THE OFFSPRING Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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One of the most successful ’90s punk bands, the Offspring have sold millions of records and put indie label, Epitaph, on the map. When the group severed ties with the record company, it highlighted the fact that internal troubles plague just about every level of the music industry. The Orange County quartet was literally a 10-year overnight success–first formed in 1984, it was their 1994 album, Smash, that broke them into the big time.


Prior to that, they were just another underground group trying to catch up with the likes of Pennywise and Bad Religion. Initially put together by singer Bryan “Dexter” Holland and bassist Greg “K.” Kriesel, guitarist Noodles (ne Kevin Wasserman) joined in 1985, and in 1987, Ron Welty (all of 16 at the time) took over drums. The group had already put out one album when they were signed to Epitaph. Their first album for the label, Ignition, was a high-spirited effort, but it was Smash that really showed what the Offspring have to offer–catchy choruses, infectious hooks and a musical outlook that goes way beyond punk’s crash-and-burn mentality.


It was the right record at the right time, and became, perhaps, the biggest selling indie rock record of all time. The fact that the Offspring subsequently jumped ship to major label Columbia caused much consternation among punkers–was it a matter of the band selling out, or was it Epitaph owner Brett Gurewitz who was trying to use the band for his own financial ends? It depends on whom you ask.


The fact is, Columbia hasn’t interfered with the Offspring’s music and everything on the group’s two Columbia albums, Ixnay On The Hombre and Americana, from the songs to the artwork, is the band’s own design. And while the group’s music continues to veer away from pure punk attack into more diverse territory, their hearts lay with their roots. Holland even has his own label, Nitro Records, which he uses to develop young punk rock bands.