“Smash is the way you feel all alone/Like an outcast you're out on your own.” So sang Dexter Holland on the title track to the Offspring’s Smash, the breakthrough album from a group of California punk rockers who would have their lives change forever in the wake of their third album. Released on April 8, 1994, it served as the de facto darling companion to Green Day's Dookie, another massive-selling pop-punk crossover hit that preceded the Offspring's crown jewel by exactly two months and one week. If the world wasn't willing to listen to Billie Joe Armstrong, Holland and his group had no problem converting the hold-outs when he first reminded them about the correlation between suffering and caring.
Here, members of the Summer Set, Forever The Sickest Kids, Motion City Soundtrack, Anti-Flag and Silverstein look back on the Offspring's six-times platinum pop-punk masterpiece.
“It was the very first CD I ever bought. I had heard 'Come Out And Play' on the radio, so when I got my first CD player and it came time to get my first CD to go with it, I went to, I think it was Best Buy, and I was like, 'Well, I really dig that tune, so let's check out the rest of this record.' At the time, I thought, 'This is so different and cool.' It was super-energetic, and it was fast, and he was angry; he was swearing. So, in my angsty teen years, I was like, 'This is really cool; this is right up my alley.' Smash opened up a lot of options for them. I feel like their audience went from being somewhat of a niche audience to, 'Oh, now we can write a song that can get played on Top 40 radio.' When you look back, you realize they weren't doing that crazy or different, but for some reason, that record, it broke through to the mainstream. I had never heard that type of punk rock until that record came out. I feel like they definitely left their mark. With Rancid’s …And Out Come The Wolves and Green Day's Dookie, that was kind of the trifecta of punk hitting the mainstream.”
—Claudio Rivera, Motion City Soundtrack
“Smash was one of the ones that really resonated with me, because I was young, I dyed my hair blue, I rode a skateboard, I played guitar. That was my persona in the sixth grade. The first couple listens, right off the bat, it just spoke to me. I remember Noodles—learning some of his lead parts were some of the first guitar parts I ever learned. He was a huge influence, and I feel like when people think about guitar players and the huge shredders, bands like Bad Religion, and the Offspring and Rancid have played such an integral part in how songs are written today. Any band that you hear today who would tell you that they were not influenced by hearing the Offspring on the radio would be straight-up bullshit lying to you, because it's the truth. It's everything my band strives to be. That record did so good at being huge, but also being gritty and rock.”
—Josh Montgomery, the Summer Set