Agnostic Front Leader Roger Miret Writes About Poverty, Prison And Violence In Autobiography
Late last year Roger Miret, frontman of NYHC originals Agnostic Front, released a memoir he’d been working on since the 90s.
My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory is both a brilliant inside account of the birth of the legendary New York Hardcore scene and a brutal and unflinching autobiography.
Born in Cuba, Miret fled with his family to the US to escape the Castro regime. In the book he recounts not only his time in Agnostic Front, but also his experiences growing up in a strange new land with an abusive stepfather, his time in prison, and the roles that poverty and violence played in shaping the grit that became critical to his survival.
Roger was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book for us.
Hi Roger! What made you decide to write a book?
I started to write my story back in the late 90’s. At that time it was more storytelling, or tales from the road. I never approached it as a full story of my life. I lost it a few times due to computer viruses, and being involved with at the time 3 bands… One thing led to another, and the next thing i knew, I was re-married with 2 more kids! So being busy with my life the book sat on the back burner for years.
Two things pushed me to write the book: My friend Jon Wiederhorn was the motivation to get back on it. He was persistent in me completing my story and in helping me get it done, but what really convinced me to tell my story was my children. I wanted them to know their father’s struggle as a Cuban immigrant child and my journey to be where I is today. It is important because they live a very different lifestyle and I wanted them to eventually read my legacy, and their children too!
What was the hardest part to relive?
There were many hard parts. I was never going to go as far as I went with my [life story] in the book. My original outline was just my life and into Agnostic Front ending right after our Cause For Alarm LP, [but] having Jon involved really helped break through lots of walls I had unconsciously created in my mind; memories of my physical and mental abuse as a child; re-living the prison era was a tough one to take on but very therapeutic. It was good for me to be challenged, and to let go.
Agnostic Front - Crucified, live in 1991
Do you miss anything about the old days?
I miss a lot about the old days! They sure were glory days and I am so grateful to have lived those times. You know, it was a time and a place. It was my party! My time to live, and I mean live fast, loud and snotty! And I sure did, with lots of my closest friends.
We definitely lived amongst criminals, murderers and straight up crazies, but all of those elements brought us together as one strong tribe we called NYHC, and that tribe had many warriors who protected our family. Some of us never made it out alive. Those I hold dearly in my heart. Some of us are here today to tell our stories, and some have.
Times have changed though. I like to say that it’s just not my party anymore, but someone else’s and it’s their turn to reign, so let it be. But hey, I wouldn’t switch parties with anyone because ours was the best!
Are you psyched about the new load of hardcore bands popping off in the (semi) mainstream?
Of course its exciting to see something we have been paving the way for and fighting for just move forward. It just shows that our intentions and passion as a band touched others to commit themselves and drive forward still waving the hardcore flag, sometimes with a different twist on things. I always believed there is strength in unity and these bands clearly validate all that I have ever strived for. Like I said, it’s their party and I always find myself on an invite so its great!
Who would play you in the film of the book?
I love Cillian Murphy! He’s a fantastic actor, and he would slay my part for sure! He really feels his parts and I can see how he becomes the character with such conviction and passion. The real question is who would play Stigma! That’s a part only he could play! LOL!
Read an excerpt from My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts and Glory right here.
Go get a copy right here.
Here’s some footage of Roger at a book signing at All Ages Records in London not long ago:
…and if you don’t know this, get to know:
Agnostic Front vocalist Roger Miret confronts his past – from moving to America, going to jail and getting involved in New York hardcore
Twenty years later, Killswitch Engage’s first LP remains one of metalcore’s shining examples of ambitious arrangements, encouraging lyricism, and unfaltering determination