During their run of the last quarter century, the Offspring has been sunny, sometimes silly but rarely serious.
That is until the release of the band’s latest album, ‘Days Go By,’ which dropped in June. Perhaps the veteran punks are maturing. The group which was born out of the ‘80s Orange County punk scene, still deliver aggressive cuts with big hooks but songs like ‘All I Have Left Is You’ and ‘Hurting As One’ are deeper and more reflective than much of the act’s prior output.
“Times change and you change as well,” guitarist Kevin ‘Noodles’ Wasserman said. “It’s a rough economy. People are struggling now and I think that’s reflected in a lot of band’s songs. Some of our songs connect with that. You can’t help but notice that things are a lot different today than they were during the ‘90s.”
During the Clinton era, The Offspring went through the stratosphere. The virtual unknowns put itself and the band’s then tiny label, Epitaph, on the map back in 1994 courtesy of ‘Smash,’ which became just that. More than 16 million copies of the album, which includes such pop-punk hits as ‘Come Out And Play,’ ‘Gotta Get Away’ and ‘Self Esteem,’ have been sold.
The big riffs scored notoriety for Noodles. Guitar World gushed about his play and ranked ‘Smash’ as the number two guitar album of 1994 behind labelmates Bad Religion’s ‘Stranger Than Fiction.’
“Everything that happened then was amazing,” Wasserman said. “That goes from how we took off to the record sales, playing larger and larger venues packed with people to getting some notice for what we did as musicians. It was incredible.”
The success continued for The Offspring, who went major label in 1996, signing with Columbia Records. Such albums as 1997’s ‘Ixnay On The Hombre,’ 1998’s ‘Americana’ and 2000’s ‘Conspiracy of One’ continued to sell, thanks to the band’s ability to churn out catchy pop-punk. More than 45 million Offspring albums have been sold, which makes the group one of the biggest selling punk bands of all time.
“That’s amazing considering all of the great punk bands,” Wasserman said. “I grew up going to clubs seeing X and the Cramps. That was my life and to be able to be in a punk band and be successful. It’s been a wild experience.”
Three quarters of the band, Noodles, vocalist-guitarist Dexter Holland and bassist Greg K, have been together since 1985. Drummer Pete Parada has been on board since 2007.
“You don’t see that often in rock these days,” Wasserman said. “It’s important for us to be together. We’re like brothers. We started this together. We’re all about the same thing, loud, fast, melodic punk. We were about that when we started and we’re still about that. Some things have changed for us but many things have remained the same.”