The Offspring are Dexter Holland (vocals, guitar), Noodles (guitar), Greg K (bass) and Pete Parada (drums).
Following a riot at a 1984 Social Distortion show, high school buddies Dexter and Greg K decided to start a band of their own in Garden Grove, California. The Offspring have now put out 8 records, performed over 1000 shows across the globe and are known for their many hits including “Self Esteem,” “Come Out And Play (Keep ‘Em Separated),” “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” “Hammerhead” and “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid.”
The Offspring are often credited—alongside fellow California punk bands Jawbreaker, Green Day, Bad Religion, NOFX, Pennywise, Social Distortion, and Rancid—for reviving mainstream interest in punk rock in the 1990s. They have sold over 40 million records worldwide, being considered one of the best-selling punk rock bands of all time.
www.offspring.com l www.wikipedia.com
Interview with Noodles (Guitar)
Never let ’em tell you that you can’t!
Q: Tell me about your start.
The first 10 years that we were a band, really, it was a hobby. It was what we loved to do on our time off; vacations, weekends, any off evening in the middle of the week. We all had jobs, we were going to school, I was a custodian for the Garden Grove School District, Dexter was a student, he did odd jobs to pay for stuff, but he was really just focusing on getting through school. And he finally graduated last May with his PHD. We are all really proud of him for going back and getting it done finally. He was about a year away when the band broke in the 90’s and he went and it took about 3 or 4 years in the end but he finished.
Making music is what we love to do. We would tour almost every summer for part of the time, at least a couple of weeks. In ‘93, we finally went to Europe for 6 weeks, which was the longest tour we had ever done and we opened up for NOFX. We were sleeping on the bus. We didn’t even have hotel rooms most of the time but it was a blast and we saw that these guys are actually making a living and it’s possible that we might be able to do this for a few years. No one is getting rich off of punk rock but maybe we can actually do this for a few years before we have to go get real jobs. That was ’93, then in ‘94 Smash came out and we took off. One song KROQ picked up and started playing and we were like “what is this, this is nuts. Let’s see if we can keep this going. Let’s pick up the ball and run with it. And we’ve been doing it ever since!”
Q: How does music stay fun for you? Because with a lot of bands, it starts out a hobby, then it becomes a career and eventually it loses that passion. After so long, how do you keep it fun?
A: I don’t know. We just love doing it! We really do. We have a lot of fun in here, we joke around, talk about what’s going on the world. We usually show up, have coffee and just shoot the shit. How was the weekend? What’s going on with the family? And then joke about this or that then it’s like – ok! What’s the song that we’re working on today? And then just kind of focus on that. What we’d like to hear out of it. And we actually write in this room and record everything while we’re coming up with stuff.
We used to, especially back in the day when studios were super expensive to rent out, and everything was on tape, Dexter would write songs on the way to school back and forth. Just kind of tap out beats on the dash board, then we’d all kind of come together and learn the songs and rehearse them. Once you start recording you can always change a song. There are always things that you think, “oh man, I wish I would have done this differently. You have to let go of that, all of the misgivings you might have and the second guessing and eventually you just kind of – this is it.”
Q: So with your new album coming out, how does this one differ from the ones before? What would you say after having that long journey, how is this one different?
A: it’s so hard to be objective with that question first of all. To me it sounds like we’ve pulled it all together but there is one song that is going to be different. But there is always one song on every Offspring record that is just different. You know, where we take a different style of music or idea and try to take what’s good about the band and apply it to that idea or style of music. We’ve got a song that’s got some horns in it and is kind of a jazzy thing but we try to make it rockin as well. It’s a song that we’ve been working on for a couple of decades now and we’ve finally figured out how to put it together so hopefully that’ll be on this record and work.
And then we’ve got a couple of songs where we actually went back and revisited stuff, riffs that Dexter wrote, over 30 years ago, literally over 30 years ago, they’re riffs that were written before I even joined Manic Subsidal, which was the original name for the band. There’s a couple of songs that we’ve got stuff like that it in, but also applying what we’ve learned over the last 30 years, but still the rockin, kind of in your face, fun punk rock stuff. Real excited about those songs. That’s the kind of stuff I love more than anything.
Q: Are there any monumental moments looking back on your career where you were like, “Oh my god, I’m here, I’m doing this. This is what I’ve worked so hard for?”
A: You know, I never dared to dream for this. I never thought that this was going to happen. There were moments where I kind of looked out like, “Holy shit! This is real!” Certainly the first time we headlined Irvine Meadows, which was the local big amphitheater where most of the big acts that came through would play. The first time we headlined that, I remember walking out with my wife and looking up in the stands afterwards and just thinking, “What just happened? What was that? That really happened?!” I still get blown away just thinking about it, I really do.
The fame stuff is just weird. That’s why I got into punk rock. That stuff is just weird. But being able to resonate, do music that resonates with people. Any musician wants that to happen. You hope your music resonates with people. You want people to get it. At the same time, we never really thought of this as a money making thing, where we were all going to be rich and famous rock stars. We don’t really feel like that. We still look at other bands like, “wow, they’re a real band! Someday we’ll be a real band.” We still feel like little kids at play and don’t take it too seriously.
You have to have the focus to know when opportunities are presenting themselves and which paths to follow from a business aspect, making smart decisions. We’ve had great management who’ve helped us with that. Because like I said, we’re kids at play. We really would do a lot of dumb things.
Q: So what are some things that you’re still out there hoping to achieve. Obviously you’ve done a lot so far. Is there something that musically, or personally, or together as a band, which you’re still working after?
A: At this point, everything is icing on the cake. We’re just having so much fun. We were in the studio all week and what we came up with was really exciting and just felt really good. There’s a song that is just slower and acoustic, to the up-tempo punk songs that I talked about earlier, all of that just felt really good. The one thing is that you just hope that people connect with it and the fans react positively to it. And that’s what we’re focused on right now.
As a personal goal, I would LOVE to open for the rolling stones some day! That’s a personal dream of mine. Do a world tour with them.