The Offspring refuse to grow up

ROCKING ON: California punk rockers The Offspring
ROCKING ON: California punk rockers The Offspring

Californian punk rock band The Offspring is celebrating their 30th anniversary next year - which makes the group older than many of their fans.

But guitarist Noodles, real name Kevin Wasserman, says they still have no problem relating to their fan base.

"I think part of the reason is that we never had to get a real job," he laughs.

"We've never really been forced to grow up."

The Offspring was formed in 1984 by frontman Dexter Holland, Noodles, bassist Greg Kriesel and drummer Pete Parada, who was replaced by Adam "Atom" Willard in 2007.

They released two albums on Epitaph, a label run by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz before breaking into the mainstream with the 1994 album Smash.

Singles Come Out and Play, Self Esteem and Gotta Get Away charted all around the world and the album set the all-time record for most units sold by an independent label band at 16 million records.

Since then The Offspring have sold 40 million records and just released their ninth studio album, Days Go By.

While some credit the band with opening up the punk rock genre to a wider audience, others accused them of selling out.

"As far as punk rock wasn't supposed to be successful, you know, we've already been a band for 10 years," Noodles said.

"The genre was already 20 years old and in my opinion it was just a matter of time until the mainstream would start to look for something new and started to accept punk rock."

"I think punk rock is bringing rock'n roll back to its rebellious roots, a kind of stripped-down style of music and just very aggressive and rebellious, and that's how rock'n roll really started."

The musician, who turned 50 this year, says he discovered punk rock when he was a teenager, trying to find his way in this world.

"It kind of showed me that I could break the rules," he said.

"Some rules need to be broken, you've got to set conventional ways of doing things aside to enrich your live and make your life better and more meaningful and more worth living."

The Offspring always liked to play with expectations fans and critics may have.

On Days Go By, released in December, they included California Cruising, an upbeat pop number with silly lyrics about girls' "cabooses" and "g-string just like a floss" that received the wrath of many critics.

"It's kind of a piss-take really," Noodles explains.

"I dared Dexter to write a pop song, and he's just 'Ok, I gonna do it, I write a pop song, I am all in'.

"And then we kind of had just fun with it and at the end we were going 'are we really going to put this song on the record?'. And then we thought, if we don't we don't have any testicles."

The Offspring will be in Auckland tomorrow to rip through songs from all of their records from Smash to Days Go By.

The Offspring

WHEN: February 27

WHERE: Vector Arena, Auckland

Tickets from Ticketmaster