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Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory
One of Pitchfork‘s Favorite Music Books of 2017
“My Riot is a frank appraisal of a life filled with mistakes, triumphs, and the transcendentalism of the stage.” —Pitchfork
“Miret’s memorable, affecting stories capture an important time in the hardcore music scene. . . . Equal parts music memoir and gritty coming-of-age story, it’s an eminently readable and fast-paced look at life during hardcore’s heyday. . . . Not just for music fans, My Riot is a valuable snapshot of an important time.” —Foreword Reviews
“The most wild, sincere, honest book I’ve ever read. Roger holds nothing back and delivers jaw-dropping story after story that you would see in a movie. . . . You won’t be able to put it down.” —Suburban Rebels
“Fan or not, My Riot is a great look back at a singular time in musical history, written from a very singular perspective, and it was almost impossible to put down.” —Midnight to Six
“Roger gave a voice to the voiceless and has lived the life he sung about. This book is incredible! I couldn’t put it down.” —Lars Frederiksen, Rancid
“My Riot is a powerful and riveting read. A brutal look into the life of a man that did what he had to do to survive.” —Scott Ian, Anthrax
“Hardcore has a code of honor that never wavers. Roger’s character and loyalty are only outweighed by the fire in his heart and his dedication to the cause.” —Jerry Only, Misfits
“This is raw, powerful and intense reading! I can’t put it down! Highly recommend grabbing this book when you can, but be prepared it ain’t pretty!” —Jesse Leach, Killswitch Engage
“It’s a great read, tracing the roots of New York Hardcore via lots of crazy stories about potentially deadly situations. . . . Pick up this book & take a walk back in time through the Lower East Side when it was still a hair-raising adventure.” —D. Randall Blythe, Lamb of God
“Reading Miret’s memories of the scene’s early violent years was enthralling. . . . Despite its unflinching style, the memoir also carries a lighter tone in parts, especially any stories revolving around Miret’s musical partner in crime, Agnostic Front guitarist Vinnie Stigma.” —No Echo
“Miret’s captivating and harrowing, no-holds-barred account of a life lived in the trenches . . . You don’t have to be a major Agnostic Front fan to get maximum enjoyment out of this book. . . . A compelling read.” —Classic Rock Revisited
Gangs of New York meets Mean Streets in this gripping memoir about surviving the treacherous 1980s Lower East Side and finding refuge and a life in music.
My Riot is the definitive insider account of the birth of the volatile New York Hardcore scene. With Roger Miret as front man, legendary band Agnostic Front’s focused fury and aggression defined the times.
Born in Cuba, Miret fled with his family to the US to escape the Castro regime. Through vivid language and graphic details, he recounts growing up in a strange new land with a tyrannical stepfather and the roles that poverty and violence played in shaping the grit that became critical to his survival. In his teen years, he finds himself squatting in abandoned buildings with unforgettably eccentric runaways and victims of similar childhood trauma. With like-minded misfits he helps pioneer a new musical genre, but with money scarce and commercial success impossible, he turns to running drugs to support his family and winds up in prison. It’s the ultimate test of his toughness and perseverance that eventually sets him on a path towards redemption.
My Riot is both an unflinching portrait of downtown New York in the 1980s and a testament to the perils of growing up too fast.
Forewords by Al Barr of the Dropkick Murphys and Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed
6 x 9 | 304 pp | 8-page color photo insert
Hardcover $26.00 | CAN $35.99
His Riot: Agnostic Front’s Roger Miret Reflects on His New Memoir
Lesser Gods just published My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory by Roger Miret with Jon Wiederhorn. My Riot is the definitive insider account of the birth of the volatile New York Hardcore scene. It’s an unflinching portrait of downtown New York in the 1980s and a testament to the perils of growing up too fast.
Agnostic Front singer Roger Miret has been working on his book since 1999, but it all came together when he partnered with veteran music writer Jon Wiederhorn.
Jon spoke with Roger to get his thoughts on My Riot now that it’s finally out. Find out how Roger dug up old stories, his favorite parts of the book and what Agnostic Front fans and other readers will get out of it.
What are your thoughts on how the book came out?
It came out how I expected. The surprise was the stories that didn’t make it. So much of the book concentrated on the early years, which people are more interested in.
Were there things you didn’t realize you remembered until you started telling these stories?
Some stuff was blocked out, or details weren’t as precise. Things started coming back to me as conversations kept going. That happens all the time. When I’m on tour with other bands, all they want to know is how shit was back in the day. Once we start talking, memories start flying, especially with people who were there with me.
Did you go back to people for help remembering?
I reminisced a lot with ex-bandmates like Craig Setari and Matt Henderson. We would go back and forth, and we would laugh about stories.
Is there anything that you had reservations about discussing?
There was personal stuff that I had reservations about. I went over some of it with my wife. Some stuff that haunts me to this day. A lot of it I did as a teen, which was foolish and is embarrassing now. That’s the kind of stuff you do when you’re a teen living on the streets trying to take care of yourself first or your addictions and trying to get through. Even if I get some backlash, it’s good to let it go and be honest. I think people will appreciate that.
What’s your favorite part of the book?
One is the New York Hardcore stuff and the intensity of describing the area and Apartment X. The first part of my book—coming to America, my early survival skills—made me who I was before I got into hardcore. I was very unhappy with myself, unsure of everything. That’s my favorite part. Of course, being in New York Hardcore and meeting everyone and touring, that was all great, but the unexpected parts are the best.
What will surprise Agnostic Front fans?
Fans are going to be excited to read about my time in prison. The biggest surprise will be my upbringing because I usually don’t talk about it. For the people that know me today, they can’t even imagine how I used to be. I’m such a different person.
What will readers who aren’t hardcore fans get out of this book?
They’ll get a great immigrant story, a success story. A family trying to get away from Fidel Castro, get to America and live the American dream. And of course the ups and downs of trying to get somewhere, especially not knowing the language. They’ll be blown away by a cool introduction to an underground music scene—and how dangerous, colorful and great it was for the whole art world. We came together as a New York Hardcore tribe because we had to for survival. You learned how to live amongst criminals and gain street-smarts, so you were prepared for anything.
Watch Roger Miret on Jesse Leach’s New Podcast
Roger Miret appeared on Flex Your Head, the new Revolver podcast hosted by Jesse Leach of Killswitch Engage, to discuss his new memoir, My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory. Click here to watch.
“I wouldn’t be who I am today without hardcore, and Agnostic Front had a major part in that,” says Leach. The two front men dive deep into New York Hardcore history, share war stories from the road, and discuss the ties that bind the hardcore “tribe” and how tough times can inspire great art.