Orange County's The Offspring recently served up one of the year's most magnetic punk-pop albums in Smash. Bassist Greg K shares a moment with Truepunk. Interview by Steve Tauschke with bassist Greg K.
Hi Greg, how's things on Epitaph at the moment?
"They're great. The label we used to be affiliated with didn't do anything for us but with Epitaph they promote real well, they pitch in for their bands and you can always go down there and they'll be real friendly. For us, they've done anything a major label would have done. They don't have the clout a major label has but they treat their bands just as well, probably even better. We're real happy with 'em."
Is it true your label mates Pennywise recently cracked the magic million mark with their latest record?
"No, they're up around the one hundred thousand mark right now."
Epitaph's bio claims you're the label's fastest growing band .. are you cautious not to over-expose yourself?
"We've been thinking about that. The first tour we're going on in the States is going to be a small tour playing three to five hundred capacity venues. We don't want to jump into the big field right away. Like Stone Temple Pilots offered us their tour and The Ramones have been talking and we've been turning those down because we don't want to jump into those big arenas right now. We want to build it up slow. We're not afraid of being big, we just don't want to rush it."
You've gained a leg up through various snowboarding and skate videos .. how did that come about originally?
"We don't really know how that started. I think that's the music a lot of these guys are into, a lot of skaters and snowboarders are into the Epitaph-type music. So when they do videos they just start picking songs and we were getting put on a lot of them. It's actually helped us a lot. Our first Epitaph album was waning at maybe 18,000 (copies sold) for about a year and a half but when the videos started happening at the beginning of this year it just picked up to where in three of four months we've done 30 to 40 thousand records. So it hit this whole groove that we didn't know existed really. Plus there's the positivity of the (video's) athleticism which we really like."
You're a sporting type then?
"Yeah, well I've snowboarded a couple of times and we have a couple of guys in the band who surf. But we don't really have time right now to do much."
Does the band actually consider itself part of the skate-punk/popcore scene?
"I don't know, sometimes it seems that on a small scale it's good to be associated with something because you'll get that crowd no matter what, which is always kind of nice. But then if you get stuck in a scene you might alienate everybody else. But if they (surf/skate fraternity) like us then that's fine. We don't really consider ourselves part of that scene but we like being associated with it."
Thrasher magazine describes your sound as influenced by Social Distortion and The Vandals .. are they accurate?
"The Vandals enjoyed most of their success in the mid-80s and they're still playing around now but I don't know if they were a big influence on us. We grew up listening to Southern California bands and that's what we like so when we decided to form a band that's what we played, that melodic stuff with a hard edge."