerts, but venues and bands are going to have to adapt though this,” he says.
On the plus side, the pandemic has allowed Miret to spend more time with his wife and kids.
“Family life and touring has always been a struggle for me with Agnostic Front,” he says. “Right now, my kids are 10 and 12, and I can’t complain about spending this much time with them.”
Through all the doom and gloom, news reports and pessimism, Miret prides himself in a positive mental attitude.
“I lived in New York City. I’ve been through some crazy stuff in my life, so I know how to survive,” he says.
“This is going to be a hard one for us all. This is our generation’s hurdle to deal with. I’m just being positive and hoping we can all get through this for my family and for everyone else and their families.”
Miret admits he’s confused about current events, but he tries to keep up to date.
“I don’t know what to expect anymore,” he says. “Everyday something new happens or some different news comes out. But music is one thing that has gotten people through many decades of the hardest times. It unites people for life through tragedies and all, and I hope that is the case for fans of our music.”
The looters in Scottsdale were just as confusing; however, Miret is hoping things have calmed down.
“There were way more peaceful protestors than there were idiots out there during when some of those people started looting and breaking into stores,” Miret says.
“People were there purposefully causing trouble. It was a crowd of knuckleheads at the mall. Our kids were worried. We tried to not let them watch too much TV, but we did explain to them. Luckily for us, where we’re at there were helicopters, but it was definitely more of a protest and a minority that tried to start a riot.”
In the end, optimism is what drives Miret.
“I’ve got to be optimistic,” he says. “Let’s just move ahead in a positive way and hope for the best with this pandemic. Maybe this is just something for us to check ourselves and be better human beings on this planet, to the environment and to each other. This could be a reminder for humanity.”
Agnostic Front, facebook.com/agnosticfront.