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Offspring's first new album in nine years, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Friday, April 16, 2021

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These are good times for the Offspring -- even if the California punk group's new album is called "Let the Bad Times Roll."

It's actually been nine years since the quartet's last studio album, albeit with an EP and some singles in between. "Bad Times," due out Friday, April 16, was recorded over the course of that interim with producer Bob Rock, and was previewed during 2015 with the single "Coming For You."

In addition to the album, the Offspring has launched a new video series, "How To: With the Offspring," which will share "a vast amount of useful knowledge -- starting with an episode in which frontman Bryan "Dexter" Holland and guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman teach viewers how to surf...

Despite the long gap between albums Noodles says the Offspring was never concerned about getting "Let the Bad Times Roll" finished and out. "We always knew we were gonna get to it eventually. It might seem like a saga from an outsider's standpoint, but it's really just something we've been working on when we're not touring, or when one of us (Holland) isn't working on his Ph. D. There's a lot of reasons why it took this long to get it done, but honestly the majority of this record, and I think some of the better parts of this record, came together in the last couple years. We just had a real creative time, and things started clicking."

While "Bad Times" is not a concept record, Noodles says the title and title track, as well as songs such as "This is Not Utopia," were inspired by recent and current events. "It's kind of look at where we find ourselves in the world right now. Our country just went through four crazy years, politically and societally, and it's not over. We're still going through it. Then throw a pandemic on top of that. Things haven't changed that much in nice years since (the Offspring's last album). There's still plenty of (bad stuff) going on in the world that makes people go, 'Omigod!'"

"Bad Times" includes a stripped-down, acoustic version of the Offspring's 1997 single "Gone Away," an arrangement that's been part of the band's live set in recent years. "It really works live. We thought, 'Let's strip it down a little bit. Let's purify it, keep it to its simplest emotions.' It's really a dramatic moment in the show, and our fans really took to it. They've been asking, 'When can we get a studio version?' and eventually we thought, 'OK, we should try it. It's a great idea. Let's dee if we can pull it off,' and this is the result."

Noodles says the "How To" video series is "something that's just fun for us to do when we can't go out and play shows. We don't take it that seriously; It's like, 'Yeah, I know a little something about this...' Some of them are going to be more serious than others, but we want it short, sweet and easily digestible, but also something we know the fans are gonna dig."

With plans to tour the U.K. during November pending, the Offspring is using videos and interviews to promote "Bad Times'" release. Meanwhile the band is continuing to work on material with hopes that it won't take as long to release its next album. "There are some songs that we were working on that we can't put all the pieces together yet. You don't just trash 'em. We probably have four or five songs I want to say are done or close to done for the next record. Right now we're just focusing on getting this record out and touring some, but the next record is also in the back of our heads. We're definitely thinking about that."

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