Andrew Youssef of OC Weekly recently conducted an interview with THE OFFSPRING frontman Dexter Holland, who talks about the band’s new album “Days Go By” (which comes out tomorrow), new singles, being in Orange County, his label Nitro Records and the possibility of flying while on tour.
How come you went with “Days Go By” as the single in the US and “Cruising California (Bumpin’ in My Trunk)” for the rest of the world?
Days Go By is the title of the album. That was the song I felt like getting out first. I thought there was an important message to get across. The last years have been tough on people around the world and the US. It’s not about bank accounts. It is about people losing their jobs and homes and it’s been a tough time. It is important to acknowledge that, to say that we know everyone is having a tough time. You gotta figure out a way to pick yourself up and get going again and figure out a way to get hope that things are going to get better. It is important message to get out right now. The last album our message is “Shit is fucked up.” Which is still true. It’s a little more personal this time.
What are some of your favorite places in Orange County that have a significant value for The Offspring?
The Doll Hut comes to mind. It was the coolest place because it was so tiny.There is no other club like it. It barely holds fifty people. I’ve seen a lot of great bands there. That would be one that stands out. I’ve seen some great shows at The Galaxy Theater [now the Observatory]. It is different kind of place, a little bit big but not really and you’re not quite sure whether it is a luxury club or a locker room?
What was it like filming the video for “Cruising California (Bumpin’ In My Trunk)” in downtown Huntington Beach?
It was fun. Kinda surreal actually. Being some place like that where normally I would be trying to keep my head down. Your hometown and stuff. The last thing you want to do is get noticed where you live. But this is a time where we are obviously trying to do a video for the song. Huntington Beach can be one part bikini and sun and one part pit bull, right? I kinda wanna reflect that a little bit in the lyrics. People have asked me since it is a different type of sound for us, “Are you trying to make a pop song?” or “Are you trying to take a piss on a pop song?” I like not answering that question. I like that we are on the line about that. If it makes you wonder, that is a good thing.
How is Nitro Records doing?
The record business is obviously not quite what it used to be. It is mostly a catalog label now where I feel really fortunate to have been able to put out all these records. When I first started, it was by being friends with members of Guttermouth. I saw them play and I know people would like them outside Orange County. Luckily, I had the means to get distribution deals. It was really gratifying to help bands like Guttermouth, and The Vandals. AFI was a really special case where nobody knew who the band was and we actually stayed together for five records and they did really well. A lot of great memories. If the right thing came along I would definitely do something again. We are what I would call a semi-active label.
Are we going to see a custom Gringo Bandito guitar?
(Laughs) That stuff has come up a little bit. For me, I love this band. It is the only band I have ever been in or any of us have been in. It’s important. It is our passion and it is what we want to do with our lives. I never want anything else to get in front of that. I never want it to be “Oh, you like my band so check this out!” I make hot sauce on the side cause it is fun. It is important to keep things fun. I’m glad people are aware of it and it is out there. But this band is where is I want to be.
Are you doing any flying on this tour?
Well, not this time in Europe. I might do some in the US. I really love flying. It is what I like to do. I like to combine it with touring whenever I can.
Photo by pwrd photography.