im 'Lint' Armstrong (guitar/vocals), Matt Freeman (a.k.a. Matt McCall; bass/vocals), Dave Mello (drums) and Jesse Michaels (vocals) started out as a group named Operation Ivy and released one self-titled album.
After the change of their name to Rancid and the replacement of Brett Reed taking over drums, the removal of Michaels and the release of a self-financed EP, I'm Not The Only One in 1992, the band received a deal on 'Epitaph', a label founded by the members of Bad Religion, and known for its punk acts. They then added a second guitarist Lars Frederikson immediately after their 1993 self-titled debut.
The 1990s had arrived with a sort of punk revival in the works, with the likes of Green Day and Offspring receiving huge rotation, making Rancid's more classic punk-Hardcore style and look (Mohawks and all) well positioned for success. Following the release of the 1994 EP Radio Radio Radio on Fat Mike's (NOFX) 'Fat Wreck Chords', the band broke through the US charts with a top 100 (97 US) for Let's Go (1994). The following year they would out-do this success with a top 60 (55 UK/45 US) for ...And Out Come The Wolves, an album in the classic punk style featuring youth angst, hooky riffs and a rock beat.Life Won't Wait (1998) came next, with the follow-up self-titled Rancid (2000; different from their first self-titled) failing to rank as high in the charts as ...And Out Come The Wolves, however.
The three original members of Rancid released three songs under the name Devil's Brigade in 2002, one on the Give 'Em the Boot III compilation album, and two more on another compilation. That March they recorded a split album with NOFX called BYO Split Series Volume III, a recording where each group covered each other's songs.
After a break from touring in 2001, Indestructible was released on August 19, 2003; the album proved to be their highest-charting album to date by reaching number 15 and received co-distribution by Major label 'Warner', a move that garnered criticism by fans who accused the band of selling out to major labels; when released, the album didn't feature the Warner logo anywhere to ease tension among fans. In 2004, after the support tour, the band went on an extensive hiatus while the band members worked with side projects.
On November 3, 2006, Reed left Rancid and was replaced by Branden Steineckert (ex-The Used).
The compilation album, B Sides and C Sides arrived on December 11, 2007 featuring exactly as it's title advertised.
Let the Dominoes Fall (2009) followed and featured music legend Booker T. Jones on one track playing organ. A deluxe version of the album included the CD, some of the songs recorded acoustically on another CD, and a making of the album DVD.
In December 2012, Rancid released their first new studio song in three years, titled Fuck You, which they made available for free download on their website and was later included on the compilation, Oi! This is Streetpunk, Volume Two.
Rancid Essentials, an online-exclusive box set celebrating the band's 20th anniversary arrived later in 2012.
...Honor Is All We Know (2014) and Trouble Maker (2017) would follow.