meta-scriptThe Offspring Talk The Near End Of COVID-19, Why Birds Are "Badass" & New Album, 'Let The Bad Times Roll' | GRAMMY.com
The Offspring

The Offspring

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The Offspring Talk The Near End Of COVID-19, Why Birds Are "Badass" & New Album, 'Let The Bad Times Roll'

The Offspring are back with 'Let The Bad Times Roll,' a new album about global pandemonium. But despite the nightmares of 2021, frontman Dexter Holland and guitarist Noodles are taking a bite out of life

GRAMMYs/Apr 19, 2021 - 05:58 pm

Is this the worst time to be alive? The question is compelling. Sure, we may carry around the Library of Alexandria—plus the totality of music and cinema—in our pockets. But that's cold comfort in an era where mob mentality is the order of the day yet we may have kissed hugging goodbye.

This must have crossed the Offspring's minds. In their latest video, housebound youths are menaced by a) a smartphone with arachnoid legs b) anthropomorphic coronaviruses and c) a bloodthirsty crew of rioters. The title? "Let the Bad Times Roll." So, Offspring: Does it get worse than the early 2020s?

"It probably doesn't compare to the Dark Ages or the Bubonic Plague—or World War II, for heaven's sake," the OC punks' lead singer Dexter Holland tells GRAMMY.com. "But no doubt, what we're going through is serious, right? That's why we're calling this album Let the Bad Times Roll. It's not a walk in the park."

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Let the Bad Times Roll, which the Offspring released April 16, is their first album in nine years. But if you think they returned sober and austere after recent global nightmares, remember: These are the guys who wrote "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)." Their new tunes tackle societal unrest ("This is Not Utopia"), addiction ("The Opioid Diaries") and romantic ruts ("We Never Have Sex Anymore") with a giddiness that recalls their bleached-tips-era breakout.

What if the answer to that question proves to be "yes"? The Offspring are psyched to be alive anyway. Their guitarist, Noodles, is getting into birding these days; he calls birds "badass." In his spare time, Holland makes hot sauce, flies planes and bones up on molecular biology (he has a Ph.D. in the field). Maybe therein lies the lesson of Let the Bad Times Roll: the world might suck right now, but you can live around the suckiness—and live well.

GRAMMY.com gave Dexter and Noodles a Zoom call at their studio to discuss the making of Let the Bad Times Roll, how a microscopic virus ruined everything, why Noodles dislikes chickens and myriad other subjects.

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How was your weekend?

Noodles: Good. Long. Long and good. We were just talking about how I let myself drink a lot this weekend.

What's your drink of choice?

Noodles: Mostly Pacifico. I like the Mexican lagers—Modelo, Pacifico.

What about you, Dexter?

Dexter: Guinness.

That's probably the ultimate beer, right?

Dexter: It looks like we're playing in Dublin this year, so we're all very excited. The Guinness really is different there. It's fresh. They make it across the street in Dublin, right?

Noodles: It is. It's creamier.

Dexter: You can get a good pour pretty much all over Europe, but it's hard to get a good pour here in the States. I heard some urban legend that there's some piping directly from Guinness into some of these pubs.

Noodles: That's why it's so good!

We have a lot of ground to cover. This is the first Offspring album in nine years. What was going on in the interim?

Dexter: I mean, we write all the time, but it just didn't feel right yet. I didn't feel like there was an impetus to have to put it out. I can remember for a long time, we did records every two or three years. It felt like there was that pressure: You had to do that or you're going to fade away and stuff. I just don't believe in that anymore. I don't care! We tour a lot still, which is great, so we just worked on it in between when we could. It didn't really start coming together until a couple of years ago.

Noodles: We had a really creative period about two years ago. That's when most of this record was written. And we still probably have half a record's worth of songs, so once we get through this cycle, we can start taking a look at those again, and hopefully, the next one will come a little bit more quickly. But if it doesn't go like it did this time, then it won't be quickly! It'll still be long, you know? We make sure we don't put anything out that's not ready to come out.

Dexter: I want it to be really good. Good all the way through, in my eyes. I think we got there, for me, this time.

I don't think you're going to fade away anytime soon. The video for the title track has more than a million views [At press time, close to two million].

Dexter: Oh! Well, that's good.

Noodles: Which video?

Dexter: "Let the Bad Times Roll."

Noodles: Oh! Nice.

Dexter: We just hit a million! Alright! Woo-hoo!

Noodles: Right on!

Dexter: That means we've collected about 32 cents in royalties from YouTube.

Noodles: Yeah! F**k yeah! Cha-ching, baby! Alright! Still got it!

It seems like your ability to craft hooks and melodies is unabated. Can you share your melody-writing secrets, or would that be a bad idea, publicly speaking? Like giving away the herbs and spices?

Dexter: [laughs] I mean, you kind of have to wait for a certain kind of inspiration to hit, and then you take it and run with it. It's generally melody first and lyrics second, but sometimes the best stuff is just both together. I think "Pretty Fly" was like that and I think "We Never Have Sex Anymore" is kind of like that. The lyric came about as much as the melody.

I love great melody writers in any genre. Who are your favorites?

Dexter: Favorite… artists?

Noodles: [under breath] Melody writers.

Yeah, those specifically.

Noodles: Well, I mean, I love the Ramones. They could always take three chords and make them so that you could sing along to them. I love the Ramones for that.

Dexter: I mean, what's great about music is that you can jump from genre to genre. Of course, we've spent a lot of time listening to the Ramones and stuff, but lately, I've been kind of into Vivaldi. And I was checking out John Denver the other night because his songwriting is really, really good, right? He comes across as a little light to a lot of people, but I think he's actually a really great songwriter.

Noodles: Oh, [he's] my parents' favorite, John Denver. As an adult, I had to go back and get the John Denver's Greatest Hits CD. Actually, it was not too long ago. I realized I didn't have it anymore. I still buy CDs. Isn't that funny?

The video for the title track is rife with smartphones and masks and quarantine imagery. Is this the worst time to be alive?

Dexter: [laughs] The worst time to be alive! Well, for all of us in the room, probably yes. But it probably doesn't compare to the Dark Ages or the Bubonic Plague—or World War II, for heaven's sake.

Noodles: But you bring up a good point. Are human beings just spoiled and complaining?

Dexter: I think so.

Noodles: Whiny little ankle-biters?

Dexter: A little bit. A little bit. But no doubt, what we're going through is serious, right? That's why we're calling this album Let the Bad Times Roll. It's not a walk in the park.

Noodles: And we really have seen a lot of human strife over the last four years. I think maybe a lot of it is just blown up in the press and world leaders trying to keep us…

Dexter: Divided.

Noodles: Yes. Divide and conquer, so they can stay in power.

I noticed in the video that it's all young people bearing the brunt of this. Obviously, it's all exaggerated and humorous. But has this generation—my generation—gotten the raw end of this deal?

Dexter: Are you part of the young generation? Is that what you're saying?

Yeah. I'm in my late 20s.

Noodles: Well, I mean, we wrote a song years ago: "We Aren't the Ones." Yelling at our forefathers: "Why did you f**k up the world so bad? Now we have to come in and clean it up?" So there's always going to be a little bit of that. Certainly, taking care of the climate, taking care of the world we live in—I don't think anybody's been very good about that lately.

Dexter: What we're talking about is that your son missed his high school graduation. We're talking about the raw end of the deal. Little things like that. Yeah, absolutely! I think the answer is yes!

Noodles: [long pause] Yes. [both laugh]

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"The Opioid Diaries" is kind of the emotional center of the album to me. That seems to reflect the nightmare a lot of people are going through these days.

Dexter: Right. It's interesting you bring up that song because it's really been getting a lot of attention. I thought of it as a great punk song, but we put it at number eight on the record or something. It's a song about addiction—and, of course, that's not a new topic—but I feel like, with the opioid crisis, there's something different about it. 

I almost call it "creating accidental addicts" because these people aren't searching for drugs recreationally or getting lost in drugs the way you typically think of it. It's people going to the doctor's office—somebody they trust. They've got a legitimate issue. It's a high school athlete or a blue-collar worker who's got lower back pain and they get prescribed this highly addictive stuff. They think it's OK, then before they know it, they're addicted and they're turning to heroin because they can't get a refill on their prescription.

We have this whole new crop of people who would never have become addicted before, and it's absolutely the fault of the pharmaceutical industry. 

The person burglarizing houses for a fix is just somebody who got in a car wreck.

Dexter: Yeah, that's right. I wanted to write about it because I thought there was a unique twist to what's going on here, and an unfortunate one.

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"Hassan Chop" sounds like a throwback to old-school d-beat. Did you guys come up on that stuff in the old days?

Dexter: Old-school what?

D-beat. Like Discharge.

Noodles: What do you call it? P-beat?

No, d-beat. [demonstrates galloping rhythm]

Dexter: How funny. We've never heard that before!

Noodles: We're learning!

Dexter: You got us!

Well, if that's not a reference you're familiar with...

Dexter: We'll have to look that up! Yeah, I think it sounds like an older kind of sound. 

That was kind of the idea with this record: not to make an album that sounds like old Offspring, but to do some songs that were a little more straightforward, maybe. Some people associate that with old Offspring. There are people online calling it "classic Offspring." I don't know about that. But people seem to like it, and they say it sounds fresh but still sounds like us.

Noodles: Well, we knew after nine years of not putting anything out, it would be a really bad time to reinvent ourselves. But we don't have that much interest in reinventing ourselves anyway, you know? We always experiment with a song or two on any record, but there's a certain kind of music we love and a certain kind of music we love playing. We always gravitate more towards that. It's easy for us to do that.

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"Gone Away" is softer and more introspective than I generally associate with the band. How did that one come about?

Dexter: Right. I know, it's kind of funny. On one hand, we're saying we're creating a straightforward album.

Noodles: But it's pretty varied musically!

Dexter: A song like "Gone Away" is what people would have called a departure for us a few years ago. It's almost like they're getting used to our turns.

Noodles: Well, it's an older song of ours, so I think the fans… maybe we're getting a pass for changing our styles up a little bit on that. But really, it was the fans who were clamoring for that song. We've been playing a similar version live for four or five years now and the fans love it. They immediately took right to it. And at meet-and-greets and on social media, they're always asking for a studio version of the piano [led] "Gone Away." So, we tried it and we felt good about it.

Dexter: We said it was OK.

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I just watched your birding and surfing videos. You guys seem to have diverse nonmusical interests, but you meet in this band as the nexus point. How else do you guys spend your extra time?

Noodles: Actually, I hike that area and I do look at birds. I don't usually dress in the full gear and that telescope's way too heavy to be carting around.

Dexter: That was the joke: to take it a little bit too far.

Noodles: Yeah, yeah. But I do like hiking that area and other areas around here. Getting out. I haven't surfed much lately, but I still intend to. I think all the time about getting a new board and getting back out there. My old boards are kind of beat up.

Dexter: I make hot sauce in my spare time.

Noodles: He's got all kinds of s**t going! I'm the one who's got no excuses! I should be doing way more in my life. He makes hot sauce; he flies planes. He still studies genetics and viruses.

Dexter: [bashful voice] You're good too!

Noodles: I'm playing Sudoku.

Dexter, how does your Ph.D. manifest in your daily life? I'm sure you're just reading about it and soaking up as much information as you can.

Dexter: Right, right. I mean, I have the degree. I don't work in the field, but I try to keep up with the literature. I think the most amazing takeaway is that as much as everyone knows, no one knows. It's still hard to predict a pandemic and how it's going to spread. I don't think they saw the variants coming. It didn't look like it was that kind of virus. So, you're always being a little bit surprised, you know? I think they're doing a good job of trying to get ahead of it with vaccinations and all that, but we're not there yet.

I've noticed the language has changed so much from the days of "Flatten the curve!" or boiling your mail or something. It plunged us into the Dark Ages of scientific knowledge, suddenly.

Noodles: We weren't boiling our mail, but we were wiping down our groceries and s**t when the stuff first happened. We don't do that anymore.

Dexter: I talked to a guy I went to school with and he kind of said, "Well, what's cool about this is that the public gets to see science in action." This is real time, and we're going to change our opinion as more data comes in. They thought that the virus was contagious on surfaces. It turns out that it looks like that's not the case. You're seeing that this is how science works.

It's miraculous that we got a vaccine in eight months or so.

Noodles: Agreed. Agreed.

Dexter: It is really amazing that they have that. Luckily, they'd been working on the technology before, so it was easier to get it going quickly because they almost had it ready to go. Unfortunately, that also brought up all the "Oh, it was developed too quickly! It's not safe!" kind of stuff.

Noodles: There's been an undercurrent of anti-vaccination sentiment for a number of years anyway.

Dexter: From the beginning. Edward Jenner was vaccinating people with cow pus, so they were saying you're going to grow horns. Those were the comics that would lampoon people in the day. They would have these people growing limbs and all that.

Noodles: See, I'm still hoping for fire antlers! I want fire antlers from my Pfizer shot!

Noodles, what's the essence of your love of birding? Is it the sense of discovery? Their sheer variety?

Noodles: I just think they're badass! [both laugh] I like getting out and hiking. I love being out in nature. I love fishing a lot. I love surfing. So, I'd always see these birds and I didn't know what they were. I started looking into it more. You see how they're all related: some of them are really similar, some of them are really different, you know? Some travel from all over—from pole to pole, almost, in their migration. So, all that s**t's just interesting.

Now, I don't know what I'm talking about that much. I know some of the bigger birds that you'll see. The birds of prey, I think I'm a little bit more fascinated with. They're just so beautiful.

Dexter: It was kind of surfing and being outdoors that got you to look at them. It wasn't like you were always fascinated with birds. It was sort of a byproduct. 

Noodles: Like, I'm not a big fan of chickens.

Dexter: [laughs] No?

Noodles: Although some of the ducks are pretty cool-looking. We get a lot of ducks in the wintertime.

Dexter: What about parakeets? Would you ever get a parakeet?

Noodles: I would actually love to have a bird like that!

Dexter: Now I know what to get him for his birthday.

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Noodles, I have two bird questions before we wrap this up. Number one: How do they know how to migrate thousands of miles without a map? How do they know where to go?

Noodles: Yeah, I don't know that they've actually discovered that. I've read some articles on that. Mostly with pigeons. Like, how do pigeons know how to home in on stuff, right? A lot of these birds just kind of go to their ancestral lands somehow, but pigeons would go to particular houses and homes. Especially the messenger pigeons during World War II and stuff. I'm not a big fan of pigeons. They seem pretty stupid, but they do these incredibly smart things.

Dexter: He's selective! Birds are badass, but there are certain birds that don't make sense! I heard birds could sense magnetic lines of the earth's revolution, maybe.

Noodles: Some studies suggest that, yeah.

Number two: When I wake up and I hear birds chattering outside my window, what are they saying? Because it sounds like it's generally the same call repeated—not a ton of variation.

Noodles: I have no idea.

That's pretty much all I've got. What are you guys listening to lately, besides Vivaldi and John Denver?

Noodles: I recently found this band called Pist Idiots from Australia. They've just got a great sound. I think they've got some great songs. Kind of post-punk, but guitar-based, so I kind of like that. My kids have been hipping me to some kind of funny, different stuff. Punk-ish hip-hop stuff. A guy named Nate NoFace is kind of interesting to me. Nasty Noona's another one. Deathsquad is this band all these people are in and out of. They just all collaborate together then do their own stuff as well.

Nice. I'll check them out. What about you, Dexter?

Dexter: Well, like I said, Vivaldi, John Denver. There's this cool band called Beat to Death. Stuff like that. It's all over the map.

Noodles: I don't know Beat to Death.

Dexter: I'm actually making it up. [both laugh uproariously] 

My ex-sister-in-law went out with this guy and he was in a hardcore band. I was like, "What's your band's name?" and he said, "Beat to Death." That was the most ridiculous thing! And not even "Beaten to Death!" It's "Beat to Death!" It's grammatically incorrect and silly at the same time, so I thought that was kind of the ultimate name.

23 Years After Forming, Pop-Punk Patriarchs New Found Glory Look Back On All 10 Of Their Albums

Tom Petty
Tom Petty performing with the Heartbreakers in 2008

Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

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How 'Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration' Makes Tom Petty A Posthumous Crossover Sensation

On 'Petty Country,' Nashville luminaries from Willie Nelson to Dolly Parton and Luke Combs make Tom Petty’s simple, profound, and earthy songs their own — to tremendous results.

GRAMMYs/Jun 24, 2024 - 06:49 pm

If Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers landed in 2024, how would we define them? For fans of the beloved heartland rockers and their very missed leader, it's a compelling question.

"It's not active rock. It's not mainstream rock. It's not country. It would really fall in that Americana vein," says Scott Borchetta, the founder of Big Machine Label Group. "When you think about what his lyrics were and are about, it's really about the American condition."

To Borchetta, these extended to everything in Petty's universe — his principled public statements, his man-of-the-people crusades against the music industry. "He was an American rebel with a cause," Borchetta says. And when you fuse that attitude with big melodies, bigger choruses, and a grounded, earthy perspective — well, there's a lot for country fans to love.

That's what Coran Capshaw of Red Light Management bet on when he posited the idea of Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty, a tribute album released June 21. Featuring leading lights like Dolly Parton ("Southern Accents"), Willie and Lukas Nelson ("Angel Dream (No. 2)," Luke Combs ("Runnin' Down a Dream"), Dierks Bentley ("American Girl,") Wynonna and Lainey Wilson ("Refugee"), and other country luminaries covering Tom Petty classics, Petty Country is a seamless union of musical worlds.

Which makes perfect sense: on a core level, Petty, and his band of brothers, were absolutely steeped in country — after all, they grew up in the South — Gainesville, Florida.

"Tom loved all country music. He went pretty deep into the Carter Family, and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" and the folk, Americana heart of it," says Petty's daughter, Adria, who helps run his estate. "Hank Williams, and even Ernest Tubb and Patsy Cline… as a songwriter, I think a lot of that real original music influenced him enormously." (The Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Byrds' Gram Parsons-hijacked country phase, were also foundational.)

A key architect of Petty Country was the man's longtime producer, George Drakoulias. "He's worked with Dad for a hundred years since [1994's] Wildflowers, and he has super exquisite taste," Adria says.

In reaching out to prospective contributors, he and fellow music supervisor Randall Poster started at the top: none other than Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton. "Having Willie and Dolly made people stand up and pay attention," Dreakoulias told Rolling Stone, and the Nashville floodgates were opened: Thomas Rhett ("Wildflowers"), Brothers Osborne ("I Won't Back Down"), Lady A ("Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"), and so many others.

Each artist gave Petty's work a distinctive, personal spin. Luke Combs jets down the highway of "Runnin' Down the Dream" like he was born to ride. Along with Yo-Yo Ma and founding Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, Rhiannon Giddens scoops out the electronics and plumbs the droning, haunting essence of "Don't Come Around Here No More."


And where a lesser tribute album would have lacquered over the songs with homogenous Nashville production,
Petty Country is the opposite.

"I'm not a fan of having a singular producer on records like this. I want each one of them to be their own little crown jewel," Borchetta says. "That's going to give us a better opportunity for them to make the record in their own image."

This could mean a take that hews to the original, or casts an entirely new light on it. "Dierks called up and said, 'Hey, do you think we would be all right doing a little bit more of a bluegrass feel to it?' I was like, 'Absolutely. If you hear it, go get it.'"

"It had the diversity that the Petty women like on the records," Adria says, elaborating that they wanted women and people of color on the roster. "We like to see those tributes to Tom reflect his values; he was always very pro-woman, which is why he has such outspoken women [laughs] in his wake."

Two of Petty Country's unquestionable highlights are by women. Margo Price chose "Ways to Be Wicked," a cut so deep that even the hardcore Petty faithful might not know it; the Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) outtake was buried on disc six of the 1995 boxed set Playback.

"Man, it's just one of those songs that gets in your veins," Price says. "He really knew how to twist the knife — that chorus, 'There's so many ways to be wicked, but you don't know one little thing about love.'" Founding Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell features on the dark, driving banger.

And all interviewed for this article are agog over Dolly Parton's commanding take on "Southern Accents" — the title track of the band's lumpy, complicated, vulnerable 1985 album of the same name. "It's just revelatory… it brings me to my knees," Adria says. "It's just a phenomenal version I know my dad would've absolutely loved."

"It's one of Dolly's best vocals ever, and it's hair-raising," Borchetta says. "You could tell she really felt that track, and what the song was about."

At press time, the Petty camp is forging ahead with plans for a boxed set expansion of 1982's undersung Long After Dark. 

Adria is filled with profuse gratitude for the artists preserving and carrying her dad's legacy. 

"I'm really touched that these musicians showed up for my dad," she says. "A lot of people don't want to show up for anything that's not making money for them, or in service to their career, and we really appreciate it… I owe great debt to all of these artists and their managers for making the time to think about our old man like that."

Indeed, in Nashville and beyond, we've all been thinking about her old man, especially since his untimely passing in 2017. We'll never forget him — and will strum and sing these simple, heartfelt, and profound songs for years to come.

Let Your Heart Be Your Guide: Adria Petty, Mike Campbell & More On The Enduring Significance Of Tom Petty's Wildflowers

Avril Lavigne Press Photo 2024
Avril Lavigne

Photo: Tyler Kenny

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15 Avril Lavigne Songs That Prove She's The "Motherf—in' Princess" Of Pop-Punk

As Avril Lavigne celebrates a major career milestone with the release of her new 'Greatest Hits' compilation, rock out to 15 of the pop-punk icon's signature songs, from "Complicated" to "Bite Me."

GRAMMYs/Jun 20, 2024 - 02:17 pm

"Hey, hey, you, you!" There's simply no debate: when it comes to the world of pop-punk, Avril Lavigne has always been the people's princess. Bursting onto the scene with her 2002 debut Let Go, the then-teen singer/songwriter was dubbed an overnight sensation with hits like "Complicated," "Sk8er Boi" and "I'm With You."She soon became one of the primary artists driving the pop-punk explosion of the 2000s — and remains one of the genre's primary legends more than 20 years later.

Lavigne's appeal went far beyond the mass of skaters and suburban kids who devoured her early music. Within months of Let Go's release, she had earned five GRAMMY nominations (tying fellow newcomer Norah Jones for the most nods of 2003) and a year later, she racked up three more. 

As pop-punk's first wave began to crest, the singer broadened her sights beyond the genre she'd helped pioneer, exploring everything from power pop to confessional alt-rock to Christian rock, as well as collaborations with artists as varied as Marilyn Manson and Nicki Minaj. And when pop-punk's second wave hit at the start of the 2020s, Lavigne made a triumphant return to the genre with 2022's Love Sux and the 20th anniversary reissue of Let Go

Now, she's set to release her first-ever Greatest Hits compilation on June 21, spanning more than two decades, seven albums and nearly two dozen hits on the Billboard Hot 100. To commemorate the album (and its coinciding Greatest Hits Tour), dive into 15 tracks that assert Lavigne's undeniable title as the "motherf—in princess" of pop-punk — from hits like "Sk8er Boi" to deep cuts like "Freak Out."

"Complicated," 'Let Go' (2002)

What better way to begin than with the song that started it all? Released as her debut single in the spring of 2002, "Complicated" declared a then-17-year-old Avril Lavigne as a major talent to watch.

Eventually, the pop-rock ode to teenaged authenticity became one of the biggest songs of the year, and led to her debut full-length, Let Go, becoming the third highest-selling LP of 2002 in the U.S. (It's since been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA and sold more than 16 million copies around the world.)

It's hard to overstate just how influential Lavigne's breakout year was, starting with "Complicated." The track peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100, helping the newcomer earn nominations for Best New Artist, Song Of The Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album (for Let Go) at the 2003 GRAMMY Awards. Its runaway success also helped launch pop-punk's explosion into the mainstream, and the proliferation of artists and female-fronted bands that followed — from Paramore, Ashlee Simpson and Kelly Clarkson to Gen Z hitmakers like Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and Meet Me @ The Altar — are indebted to Lavigne's trailblazing success with the song.

Read More: Why 2002 Was The Year That Made Pop-Punk: Simple Plan, Good Charlotte & More On How "Messing Around And Being Ourselves" Became Mainstream

"Sk8er Boi," 'Let Go' (2002)

"He was a boy, she was a girl, can I make it any more obvious?" From those 15 words, Lavigne spun a pop-punk fairy tale for the ages.

If "Complicated" was an introduction to her talent, "Sk8er Boi" was the new star's real coronation as the reigning princess of the genre. Everything about Let Go's second single is nothing short of iconic, from the star-crossed love story between a skater destined for punk rock greatness and the ballet dancer who wasn't brave enough to love him, to the lip ring and striped tie Lavigne sported in the music video (the latter of which you can still purchase to this day from her official store). 

"Sk8er Boi" dispelled any notion that the teenage upstart would be a flash in the pan relegated to one-hit wonder status. In fact, the song notched Lavigne a second consecutive Top 10 hit on the Hot 100, and landed her a fifth GRAMMY nomination at the 2003 ceremony, for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. But the cherry on top of it all? The eleventh hour twist in the track's bridge that the ballet dancer's loss was Avril's gain.

"My Happy Ending," 'Under My Skin' (2004)

After all the commercial success and critical acclaim showered on her in the wake of Let Go, Lavigne chose to forgo taking the easy road with another pop-infused mainstream win. Instead, she plunged into the darkness for 2004's Under My Skin, exploring post-grunge, nu metal and even hard rock influences on the punk-infused LP. The biggest hit from the album was second single "My Happy Ending," which became Lavigne's fourth No. 1 at Top 40 radio and spent four weeks in the Top 10 of the Hot 100, peaking even higher on the latter than "Sk8er Boi" had two years prior.

The downcast breakup anthem was the first time Lavigne put her broken heart on display ("All this time you were pretending/ So much for my happy ending," she lamented as the piano-driven verses swirled into a guitar-heavy chorus), and the result was an electric kiss-off delivered with equal parts anger, shock and a tinge of bitter sarcasm. 

The singer may not have gotten her happily ever after, but turning the doomed relationship into a scathing goodbye certainly earned her the last laugh: the song helped propel Under My Skin to becoming one of the top-selling albums of the year worldwide.

Read More: Loving Olivia Rodrigo's "Vampire"? Check Out 15 Songs By Alanis Morissette, Miley Cyrus & More That Reclaim The Breakup Narrative

"Girlfriend," 'The Best Damn Thing' (2007)

It wasn't all doom, gloom and angry tears on Under My Skin, however. Lavigne proved she was equally adept at bouncing back from a particularly disappointing Sk8er Boi with a devilish grin and a chip on her shoulder on the bouncing "He Wasn't."

While the brash ditty wasn't officially released as a single in the U.S. — instead being pushed to radio in Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, and her native Canada — it quickly became a fan favorite from the album. Nearly 20 years on, the song and its rowdy music video (come for Avril wearing fairy wings and a bright pink tutu, stay for her shattering a camera with the butt of her guitar) rather perfectly encapsulate the singer's place as one of the rare female voices at the forefront of the second-wave post-grunge movement. 

"Freak Out," 'Under My Skin' (2004)

Giving authority figures the middle finger has long been a hallmark of Lavigne's brand, and nowhere is that more clear than on Under My Skin deep cut "Freak Out." "Try to tell me what I shouldn't do/ You should know by now I won't listen to you," she scowls before ratcheting up the lyrical drama on the booming chorus. 

The track's second verse serves as a veritable manifesto for an entire generation of emo kids, as Lavigne offers the following advice to her fans: "You don't always have to do everything right/ Stand up for yourself and put up a fight/ Walk around with your hands up in the air/ Like you don't care." When in doubt? "Just freak out, let it go."

In retrospect, Under My Skin is often rightfully credited as one of the defining albums of pop-punk's 2000s heyday. And it's clear Lavigne is proud of the album's impact on both her career and the genre she helped pioneer, considering four of its singles — including "Don't Tell Me" and "Nobody's Home" — are included in the 20 tracks featured on her upcoming Greatest Hits compilation.

"Girlfriend," 'The Best Damn Thing' (2007)

Lavigne turned the power pop up to 11 for her third album, 2007's The Best Damn Thing, and traded the myopic grunge of her previous era for a blast of sugar-coated, self-confident sass. Lead single "Girlfriend" let the singer unleash her inner pop-punk princess like never before, as she played a mean girl with a flirtatious streak who somehow made stealing another girl's man seem lovable.

The unabashed bop was the first time Lavigne proudly declared herself "the motherf—in' princess," and the song's relentless sing-song hook was so addictive that it became the star's first single to top the Hot 100. Lavigne broke several records with "Girlfriend," which became one of the best-selling songs of 2007 and the most-viewed YouTube video of 2008 — as well as the first to ever reach 100 million views on the platform. 

Still can't get enough of "Girlfriend"? Hardcore fans know that the official remix with Lil Mama might even outdo the fizzy perfection of the original. 

"The Best Damn Thing," 'The Best Damn Thing' (2007)

For the title track off The Best Damn Thing, Lavigne doubled down on the bright and bubbly persona she'd donned on "Girlfriend." In fact, the song's opening rallying cry of "Let me hear you say hey, hey, hey!" and a call-and-response bridge are so downright peppy that it seems almost hard to believe they came from the same artist who thrashed her way through Under My Skin.

Released as The Best Damn Thing's fourth and final single, the song of the same name is more melodic than its chart-topping predecessor, with Lavigne unapologetically laying out the type of treatment she expects from a man in cheerleader fashion ("Gimme an A! Always give me what I want!/ Gimme a V! Be very, very good to me!"). After all, a pop-punk princess deserves a Cinderella story of her own. 

"What the Hell," 'Goodbye Lullaby' (2011)

Riding high off the commercial success of The Best Damn Thing, Lavigne kicked off the rollout for her fourth studio album, 2011's Goodbye Lullaby, with "What the Hell," a playfully bratty banger that found her toying with a love interest and vowing, "All my life I've been good/ But now I'm thinking, 'What the hell!'"

Produced and co-written by pop impresarios Max Martin and Shellback, "What the Hell" melded Lavigne's snarky songwriting sensibilities and penchant for bucking authority with a catchy, singalong refrain. But the lead single actually proved to be something of an outlier on the pop-punk princess' fourth go-around, as the rest of the album utilized a stripped-back sonic palette to lay her heartbreak bare in the wake of divorcing Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley.

"Bad Reputation," 'Goodbye Lullaby' (2011)

Goodbye Lullaby may have been Lavigne's first foray into a more acoustic sound — complete with introspective lyrics and surprisingly sincere song titles like "I Love You" and "Everybody Hurts" — but she couldn't resist adding a little snarl to the album's softer, more sensitive proceedings. So for the deluxe edition of the album, she featured her take on Joan Jett's classic 1980 single "Bad Reputation" as a bonus track. 

Lavigne had originally recorded "Bad Reputation" for the soundtrack to the Japanese anime feature film One Piece Film: Z (it even reached the top 10 on Japan's Hot 100!). But she apparently liked the cover so much that it ended up on the track list of not one, but two of her albums, as the song was also included on 2013's Avril Lavigne.

"Here's to Never Growing Up," 'Avril Lavigne' (2013)

Even as she approached her thirties, Lavigne wasn't about to give up her spot as pop-rock's resident wild child. Case in point: "Here's to Never Growing Up," the lead single off her fifth album, 2013's Avril Lavigne. Over a peppy stomp-clap rhythm, the singer shouts out an undying love of Radiohead, dancing on bar tops and making late-night memories with your best friends as the boombox blares all your favorite songs.

There's a thread of bittersweet nostalgia running through the midtempo jam — one that's sure to pierce the heart of any millennial listening as Lavinge sings, "Say, won't you say 'forever'?/ Stay, if you stay forever/ Hey, we can stay forever young." It's not that the singer's refusing to acknowledge the cruel act of getting older on the track, she's just rebelling against the notion that adulthood should be a dreary slog of, you know, taxes and laundry and all of those lame adult responsibilities. 

"Rock N Roll," 'Avril Lavigne' (2013)

Lavigne once again put her middle finger to the sky and re-upped her rock star credentials on the appropriately titled "Rock N Roll," the second single off her self-titled album. The spirited singalong finds the singer reveling in her eternally bad attitude as she wails, "I don't care if I'm a misfit/ I like better than the hipster bulls–/ I am the motherf—in' princess/ You still love it."

Though "Rock N Roll" didn't make quite as much of an impact on the charts as some of the other hits on this list, it remains one of the most underrated bangers in her entire discography. Plus, the song gifted fans with the campy, comic book-inspired music video starring Lavinge, Danica McKellar, a drunk-driving Doberman and one very unlucky lobster as they race across a dystopian wasteland to save rock and roll from the clutches of an evil bear-shark. (Billy Zane shows up on a rocket-powered Segway at some point, too — just go with it.)

"Head Above Water," 'Head Above Water' (2019)

Proving that pop-punk doesn't always have to come with an in-your-face, "f— you!" attitude, Lavigne released "Head Above Water" — the lead single and title track to her 2019 album — five years into an often confusing, devastating and all-consuming battle with Lyme disease.

"One night I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die," she revealed at the time of the song's unveiling. "My mom laid with me in bed and held me. I felt like I was drowning. Under my breath, I prayed, 'God, please help to keep my head above the water.' In that moment, the songwriting of this album began."

Lavigne taps into a truly admirable well of resilience and hope on the spiritual ballad as she sings, "Yeah, my life is what I'm fighting for/ Can't part the sea, can't reach the shore/ And my voice becomes the driving force/ I won't let this pull me overboard." Unlike anything that's come from the singer's catalog either before or since, "Head Above Water" remains a powerful testament to the beloved pop-punk princess' inner strength.

"Bite Me," 'Love Sux' (2022)

As the 2010s gave way to a new decade, pop-punk made a surprise resurgence in popularity while Lavigne was making major moves of her own; she left BMG after just one album to sign with Travis Barker's DTA Records in 2021 (about which she fittingly declared, "Let's f— s— up!"). Partnering with the blink-182 drummer sparked some serious magic in the studio, as her seventh studio album, 2022's Love Sux was a wildly entertaining return to her pop-punk roots after the emotional catharsis of Head Over Water.

On lead single "Bite Me," Lavigne effortlessly dusted off her crown and reclaimed her throne with an octave-jumping vocal performance. Along with proving she still has the chops, the singer simply sounds like she's having a hell of a lot of fun as she snaps back at an ex-flame who made the mistake of crossing her. Pop-punk's reigning princess? Try queen.

Read More: How 'Love Sux' Led Avril Lavigne To True Love, Her First Fangirl Moment And An Album Process That Was 'Just Stupid Fun'

"All I Wanted" feat. Mark Hoppus, 'Love Sux' (2022)

Lavigne collaborated with plenty of special guests on Love Sux, from blackbear (on love-drunk single "Love It When You Hate Me") to eventual tourmate Machine Gun Kelly (on delicious battle of the sexes "Bois Lie"), but no other duet on the album holds a candle to "All I Wanted" featuring blink-182's Mark Hoppus

The supercharged deep cut features the two trailblazers rocking out in a whirling dervish of escapist bliss, playing a sort of pop-punk Bonnie and Clyde as they bust out of the town they're stuck in. And in doing so, they proved they're more than happy to show the new kids at the rock show just how it's done.

"Breakaway," 'Let Go (20th Anniversary Edition)' (2022)

And finally, a proper celebration of Lavigne's status as pop-punk royalty wouldn't be complete without including the biggest song she ever gave to another artist. As the story goes, the singer/songwriter originally penned "Breakaway" for her debut album, but the hope-filled anthem didn't quite fit with the vibe of Let Go tracks like "Complicated," "Sk8er Boi," "Losing Grip," and "I'm With You." So instead, she gave it to a fresh-faced newcomer by the name of Kelly Clarkson, who had just come off of winning a little reality TV experiment called "American Idol." 

After being featured on the soundtrack to The Princess Diaries 2, "Breakaway" became the centerpiece and title track of Clarkson's 2004 sophomore album, which helped turn her into a bonafide superstar — and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Lavigne started performing the song live for the first time on her 2019 Head Above Water Tour, which naturally left fans clamoring for a studio version. Blessedly, the pop-punk icon gave them exactly what they wanted by revisiting "Breakaway" in the recording studio for the 20th anniversary edition of Let Go in 2022. She even reinstated her original lyrics in the opening stanza ("Grew up in a small town/ And when the snow would fall down/ I'd just stare out my window") for a personal touch that connected back to her roots in Greater Napanee, Ontario. 

Clarkson may have made the song famous, but the beating heart of "Breakaway" will always be Lavigne's story — one of a small-town girl who bet on herself, only to become a trailblazing artist whose legacy is forever cemented in the pop-punk history books. 

The State Of Pop-Punk: A Roundtable Unpacks The Genre's Past, Present And Future

Musicians Mark Stoermer, Brandon Flowers, Ronnie Vannucci and David Keuning of The Killers poses for a portrait during the 2004 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Killers

Photo: Frank Micelotta

list

5 Ways ‘Hot Fuss’ Propelled The Killers To Rock Royalty

During the alternative-guitar-band renaissance of the early 2000s, the Killers slugged out a debut album that’ll stick with us forever. Here are five reasons ‘Hot Fuss’ catapulted the Vegas favorites to the top.

GRAMMYs/Jun 14, 2024 - 05:19 pm

They came out of their cage, and now they're doing just fine. 

In an era of stiff competition, from the White Stripes to the Strokes, the Killers could have gotten lost in the shuffle. But with 2004's Hot Fuss, the Brandon Flowers-led, Vegas-based rock band essentially emerged fully formed, with a debonaire mystique, a raided new wave record collection (think the Cure and Duran Duran), and a knack for sky-high hooks. They didn't just nail the songs, and charisma, on the first go — they created one of the most timeless albums of their generation. 

In the 20 years since, chances are "Mr. Brightside" has gotten maddeningly stuck in your head at least once. But that's just the tip of the iceberg: Hot Fuss is teeming with cryptic one-liners, sticky melodies and a specifically aughts sort of emotional abandon.

Today, the Killers are one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century, with five GRAMMY nominations and more than 28 million records sold worldwide. Here are five aspects of Hot Fuss that helped them break into the stratosphere.  

It's The Result Of A Completely Scrapped First Attempt 

Sometimes, the first thought isn't the best thought. The Killers were full steam ahead on their debut album when Flowers hit a major snag: a little album called This Is It by the Strokes came out. 

"When we put it on in the car, that record just sounded so perfect," Flowers admitted to NME in 2012. "I got so depressed after that, we threw away everything, and the only song that made the cut and remained was 'Mr. Brightside.'" 

How would the Killers' legacy have changed without classics like "Somebody Told Me" and "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine"? We'll never know — but the band (and the world) is likely glad they gave Hot Fuss a second shot. 

Brandon Flowers Is A Superb Lyricist 

Did you know Hot Fuss has an extended murder narrative? Well, in two songs: "Midnight Show" and "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine." (The third act, "Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf," was relegated to their 2007 B-sides and rarities disc, Sawdust.) 

Outside of sprawling concepts, Flowers' sneaky prowess as a lyricist is all over Hot Fuss, from sticky alliteration ("Turning saints into the sea/ Swimming through sick lullabies") to masterful use of negative space. 

Exhibit A is "Smile Like You Mean It": "Someone is calling my name/ From the back of the restaurant/ And someone is playing a game/ In the house that I grew up in/ And someone will drive her around/ Down the same streets that I did." By erasing the specifics, and only providing a framework of memory, the picture is ever more elusive and intriguing. 

The Album Is Front-Loaded With Five Bangers 

Sure, some tracks on Hot Fuss, like "Change Your Mind" and "Believe Me Natalie," are relatively minor. 

But with absolute napalm across the first five tracks — "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine," "Mr. Brightside," "Smile Like You Mean It," "Somebody Told Me," "All These Things That I've Done" — it's actually kind of a relief to get a sleeper album track, that reveals its qualities slower. 

No matter your take on the rest of Hot Fuss, or their discography, the fact remains undeniable: they came in swinging. 

They Kept The Demos Intact For Raw Impact 

The Killers and the Boss have crossed paths a time or two — and they made a Springsteenian move when they used demos as the final tracks. It worked, imbuing Hot Fuss with a certain spontaneity and energy. 

And because these Hot Fuss tracks were meant to comprise a demo, "We never thought [these songs] would be on a record." drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. later admitted. Talk about a turn of events: what could have been a collection of scratch tracks would help define a generation. 

"Mr. Brightside" Took On A Life Of Its Own 

"Mr. Brightside" has undeniably become the Killers' signature song — a staple not only at their concerts, but at bars and karaoke joints around the world. And once social media came along, it inspired a cornucopia of memes: even snippets of lyrics, like "Comin' out of my cage" and "It started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?" have become miniature cultural forces. 

Aside from Flowers' almost unwaveringly single-note verse melody, the song's odd structure — the second verse is the same as the first — has also been ripe for humor: one favorite meme takes you into the fictional writer's room when that decision was made. 

Whether for rock 'n' roll transcendence, or just a nostalgic laugh, revisit Hot Fuss as it turns 20 — and smile like you mean it. 

Is This It At 20: How The Strokes Redefined Rock 

 

Wallows Press Photo 2024
Wallows

Photo: Aidan Zamiri

interview

Wallows Talk New Album 'Model,' "Entering Uncharted Territory" With World Tour & That Unexpected Sabrina Carpenter Cover

On the heels of releasing their amped-up third album, 'Model,' alt-rock trio Wallows detail how their "very unabashed" approach has expanded — and landed them in arenas for the first time.

GRAMMYs/May 30, 2024 - 07:11 pm

Over the past five years, Dylan Minnette, Cole Preston and Braedan Lemasters — together, known as alternative rock band Wallows — have acutely constructed a sonic landscape of earworm guitar hooks, snappy drums and sing-along lyrics. And their third album, Model, helps lift their career into a new sphere of guitar-driven stardom.

Wallows' growth from the indie-pop breakouts of 2019's Clairo-assisted "Are You Bored Yet?" to full-fledged alt-rock stars is abundantly clear across Model's 12 tracks. Produced by GRAMMY-winning alt-rock whisperer John Congleton (who also helmed Wallows' 2019 debut album, Nothing Happens), Model amps up their vintage-meets-contemporary sound. It's an album that sounds perfectly written for arenas — and that's by design. 

On The Model World Tour, which kicks off on Aug. 6, the trio will hit arenas and amphitheaters in North America, Europe and the UK, and Australia and New Zealand, including iconic venues like Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks and The Forum. With the tour in mind, they wrote wavy melodies fit for the masses to sing along, like on the racing "Your Apartment" or the howling chorus of "You (Show Me Where My Days Went)."

If the polished sound of Model sounds like the work of a band who has sharpened their talents for decades, that's because it is. Though they made their official introduction as Wallows with the 2018 EP Spring, Minnette, Preston and Lemasters — all in their late 20s — have been performing together since they were just 11 years old.

As Preston asserts, their longtime partnership has resulted in "this kind of synergy happening." It's seemingly helped them become more vulnerable, too, as Model sees the Wallows guys singing overtly about love for the first time, like on lead single "Calling After Me": "I knew the feeling would be forming/ After I took a look into your eyes/ But are you ready for it, darling?"

In celebration of the release of Model, Minnette, Lemasters and Preston mused to GRAMMY.com about their creative journey, why they recently became the unlikely scorn of Sabrina Carpenter fans, and how they're "filling a space" in mainstream alt rock.

You're about to embark on an arena tour, playing venues like Madison Square Garden and The Forum for the very first time. Does this feel like a new phase in your evolution as a band?

Braeden Lemasters: Yeah, I think it does. When we started the band seven years ago, when I look back it's been a very natural progression; it's not like we went straight from 200 capacity clubs to arenas. 

We've gone through the stages and right growth, and now we're entering this uncharted territory. We actually haven't even opened up at these venues for anyone, so it'll be our first time playing an arena. We have no idea what to expect.

Model as an album sounds bigger than your past ones, especially songs like "Anytime, Always" which may sonically fit right in at an arena with its sing-along hook. Did you have the arena tour in mind when you were working on Model?

Cole Preston: Yeah, this record was the first time we did know the tour routing [during the album process]. It didn't necessarily change the way that we worked; we always adapted a similar approach to writing where we naturally want it to be catchy and full, which all lends itself to the live show. But understanding that we're going to have this level of a moment, we'd need to make a record that represents that moment that belongs there.

You guys are an alternative rock three-piece, which is rare in today's musical climate. Does it seem that way to you?

Dylan Minette: Yeah, I definitely feel like there's a space where we're sort of filling [with] the way our music is and sounds. There's other bands that are playing the same rooms and can, but all of us feel pretty different from one another. 

Our music is very unabashed, and there's nothing we're trying to subdue or be cool, or worry about it sounding too pop. I'm not saying we're the only ones doing that, because that's obviously not true. But our favorite bands growing up — like Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire or The Killers — weren't afraid to go for it and let the music be larger than life. There used to be a lot more bands that just dominated and went for it, so we try to make sure we're filling that space that isn't really being filled right now. 

Were you guys always interested in this genre? I would think for the majority of people from your generation, the inclination would be to do bedroom pop  or electronic music, and not to start a band.

Lemasters: The interest for me stems from my dad, who was a guitar player in Ohio  local bands. I alway thought it was so normal; I'd be 5 years old and my dad would be playing a stratocaster around the house and listening to the Beatles. He bought me a guitar when I was really young and taught me how to play, so I've had this connection to these classic bands. 

When I met Dylan, we bonded over that, because he also liked that music at a young age. I think it was rare for a kid our age to like that kind of music. Cole was also just a very talented musician at a young age too. So we all loved band music at a young age and wanted to form one; there was no other reason than that. We didn't have to search out our passion for it. It was already there.

Speaking of, I've loved your distinctive covers, from "My Worst Enemy" by Lit (which you put a melancholy look at it) to "Espresso" just recently. What's the key to a solid cover and how do you decide what songs to put your spin on it?

Minette: We definitely don't have songs in our pocket. We always try to do something unexpected or unconventional to get people talking about it, otherwise what's the point? 

Cole recommended "Espresso," which I hadn't heard at the time — but if he's saying this new, popular song is good, I trust him. When I listened to it, I thought it'd be great, and when we worked on the first version it had a drum machine and was funkier. When we stripped it back and it became more emo, it was hilarious. 

Though there are some Sabrina Carpenter fans who are really mad I attempted to sing that song. "You could never be Sabrina!" I'm like, "I know I can never be Sabrina!" But you know what? She texted me recently and gave the seal of approval. That's all we needed.

Since you've all been playing together in some capacity since you were 11, what's kept you together all these years?

Preston: When we were young, our brains were super mushy and we all had a big influence on each other as people. We're all very different now as people in a lot of ways, but we all know each other enough to predict how someone will feel or react about something. 

So there's this kind of synergy happening because, since we were 11, we were practicing every day and performing original music, and we just didn't stop. By the time we became Wallows officially, we had been a band for seven or eight years at that point. 

Speaking of, I know you recently connected with the person who indirectly inspired your name? What's the story behind that?

Minette: So Wallows was named after a skate spot in Hawaii on Oahu, which we first heard about from the video game Tony Hawk's Underground where it was part of the Hawaii map. Braeden played it growing up and at a certain point he said it'd be a cool album title. Eventually, when we were thinking of band names, we realized Wallows would be a great name. 

Last week, we were on "The Today Show" and they said "We have a surprise for you!" And it was a message from Tony Hawk, which was so full circle. To go from being kids with all ambitions and dreams, and now Tony Hawk is surprising us — it was crazy. If our 13-year-old selves were experiencing this, that'd be insane.

Model was produced by John Congleton, who was also behind your first album. What brought you together again for this third record?

Lemasters: When we first started making music, we worked with John; he made some St. Vincent records and we really respected his work. We were just naive enough to be so excited to go with him and we didn't meet anybody else at the time. He did our first EP and first album. There's something really special about that connection and bond you make, that first time. 

For our second album, we worked with Ariel Rechtshaid, which was incredible and who we always wanted to work with. When we decided to work on Model, we didn't know who to go with, but we went in with Congleton again to record some demos for no project at all. We asked him what he pictured for us regarding a new album, and everything he said is exactly how we were feeling. 

I also always admired an artist working with a producer multiple times, like Nigel Godrich with Radiohead or George Martin with the Beatles; there's a camaraderie where you always know where you've been. So it was a no-brainer to go with John again for Model. I think it's our best work yet, and best production yet, and that's largely because of his passion for the project. 

What's the most gratifying part of the musical process as an artist: writing and producing, or going out and performing them on tour?

Lemasters: It's such a hard question, but my answer would be it's whatever process you're currently experiencing. Writing and recording is so exciting, but going on tour and seeing people sing the songs is the most rewarding thing. I know that's the most cop-out answer. 

Does it change over time?

Minette: Exactly. It's a cycle, when you're on tour you're thinking, "I can't wait to go back into the studio" by the end for sure. I'm interested to see what happens when time slows down to step away from both and take a step back. I don't think we're near that, but I'm already thinking ahead to the next album, and we haven't even toured this album yet! 

Right now, I'm more excited for this tour than ever, but I'm also more nervous. It all adds to the excitement and intrigue of it.

How Andrew Watt Became Rock's Big Producer: His Work With Paul McCartney, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam, & More