2) Wywiad z KERRANG!
Interview from KERRANG!
Top bloke, Dexter Holland - Offspring may have sold eight million copies of their 'Smash' album, but their singer is still an 'average-looking Joe' who does his own grocery. In his first interview this year, he tells Paul Brannigan why he doesn't ride in limos and shag supermodels.
So you're a punk rock kid, messing about with your mates in a band, playing tiny snot-and-sawdust clubs around your home town, flogging a couple of albums here and there, and generally having a laugh. Well, you might as well. It's not like anyone else is going to give a flying fuck. Punk rock is dead, remember?
Then you get a couple of tracks onto snowboarding and skateboarding videos, which is pretty cool because that's what all your mates are into anyway. Someone at MTV decides to show your video a couple of times. And a couple more times. And the record starts selling. And selling. And selling. About eight million copies. Or thereabouts. Your world goes distinctly pear-shaped and presumably you can never be the same again. You are Dexter Holland, lead singer with the Offspring, and I claim my five pounds.
So how the devil are you, braidy bloke?
"Very well, but busy as shit," Dexter Holland says, laughing.
Yeah, we noticed. You were supposed to call three days ago. So - tee-hee - what's it like being a rock star now?
"Man, I really hate it when people use the word 'star' in connection with us," he sighs. You can sense the cringe even down a phone line. "We're just four guys from the beach who happened to make a record that people liked," Dexter continues. "We were really delighted that anyone else liked it at all, never mind eight million people. The whole thing has been pretty crazy."
The limos, the supermodels, the leigions of adoring fans mobbing you in the streets... It must be hell.
"Yeah, right," he snorts. "I don't get recognised much anyway. People think you won't even be able to go to the grocery store once you sell a few records, but it hasn't been like that at all. I guess I'm just an average looking Joe."
"The whole mentality and idea behind ourselves and our friends in bands like NOFX and Pennywise is just to be a regular guy. I always believed that the kids should be part of our shows and we should share the music with them, rather than being a spectacle for the audience to look up to. We'll always have that connection with people reguardless of how many records we sell."
But to play devil's advocate for a moment, surely the Kiss reunion tour, besides being an amusing wallow in nostalgia, has proved overwhelmingly successful because kids are getting bored with the whole jeans and T-shirt 'ordinary bloke' schtick.
"I don't know about that - but Kiss were the shit, man. 'Kiss Alive' was my first hard rock album and I totally played it to death. They actually asked us to play with them once Stone Temple Pilots pulled out, but we couldn't do it because we're in the studio. We were totally bummed out by that."
Punk rock icon in dodgy glam metal past shocker, eh?
"Well, to balance my punk cred can I say that The Sex Pistols asked us to tour with them, too! No matter what anyone else thinks about the Pistols reunion, they were still THE punk rock band, and I still think they're totally awesome."
As a self-confessed 'Ordinary Joe', doesn't it freak you out to have your heros call you up out of the blue?
"Fuck, yeah!" Dexter replies. "I mean, the fact that Gene Simmons and Johnny Rotten know that we - four dicks from Orange County - exist is a real head-trip."
Have you met any of your heros in the the last couple of years?
"Yeah, we got to meet Charlie Harper from the UK Subs once and..."
Jeeeeesus... Did you ever imagine that such, er, heady heights would be within your grasp when you were kicking out the jams in Orange County garages?
"No way, not in a million years," he says. "I mean Kevin... Er, sorry, Noodles (Offsprings bespecticaled guitarist) was still working as a janitor in an elementary school when we were on MTV's Buzz Bin."
Rock and, in a very real sense, roll?
"Kinda funny, isn't it?" Dexter chortles. "People think it's easy treet when you start to sell records, but it's not as glamorous as it sounds."
I hear you bought a nice new house recently?
Long pause. Hello....
"It's nice to be able to surport yourself," Dexter begins hesitantly, "and it's strange for us to have a home at all after living out of a duffle bag on a tour bus for a year-and-a-half. But... I don't know what to say about that..."
Hey, don't be embarrassed, big guy. Everyone knows you can't sell eight million records without making money.
"Yeah... Let's talk about something else."
Dexter Holland does come across as disturbingly ordinary and untainted by success. Offspring were friends for 10 years before anything started to happen for them, and several million record sales doesn't appear to have swelled any heads or affected any personal relationships.
But their success has led to one high profile ruck. After years of all-punks-together mateyness, Offspring had a falling-out with long-time label Epitaph, which led to them moving to major label Columbia in the US. Obviously this happens all the time in the music business, but it just seems a little stranger in the world of 'three chords and the truth'
From press reports over here, Dexter, the whole thing seemed pretty bitter, what with your old pal Epitaph head honcho Brett Guerwitz threatening to sue you...
"It was pretty bitter, yeah. But..."
"Well, when we agreed to do this interview everyone said you guys didn't want to talk about that stuff..."
Yeah, but we're sneeky like this sometimes. Y'know, gain your trust, then go for the jugular, that sort of thing...
"Ha ha, nice try! No, I'd rather not discuss it, because we feel that'll become the focus of every story. But bitter is about right, yeah."
Okay then, given that even arch druids of punk like ex-Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra get beaten up in California for not being 'punk rock' enough, isn't your move to Columbia going to fuel the 'sell-out' accusations?
Dexter sighs deeply.
"Everyone gets that sell-out thing," he says. "I don't know what to say. I'm not going to worry about that stuff; we've always done whatever the fuck we wanted to and nothing has changed in that respect. I've always loved punk rock music for the energy and the attitude, but I really don't subscribe to punk rock ethics because it's impossible to decide what they are. Everyone wants to be more punk rock than the next guy. So you get, 'I don't eat meat'; 'Well I don't wear leather either'; then, 'I don't eat meat, wear leather or buy goods from South Africa'. Ultimately, you get these guys living on organic farms and shitting in the woods just to prove a point to someone else. It's a no-win situation. I just enjoy the entertainment value of punk now."
At present, Offspring are holed up in Eldorado Studio in Los Angeles with producer Dave Jerden (Jane's Addiction, Alice In Chains), putting the final touches to the long-awaited follow up to 'Smash', which is due for release on November 6. (Only in England I think - Anna)
While the US punk explosion shows no signs of fading away just yet, there must be huge pressure on you to deliver another, er, smash. Green Day found it extremely difficult to follow the huge success of 'Dookie', so how are you coping with the situation?
"You can think about the pressure until you blow up," Dexter says, "but in the end you just have to do what you always do. If you start worring about what other people think, then that's not what got you there in the first place, and..."
So what sonic delights can we expect this time around?
"It's pretty similar to 'Smash', actually," he says. "We're not one of those bands who decide we're serious artists just because we've sold a few records. We don't want to do an opera album now! It's the same old shit, really. Mainly fast punk with a few different things thrown in."
Do you want to give us the exclusive hot poop on the new songs and lyrics?
"Er, we don't actually have have titles or lyrics yet. That tends to get done at the last moment."
You better get a move on - you're playing the Reading Festival this weekend.
"Yeah, that'll be awesome," he gushes convincingly. "We had a brilliant time at Glastonbury, and it's always seemed that Reading is the biggest and coolest festival in Europe."
So any final messages for your devoted British fans, Mr Down To Earth?
"Yeah, stop putting us in 'Gagging for a Shagging'! It's getting embarrassing now.."
3) Wywiad z Dexterem zaczerpnięty z FLUX
Smashing Punk Kings
From underground punks to MTV favorities - ten years since their inception, the Offspring finally have a Smash.
The Offspring are punk rock's latest sucess story, and nobody could be more surprised than tha band themselves. As their recent album, Smash (Epitaph), sells by the truckload, these four friends from high school continue to play it fast, loud and raw.
The rebellious progeny from ultra-suburban Orange Country, California, the Offspring have been together for over a decade. They used to make fun of rock stars, but they know better than to laugh now. Their single, "Come Out and Play (Keep'Em Separated)," has matured into a monster hit, their album is quickly approaching platinum status, and it's safe to say that the Offspring have all the qualifications for being larger-than-life rock stars - minus the arrogant attitude.
In a recent conversation with Flux, Offspring singer and chief songwriter Dexter Holland revealed himself as a man clearly embarrassed by all the fuss, and shares with us his thoughts on fame, lighter fluid and his secret double life.
FLUX: How does it feel to have a hit on your hands?
DEXTER HOLLAND: We realy shy away from the whole sucess thing because that's not why we started this band. We were just playing punk rock, and doing it for years and years with no recognition. We did it because we loved the music and enjoyed what we were doing. Whatever happens now is nice - it's great - but we try not to take it too seriously.
FLUX: Are you surprised at how popular you've gotten?
HOLLAND: Oh, absolutely! When we recorded this album, our last one has sold maybe 15.000 copies, so the possibility of us getting played on the radio or anything like that was pretty much nonexistent. Especially because this kind of music is not generally considered acceptable by the mainstream - so, for something like this to happen, it really took us by surprise.
FLUX: What do you think is unacceptable about the Offspring?
HOLLAND: The fact that we don't play by the rules. We don't do the stuff that everyone wants us to do. We don't play the big shows for the big tickets prices. We don't do the long guitar leads and the big extended outros of the songs and say "thank you, good night!" after every show. We don't want to do that. This is punk rock - and punk rock has never been accepted.
FLUX: That's part os its political element to punk music. Are your songs themselves socially conscious as well?
HOLLAND: I'd say they're more topical than straight political. But that's another thing that's good about punk rock. There's something in it that you can digest. It might noy necessairly have a heavy message, but when you hear the lyrics, it makes you think a little. It adresses something that's relevant.
FLUX: That's ceirtainly the case with "Come Out and Play." What inspired you to write that song?
HOLLAND: I was sick, stuck in bed for a whole week. I was trapped watching horrible daytime talk shows. One day Montel Williams had on these kids who said they had to bring guns to school to protect themselves. And I was thinking hoe ridiculous that was, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it would make a cool song.
FLUX: Tell me about the song "Bad Habits," which ia about shooting at people who cut you off on the road. Has that song been na inspiration to anybody?
HOLLAND: Oh, God, I hope not! We'll see what happens with it. On our last record, we did a song called "Burn It Up," which was about a pyromaniac. It was kind of silly, not seriously at all, and we played this show and these kids showed up with this charred can of lighter fluid with "To the Offspring" written on it, and they said how they had burned something down for us. People will always take stuff too literally, but it just makes them look stupid because it's really obvious that's not what we mean. People like "Bad Habits" because it's a release and they like cussing.
FLUX: Do you attribute any of the band's sucess to MTV exposure?
HOLLAND: No. Most people don't realise that. We already had a strong fan base in the snowboard, skateboard and surfing crowd when this record came out. I really think that kids like us because of the whole album, not just the single.
FLUX: Word has it that you're in the process of getting a Ph.D. in microbiology at the University of Southern California. True?
HOLLAND: I've taken a leave of absence. Originally, this band was a side project, something that was fun to do - but it's turned into more than that. The important thing about this is not to let anyone write your ticket. People in school look at me and say, "I can't believe you're in a band," and the guys in the band say, "I can't believe you're in school." You don't have to limit yourself to one thing or be different from anything you want to be.
FLUX: Before Smash took off, was the Offspring something you saw pretty much only as a hooby?
HOLLAND: Yeah, definitely. It's the only way we could have stayed together. If we has wanted to make it, we would have done something more mainstream in the first place. We did this because we were friends and we would be at each other's houses on thw weekend, drinking beer or something - it was just a fun thing to do.
FLUX: What does the band have planned for the future?
HOLLAND: The way this band has always worked is by not thinking past our next next show - take it one day at a time and see what happens. We didn't know how far this is going to go. We could be history by the end of the year. People could be so sick of that "keep'em separated" line that they may hate us for the rest of eternity. Then I'd have to go back to school and avoid the public for the rest of my life.
4) Marcin Prokop rozmawia z Noodlesem (Machina)
Hmmm... chciałbym odpowiedzieć, że od rana do wieczora jadę na prochach i bujam się po ulicach z gwiazdą porno, a w wolnym czasie mam słabość do demolowania hotelowych pokoi. Ale to nieprawda.
"Machina": Słyszę w słuchawce dziwne dźwięki, jakby mlaskanie. Śniadanko?
Noodles: Trochę spóźnione, wersja meksykańska - żuję gumę, a wcześniej wypiłem trzy kawy i wypaliłem sześć papierosów.
"Machina": Właśnie przed chwilą skończyłem ściąganie z Internetu fragmentów waszego nowego albumu. Czego mam się spodziewać po nim?
- Nazwaliśmy ten krążek "Conspiracy Of One" i można go potraktować trochę jak koncept-album. W uproszczeniu jest to historia kolesia, który knuje samotnie przeciwko całemu światu, buntując się przeciwko tym elementom, które mu jakoś tam nie pasują. Poruszamy trochę cięższe tematy niż na "Americanie", ale cały czas da się tego słuchać. Duża w tym zasługa Brendana O'Briena, który wyprodukował album. Koleś ma niesamowity dar sprawiania, że muzyka nagrana w studiu brzmi równie potężnie, jak na koncertach.
"Machina": Czy ten fikcyjny konspirator z waszych piosenek ma być twoim punkowym alter ego? Utożsamiasz się z nim?
- Poniekąd. Nie, żebym w rzeczywistości był aż takim radykałem, który chce podkładać bomby i wysadzać rządowe budynki, ale wciąż noszę w sobie mnóstwo niezadowolenia. Nie podoba mi się świat, w którym żyjemy. Bunt towarzyszy mi na każdym kroku, praktycznie od zawsze.
"Machina": Przeciwko czemu może buntować się ustatkowany 34-latek, który ma żonę, dziecko i mnóstwo pieniędzy na koncie?
- (śmiech) Te wszystkie rzeczy są jak otaczająca mnie bańka mydlana, która udaje, że chroni mnie przed resztą świata. Wystarczy drobne dotknięcie i wszystko pryska. Musiałbym żyć w muszli na dnie morza, żeby nie widzieć całego gówna, które doprowadza mnie do szału. Za każdym razem, gdy ktoś wypowiada zdanie: "Nie możesz tego zrobić" albo "Musisz to zrobić" - wpadam w furię. Najprostszy przykład? Nasza firma płytowa blokuje inicjatywę, aby dzielić się muzyką Offspring z fanami za pomocą Internetu. Udało nam się doprowadzić do tego, że niemożliwe jest kopiowanie udostępnianych plików. Mimo to paru gości na górze sra w majty, że stracą przez to mnóstwo szmalu. To mnie maksymalnie wkurwia.
"Machina": Dlatego zdecydowaliście się promować nową płytę głównie przez Internet?
- Uważamy, że to zajebiste medium. Zero cenzury, zero kontroli, natychmiastowy dostęp do informacji. 100% punk rocka. No i przy okazji - wszystko wychodzi nam bardzo tanio. Gdybyśmy chcieli przekazać te wszystkie informacje na przykład w reklamie telewizyjnej, kosztowałoby to majątek. A tak - mamy więcej kasy do podziału dla siebie (śmiech).
"Machina": A jaki jest stosunek Offspring do głośnej "sprawy Napstera" i w ogóle całej "kultury mp3"?
- Bardzo pozytywny. Gorąco popieramy wymianę mp3 między fanami zespołu, bo dzięki temu ich liczba się zwiększa i potem więcej ludzi widać na koncertach. To działa bardziej jak radio niż zwykłe piractwo. Kawałki Offspring są od dawna jednymi z najczęściej ściąganych plików mp3 w Internecie - i co? I nic - nasze płyty nadal sprzedają się świetnie! Ktoś, kto twierdzi, że Napster go okrada, jest kompletnym kretynem. Zwłaszcza jeśli mówi to ktoś, kogo dochody mogłyby pokryć długi niejednego biednego kraju.
"Machina": Czy nadal jesteście ulubionym zespołem skaterów i fanów snowboardu?
- Na to wygląda. Nie mam pojęcia dlaczego, ale nie mamy nic przeciwko temu. Może chodzi o energię zawartą w naszej muzyce, która znajduje swoje odzwierciedlenie we wszelkich sportach ekstremalnych? Sami jeździmy na deskach i kiedy tylko jest okazja, przesiadamy się na snowboard. Ostatnio mam ostry odjazd na punkcie surfingu. Kiedyś serfowałem kilka razy do roku, teraz pędzę z deską na plażę co kilka dni. Ale zaraz... myślałem, że ulubionym zespołem skaterów zawsze było Megadeth?! (śmiech)
"Machina": Odkąd odeszliście z Epitaph, by nagrywać dla wielkiej wytwórni, niektórzy zarzucają wam, że nowy pracodawca wymusił na was pewne kompromisy...
- Gówno prawda! Rzygać mi się chce od tępoty tych ludzi... Powiem tak - nasza firma płytowa, jakakolwiek by ona nie była, ma dwa zadania - sprawić, by nasza muzyka była obecna w mediach oraz dostarczyć nasze płyty wszystkim, którzy zapragną je kupić. Tylko duża firma jest w stanie zapewnić, że nasz album będzie dostępny nawet na jakiejś zasranej stacji benzynowej w Arkansas. Sytuacja w przemyśle muzycznym bardzo się zmieniła od lat 80. - dziś szefowie dużych firm ufają artystom, wierząc, że oni najlepiej wiedzą, jak trafić do fanów. Dlatego nie wtrącają się do ich roboty. Nigdy nie miałem z moją wytwórnią żadnych konfliktów na tym tle.
"Machina": Zgadzasz się z twierdzeniem, że hip hop jest obecnie dla popkultury tym samym, czym punk rock był 20 lat temu?
- Jasne. Hip hop przełamał w ostatnich latach tak wiele barier i uprzedzeń, że jego rola społeczna jest naprawdę bardzo wielka. Tu nie chodzi tylko o muzykę. Ci goście mówią głosem swojego pokolenia. Taki Eminem jest najbardziej chorym matkojebcą, jakiego możesz sobie wyobrazić, a mimo to jego teksty sprawiają, że nagle stajesz i zaczynasz się im przysłuchiwać. A Dr. Dre? Facet, który zmienił oblicze przemysłu muzycznego w Stanach, przeistaczając się ze zwykłego, ulicznego rapera w właściciela potężnej firmy płytowej. On to zbudował własnymi rękami i zasługuje na szacunek.
"Machina": Czy jest jeszcze coś oprócz muzyki, co cię kręci w życiu?
- Hmmm... chciałbym odpowiedzieć, że od rana do wieczora jadę na prochach i bujam się po ulicach z gwiazdą porno, a w wolnym czasie mam słabość do demolowania hotelowych pokoi. Ale to nieprawda. Rozczarowany? Tak naprawdę moją jedyną ekstrawagancją jest kupowanie gitar. Mam ich około 40 i naprawdę je lubię. Każda ma swoje brzmienie i osobowość. Na nowej płycie wykorzystałem prawie całą swoją kolekcję! Ponadto czasami się upijam, dobrym jointem też nie pogardzę... Jestem zwykłym facetem.
OFFSPRING - czterej Amerykanie, grają razem od 15 lat (wcześniej jako Manic Subsidal). W 1994 roku, dzięki płycie "Smash" sprawili, że po dwóch dekadach wróciła moda na punk rocka. Od tamtej pory utrzymują się w ścisłej rockowej czołówce, podczas gdy cała reszta neo-punkowców (m.in. Green Day) spadła do III ligi. Poprzedni album Offspring, "Americana", znalazł na świecie 2,5 miliona nabywców. Ich najnowsza płyta (już szósta) nosi nazwę "Conspiracy Of One". "Machina" rozmawiała z Kevinem "Noodles" Wassermanem - gitarzystą formacji.
5) Dexter o Staring at the sun
Dexter On Songs Staring at the Sun
This is probably my favorite song that we play live right now. There's just something about that really gets me going, I don't know - it just has a cool energy about it. And also, it's pretty amazing seeing kids bounce up and down to any of our songs, and live, people seem to really get into this one. But you know, what I like most about this song, though, is the lyrics.
Now don't get me wrong: I've always said that lyrics aren't the most important thing about a song, and the reason I say that is because I don't want to be one of those preachy, self-righteous, 'my-messages-are-so-deep' kind of songwriters, 'cause I hate that crap, you know? You know, the 'let's-sit-at-an-outside-cafe' and smoke unfiltered cigarettes and have another mocha and talk about how 'I'm-an-artist-and-nobody-understands-me' kind of bullshit. I mean Jeez Louise, that stuff irritates me to no end.
What I think is, if you're writing lyrics, the idea should be to connect with an audience, not try to show how much "above" them you are, you know? I suppose that I feel that way because that's just where we came from as a band, playing little clubs for years and years. So anyway, when I say I like the lyrics to this song, what I mean is that I think it's really got something positive to say, and I like that.
The idea that I was trying to get across in Staring at the Sun is this: I know that one of the toughest things about growing up is trying to figure out who you are, and how you "fit in" to everything. And believe me, it doesn't just stop once you're grown up, either. I know that for me, I definitely felt like I didn't "fit in" in school. In fact, I hate those words: "fit in." I didn't feel comfortable trying to be a part of any one clique at school. I didn't want to just be one of the athletes, or one of the stoners, or one of the popular kids, or whatever. And I remember that a lot of kids wanted to fit in so badly, that they compromised who they were a little bit in order to be a part of one of these groups. I thought that was really sad.
The words "staring at the sun" are kind of a metaphor, or an analogy, for people that are being self-destructive, or compromising themselves. And in the song, I'm saying that I won't be a part of that. Maybe this line wraps it up the best:
But I won't be burned by the reflection
Of the fire in your eyes
As you're staring at the sun.
That's like me trying to say that if you're going to destroy yourself, you're not going to drag me down with you.
Does that make sense? I think it's so important for kids (or anybody) to just be who they are and not care what anyone else thinks. And that's the hardest thing to do.
Ok, now I need another mocha, dammit. Waiter!
6)Artykuł z RollingStone magazine, 31 pażdziernika 2000
Article from the RollingStone magazine, Oct. 31, 2000
One of the most heated battles over digital music has left brat punk rockers the Offspring at the center of ring. Now the band's label, fans and management are at war over whether or not the bad boys are fighting the good fight or committing commercial suicide.
The saga started in September when they announced that they would post free MP3 versions of songs from their new album, Conspiracy of One, a month before the album's official release. In a press release on the band's official site (www.offspring.com) lead vocalist Dexter Holland said the band was "trying to launch our album with promotions that are fan supportive rather than fan exploitative."
7) Część artykułu z Rollingstone magazine, 7 pażdziernika 2000
Part from an article from the RollingStone magazine, Oct. 7, 2000
After Sony Records threatened to obtain an injunction against the Offspring, preventing the band from offering their upcoming album as a free download, the band has fired back. In a post on their official Web site www.offspring.com, guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman urged fans to visit Napster to track down Conspiracy of One. "This record rocks harder than anything we've ever done before, and there are plenty of songs for even the most mild-hearted Offspring fan," he enthused. "You hardcore fans out there are going to shit! You're going to love this record. I hope you all get to hear the whole record soon. Keep searching Napster for it, it'll be there soon enough." Though plans to release Conspiracy of One as a free download were nixed, the label did allow the Offspring to offer a free MP3 of their first single "Original Prankster" . . .