Go on a rampage: The Offspring

Since forming in 1984, The Offspring are one of the most well- known punk rock groups to date. Friends since high school, Greg Kriesel (bass) and Dexter Holland (vocals, guitar) were the two founding members of this legendary group.


Now, after playing together for a mammoth twenty-five years, releasing eight studio albums, The Offspring's coming back to Australia!


The group will be headlining alongside Good Charlotte, Wu Tang Clan, Lil' Jon and a host of others at Melbourne's first Megarampage, being held in Etihad Stadium on October 31. This event will feature the largest ramp the southern hemisphere has played host to, with world-class skaters and BMX riders taking on the challenging demand.


And if that isn't enough for all you Offspring fans, the band is also set to play sideshows in Sydney and Brisbane at the end of October!


The Dwarf caught up with Greg K to discuss the early beginnings of the band, and group's trip Down Under.


The Dwarf: The Offspring is one of the most established punk-rock bands going around, what made you and Dexter Holland begin forming the group in your high school years?


Greg K: When we started off we didn't know how to play instruments or anything; we just sat down one night and said, "let's start a band".I think it started out as a sort of hobby. I think when I was a kid I played band with my brother or my friends. It was something I was interested in, but I never thought I would do it for a living. We started out, then for the first five years we just kinda learned how to play our instruments, and write songs and stuff. It was something that was always fun to do, and it's cool that I get to make a living out of it.


What was the inspiration behind your band's name?


Our original name was Manic Subsidle and everybody would mispronounce it, or people would be like "what is that?"; people would say maniac or suicidal something like that. So we went "Okay, we need a new name"; we had the first name for about two years. We threw a bunch of stuff out, and our original drummer just said "how about The Offspring?"; and we said "fine"[laughs]. So it was as stupid as that, it wasn't like anything really deep behind it.


The Offspring have released eight studio albums, with the latest in 2008 [ Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace]. Considering you have been with the band from the very beginning, do you have an album you're most proud of?


Yeah, I think that it is the last one, from top to bottom is probably the best one we have done. But Smash, obviously, the one that broke us, I think that is the one that stands out the most; it was the one that put us on the map.


You guys are currently working on a ninth studio album, how is the development of this piece going?


Well it is in the early stages right now, just more of the writing stages; I think we are hoping to probably get into the studio early next year.


How will this album differ from your other releases?


I think we just try to add different elements, just experiment with different sounds, I imagine we will do the same thing with this one.


When you guys produce a popular song or album, such as Americana [1998], do you feel pressured create something equally as popular?


I don't know if it is really pressure. I think you always want to put out something that is good, that people are into. But I don't think you can really go out and try. I mean, for You're Gunna Go Far Kid, I don't think anybody saw that as the big hit on the album; it was kinda a surprise that it did so well.


The Offspring are playing sets in Brisbane, Sydney, and at Melbourne's Megarampage, taking place at Etihad Stadium. What can fans expect from your shows?


We like to just play our songs and have fun with it, and hope that people are into it. I think we kinda feed off the energy of the crowd. So if the crowd are into it, I think that helps us perform better.


Considering your band has been around for so long, I'm sure you have racked up a funny story or two while on tour?


Probably, nothing in the last year has really stood out. I got pulled off stage once, which was kinda funny. Some guy was doing a stage dive and he was wearing a flannel; the flannel caught on my tuning peg. When he went forward to do his stage dive, I just lost balance and I tripped over hitting the monitor, and ended up in the security pit. That wasn't very fun.


Oh man, did you keep playing your set?


It was actually the first song so they let me kind of have a couple of minutes to recover, and then we went on. The show must go on [laughs].


What sort of music do you listen to in your personal time? Do you ever get tired of punk rock?


You know, with iPods, you make your playlist and mine always varies from the old punk rock, then I may throw in stuff like The Who, The Beatles, or Nirvana. You get a mix of whatever, and I change the playlist every month or so. So it's a mix of nothing really new, a lot for the old stuff I listen to.


When you're not playing a show, what does a typical Saturday night involve for you?


Probably a little wine, maybe some beer...I either go out with my friends or hang out with my wife. Depending on what has been going on lately; so nothing too exciting!


You will be able to catch these beasts of punk-rock performing down-under on:


October 28 at Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane October 29 at Enmore Theatre, Sydney October 31 at Megarampage, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne.


For tickets to the Brisbane and Sydney shows, head to Ticketek; tickets to Megarampage are on sale through Ticketmaster.

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