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Ex-Bosstones frontman Dicky Barrett has a new band

Dicky Barrett performs with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones at the House of Blues in 2019. The band broke up last year after decades together.Ben Stas for The Boston Globe

Dicky Barrett is set to resume his career as a rock ‘n’ roll frontman, but not with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Barrett, who’s been more or less MIA since the Bosstones abruptly called it quits a year ago, has put together a new band, the Defiant, which includes former members the Offspring, Street Dogs, Smash Mouth, and the Briggs.

On its website and Instagram page, the group said it’s recorded an album of 12 songs that will be released soon. In a statement, Barrett called the music “some of the best I’ve ever had a hand in making.”


In addition to the longtime Bosstones singer, the Defiant includes guitarist Greg Camp, who wrote Smash Mouth’s big hits “Walkin’ on the Sun” and “All Star”; former Offspring drummer Pete Parada; guitarist Joey La Rocca of the Briggs, and Johnny Rioux, who played bass in Boston’s Street Dogs. (On the band’s website, Rioux said the Defiant’s music has elements of the Jam, the Pogues, the Specials, and Blur.)

Barrett fronted the Bosstones for more than 30 years, during which time the Boston-bred punk/ska band released 11 albums, including 1997′s platinum-selling “Let’s Face It,” which yielded the hit “The Impression That I Get.”

But Barrett’s refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccination apparently caused a rift in the band, and rather than carry on without him, they broke up. “After decades of brotherhood, touring the world and making great records together we have decided not to continue on as a band,” the Bosstones announced in a statement posted on their website in January 2022. (In a subsequent interview, Barrett said he and his Bosstones bandmates “never say never” about reuniting.)

Barrett’s vax status also cost him his job as announcer on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” a gig he’d had since 2004. During the lockdown, Barrett, who’s 58, was told by Kimmel and ABC that he would need to be vaccinated in order to return to work on the show.


Perhaps not coincidentally, Parada, the drummer for the Defiant, also found himself out of work as a result of his vaccination status. In 2021, Parada announced on his Instagram page that he’d been let go by the Offspring for not getting the COVID-19 vaccination. He said his doctor had advised against it due to his medical history and potential side effects.

“Since I am unable to comply with what is increasingly becoming an industry mandate — it has recently been decided that I am unsafe to be around, in the studio, and on tour,” Parada wrote at the time. “I want to share my story so that anyone else experiencing the agony and isolation of getting left behind right now — knows they’re not entirely alone.”

In an email last week, Barrett declined an interview request but said the Defiant will be releasing the first songs from its inaugural record soon.

Mark Shanahan can be reached at Follow him @MarkAShanahan.