Seven Things You Didn't Know About Smash
This week, we brought you a retrospective on The Offspring's landmark third album, Smash, which celebrates its 20th anniversary today. Frontman Dexter Holland offered some interesting, funny, rather self-depricating words on the band and where they were at that stage in their careers. More importantly, it gave you a little more insight into a band that you probably thought you knew everything about. Holland had plenty of stories about the making of the album that we couldn't cram into the main story, so we though we'd bring them to you now. Wanna know where that weird riff from "Come Out and Play" came from? Who was that guy who does the smooth voice over on the album's intro? Were Holland's lyrics for "Bad Habit" inspired by his own road rage? Find your answers here.
Press Photo The Offspring back in the day
1. Dexter Holland snuck the middle-eastern surf rock riff into "Come Out and Play"
"Come Out and Play" was the last song to be recorded on the album. Holland remembers having the idea for the signature middle-eastern inspired surf rock riff, as well as the "gotta keep 'em separated" line for the chorus swimming around in his head but decided to keep it a secret from the rest of the band until it was time to do overdubs. "I didn't tell the other guys there was gonna be a middle eastern riff and a Mexican saying 'keep 'em separated' [done by Jason "Blackball" McLean] because I thought they'd say just forget it," Holland says. "So I was just gonna tell them, "don't worry, there's gonna be something cool in the spot, and after we record it you'll hear it then. So they kinda went with it."
When producer Thom Wilson first heard Holland's riff, he wasn't really feeling it. "I actually played it an octave higher, showed him and Thom looks at me and goes 'Eh, it's okay I guess," Holland says. "He said 'let's try it lower.' So we tried it lower, and then the lightning hit. He looks at me and goes 'well I like that!' It was instant."
2. The album was almost recorded in OC, but it didn't work out
The recording of the album was really a scramble. At the time, the band were getting ready to go on a 10-day tour with Pennywise and wanted to crank the recording sessions out before they left. "Initially we decided to record the album in Orange County to avoid the slog up to L.A. every day," Holland says. "We thought we found this great place and we got in there with Thom [our producer] on the first day and there were some technical issues in there and we kinda thought it would be alright, but we were a little unsettled by it." In the end, the band decided to bail and record the album at Track Records in North Hollywood. They'd only been there one time to mix the Ignition record. "I thought that studio was out of our league as far as what we could afford but we decided to just do it," Holland says.
The studio also happened to be a few miles from the epicenter of the Northridge Quake, which hit a few days into their recording sessions. The day before the Quake, Holland says, Greg K. was recording his bass lines, but they decided to head out early. The next day after the quake hit, the signs of the disaster were obvious. "The next day the ceiling was like drooping," Holland says. "Track Records was in the center of North Hollywood, so it got hit really hard."
3. The band recorded their album next door to Snoop Dogg
"It was actually pretty exciting," Holland says. "Because Snoop Dogg was actually recording in the next room [at Track Records] and that was probably the biggest music program we had ever been that close to."