Jesse Michaels and Tim Armstrong of legendary ska-punk band Operation Ivy unveiled their new band Bad Optix today. The project officially formed back in March of 2021. It also features Joey Castillo (drums) of the Circle Jerks and the Bronx and Spencer Pollard (bass) of Trash Talk.
With the announcement comes the release of the band’s first single. The first-wave ska-inspired track “Raid” comes via Hellcat Records to kick off their Hellcat Singles Club. “Raid is about every person’s spiritual autonomy from the powers that be, regardless of who they are or what their particular struggle is,” Michaels explained regarding the lyrics of the new song.
Following the end of Operation Ivy, Armstrong and Michaels went their separate ways. Upon parting, they started several bands between the two of them. Armstrong went on to found such big name punk acts as Dance Hall Crashers, Rancid, and the Transplants. Meanwhile, Michaels went on to start the bands Big Rig, Common Rider and Classics of Love.
Bad Optix marks the first band the two have been in together since the dissolution of Operation Ivy in 1989. However, it’s not the first time the pair have worked together since then. They previously collaborated on the single “Living In a Dangerous Land” in 2013 under Armstrong’s Tim Timebomb moniker.
Although Armstrong had played guitar and sung backup in Operation Ivy with Michaels singing lead, the new track finds the two longtime friends sharing lead vocal duties. Regarding the pair’s writing process, Michaels said, “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.”
The Hellcat Singles Club is now available on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. It will be featuring a variety of new singles by different bands curated by Armstrong and the team over at Hellcat Records. You can follow the label on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for future updates about new singles in the series.