Timothy Lockwood Armstrong (born November 25, 1965) is an American musician and songwriter best known for his work with punk rock bands Rancid, Operation Ivy, Dance Hall Crashers, and the Transplants. He is also the owner and operator of Hellcat Records.
At the age of six, Armstrong met Matt Freeman while playing Little League Baseball in California. Freeman became one of his best friends and the bass player for Rancid. Armstrong and Freeman grew up together in Albany, California. Embracing punk culture during high school, Armstrong's favorite bands were the Clash and the Ramones.
Armstrong was quoted in Maximum Rancid - The Unauthorized Biography Of Rancid, that "If it wasn't for the Ramones, Rancid would have never become a group." After the demise of his first locally (and later internationally) successful group, Operation Ivy, Armstrong suffered from alcoholism, and eventually became homeless. During this time, Freeman suggested the two start a group together, partially in hopes of curbing Armstrong's alcohol addiction. Armstrong began writing songs that would appear on their first album, Rancid.
One of the first bands that Armstrong played in was Basic Radio. After Basic Radio disbanded, he performed in the ska punk group Operation Ivy under the nickname "Lint" from their beginning in 1987 until they disbanded in 1989. Soon thereafter, Armstrong helped found the Dance Hall Crashers, but left them after a brief period of time. He was also in Downfall with Matt Freeman. In 1991 Armstrong went on to greater fame with Rancid with bassist Matt Freeman (who had previously played with Armstrong in Operation Ivy, Downfall, and Dance Hall Crashers). Brett Reed was a local skate punk who had only been playing drums for six months when Armstrong and Freeman asked him to join their group. Reed was later replaced by Branden Steineckert (formerly of The Used) in 2006. Steineckert has said that Rancid is one of his favorite bands and one of his biggest musical influences. Tim Armstrong is a left-handed guitarist.
In 1999, Armstrong invited Rob Aston ("Skinhead Rob") to work on some solo material that Armstrong had been creating in his basement, and the two worked together writing and recording music. They formed the band Transplants with Travis Barker (of blink-182 fame) and released their self-titled debut album on October 22, 2002. Also in 2002, Armstrong contributed vocals to Tom Delonge's (also of blink-182 fame) side project Box Car Racer, on the track "Cat Like Thief". A second Transplants album, Haunted Cities, was released on June 21, 2005. The Transplants break-up was confirmed by Rob Aston on January 16, 2006, when he told a reporter that the group had split.
Tim co-wrote 8 songs with Pink for her 2003 album Try This, he has also collaborated with Gwen Stefani on her debut album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Tim in 2006. In addition to his projects, Armstrong has also been known to pop up on others' albums in various roles. He's contributed vocals/guitar to tracks by bands including The Lordz, Box Car Racer, Bad Religion, Cypress Hill, Stubborn All-Stars, Head Automatica, Fefe Dobson, The Matches, NOFX, Time Again, Left Alone, and Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards, which is a side-project of his Rancid bandmate Lars Frederiksen. He's collaborated with Pink, the Aggrolites, Gwen Stefani and Kelly Osbourne. He has also produced several albums, including the first album by AFI, Answer That and Stay Fashionable (1995), Viking by Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards and two tracks for the Matches, "You (don't) know me" on Decomposer and "Yankee in a Chip Shop" on A Band in Hope.