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The Offspring is an American rock band formed in Huntington Beach, Californiamarker in 1984. Since its formation, the band's line-up had included Dexter Holland (lead vocals, guitar), Noodles (lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals), Greg K. (bass, backing vocals), and Ron Welty (drums, percussion), who left in 2003. Their current drummer is Pete Parada, formerly of Face to Face, and Saves the Day, who has been with the band since 2007.

The Offspring has been credited, along with fellow California punk bands Green Day and Rancid, with reviving mainstream interest in punk rock in the United Statesmarker during the mid-1990s. To date, The Offspring has released eight studio albums, one compilation, four EPs and three DVDs. They have sold over 34 million albums worldwide, making them one of the best-selling punk rock acts of all time. Each album since the release of their 1994 album Smash has sold over a million units.

Since the release of Smash, which is the best-selling independent label album of all time, The Offspring has achieved commercial success over five albums, with singles such as "Come Out and Play", and "Self Esteem". The band's next three albums, Ixnay on the Hombre, Americana and Conspiracy of One, were also successful, with Ixnay on the Hombre and Conspiracy of One reaching platinum certification, and Americana achieving multi-platinum status. Longtime drummer Ron Welty left The Offspring in early 2003, and was replaced by Atom Willard. Later that year, the band released their next album, Splinter, to moderate sales and fairly warm reviews. In 2005, The Offspring released a greatest hits album and toured in support of the compilation. Their most recent studio album, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, was released on June 17, 2008 with the hit singles"You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" and "Hammerhead." The Offspring is currently planning a ninth studio album, which is due for release in 2010.

Band history

Early years (1984–1987)

The band was formed by guitarist Dexter Holland and bassist Greg K., who met on their high school cross-country team, under the name "Manic Subsidal". The decision to form a band came outside of a Social Distortion concert when both were refused entry. Doug Thompson was added for vocals, and Kevin 'Noodles' Wasserman, 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. 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 1985.

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, which was named after the brand of beer named Black Label. Lilja quit shortly after the release to pursue a medical career in gynecology, and was replaced by Ron Welty, who was only 16 years old at the time.

The Offspring and Ignition (1988–1993)

After recording a demo in 1988, 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 Dead Kennedys, Social Distortion and The Vandals fame) to record their first album, titled The Offspring. 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 Hollywoodmarker anti-nuclear benefit.

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, 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 CD, titled Smash (1994). Fueled by the hit singles "Come Out and Play," "Self Esteem," and "Gotta Get Away," this 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 fifteen years since its release, and has also been certified 6x Platinum in the United Statesmarker. 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 came out 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. 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 "I Choose" 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.

In 1998, The Offspring released Americana. Three of the album's singles: "Pretty Fly ," "Why Don't You Get a Job," and " The Kids Aren't Alright" became the band's biggest hits, all three charting in the ARC Top 40 and making the album the peak of The Offspring's mainstream popularity. "She's Got Issues" was released too, 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. 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). 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 new single "Defy You" exclusively for the film Orange County.

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

Nearly three years after the release of Conspiracy of One, long-time drummer Ron Welty left the band in 2003 to start Steady Ground, a band in which he plays drums and co-produces. Neither Welty or 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, 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.

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. The album, in its entirety, can be streamed online for free at

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. 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.

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. The album's first single, "Hammerhead", went to radio on May 6. Additionally, The Offspring's official site provided an MP3 download of the song to the general public on May 5. 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 twenty year career.

Also in April 2008, Epitaph Records also announced that the label would be re-issuing 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.

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. 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. 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 USmarker tour to kick off in 2009. They are currently touring 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.

Next album and beyond (since 2009)

In a May 2009 interview with guitarist Noodles stated that frontman Dexter Holland had been working with Bob Rock again in Hawaiimarker 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. 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. In regards to a new album, Holland told Rolling Stone that the band had conversations about working with Bob Rock again and plans to have the new album out sometime in 2010. 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."

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 isn'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 fazes 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."

Music style and influences

While The Offspring are primarily considered a punk rock group, their music contains strong elements of 1980's American hardcore punk, 90's grunge, and occasionally ska. Since the band's inception, their songs have often contained refrains of "whoas" in either their verses (as in "The Kids Aren't Alright" and "One Fine Day") or choruses (as in "Self Esteem", "Something to Believe In" and "All Along"). NOFX has indirectly made fun of them for this in their song "Whoa on the Whoas". Their lyrics are typically sardonic and sarcastic and discuss wide-ranging issues from personal relationships ("Hit That" and "She's Got Issues") to the degradation of United States ("L.A.P.D.", "Americana" and "Stuff Is Messed Up").

The band cites their musical influences as, The Adolescents, Bad Religion, Channel 3, Dead Kennedys, Descendents, The Dickies, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Social Distortion, TSOL, and The Vandals.

Band members

Current members

Former members

  • Doug Thompson – lead vocals (1984)
  • Jim Benton – drums, percussion (1984)
  • James Lilja – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1984–1987)
  • Ron Welty – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1987–2003)
  • Adam "Atom" Willard – drums, percussion (2003–2007)

Session musicians

Touring musicians


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See also


External links

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