Smash Mouth Biography

Formed in San Jose, California, USA, alternative rock band Smash Mouth first came to public prominence when ‘Nervous In The Alley’, a track from their first professionally produced demo tape, was played frequently during April 1996 on local rock station KOME. A support slot to No Doubt and Beck at the KOME music festival followed, along with press and record label interest. Despite their meteoric rise, all four members of the band had spent time in other ventures. Singer Steve Harwell (9 January 1967) came from the most unusual background, having previously led the House Of Pain -inspired hip-hop group F.O.S. (Freedom Of Speech). The other members are Greg Camp (b. 2 April 1967; guitar), Paul De Lisle (b. 13 June 1963; bass) and Kevin Coleman (drums).

Smash Mouth were given a further boost by the success of ‘Walkin’ On The Sun’, the first single to be extracted from 1997’s Fush Yu Mang. It was originally designed as a drumming ‘exercise track’ for Coleman, until he persuaded the rest of the band of its melodic possibilities. In truth, this light-hearted pop ditty was wholly unrepresentative of the rest of the band’s canon of acerbic punk songs. Fush Yu Mang also included a cover version of War’s ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends?’, and climbed to number 41 in the Billboard charts. The far more accessible follow-up, Astro Lounge, broke into the US Top 10, bolstered by the Top 5 success of the highly catchy ‘All Star’. The band’s self-titled third album featured new drummer Michael Urbano.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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