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Stereoboard Talk With The Offspring About Revisiting 'Ignition' On Tour & New Album 'Days Go By'

Tuesday, 12 June 2012 Written by Katie Territt
Stereoboard Talk With The Offspring About Revisiting 'Ignition' On Tour & New Album 'Days Go By'

Californian punk rockers The Offspring have had an impressive career in the music industry spanning a massive 26+ years. On the verge of their ninth studio album release and literally just before stepping onstage for the second of two shows at London's Shepherds Bush Empire, Stereoboard caught up with bassist and original band member, Greg K. to discuss the new album and current tour.

ImageTo mark the 20th Anniversary of the bands 'Ignition' album, their first release on Epitaph, The Offspring are currently touring, playing the album in its entirety which they're clearly enjoying. "Yeah, we've done this a couple of times now and it's just bringing back some memories. The songs also feel like they fit right in with what we're doing today."

With a 20year-old album full of old songs, it's clear that some of them haven't been played by the band for a long time. "I mean some of them we never really played at all, some we maybe played a couple of times. The other ones, once you start playing them again you just kinda fall right back into it. Then you have to go back and re-learn them a little bit because you haven't played some of them for like 15 years you know? Every once in a while I'll go back over the other albums and brush up just for fun. But to actually get to where you wanna' play them on stage, you have to go back and really practice them again, but you know, it's cool to go back to them." Getting reacquainted with some of the songs called for rehearsals. "Yeah, it wasn't that bad. I mean a couple of the songs weren't as technical as maybe some of the ones we play today; It's more just straight forward punk-rock stuff. We kinda' kept it simple so it was more just about trying to recapture the energy we had at that time."

The rehearsals and re-learning of the old tracks were clearly worth it with such great reactions for the 'Ignition' 20th Anniversary tour so far, particularly from the first night at Shepherds Bush. "It was great. We didn't really know if everybody there would be into 'Ignition' and stuff, but it seemed like most of the people there really knew the album and were excited to hear it, so that was really cool. There were a lot of people singing along to songs that we wouldn't think they'd know. We went through some songs from our first album just for fun, and a lot of people knew them too. Then we played a couple of songs we haven't played in a while and those went great so it seemed like the hardcore fans were there. Sometimes when you play two shows, the second night maybe isn't as good because the first night went on sale first so the hardcore fans buy the first night and won't buy the second night, and sometimes it's the opposite. So hopefully both nights will be just as good."

With the UK leg of the tour over, The Offspring are looking to the release of their new album, 'Days Go By' which has been a long four years in the making. "Our intention was to make it like, maybe two years but things just started taking longer than we thought. You know, we wanted to make sure every song was as good as it could be rather than just putting out a couple of good songs and then filling the album up with a bunch of crap. We wanted to make sure that every song stood on its own, so we kept going back and re-working stuff, probably too much. I think now with the digital age it's really easy just to switch something really quick, you start over-thinking things, but I think that was kinda' the reason why it took so long, we just wanted to make it sound right."

With time comes a need for perfection. "Yeah a little bit, I think that's part of the problem. I think you've gotta' get to a point when you say, enough, let it go, so I think the longer we go, maybe the harder that is. We've done so many songs and you wanna' go back to some others and you're like, well we could've made this one better or that one better, and instead of writing it years later, why don't we just make it right now."

So what can fans expect from 'Days Go By'? A new sound? Typically loved Offspring? "It's a little bit of both. The last few albums have been kind of a mixture of keeping the same traditional sound that we've always had, and then adding some different elements. There's some songs that are just straight forward rock songs, some have a little more of a punk thing, some of them more of a pop feel, there's a ballad on there. For the most part, it's the same kind of formula we've done for the last three or four albums. We don't wanna' have a big departure, you know? Some bands have done that, where they all of a sudden say, we wanna' make a completely different type of sound and it doesn't sound like the same band anymore. So we wanna' evolve but we wanna' keep the same spirit we've always had."

It must be exciting for the band to be playing new songs after such a long break since 'Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace'. "We've only played two of them live so far. It's hard, when the album's not out yet and you start playing a bunch of new songs and people don't know them, you kind of overload them with it. So right now we're just doing two and when the album comes out, we'll do more. One of my favourites so far is a song called 'OC Guns' because that's got a really cool bassline so it's one where I can kinda' shine a little bit. Until you start playing them, you don't really know which ones you're gonna' like and which ones the fans are gonna' like so we're excited to start doing that pretty soon."

Fans have been spoilt for choice for a lead single from the new album. The song 'Days Go By' is the new single in the US, Canada, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with 'Cruising California (Bumpin' In My Trunk)' being the new single in the rest of the world. "It was either by the record labels or the media, they kinda' dictated that. We had both these songs we liked and we were like, do we go more the pop way or the rock way, so the label just said, well let them decide, so I guess each territory picked out what worked best for them so that was kinda' how that worked. They're different songs, 'Days Go By' is more of a serious straight forward rock song while 'Cruising California' is more of a fun, hang out kinda' pop song so I like them both. One of them will stand out over the other one pretty soon, but right now I can't really choose a favourite *laughs*."

So with the new album ready for release, UK fans can be hopeful that they'll see the band touring at some point in the future. "It's seems like every summer for the past however many years, we've done something in Europe and the UK so although we have nothing planned yet for next year, I assume we'll do something. We have things planned out for the rest of the year and then we'll see how the album goes and how it's received and that will determine the touring. Once that comes out we'll have a feel of what we can do. The album also helps determine what we can play, whether it's festivals, our own shows in arenas or just stick to clubs. You just kinda' wait until that comes out and see what the response is and then you go from there."

With such an impressive back catalogue and a successful history in the industry, there can't be much left for the band to achieve. "I think we've kind of done what we can do. We've had the privilege of playing with a lot of the bands that we grew up admiring and had an influence on us, playing with people like Iggy Pop and Joe Strummer and a lot of the Orange County bands we modelled ourselves after. So I think we've done all that, it's a sign of age maybe *laughs* or experience, we've been around a long time and we've got a lot to look back on."

It's quite rare for a band to last very long these days, particularly to have a career impressive enough to release nine studio albums. The Offspring have been lucky enough to keep making music with a hardcore base of fans supporting them all the way. Touring to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of 'Ignition' is a big honour for the band and it's exciting to see them back to their old school best, capturing the youth and energy of the start of their career. 'Days Go By' is a very welcome comeback and is The Offspring back to their best. It seems like there is still loads to come from the band, and a long, well deserved career is exactly what they have in store.

'Days Go By' is released on 25th June 2012.

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