The Offspring: Still Pretty Fly (for White Guys)

Image Sam Jones

It’s been awhile since we heard from the Californian punk band The Offspring, with their last album release being back in 2008. And when word got out that they’ll be releasing their new album, Days Go By, we decided to hunt down their phone numbers to bug them. We finally got through to bassist and founding member Greg K, so we prod him with some questions on the upcoming album and what he feels about the punk rock scene today.

We were listening to the single ‘Days Go By’ and we noticed there’s a slight shift in style. Can we expect that for the whole album?
There’s a lot of different types of songs. There’s a couple more like that, straight forward rock songs. But there are some love songs that are a little more poppy. Some are a little faster, it varies a lot.

How was it working with Bob Rock?
He’s great. It’s the second time we’re working with him. He helps a lot with the song structures. He’s pretty familiar with what our sound’s about and he didn’t try to mess with what we’ve done. I think lot of the best producers don’t try to put themselves too much into the record, they try to bring out what the band already has.

Any plans on coming to Southeast Asia?
Not yet. I don’t think we’ll make it this year because we’re already pretty much booked up. But I hope next year there’s gonna be an Asian tour. We’ve never really been to that part of the world, and I think we sold a lot of our records there, so it would be cool to see how they react to us playing live.

How would you compare punk today with when you guys first got into it?
It’s definitely changed. It’s definitely become more mainstream. Back when we started, major labels wouldn’t touch you if you were punk rock. I think after the 90s, major labels actually sought after punk rock bands to put on the radio and all that. So it definitely became more commercial. But the underground scene is still there.

Maybe that means it’s lost its credibility?
The thing about punk is, it was supposed to always be about ‘doing what you want without rules’. Then in the 80s people started making rules about what punk rock is supposed to be. So, I don’t know if it’s lost its credibility or that it’s just become commercial, but I just think that it’s an evolution. Like how people will say, “hey, listen to this. It’s the best,” then when everybody’s listening to it, they go, “don’t listen to it anymore, I’m gonna keep it for myself”.

What’s your favourite punk band right now?
The bands that are a part of me are bands that have been around for over 20 years. Like NOFX, Rancid, Bad Religion. Those are just some that I listen to.

Beyond punk, what are your influences?
That’s what we started with, then we started developing our own sound. I don’t know if we have any real influences, but I’m sure that some creep in here and there. But I think our original influences were the major punk bands from the early 80s.

How do you guys balance between the fun and the business side of being in a band?
We try not to worry about the business part of it too much. We’ve got our managers and PAs to handle that, and they’re more aware of what goes on. So the emphasis on our tours is to have fun with our show, and that’s what we concentrate on. Let other people worry about the other stuff.

Do you guys ever get tired of playing ‘Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)’?
No. With any song, it’s really about the reaction of the crowd. Every night you play it, you have a different crowd out there and they may act a different way. And if they’re jumping around, singing along, you can never get tired of that. We have songs that are years older than that and we still play them every night. You don’t really get tired of your songs if other people are still into it.

For more on The Offspring, you can check out their homepage here. The album Days Go By is set for release on 26 June 2012.