It’s not quite the full Operation Ivy reunion for which fans have been clamoring since 1989, but that group’s Tim Armstrong and Jesse Michaels have re-teamed in the new group Bad Optix, which also features drummer Joey Castillo (Circle Jerks, Queens of the Stone Age, the Bronx) and bassist Spencer Pollard (Trash Talk).
Bad Optix’s first official track, “Raid,” is out today (March 29) as part of Armstrong’s Hellcat Singles Club. With its gang vocals, wobbly horn line, and sly melody, “Raid” is destined to thrill fans of Armstrong and Michaels’ post-Operation Ivy work in Rancid, Common Rider, and other projects.
Michaels says ‘Raid’ is “about every person’s spiritual autonomy from the powers that be, regardless of who they are or what their particular struggle is. Like many of the tracks we have worked on, I heard the music and wrote the lyrics very quickly, almost on the spot. This was only the second song we did but it felt hot immediately and just flowed so we thought it would be a good way to introduce the new band to the world.”
Bad Optix came together in March 2021 after Michaels and Armstrong caught up and listened to some of the latter’s in-progress music. Michaels liked what he heard and quickly began working on lyrics. “As soon as we started writing together, we found that we had the same collaborative energy that we had in the past, so it was natural and fun just to keep going,” he says. Adds Armstrong, “It came back, just like that. Like when we were kids. There is a special chemistry between us and I don’t take it for granted.”
More new music is expected from Bad Optix, but it is unknown if the group plans to play live or tour.