DRUM MEDIA: Black Flag Column (Issue 347)

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 19.07.13 | Issue # 347

The Offspring's Dexter Holland

The Offspring’s Dexter Holland



Presumably you’re reading this because you’re an avid listener of punk rock and/or hardcore. If that’s the case, you’re probably not too fond of the Australian Warped Tour line-up. Featuring one punk rock band, headliners The Offspring, it doesn’t really resemble the Warped Tour most Australians grew to love when it first ventured down under in ‘97. In 2002, the last time it came to Australia, the bill featured Frenzal Rhomb, Guttermouth, Pennywise, All, The Vandals and more. This time it’s directed at teenagers; the kids who still go to shows, and most of them probably don’t know whom The Offspring are.

Snubbing Perth, the line-up really isn’t of any concern to WA residents. And if you are a fan of The Offspring, paying $100 just to see them isn’t justifiable, which is where WA punk rock fans are in luck. Promising we’d receive a few sideshows, co-promoter AJ Maddah said in a tweet that The Offspring would hopefully be doing a Perth sideshow.

Although one of the biggest punk rock bands in the world, The Offspring know all about DIY, especially frontman Dexter Holland. On top of stimulating the US economy via hair gel and bleach purchases, he owns a hot sauce company (Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce – it’s available online) and, until recently, ran the iconic Nitro Records. He has sold the label he founded back in 1994 to The Bicycle Music Company. Hopefully they won’t dismantle its legacy band by band.

Nitro Records has released music from The Vandals, A Wilhelm Scream, The Aquabats to name a few, and one of the first bands he signed was a young AFI. Back when nobody knew who AFI were, he saw their potential. Recently, I mentioned we could expect some new AFI soon, and a new single, 17 Crimes, has surfaced on iTunes. The only problems, it’s on the Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones soundtrack and you can’t just buy the one song, you have to pay $10 and deal with the other shitty 11 songs that will by saved into your library.

You don’t have to look too far within the punk rock community to see a family tree forming. Drum machine Atom Willard, The Offspring’s ex-drummer, is currently in the studio with long-time pal Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio) finishing off a new EP for joint project theHELL. The pair released Sauve Les Requins mid-2013; four songs that sounded like Alkaline Trio b-sides that saw Willard unable to bust out and do anything too creative. Hopefully the new EP will have something more to offer.

Willard is exceptionally busy and can’t sit still for too long (the reasons he departed The Offspring and Angels & Airwaves) and was here with Against Me! for Big Day Out this year and was also spotted teching for The Vandals at Soundwave. With Big Day Out locking in a Perth date, Sunday 2 February, it’s almost time to try and figure out who the token punk band on the line-up will be. This year we had Against Me!, and last year was Frenzal Rhomb.

Maybe looking into what bands have new releases on the horizon is a good way to start. Strung Out, Dave Hause (The Loved Ones), Say Anything have all announced new releases in the past fortnight and, unfortunately, it looks like Fall Out Boy will be dropping some new material sometime in the near future. They posted a picture on their website of themselves in the studio with Ryan Adams last week. Their most recent record, Save Rock And Roll, was beyond awful.

To try and undo some of the damage created from uttering their name in this column, I’ll round things out with some news from the hardcore realm. Defeater’s new record, Letters Home, came out on Tuesday and is streaming in its entirety now via the Bridge Nine Bandcamp. Until next time, clean your ears out with some of Massachusetts’ finest hardcore!