In 2017, venerable multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated band Smash Mouth will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut, smash-hit album “Fush Yu Mang”. Released on July 8, 1997, “FYM” was a shocking — and industry-changing — success. Out of nowhere, the single “Walkin’ On The Sun” was an immediate international sensation. (Quickly shooting to #1 on the Billboard charts, and eventually boosting “FYM” sales to over 3 million copies in the U.S. alone.) In the two decades since, Smash Mouth has not slowed down. In fact, they are as vital and vibrant as ever.
In celebration of this milestone year, Smash Mouth will release a just-completed acoustic version of “FYM” in its entirety (along with a mini-book recalling it’s making). 2017 will also see the band releasing a new album of all-original material. And you will be hearing a whole lot of “Smash Mouth” on your TV screen as the bands name is prominently featured in a Geico campaign called Decorative Plates. 2017 is already shaping up to be a banner year for the veteran San Jose rockers.
May 2016 saw the release of “Playlist: The Very Best of Smash Mouth”. As part of Sony’ s recent “Playlist” CD series, the album is a composite of twelve Smash Mouth favorites chosen from live recordings of two late-2014 concerts (one in Rapid City, South Dakota…the other in Manilla, The Philippines). This CD is a must-have for even the most casual Smash Mouth fan, as each track literally explodes with live energy. “We’re a totally different band live,” enthused Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell. “People are constantly telling me how much more powerful our songs are live compared to the studio versions.”
A look back at Smash Mouth’s formative years shows us a band determined to make an impact from the get-go. Formed in 1994, the band immediately began recording demos and showcasing in both San Jose and Hollywood, CA. In June of 1997, Smash Mouth signed to Interscope Records when label brass caught wind of an unknown (and unsigned) band being ADDED to highly influential LA radio station KROQ’s playlist after only one spin (!) of their song “Walkin’ On The Sun”.
Smash Mouth’s major-label debut “Fush Yu Mang” goes more than DOUBLE- PLATINUM and sets the table for what most consider their masterpiece, 1999’s brilliant follow-up album “Astrolounge”. No sophomore slump for these guys… Boasting three top- ten hits (“All-Star”, “Then The Morning Comes”, and “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby”), sales for “Astrolounge” nearly doubled those for their debut, approaching QUADRUPLE PLATINUM status.
Smash Mouth’s third, eponymous Interscope release features the ecstatic first single “ Pacific Coast Party” and the smash hit “I’m a Believer”. Around this time, Smash Mouth crosses over into the film world by providing the musical heart of the soundtrack for “ Shrek”, and even making a cameo appearance in the movie “Rat Race”. In recent years, Smash Mouth has focused on entertaining troops in such places as Japan, Guam, Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
2016 solidified an exciting new line-up for the veteran Bay Area rockers. Smash Mouth founding members Steve Harwell and Paul DeLisle (along with long-time keyboardist Michael Klooster) welcomed the return of world-class drummer Randy Cooke (with the band from 2010-2013) as well as introducing new guitarist Sam Eigen.
When Smash Mouth went looking for a new guitar player earlier this year, they didn’t have to look far. He was right in their own backyard. A long-time friend of both Steve and Paul, virtuoso string-bender Eigen (who has played with Alanis Morrisette, Janet Jackson, and John Fogerty, among others) is generally considered the best rock guitar player in San Jose. Says Delisle; “When word got out around town that Sam had joined Smash Mouth, the general response was, ‘It’s about f***ing time!’” Eigen can also be heard playing guitar on several of Harwell’s solo recordings over the years.
“This new Smash Mouth line-up is pure fire-power,” proclaims band manager Robert Hayes.”You’re simply going to have to see this to believe it!”