(This exclusive interview was originally published in December 2016)
SMASH MOUTH will forever be remembered as a quintessential nineties band. In recent years, the band have found a new lease of life thanks to memes poking fun at their ties to ‘Shrek’ – a film which turned ‘All Star’ and ‘I’m A Believer’ into smash hits. The Californian band have released seven albums, including their most recent titled ‘Magic’ (2012). After several years away from the spotlight, I wanted to find out about Smash Mouth’s plans for the future.
“We definitely want to do this forever”
AC: Between your first and second album, you music began to have more of a pop sound. What inspired that change?
STEVE HARWELL: We’ve always been a band in evolution because we all have different influences and it’s constantly in a blender. We were straight up punk rock before ska sounds entered the picture. ‘Walkin On The Sun’ went to number one, so that put us on a much higher importance level at our record label and raised the bar big time. We also supported U2 on a tour early-on and we quickly learned we needed bigger songs with more elements to stand up with those type of cats and those size arenas.
You’ve created so many hits, which song do you still enjoy performing more than the rest?
Probably our Van Halen covers, that’s fun because the crowd never expects it and it always works. That’s one band we all agree on and all were fans of.
With the emergence of platforms like iTunes and Spotify, how much easier is it for you to put your music out there, compared to 18 years ago?
It should be easier, we just need to embrace it better. We can just release songs and videos all the time without restraints like this one. No labels, no publishing companies, no lawyers – just creation and release.
What is yet to come for Smash Mouth?
Our twenty-year anniversary is next year so we are releasing a surprise album to celebrate our first album ‘Fush Yu Mang’. Can’t say much about it yet but it’s super cool. We’re working on it right now. We will also keep performing live including a killer tour next summer. We performed on ‘The Today Show’ on Halloween in front of 45 Million TV viewers and there’s currently a Geico commercial mentioning us and that’s rad and a nice springboard into 2017. We definitely want to do this forever!
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES