MUSIC FESTIVALS Warped rages on
The band is headlining the Vans Warped Tour this summer.
SPECIAL TO THE VINDICATOR
CLEVELAND -- Not coming soon to Fox Television is the reality series "Punk Rock Dad," which takes viewers inside the domestic life of a Vans Warped Tour rocker and his 15-year-old daughter.
"No, no, no," said Offspring guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman, calling from his home in Southern California. While no such television show offer has been made, Wasserman does his best not to stick his hands through the phone for even suggesting such an anti-punk rock notion.
Added Wasserman, "I have never brought her out on the road. It puts a cramp in my style but don't tell her I said that. She's a huge fan of a lot of my friends' bands. It's weird. She likes what we do but it's too close to home. I'm the guy who makes her clean her room and do her homework and all of that stuff. So, my band is not going to be cool."
Being cool is something the Offspring has never had a problem maintaining, dating back to its breakout year of 1994 with hit singles "Come Out and Play" and "Self Esteem" from its third album, the multiplatinum "Smash." Four more discs have followed over the last decade, which have included a handful of radio hits to the group's credit. However, this brings up an interesting point.
While this Orange County-based band positions itself as punk rock to the core, it receives a lot of spins at rock radio, oftentimes alongside such unpunk bands as, say, Nickelback, 3 Doors Down and Godsmack. Other similar-minded groups, which crafted rock radio anthems, have been labeled "sellout" by the zealous anti-establishment crowd. We all remember Green Day's foray into acoustic rock with "Good Riddance [Time of Your Life]." This is not the case with the Offspring, but that doesn't mean the band isn't conscious of the paradox.
"Yeah, you know, I don't know how to account for that and I don't even know if I want to," Wasserman said. "I think part of it is we were all fans of the first wave of the punk stuff, bands like X and The Ramones and bands that did sing and stuff. They had songs."
Among the many notable songs in the Offspring's oeuvre is 1998's "Pretty Fly [For a White Guy]," a not-so-subtle commentary on the phenomenon of mall kids trying to act as though they comes from a rough-and-tough urban background. Sort of like Napoleon Dynamite acting like 50 Cent.
"We realize that a song like 'Pretty Fly' is B.S. but it's fun B.S.," Wasserman said. "There is definitely merit to that and then there is a song like 'Kids Aren't Alright' off the same record, which I think is a more meaningful song, one of my favorite songs that we do. But I wouldn't want to just have to do one or the other."
As a headliner on this summer's 11th annual Vans Warped Tour, which pulls into Cleveland on July 21 at the Tower City Amphitheater and Pittsburgh on Aug. 1 at the Post-Gazette Pavilion At Star Lake, the Offspring is taking a moment to celebrate its past by recently releasing its first greatest hits album. Still, don't think just because a best-of CD is in stores that it means the veteran band is on the way out.
"It doesn't really matter," Wasserman said. "There are so many bands who have greatest hits two or three different times in their career. That it's not really an issue for us. We certainly don't see it as an end to anything."
IF YOU GO
What: Vans Warped Tour with Offspring, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Relient K, Hawthorne Heights, Transplants and more.
When: noon, July 21; noon, Aug. 1.
Where: Tower City Amphitheater; Post-Gazette Pavilion At Star Lake.
Tickets: $33.50 (Cleveland); $27.50 (Pittsburgh) at Ticketmaster outlets.
Info: (330) 747-1212 in Youngstown or www.ticketmaster.com