about the artist
The sound is recognizable in the first few seconds. The rumbling bass lines, the thundering drums, breakneck guitar riffs that explode out of the speakers and that voice, a searing howl equal parts snarl and desperation. This is The Offspring!
SoCal legends ready to plant their punk rock flag in the sand once again with their blistering new album Let the Bad Times Roll. The album is the band’s 10th, but their first new offering in eight years. There wasn’t a break up, no hiatus, the band simply likes to take their time. And frontman Dr. DexterHolland had something else he needed to wrap up, finally getting his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from USC, a 30-year odyssey that culminated in his thesis on the makeup of the HIV virus. “I had kept in touch with my professors and they encouraged me to come back and finish it up,” he says. “The band was cool about it,” before adding with a laugh “and that only took five years.”
The material on Let the Bad Times Roll was written and recorded at various times during the last eight years, collaborating with mega producer Bob Rock for the third time, working in Rock’s studios in Maui and Vancouver as well as the band’s own recently completed studio in Huntington Beach. The album contains some of Holland’s most direct and intense lyrics to date. The scourge of mental illness hovers throughout, “We’ve been talking about mental illness in rock and roll especially, for a long time, but it seems to be more on the table to me now. I think that that’s great.” says Holland.
Holland remains unafraid to pen topical material, but instead of taking the easy route in, say, bashing Trump, the title track and first single takes a more nuanced look around and what is happening in present day society. “I feel like we’re in a unique period in history where instead of our world leaders saying ‘we’re doing our best’ it’s more of a stubborn mentality where they’re not making the slightest attempt to fix things, it’s like ‘fuck it, bring on the North Korea nukes, bring on white nationalism.’ It’s a much different attitude than I’ve seen in the past. And it’s really fucking scary.” he added.
In tumultuous times, punk rock has often been the leader in addressing what ails society, but in 2020 it’s a weird time to be in a rock band. The ‘rock is dead’ trope is uttered as often as the latest trap banger gets played on the radio. But with other legendary acts such as Green Day, Bad Religion and Rage Against the Machine along with up-and-comers like Idles and PUP, rock and roll is still vital component of today’s culture, a genre that can smack you upside the head with nihilism but then offer a ray of sunlight through the darkened windows. “This album is probably the most cathartic thing we’ve done,” says Holland. “The messages might be dark, but at the end what’s left is that communication is important, working through feelings is important and most of all, hope is important.” Then let the bad times roll for now, in the hopes that good times lie ahead.