The Offspring

The Offspring
The Offspring

The Offspring performing in 2008 in Fortaleza, Brazil
Pictured: Greg K., Dexter Holland, Andrew Freeman and Noodles
Background information
Also known as Manic Subsidal (1984–1986[1])
Origin Huntington Beach,[2] California, United States
Genres Punk rock, skate punk, pop punk, alternative rock[3], post-grunge[4]
hardcore punk (early)
Years active 1986–present
Labels Columbia, Black Label, Nemesis, Epitaph, Nitro
Associated acts Face to Face, Saves the Day, Steady Ground, Angels & Airwaves, Moth, Social Distortion, Hot Mess, Thirty Stones
Dexter Holland
Greg K.
Pete Parada
Past members
Doug Thompson
Jim Benton
James Lilja
Ron Welty
Adam "Atom" Willard

The Offspring is a punk rock band of the United States from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1986.[2] Formerly known as Manic Subsidal, the band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dexter Holland, lead guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman, bassist Greg K. and drummer Pete Parada. Parada replaced former drummer Adam "Atom" Willard in 2007, during the recording of the band's eighth studio album, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, and has been a member of the band since.

The Offspring was originally part of the punk scene in their early career. The band's first two albums for the independent record labels Nemesis and Epitaph earned them a following. Their 1994 third studio album Smash became a breakout success and eventually sold over 12 million copies worldwide, setting a record for most albums sold on an independent label. The Offspring was widely credited, alongside fellow California punk bands Sublime,[5] Green Day and Rancid, with popularizing and reviving mainstream interest in punk rock in the United States.[6] The critical praise given to Smash garnered attention from major labels, including Columbia Records, with whom The Offspring would sign in 1996. Their first album for Columbia, Ixnay on the Hombre was released in 1997 and was well received by critics. The Offspring continued to achieve success with their three follow-up albums, Americana (1998), Conspiracy of One (2000) and Splinter (2003), reaching multi-platinum, platinum and gold status respectively.[7][8] Splinter was followed five years later by Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace (2008), which was also successful, due to the album's second single "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" reaching number one on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart for 11 weeks and becoming their only gold single in America to date. The band has been in the studio recording a new album, which is due for release in 2012.[9]

The Offspring has sold over 35 million albums worldwide,[10] making them one of the best-selling punk rock acts of all time, and many of their albums have sold over a million units.[11]



Early years (1984–1987)

The foundations for The Offspring began in 1984, when guitarist/vocalist Bryan "Dexter" Holland and bassist Greg Kriesel, who both met on their high school cross-country team, formed a local band called Manic Subsidal. The decision to form a band came outside of a Social Distortion concert when they were refused entry.[10] Not long after their formation, Holland had changed his role from drums to guitar and vocals and James Lilja took over the drums.[12][13] Doug Thompson was added for vocals,[14] and Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman (formerly of Clowns of Death), the school janitor, was welcomed into the band, allegedly because he was old enough to purchase alcohol for Holland and Kriesel, both of whom were under the legal drinking age.[10] The band used Thompson's friend, Jim Benton, as their drummer. Thompson was eventually forced out of the band, while Benton left. This led to Holland taking over on vocals, and James Lilja joining as the drummer. The band changed their name to The Offspring in 1986.[14]

In 1986, the band released their first single; the 7" "I'll Be Waiting/Blackball". They released the single on their self-made Black Label record company, named after the brand of beer. An earlier version of "I'll Be Waiting", which was then known as "Fire and Ice", appeared on the long-out of print Subject to Blackout compilation tape, which was also released in 1986[15] (this version is also available for free to download from the European Offspring website[16]). Also in 1986, The Offspring recorded a demo tape, which received a positive review in Maximum Rocknroll magazine.[17] Lilja left The Offspring in 1987 to pursue a medical career in gynecology,[18] and was replaced by Ron Welty, who was only 16 years old at the time.[19]

The Offspring and Ignition (1988–1993)

After recording another demo in 1988,[20] The Offspring signed a record deal with a small-time label, Nemesis Records. Then in March 1989, the band teamed up with producer Thom Wilson (of The Adolescents, Dead Kennedys, Social Distortion, The Vandals and Youth Brigade fame) to record their first album, titled The Offspring.[20] The album was released in limited numbers by the label, only in a 12" vinyl format, and a proper CD release did not surface until 1995. A six-week national tour followed, but Noodles was later stabbed during their Hollywood anti-nuclear benefit.[20]

In 1991, The Offspring teamed up with Wilson again to produce the Baghdad 7" EP. This EP was instrumental to the band's signing with Epitaph Records. Wilson had been trying to get The Offspring to switch to Epitaph, a label run by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. Gurewitz felt that The Offspring was just not quite pronounced enough for his label, but Baghdad convinced him to give the band a shot.

In 1992, Thom Wilson and The Offspring returned to the studio to record their second album Ignition, which was released in October of that year. The album exceeded all of the label's and band's expectations. The band went on tour for the next two years with other punk bands such as Pennywise, and ska punk bands like No Doubt and Voodoo Glow Skulls.

Mainstream success with Smash (1994–1996)

When The Offspring returned to the studio to work on their third album in 1993, the band's relations with producer Thom Wilson had begun to strain. The band released what would become their biggest selling album, titled Smash (1994). Fueled by the hit singles "Come Out and Play", "Self Esteem", and "Gotta Get Away", the album set the all-time record for most units sold by an independent label band at 16 million records. Smash has continued to sell consistently well in the seventeen years since its release, and has also been certified 6x Platinum in the United States. The album also sold very well outside the U.S., particularly in Australia, where it debuted #1 on the ARIA Charts for three weeks in 1995.

After the release of Smash, and armed with a newly expanded income, the band decided to buy out the rights to their first album. Holland and Greg K. then created their own record label Nitro Records and started signing bands. One of their first releases was a re-release of their first album The Offspring. The label also signed a number of punk bands including The Vandals, Guttermouth and Jughead's Revenge. Soon after, Nitro Records became solely Dexter's responsibility.

Ixnay on the Hombre, Americana and Conspiracy of One (1997–2002)

The Offspring left Epitaph and signed with Columbia Records. The band began writing and recording their fourth album, titled Ixnay on the Hombre, in 1996. The album was released on February 4, 1997, which happened to be Noodles' 34th birthday. This album was not as successful as Smash, although it did sell four million units and spawned five singles. The album saw the band move away from the political-punk themes common to many Epitaph bands, and more into mainstream rock with songs like: "All I Want", "Gone Away", and "I Choose". The video for the latter track was directed by Holland himself. Dexter commented that Ixnay probably wasn't as well-received as Smash was because it was such a departure, and that many fans probably were expecting Smash Part Two.[21]

In 1998, The Offspring released Americana. Three of the album's singles: "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)", "Why Don't You Get a Job", and "The Kids Aren't Alright" became the band's biggest hits and making the album the peak of The Offspring's mainstream popularity. "She's Got Issues" was also released as a single, and was a minor hit.

In 1999, the band appeared as themselves in the film Idle Hands. They played a cover version of "I Wanna Be Sedated" (originally by The Ramones) and "Beheaded" at a school dance before Holland's character is killed. They also appeared at the infamous Woodstock 1999, where their performance was broadcast live on pay-per-view television.

2000 saw the band release their sixth album called Conspiracy of One. The band intended to release the entire album online through their official website, to show their support for downloading music on the internet.[22] However, under threat of legal action by Columbia through their parent company Sony, only the first single "Original Prankster" was released on their official website (the rest of the record was leaked to fan sites).[23] The band also sold T-shirts on their website with the Napster logo on it and donated money to Napster creator Shawn Fanning with the profits.

The band also released a single "Defy You" exclusively for the film Orange County.

Ron Welty's departure, Splinter and Greatest Hits (2003–2005)

Longtime drummer Ron Welty left the band in 2003 to start Steady Ground, a band in which he plays drums and co-produces. Neither Welty nor the remaining members have elaborated on the departure.

In 2003, the band released their seventh album Splinter. The Offspring recruited Josh Freese to record the drums for Splinter and later announced that Atom Willard would be the official replacement for Ron Welty. The album's original title was to be Chinese Democrazy (You Snooze, You Lose), from the name of the long-delayed album by Guns N' Roses. As a result, Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose filed a cease and desist order against The Offspring, but eventually began to calm down when he realized the date this was announced was April 1. The first single "Hit That" enjoyed moderate success on MTV. "Hit That" used a variety of electronic samples, different from what The Offspring has done in the past.[24]

In 2005, the band released a Greatest Hits album in both DualDisc and regular CD editions. Greatest Hits contains 14 of the band's hits between Smash and Splinter, and two previously unreleased songs, "Can't Repeat" and "Next to You" (a cover of The Police) (a hidden track). The compilation does not contain any material from the first album and Ignition. The DualDisc contains video of Dexter and Noodles discussing the band's history and a bonus acoustic version of the song "Dirty Magic." About a month later, the band released a video DVD with all of their music videos, and some videos from a live show.

During the summer of 2005, the band played the Vans Warped Tour for the first time, and followed that with a tour of Europe and Japan. After the "Greatest Hits" world tour the band took a break from writing, recording and touring. During the hiatus, Willard was recruited by Tom DeLonge for his band Angels & Airwaves and released an album, We Don't Need to Whisper, in 2006.

Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace (2006–2009)

In November 2006, it was reported that The Offspring were back in the studio recording their eighth studio album, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace with producer Bob Rock and "a fistful of demos". In July 2007, Dexter announced that the band had finished two more songs and the album was being recorded in Orange County, California.[25] The album, in its entirety, can be streamed online for free at[26]

It was announced on July 27, 2007, that former Saves the Day drummer Pete Parada had been chosen to be The Offspring's new drummer, replacing Atom Willard, who went on to join Angels and Airwaves. The band's first shows with Parada were at the Summer Sonic festival in Japan in August of the same year.[27] It was during these shows that the band debuted "Hammerhead" which would become the first single from the new album. Parada did not play on the new album however; Josh Freese once again handled drum duties, as he did with Splinter.[28]

The Offspring co-headlined the Australian Soundwave Festival during February and May 2008, alongside Incubus and Killswitch Engage.

On April 9, 2008, Dexter announced that the album would be called Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace and would be released on June 17.[29] The album's first single, "Hammerhead", went to radio on May 6.[30] Additionally, The Offspring's official site provided an MP3 download of the song to the general public on May 5.[31] Their second single from the album, "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid", had topped the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, and had stayed there for 11 weeks, a record for the band, along with proving the song to be one of the most successful singles the band has released in their over-twenty year career.

Also in April 2008, Epitaph Records also announced that the label would be reissuing Ignition and Smash; both albums were remastered, and Smash contained a new 24 page booklet. The re-issues were released on the same day as Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, coinciding with the new album's release.[32]

The supporting tour for the album began on May 16 with a performance at the X-Fest festival in California. On May 28, it was announced on the band's website that Scott Shiflett (from Face to Face) would replace bassist Greg K on current tour dates due to a birth in the family. Kriesel returned in mid-June.[33] In October, with the addition of touring guitarist Andrew Freeman, the band embarked on a 3 week Japanese tour followed by a tour of South America. On December 13, 2008, The Offspring headlined the nineteenth annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas.[34] In an interview at the Almost Acoustic Christmas show, guitarist Noodles stated that The Offspring would be taking a break for a month or two and promised a US tour to kick off in 2009.[35] They toured North America on their "Shit is Fucked Up" tour from May through July with Dropkick Murphys, Alkaline Trio, Street Dogs, Pennywise, Shiny Toy Guns, Sum 41 and Frank Turner.[36][37]

Next album, Happy Hour! and the future (2009–present)

In a May 2009 interview with guitarist Noodles, he stated that frontman Dexter Holland had been working with Bob Rock again in Hawaii for what would be the ninth Offspring album. Also in that interview, he said that the album may include some songs that never appeared on Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace.[38][39] Frontman Dexter Holland told OC Register in June 2009 that he wanted to try not to have the ninth Offspring record take as long as Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace.[40] In regards to a new album, Holland told Rolling Stone that the band had conversations about working with producer Bob Rock again and planned to have the new album out sometime in 2010.[41] Noodles also told the Edmonton Sun that the Offspring were planning to begin recording in the fall of 2009. He also said, "We don't have any songs yet. Maybe a couple of demos here and there. But we're looking at old songs and seeing if we could flesh those out."[42]

In a June 2009 interview with Billboard, Noodles stated that Holland and producer Bob Rock "kinda went over a couple of things that were left off the last record" and "songs that were even left off Splinter or maybe even Conspiracy of One and kind of looked at some things with free eyes and see if there was anything there that can be worked on." He also stated that he would like to have the new album out in 2010, but the band wasn't likely to hit the studio until January. Asked in the interview if drummer Pete Parada will be involved in the recording process, Noodles replied, "He's great. We haven't actually done any real recording with him yet, but we're looking forward to that. He's a great drummer. He's got great ideas, just really on top of things. Nothing phases him; we'll throw something at him, 'Hey, do this,' and, 'OK...' He's a really nice guy and just a real powerhouse drummer, so we're looking forward to working with him."[43] Despite earlier reports that work on the next Offspring album would begin in early 2010, drummer Pete Parada said in a January 2010 interview that the band was "not ready to talk about it yet".[44]

On February 15, 2010, it was announced on the Offspring's official website that they would headline two dates in Western Canada in June.[45] On March 11, 2010, The Offspring announced that they would be joining 311 on their summer 2010 Unity Tour. The 19-date tour was held in amphitheaters around the U.S., also featuring Pepper as a special guest. Before the 311 and Pepper tour, The Offspring played four East Coast Dates in June, which was supported by Terrible Things.[46] The Offspring took a break from the studio in order to participate in 311's 2010 Unity Tour, and planned to play some new material during the shows.[47] At the Las Vegas show on June 18, 2010, they debuted a new song, titled "You Will Find a Way",[48] which will likely appear on the new album. It has received criticism from fans for sounding similar to 'Times Like These' by Foo Fighters.[49] They also played a cover of The Clash's "The Guns of Brixton". After the US tour, The Offspring played Japan's Summer Sonic Festival that August. To coincide with the band's summer Japanese tour, Sony released a Japanese exclusive compilation album, titled Happy Hour!, on August 4, 2010.[50]

On February 18, 2010, The Offspring posted a link to the "Offspring Studio Cam", which features images and footages of the band showcasing the writing and recording of their ninth album.

On May 3, 2010, Dexter posted an update on the new album on the message board of the official Offspring website saying that the band was "working on a batch of songs. They're all in different stages, some are just started and some are nearly finished". He also revealed that the band has been in the studio working on the album "every day for the next two weeks...we're going to try to get something new finished and ready to play live on tour this summer." Dexter also revealed they have been working on a new song called "It's All Good"; however, he is uncertain if it is going to appear on the new album. In a June 2010 interview with Loveline, Dexter and Noodles mentioned that The Offspring were taking a break from recording in preparation for the new tour. Asked in that interview what the album will sound like, Noodles said it is going to be a continuation of Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, via going back to Smash, while Dexter describes it as "straight-up rockin'".[51] In the very same interview, Dexter and Noodles said they might release a live album after the ninth studio album.

Noodles said that The Offspring was expected to get back to work in earnest on the new album at the end of the Unity Tour. As for the new album, he told in September 2009 that "It's been going slow. We started recording a while ago. We've only got the one song that's close to being done and...five or six songs that I'd say are close. We want to get this record out as soon as possible, so we work at it, but at the same time you don't want to put out something that's not great. So we spend plenty of time trying to get it right, and...maybe our senses are a little more fine-tuned, so we tend to nitpick."[52] Bassist Greg K told Examiner that The Offspring was hoping to release their new album before the end of 2010, although he acknowledged that sometimes the process can take "a bit longer than you anticipate."[53]

On October 4, 2010, Dexter posted a message on the band's twitter, saying "good to be back in the studio". This led to speculation that the band had started or continued recording their new album.[54] On December 20, The Offspring stated on their twitter that they had spent the last 2 weeks in the studio and they would continue recording their new album after the holidays for 2011 release.[55] Dexter and Noodles mentioned in the Happpy New Year Podcast that they have been working on a set of 12 or 13 songs. Talking about when the new album will be finished in the same podcast, Dexter says, "We don't know. It could be done tomorrow, but it won't be finished and it won't be good yet", although he later said that his new year's resolution was that he hopes that it would be finished by March.

In April 2011, Noodles stated in another podcast that the new album would likely be finished before their summer tour. He explains, "We have a whole consumer panel who test our songs and they are all five and we all get feedback from them. I think the new record is going great. We're not finished yet but we've looked at the whole of what we have and I'm really stoked as there is some great stuff there. There's still a lot to be done but we hope to finish it up really quickly and I think we will as we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel." The band also said they were "12 or 13" new songs.[56][57]

On January 11, 2011, session drummer Josh Freese (who recorded drum tracks for the band's last two albums) mentioned on his website that he was in the studio working with The Offspring again.[58] Ronnie King has also confirmed that he will appear as the keyboardist on the album, after performing the same role on Splinter.[59]

On March 4, 2011, The Offspring announced on their website that they will tour this summer and fall.[60] They were confirmed to play on the main stage at the 2011 Reading and Leeds Festivals.

On July 8, 2011, Gringo Bandito (Dexter's hot sauce company) posted an update on twitter, saying "was just at the recording studio & noticed the bowl of m&m's totally missing the light brown ones". This could indicate that The Offspring are still recording their new album.[61]

On the August 2, 2011 podcast, Dexter jokingly said that the band has "been totally fuckin' off and not working on the record." He added, "We've been in the studio everyday up until just a few days ago. We're taking a little break because I need to write some lyrics...I'd say we have a good chunk of the music recorded...we've got 12 songs we like and I think all the drums are done, we've got a lot of's just getting the vocals together. We're very very close." While Noodles is uncertain whether the new album will be released in 2011, he said that it is "definitely not gonna be a Chinese Democracy situation". He also said the band is "getting close to the end" and seeing "the light at the end of the tunnel", and that they are "not gonna go in and scrap everything and re-write" the songs.[62]

In an interview at the I-Day Festival in Bologna, Italy, which took place September 4, 2011, Noodles said that The Offspring's new album will not be released until 2012, and they "should have it done by the end of this year you know, and then really next year we'll start moving on working on the artwork and all that."[9]

On September 14, 2011, The Offspring announced on their Facebook page that they were expected to "be back in the studio in about a week" to restart recording their new album, which they hope will be finished within the next two or three months.[63] On the same day, the band announced that they will tour to support the album in 2012.[64] The Offspring announced on October 4 that they were back in the studio.[65] According to AJ Maddah, the promoter of the Australian festival Soundwave, the album will be mixed in January or February 2012.[66] On October 23, 2011, Noodles announced on the band's Twitter that The Offspring plans to tour once their new album is finished. He suggested that the tour will begin around the spring of 2012.[67]

Style and influences

While The Offspring are primarily considered a pop punk or simply a punk rock group, their music contains strong elements of 1990s grunge, and the occasional ska. A signature style of The Offspring is their chorused "whoas", "heys", or "yeahs". NOFX (who were labelmates with The Offspring from the early to mid 1990s) has poked fun at them for this in their song "Whoa on the Whoas". Several tracks also incorporate elements of Eastern music, which can be heard on the likes of "Pay the Man" and the verse hook from "Come Out and Play". Their lyrics cover a wide range of topics, like personal relationships, such as in their songs "She's Got Issues", "Self Esteem" and "Spare Me the Details," and the degradation of the United States and society in general with songs like "It'll Be a Long Time", "Americana" and "Stuff Is Messed Up". The lyrics generally reflect a sarcastic viewpoint, which, along with the language, can be offensive to some. This is acknowledged in the first track from their album Ixnay on the Hombre, "Disclaimer". Like "Disclaimer", the first track of most of The Offspring's albums are an introduction of some sort, "Time to Relax" (from Smash), "Welcome" (from Americana), "Intro" (from Conspiracy of One), and "Neocon" (from Splinter) are also examples of this.

The band cites their musical influences as Agent Orange, The Adolescents, Angry Samoans, Bad Brains, Bad Religion, Black Flag, Channel 3, Circle Jerks, The Clash, D.I., The Damned, Dead Kennedys, Descendents, The Dickies, Iron Maiden, Jane's Addiction, Bob Marley and The Wailers, Metallica, Minor Threat, Nirvana, Ramones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sex Pistols, Sham 69, Social Distortion, Thelonious Monster, TSOL, The Vandals and Youth Brigade.[68][69][70][71]

Impact and legacy

With the mainstream success of Smash, going six times multi-platinum and earning worldwide airplay, The Offspring's impact persists to this day. As one of the most popular punk bands of 1990s, they are credited with reviving popular interest in both punk rock and pop punk, as well as bringing both genres rock into the mainstream. Also, The Offspring has influenced many bands or artists such as Simple Plan,[72] Blink-182, AFI, Linkin Park, Jimmy Eat World, The All-American Rejects, Sum 41, Paramore, Steriogram, FM Static, Misono, Valvomo, among many others.[73] The Los Angeles modern rock radio station KROQ listed The Offspring at #21 in the "top 106.7 biggest KROQ bands of all time" memorial,[74] and #8 at the "Top 166 Artists of 1980–2008" list.[75]

The Offspring's music has appeared in movies such as The Chase, Batman Forever, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty, Varsity Blues, Idle Hands (which also features a cameo by the band, while Dexter Holland plays himself), Me, Myself & Irene, Loser, Tomcats, Bubble Boy, The Animal, American Pie 2, Bubble Boy, Orange County, The New Guy, Bowling for Columbine, Pauly Shore Is Dead, Click and How to Eat Fried Worms (for the trailer).[76] "Mota", "Amazed", "The Meaning of Life" (all from Ixnay on the Hombre) were featured in Warren Miller's 1997 documentary Snowriders II.[77] "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" can be heard in the King of the Hill episode "Escape From Party Island". "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" was featured in the 90210 episode We're Not in Kansas Anymore, while "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?" appeared in the episode Zero Tolerance. In video games, The Offspring's songs have appeared in Crazy Taxi, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 and SingStar Rocks!. "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" appears in Guitar Hero: Van Halen. "Hammerhead", "Gone Away", "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)", "Self Esteem", "All I Want", "The Kids Aren't Alright" and "A Lot Like Me" are downloadables for the Rock Band series. "Hammerhead" was also featured in the football video game Madden NFL 09.

Band members

Current members
  • Dexter Holland – lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, piano (1986–present)
  • Noodles – lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1986–present)
  • Greg K. – bass, backing vocals (1986–present)
  • Pete Parada – drums, percussion (2007–present)
Former members
  • Doug Thompson – lead guitar (1984–1985) (Manic Subsidal-era member)
  • James Lilja – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1984–1985, 1986–1987) (Manic Subsidal-era member)
  • Jim Benton – drums, percussion (1985–1986) (Manic Subsidal-era member)
  • Ron Welty – drums (1987–2003)
  • Adam "Atom" Willard – drums (2003–2007)
Touring musicians




  • List of awards and nominations received by The Offspring


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  53. ^ The Offspring Bassist On New Album | News @. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
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  63. ^ "We will be back in...". Facebook. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
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  77. ^ Snowriders II (1997) - IMDb

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