Rancid includes Armstrong on guitar and vocals, Freeman on bass and vocals, Brett Reed on drums and Lars Frederiksen on guitar and vocals. Reed left the band in 2006 and was replaced by Branden Steineckert, former drummer of The Used. As of November 2006, Armstrong and Freeman have been permanent members of the band and Frederiksen did not join Rancid until 1993 after the band was searching for a second guitar player.
They are credited, along with fellow California bands The Offspring and Green Day, with reviving mainstream popular interest in punk rock in the United States during the mid 1990s and having recorded on Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph Records (among others), have played a major role in the re-invention of ‘traditional’ punk values in a modern punk scene dominated by pop, metal and emo sensibilities.
Rancid's style often draws comparison with The Clash in their albums ...And Out Come The Wolves and Life Won't Wait, the latter of which is sometimes referred to as "Rancid's Sandinista!". This influence is further emphasized by direct homages to the seminal punk rock group in the lyrics to several of Rancid's songs, such as the title track to Indestructible.