Operation Ivy is one of the few bands that has so far resisted reuniting. The Bay Area quartet, composed of singer Jesse Michaels, guitarist Tim Armstrong, bassist Matt Freeman, and drummer Dave Mello, only existed for a short two-year period between 1987 and 1989. , and just released one studio album. But what an album: 1989’s strength successfully combining two -tone ska and punk rock into the possible template of modern pop punk, making it one of the most influential albums of its time.
After Op Ivy’s death, Armstrong and Freeman formed Rancid, Michaels explored other interests such as painting, and Mello bought a ranch. In the three decades since then, the closest we’ve come to a reunion was a surprise appearance by Michaels on a Rancid show in 2006, where he joined Armstrong and Freeman to produce “Unity” and “Sound System. “
Band members have always said that a perfect partnership is not possible, but fans haven’t stopped screaming for it. Above all, in 2020 Against Me! Leader Laura Jane Grace launched a online petition called Op Ivy to meet again at Riot Fest-where the band has an offer to play. “After the last couple of years (*moves wide of all) we all deserve it,” Grace wrote in her petition, which has since collected more than 10,000 signatures.
During a recent show on The Hard Time Podcast, Michaels was asked why Op Ivy never met again. “Well, for a long time we never talked-not because there was band blood. We had issues when we broke up, but we’re big now. We are just different in different worlds, ”Michaels explains. “We haven’t talked much in a long time. Now, we do. I always see Tim. We get along, he’s a friend. ”
“Because it involves different people and different factors, I can’t say much about that,” Michaels continued before continuing to open the door even slightly: “I’ll say, I don’t object to the idea. I’ll know if this happens for a variety of practical reasons, but I can’t rule it out.
“We got offers, other people tried to do it … who knows,” Michaels continued. “I just can’t talk about that anymore. It involves other people with other careers, it involves legal matters…. I really appreciate the interest. ”
Mello expressed similar interest during his recent appearance on The Peer Pleasure Podcast: “For me, I’m perfect for it. I love it, ”Mello said. However, “it’s something other members don’t need,” Mello added. “They still have so many things going on in their lives. It’s not something they want to do. ”
It was as if the ball was really on Armstrong and Freeman’s court. While nothing has been recorded about the possibility in recent years, the two Rancid members had no warmth about the idea when asked by LA Weather in 2009. “I like what we did then, but what we’re doing now is making progress,” Armstrong said at the time. “Going back in 20 years isn’t good. I’m super proud of what we did then I was a huge part of this band. But it’s always been about the future for me.
“We’re all still friends, Dave and I are still talking [Mello] and Jesse [Michaels], ”Freeman added. “But we’re 21 in that band. I am 43 now. ”