Offspring Biography

Review The Artist (22)

Source: and
Vocal/Guitar --- Dexter (Bryan Holland)
Drums --- Ron (Ron Welty)(Left the band in 2003) Atom Willard (Atom Willard (Joined the band in 2003)
Guitar --- Noodles (Kevin Wasserman)
Bass --- Greg K (Greg Kriesel)

By 1984, when what would have become the Offspring formed, the original Orange County punk scene had fractured. We used to go this dance club called Circle City, and there'd be 10 different cliques, " says Kriesel."In our high school there was a rockabilly scene, as well as a mod scene and a New Wave scene, as well as a punk scene," Holland adds. But at Pacifica High, a large public school in Garden Grove, Calif. Holland wasn't a member of any of those groups. The third of four children born to a hospital administator father and a schoolteacher mother, he kept busy being a "good kid" and hoped to be a doctor. sports were a really big thing," Holland says, "I was on the cross-country team." He also happened to be class valedictorian (thus his nickname, Dexter). His senior year, Holland's older brother gave him a Rodney on the ROQ compilation album.

Before then, Holland was a casual listener. But soon after, he was devouring Flipside and Maximumrocknroll, fanzines out of Pasadena, Calif., and Berkeley, Calif., respecively, that are virtual how-to guides to punkdome. His favorite bands were T.S.O.L. (particulary 1981's Dance With Me), the Adolescents and Agent Orange County bands that weren't as hung up on politic as their Bay Area counterparts. Holland's cross-country teammate Greg Kriesel discovered punk even later. His investment-banker father saw law school in his son's future. And for most of high school, Kriesel was a sports fan and self-proclaimed jock (he also played baseball). The first punk records he ever heard were the ones the ones Holland played for him. "Music wasn't something that meant a lot to me," he says. "But I started listening to it because it was around, and I got used to it."

Holland and Krisel formed their first band, Manic Subsidal, with two other cross-country teammates one night in 1984 after failing to get in a Social Distortion show. At the time, the two didn't even own instruments, much less know how to play them. "Bryan and I both learned together," says Kriesel, "and he wasn't even playing chords at the time, so he'd play on one string, and I tried to do the same thing. By the summer we were actually playing songs, but it took a while." Kriesel's house was the site of the band's first gigs. "It's just always a hangout," Kriesel says, "on any given weekend night up to 20 people could drop by. I had a big upstairs that was pretty much mine, and my mom was downstairs. But she's always been really cool about it.

That fall, Holland began premed studies at USC (he's currently a Ph.D. candidate in molecular biology). Kriesel was attending Golden West Junior College and later recieved a B.A. in finance from Long Beach State while working part time in a print shop (he's planning to attend law school). Weekends were the only time the band could rehearse. Once Holland had written a handful of songs with self-explanitory titles like "Very Sarcastic" and "Sorority Bitch," the fledgling band headed for a cheap studio. Momentarily waylaid when its guitarist jumped ship, the band recruited Kevin Wasserman, an older Pacifica grad who then worked as the school janitor. Pretty soon, Wasserman was "not doing a hell of a lot except practicing at Greg's house on weekends and drinking excessively." Being the only member of the band over 21, Wasserman was particularly useful when it came to buying beer.

"I remember being amazed by Bryan," Wasserman says, "He was valedictorian, he was such a math geek. So when I first saw him with black hair and plaid bondage pants, I was like 'What are you doing?' But I thought it was cool, going beyond what I thought was society's role for him." Ron Welty moved to Garden Grove for part of high school, and it was there that his older stepsister introduced him to Holland. "My mom's been through a few divorces," Welty says. "She'd get remarried and we'd move, and then she'd get divorced, we'd move." Welt was only 16 when he begged Holland to let him substitute for Manic Subsidal's drummer who had started medical school and wads missing lots of gigs.

In 1987, the Offsping paid to release their own 7-inch single. Unable to afford the additional quarter per copy it cost to paste the front sleves to the backs, the band bought a case of beer and glue sticks and held a party for its friends. "To this day the covers don't hold together too well," says Holland. It took the band two and a half years to get rid of the 1,000 copies it printed. Two years and a pile of rejections later, the Offspring scored a contract with Nemesis, a small punk label distributed by Cargo.

After tracking down producer Thom Wilson, who had crafted their favorite albums by T.S.O.L., the Vandals and the Dead Kennedys, the Offspring recorded another 7-inch single, called Baghdad, and an album debut titled The Offspring. "All punk bands back in '84 wrote about was police, death, religion and war," says Holland. "So that's what we did." While recording a track for a Flipside compilation with Brett Gurewitz - owner of Epitaph records and then Southern California's biggest punk success story, Bad Religion - the Offspring glimpsed a rosier future. "A little after that, I got a tape," says Gurewitz. "But I have to admit I passed on it."

A year later, when the Offspring began circulating demos for what would become their next album to every punk label they could think of, Gurewitz reconcidered. "It definitely had what people call the Epitaph sound," he says. "High energy, rebelleous punk with great melodies and cool economical song structures. "In 1992 Epitaph released Ignition, 12 brief but energetic Offspring songs that summed up the previous decade of Orange County Punk. Other Epitaph bands include Rancid and NOFX.In 1994 their breakthough single Come out and Play and top hit Self Esteem helped push thier third album, Smash to the best selling independent record of all time (9 million plus), and heavy MTV rotation.

After the success of Smash, new fans discovered Ignition as it reappeared in stores. Due to the amount of overpriced, poor quality bootlegs, they rereleased their self titled The Offspring in 1995 with thier own label, Nitro. Nitro has released albums for several other bands, including The Vandals and Guttermouth. In 1996, the Offspring signed with Columbia records after disputes with Epitaph.Their next album, Ixnay on the Hombre, was released in February 1997. Dexter and Jello Biafra stared their own benefit foundation, FSU this year. They are currently on tour


The Offspring (Nemesis/Cargo 1989 reissued on Nitro 1995)
Ignition (Epitaph 1992)
Smash (Epitaph 1994)
Ixnay on the Hombre (Columbia, 1997)
Americana (Columbia, 1998)
Conspiracy of One (Columbia, 2000)
Splinter (Columbia, 2003)


1984: Orange County high school classmates Dexter Holland and Greg Kriesel are inspired to form a band after an Irvine concert by local punk-rock heroes Social Distortion. With Holland the vocalist, Kriesel takes to the bass.

1985: School custodian Noodles joins up, allegedly for his ability to legally procure alcohol for the underage trio. The threesome practice in Kriesel's parents' house and play their first shows in Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

1986: The band, originally called Manic Subsidal, changes its name to The Offpsring. They press up 1,000 copies of the debut vinyl single, "I'll Be Waiting" b/w "Blackball," on their own Black Label. The band pioneers its DIY method by glueing the sleeves together at Kriesel's house.

Sixteen-year-old Ron Welty becomes the fourth member of The Offspring after the original drummer leaves to devote more time to school.

1989: Band signs to independent label Nemesis/Cargo. With punk producer Thom Wilson (T.S.O.L., The Vandals and Dead Kennedys), they release The Offspring, their debut album, which sells 3,000 vinyl copies.

1991: The band put out a 7" EP, Baghdad (Nemesis/Cargo) and records "Take It Like a Man" for a Flipside magazine compilation, The Big One, produced by Epitaph Records owner (and Bad Religion guitarist) Brett Gurewitz.

1992: The band signs to Epitaph and record their second album, Ignition. After a record release party in Fullerton, CA draws 25 diehard fans, the album goes on to sell more than 1 million albums worldwide.

1993-'94: The band tours the U.S. once with Lunachicks and next with Pennywise. They also do a European jaunt supporting NOFX.

1994: Smash, their second album for Epitaph, is released. Featuring the mega-hits "Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)," "Self Esteem' and "Gotta Get Away," the album is a phenomenon. The disc sells more than 11 million copies worldwide, the most ever for a band on an indie label, after "Come Out and Play" becomes a gigantic MTV hit. The album peaks at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart.

1995: Dexter and Greg start Nitro Records. The Huntington Beach-based label forms a roster that includes such California stalwarts as the Vandals, AFI, Guttermouth and others. Nitro also reissues the band's self-titled debut on CD for the first time. The Offspring's cover of the Damned's "Smash It Up" is featured on the best-selling Batman Forever soundtrack.

1997: The Offspring sign with Columbia Records, and release the Dave Jerden-produced Ixnay on the Hombre in February. The album sells more than 3 million worldwide and peaks at #9 on the Billboard 200, with singles "All I Want," "Gone Away," and "I Choose" all hitting the Modern Rock charts. Spin raved: "Punk-rock zealots can take their rage to the grave, but what this band cares about beyond everything else is what zealots can abide least: songs." The L.A. Times praised the album as "richly varied and thoroughly smart.. a mature, sometimes daring and always enticing effort by a band that constantly offers far more than meets the ear." Jello Biafra makes a cameo appearance on Ixnay and joins the band on-stage to perform version of Dead Kennedy classics "Chemical Warfare" and "Holiday in Cambodia."

1998: An MP3 file of "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)," from the band's yet-to-be-released Americana album is downloaded a record 22 million times over a 10-week period, landing it the #1 spot on Rolling Stone's Top Pirated Internet Songs chart. When Americana is released in November, worldwide sales climb past the 10 million mark, thanks to the catchy single and MTV video. Other singles include "Why Don't You Get a Job?," "The Kids Aren't Alright" and "She's Got Issues." The band's touring schedule takes them to Woodstock '99 for an acclaimed performance captured on film and the 1999 Reading/Leads Festivals in the U.K. "We love what we do," says Holland. "We want to make the best music we can and try to top what we did before."

1999: The group follows its tour of the U.S. with shows in Australia and Japan. The Offspring makes a cameo appearance in the cult horror/comedy Idle Hands, playing a cover of the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" and "Beheaded" from their self-titled debut before Dexter is killed after speaking his one line.

2000: The group is hit with a cease-and-desist order from file-sharing service Napster after offering T-shirts sporting the company's famed logo for sale on the band's website. The band defends its actions, claiming they were simply "sharing" the logo with fans.

The band spawns more controversy when they decide to offer their new album Conspiracy Of One free of charge via the Internet prior to its initial November release date. Fans downloading the record were automatically registered in a contest to be awarded $1,000,000 directly from the band (live on MTV) on the day of the album's release. Fans who go on to buy the record are awarded membership in the Offspring Nation digital fan club, receiving exclusive downloads of unreleased material, advance ticket sales, guarded chats with the band and more. Sony Music doesn't agree and threatens a lawsuit. The band avoids the lawsuit by making individual singles available on their official website and MTV Online. "The reality is this album will end up on the Internet whether we want it to or not," Holland tells the L.A. Times. "So we thought, 'Why don't we just do it ourselves?' We're not afraid of the Internet. We think it's a very cool way to reach our fans."

2001: The Offspring headline KROQ's Inland Invasion at Blockbuster Pavilion in Devore with Incubus, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Pennywise, Social Distortion, Weezer, Mike D and Mixmaster Mike on July 18. In December, the band record "Defy You" with Brendan O'Brien for the soundtrack to Orange County, starring Colin Hanks and Jack Black. Dave Meyers directs the video.

2002: In March, The Offspring play the Las Vegas premiere of Tony Hawk's Boom Boom Huck Jam, with an array of action sports champions like Hawk, Bob Burnquist, Dave Mirra, Mat Hoffman and Carey Hart, then go on for four more dates that fall. In July, they play a benefit concert with T.S.O.L. at the Anaheim House of Blues for They Will Surf Again and Life Rolls On, not-for-profit organizations formed by professional surfers dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. In September, they open the Kerrang! Awards in London before being presented with the Classic Songwriter award by Garbage's Shirley Manson. Said the venerable metal mag: "They have influenced and continue to influence new generations of K!-heads. Tonight's award nails not only The Offspring's glorious past, but their ongoing relevance."

2003: The Offspring cover the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated," which they first did for the film Idle Hands, on the tribute album We're a Happy Family (Columbia), joining Metallica, Eddie Vedder, Marilyn Manson and KISS and among others.

The band lay down demos for the new album at Holland's D-13 studios in his native Huntington Beach, then continue recording with producer Brendan O'Brien in Atlanta at Southern Tracks Recording and Henson Recording Studios in L.A. Drummer Ron Welty leaves the band. Former Vandals and A Perfect Circle drummer Josh Freese takes over duties for the recording process. The group is also joined in the studio by two old-school SoCal punk pals, Pennywise's Jack Lindberg and T.S.O.L.'s Jack Grisham, who takes time off from his campaign for Governor of California to lay down some background vocals.

Holland announces the record will be called Chinese Democracy as an obvious tweak to Axl Rose, who had previously announced that was the title to the new Guns N Roses album he's been working on for much of the past decade. "It was so damn funny," says Dexter. "We felt like we had to do it. The idea of stealing the title of an album someone else has been working on for so long was very funny to us. You snooze, you lose. Axl ripped off my braids, so I ripped off his album title." But ultimately, the band announced on their website that the decision to title the album Chinese Democracy had somehow caused production to come to a halt. "That album title jinxed us," said Dexter.

The band visit Hawaii, where they film a surfing video with Da Hui, a notorious gang of native Islanders who welcome them to their North Shore turf. The footage will appear as extra footage on their upcoming CD.

The group decide to name the album, Splinter, which is now scheduled to come out Dec. 9 and choose the first single, "Hit That." In October, they bring in drummer Atom Willard, who was in Rocket From the Crypt for 10 years as well as playing with Moth and the Alkaline Trio.

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Offspring influence my life | Reviewer: Adams | 3/7/12

honestly, The Offspring is such a great band in the world, proven by their songs which on the top of all music charts, and their best record you know 11 millions copy selling with indie label on 95, i like all of their songs, the rhytim, the melody, all the instruments are compare and mix become a great songs, easy listening but powerfull, easy to playing and also meaningfull, i hope my original songs can be like them, become a phenomenon, you guys completely awesome

THEY ROCK!!! | Reviewer: celeste | 2/14/11

I read the other blog thingies and they were alright. Except that a lot of those bands that they said were posers are not. I listen to all music. Punk, heavy metal. ska? i don't know, to me all those genres are rock, and I love rock. Anyways I love the Offspring, I started late with them. I was was barely born when Dexter was like 31 or something. But they're good! I listen to them to them a lot. And my favorite song is "Can't Repeat". I hope Offspring makes another album! That would be amazing!!!!!!P.S All you other people who say some bands are posers, lighten up dude.

sir | Reviewer: mohamed | 9/26/09

all the offspring music is kind of perfect sound but if you don't mmind my earing need to be familiar to.the vocals are like no one else the melody is the top also the way you introduce your selfs to listeners .my part of job is to do more than the best to get the lyrics right the way because listen like that i can only get some of the words i don't know but i love music i'll do whatever to sound like us us us us us us us us us i know but please let me progress in that a b c d e f good

So great!! ... . . ... . GREAT! . . | Reviewer: Pharoah Perrault | 11/7/08

This band means alot to myself, and i noticed all the other comments basically say the same thing my fav song is "You're Gonna Go Far Kid" Simply amazing, I saw them live couple years back, their simply amazing :):):) <333. . .

PS: Rap Sucks get a life, stick with punk rock!!

Aaaah memories | Reviewer: kymberley | 9/20/08

Sitting in my neighbours' bedroom watching him try to play guitar to their songs.
He was a coupla years older than me and I had a maaajor crush on him, and I was only 8 or so :-3

I have very fond memories of The Offspring, they remain possibly the ONLY band from the 90's I am no longer ashamed in admitting I LOVE; unlike the other music I listened to at that point in time, 1997 or so, Spice Girls and Hanson? *shudder*


Rad | Reviewer: Töm | 12/27/07

the offspring rule, i just bought conspiracy of one, it took forever to find a copy, sanity and places like that don't seem to have it, or anything else good for that matter. but who said the offspring aren't popular, there just as poplar as fall out boy * spit on ground after writing that* but they haven't realized anything in like 2years, so theres no publicity. and bryd, no, punk is alive, its just a bit underground, but thats cool, SKATERS for life, sk8 and skat3rs is for faggs, if anyone gets that.anyway, matellica were the biggest posers ever. the point is Offspring is rad, and if you like them, tell your friends, play there music everywhere. Mail me if you have a problem, or you agree with me

The Offspring will always be my favorite | Reviewer: Becky | 11/2/07

Since I was 12 the Offspring has meant alot to me. I am 23 now and I continue from where I started. I love everything about the group I just wish they had more music out and didn't swear so much. The band is definately apart of me though.

inspiration | Reviewer: brandon garner | 10/13/07

ever since i heard the song kids arent alright ive been expired to live my day as it was the last dexter holland is my hero he inspired me to not care wat the fuck people think about me

You are the Best | Reviewer: Dylan | 9/3/07

The Offspring is the best band period. When i listen to them expecially when i bike i feel calm and happy and good to be alive. When i listen to them they make me not want to give up on anyhting. PLEASE KEEP THE SONGS CUMMING OFFSPRING. please email me back! :)

Great | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/31/07

whats this dumbarse at the top saying about alternative.... it you rip you albums of the offspring to iTunes it comes up as alternative rock....!

offspring | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/12/07

thay rock there muisc is so random but awsome i love the song prity fly for a white guy

too bad | Reviewer: Byrd | 6/13/07

ya it's really a shame that no one listens to them. and punk really has died. its because it's not like everything else where you make up a rift and go off that, every punk song has been used up. that and everyone these days listens to crappy ass alternative and emo. theres o say 1 in 50 good emo songs but the vast majority of alternative sux. that and country. couuntry pisses me off so bad. but the offspring is amazing but what makes me a little non-intrigued is that REAL punk died in about 90'. anything after that is basically "i'm gonna act tough and make myself look cool" which is pretty much made out of any christian band. like Hinder for example. and nickelback o my god they are the biggest posers ive ever seen. take any song and theyre basically contradicting themselves. but despite all that the offsprings held up better than pretty much every band today. cobain capped it, everyone else sux, bonham died, metallica when down the drain horribly after master of puppets, hendrix blew it, clapton pretty much quit, it's just that bad.

The Best Bend Ever | Reviewer: Zaharije | 6/2/07

Im 14 years old, and I have all Offspring's songs. I think that they are really the best but Im sorry cause they arent very popular!!!!

Wewt | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/28/07

wow crystal leann dikstra that was pretty sad. Offspring kicks some major ass. I like Bad Habit from their "Smash" album.

you guys shud play a concert here in desmoines | Reviewer: crystal leann dykstra | 2/21/07

you guys should play a concert heere in desmoines
if you do my friend chewy will pay you 5 bucks

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