Consistenly Impacting Radio, SmashMouth Divulges Why Their Music Spoke To People And How Their Summer Tour Went!
Posted On 10 Oct 2014
Tag: *NSYNC, All Day and All of the Night, All Star, Blues Traveler, Can't Get Enough Of You Baby, Colorado, Dierks Bentley, Dreamworks, Elvis Presley, Extended Versions, F.O.S, Greg Camp, Guy Fieri, Hang On, Icon, Jay Leno, John Popper, Keith Urban, Lackadaddy, Magic, Michael Ostin, Mike Myers, Paul DeLisle, Peace Frog, Ray Manzarek, Recipes From The Road, Red Rocks, Shrek, SmashMouth, Sony Records, Steve Harwell, Sugar Ray, The Doors, Tonight Show, U2, Uncle Kracker, Under The Sun, Universal, Van Halen, Walkin On The Sun
Originally hailing from San Jose, the band, Smash Mouth have been creating hit songs since they formed in 1994. The members include Steve Harwell, Paul De Lisle, Michael Klooster, Jason Sutter and Sean Hurwitz. They are known for such songs as “Walkin’ On The Sun” (1997) and “All Star” (1999).
A quick listen to their music and you realize the multi-platinum Smash Mouth is a 60’s influenced garage band with an awesome pop sensibility that maintains a timeless quality, a style they have created and that is all their own. They have long since established themselves as the ultimate true-to-life California party-band. The vibe surrounding Smash Mouth is indeed at its core all about having fun.
“When we play, itʼs a nonstop party,” Lead singer, Steve Harwell says.
Learn more about their latest summer tour and what’s next for these fun guys in the following interview!
Congrats on your 20th Anniversary this year!
Thank You! We truly can’t believe its been 20 years since we formed the group.
So how did everyone in the band meet? Can you remember back to the moment that you all decided to start this band?
I can remember clearly. I was in a Hip Hop group named F.O.S. (Freedom of Speech). I was getting tired of the way Hip Hop was changing direction and wanted to move on from that. So I approached my manager and told him I wanted to form an Alternative Rock Band. He kind of laughed and said “Do you know how hard it was to get to where we are now”? I said I didn’t care.
There was a group on his roster named Lackadaddy and I really was impressed with the guitarist and bassist so I asked him to introduce me to them. Of course those guys were Greg Camp and Paul DeLisle. We started writing songs together and it just clicked.
How have you all grown as musicians since you started?
Yes definitely. I have to say that Smash Mouth today is the best its ever been. The musicianship is amazing. And I really feel like I have found my groove as a vocalist. These days performing is just effortless and fun!
Tell me about your summer tour, Under The Sun, with Uncle Kracker, Blues Traveler and Sugar Ray. How’s it been going? Any favorite venues and/or crowds so far?
The tour has been awesome. Everyone on the road becomes family (for life). Such great people. John Popper from Blues Traveler has been joining us on stage nightly for a harmonica solo and we hang out on each others buses. My crazy Bass player plays LaCross in the parking lot with some of the other dudes. We BBQ, etc.
That said, the best part of touring is meeting all the fans. We did play at some really cool venues this summer. I have to say the pinnacle was performing at Red Rocks in Colorado.
What exactly are your live shows like? What can fans expect to see?
We have a high energy set! Smash Mouth brings the party so get ready to rock!
Over the years, radio has really done right by you guys. “Walkin’ On The Sun”, “All Star”, “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby” were just a few of your huge radio hits. What do you think it was about those songs that made them so incredibly pop radio friendly?
I think our sound was very unique for the time. People would always say “I’ve never heard anything like this before”. So the uniqueness and the pop sensibility – the songs were very hooky. You have no choice but to keep singing them in your head all day long.
How did you guys get involved with the Shrek soundtrack?
Michael Ostin (The head of DreamWorks at the time) called and said, Hey we are making this animated film about this big green ogre and I MUST have Smash Mouth music in the film. Haha – we immediately said NO. But he was persistent. He even flew to us with a rough copy of the movie so we could preview it in hopes that we would change our minds. Of course once seeing how great it was we reached a deal. We are happy we did…
Dead, Elvis Presley – because he’s the greatest entertainer that ever lived.
Living, Van Halen – because I like to rock!
Who have you guys worked with already that has stood out?
We have been fortunate to have worked with so many great people. We did a cover of Peace Frog by The Doors. It was really cool working with those guys and having Ray Manzarek perform on the track. It was great having Mike Myers in our “Hang On” Video.
We also have always loved performing on the Tonight Show and hanging with Jay Leno. A couple of our favorite tours were 1) opening for U2 and 2) opening for N’Sync. They couldn’t be farther apart in style but we loved all those guys for different reasons.
What music are you listening to now? Any new artists out there that you are loving currently?
I’m into all kinds of music. I’m really into country right now, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, etc. I actually lived in Nashville for several years and made a lot of friends there. I started working on a Country album of my own (in between touring). I have a ton of great songs recorded that I plan on releasing soon.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
Actually we wrote a book called Recipes From The Road. It’s a cookbook with recipes from some of our favorite restaurants around the country. But for each city we featured in the book there is a funny, true story from that city. The book also has great photos and a foreword from Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri. It’s available on-line. It’s a great book that we are super proud of.
Your last full-length album was Magic, released in 2012. Any plans to release anything else soon?
Well, this year for our 20th anniversary we are releasing an ICON album through Universal. It’s basically a compilation of all the Smash Mouth hits. That will be available on September 9th. We are also really excited to be releasing a Live album later in the year called Extended Versions. That one will be released through Sony Records. We are including a never before released studio version of “All Day and All of the Night” as a bonus track on the Live Album. We are really excited about how that track came out…
Yes! We want people to listen to Smash Mouth and walk away happy. We don’t write depressing, moody music. Just uplifting, fun party music.