Smash Mouth is an American rock band from San Jose, California. The band was formed in 1994, and was originally composed of Steve Harwell (vocals), Kevin Coleman (drums), Greg Camp (guitar), and Paul De Lisle
(bass). They are known for such songs as "Walkin' on the Sun" (1997)
and "All Star" (1999). The band has adopted retro styles covering
several decades of popular music. They have also performed numerous
covers of popular songs, including the Monkees' "I'm a Believer", War's
"Why Can't We Be Friends?", Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)",
Question Mark & the Mysterians's "Can't Get Enough of You Baby",
the Beatles' "Getting Better" and Disney's "I Wan'na Be Like You".
Smash Mouth was formed in 1994 when Steve Harwell, who had formerly
played in a rap group called F.O.S., along with his manager, decided to
form a rock band. Harwell's manager, Kevin Coleman, knew guitarist Greg
Camp and bassist Paul De Lisle, who had both played in a local punk
band, and introduced the three musicians to each other. They began
rehearsing together, along with Kevin Coleman as drummer. They soon
developed into a band, and named themselves Smashmouth, a football term.
During their early years, the band played largely ska punk music. The
band's first publicity came when a demo of the song "Nervous in the
Alley" was played by a San José radio station, KOME. Soon after,
Interscope Records signed the band, and the group's debut album, Fush Yu
Mang, was released in 1997. Also, upon signing to Interscope Records,
the band changed their name from Smashmouth to Smash Mouth. The album
eventually went double platinum led by the band's first major single
"Walkin' on the Sun". The singles "The Fonz" and a cover of "Why Can't
We Be Friends" were also subsequently released.
The band's second album, Astro Lounge, was released in 1999 and marked a
change in direction, as it had less of the previous ska influence and
more of a pop sound. It led to more publicity for the band, and ended up
being one of the most critically acclaimed albums from the group.
Supported by the single "All Star," which was featured in several movie
soundtracks, Astro Lounge was eventually certified as triple platinum.
Also in 1999, The East Bay Sessions was released as a collection of
early songs. Shortly after the release of the album, drummer Kevin
Coleman left the band due to back problems. He was initially replaced by
Michael Urbano, who was quickly replaced by Mitch Marine for the tour
supporting Astro Lounge, who was subsequently replaced by Michael Urbano
at the conclusion of the tour. In 2001, Smash Mouth covered the
Monkees' hit song "I'm a Believer". It was featured on both the Shrek
(along with All Star) movie soundtrack and the eponymous album Smash
Mouth. The album sold fewer copies than the band's earlier works,
eventually being certified gold. In 2001 Smash Mouth appeared as
themselves in the climactic scene of the film Rat Race.
Two years after Smash Mouth was released, Get the Picture? was released,
featuring the single, "You Are My Number One", "Hang On" and "Always
Gets Her Way". Smash Mouth was dropped from Interscope shortly after the
release of Get the Picture?. That same year, the band performed a cover
of the Sherman Brothers song "I Wanna Be Like You" for the animated
film The Jungle Book 2. Following the band's signing to Universal
Records, Smash Mouth released the greatest hits compilation All Star
Smash Hits in 2005. The album contains some more popular songs from
previous Smash Mouth albums, as well as songs from soundtrack albums
which were not on the band's own releases. On certain networks and
timeslots, the album was advertised as having 18 tracks, including an
edited version of "Flo" and "Beer Goggles". Smash Mouth played at
Gumby's Birthday Celebration in August 2005. In December 2005, the band
released a Christmas album Gift of Rock. It featured covers of Christmas
songs by many artists, such as the Kinks and the Ramones, and one
original song, "Baggage Claim".
Smash Mouth's fifth studio album, originally to be titled Old Habits,
was expected to be released in early 2006. The band had said that the
album was much more like the ska punk featured on Fush Yu Mang and The
East Bay Sessions. In September 2005, the band performed what was
tentatively going to be the album's first single, "Getaway Car", on Last
Call with Carson Daly. The album was delayed many times, in the hope of
gaining publicity with Harwell's appearance on the reality show The
Surreal Life. Smash Mouth returned to the studio intent on improving the
record. Old Habits was shelved, replaced by Summer Girl, which included
some remixed Old Habits tracks as well as new songs. After being
delayed in much the same way Old Habits was for several months, the
album was released on September 19, 2006. Smash Mouth let Sony Pictures
use much of their music from Summer Girl and other songs for the movie
Zoom, whose opening titles credit the film's music to the band.
Before the release of Summer Girl, drummer Michael Urbano left the band
without warning on February 14, 2006 due to creative differences. He was
initially replaced by former drummer Mitch Marine, and then by Jason
Sutter, best known for his work with American Hi-Fi and the Rembrandts.
The band released their new album, Summer Girl, later that year. In
early 2007, one year after joining the band, Sutter left Smash Mouth to
play drums for former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell;
fill-in drummer Marine returned to Smash Mouth.
Greg Camp left the band in the summer of 2008. Smash Mouth recruited
Leroy Miller to play guitar. Leroy left in 2009 and Camp returned to the
band, but in 2011 Camp left once again and this time the band recruited
Sean Hurwitz. Hurwitz stayed until 2012, and was replaced by Mike
Krompass. Later in 2012, Hurwitz returned. In 2009 Mitch Marine left
once again and was replaced by Urbano, who left again after only one
year in 2010, and was replaced by Marine once again. Marine left yet
again after a brief spell in 2010 and was replaced by Randy Cooke. Cooke
was briefly replaced by Jason Sutter in 2011, then Charlie Paxson.
After parting ways with Universal Records and signing with 429 Records,
Smash Mouth released their sixth studio album titled Magic, on September
4, 2012. The album was primarily produced by new band member Mike
Krompass. The first single, also entitled "Magic", debuted on the
Billboard Adult Contemporary chart at No. 22. The band spent the rest of
2012 touring behind the new project as well as promoting the release of
their rock and roll cookbook — Recipes from the Road. Cooke left
permanently toward the end of 2012, replaced by Paxson. Paxson left in
July 2013 during the Under the Sun tour, and was initially going to be
replaced by a returning Cooke; however, he was replaced by Sutter once
again. Tod Burr, former drum tech of Def Leppard and drummer of Merle
Jagger, came on board in 2012 as drum and keyboard tech of Smash Mouth.
On February 1, 2013, Smash Mouth headlined the AutoNation Coast to Coast
rebranding event (which combined all AutoNation dealerships into a
single brand) at Wayne Huizenga Park in Fort Lauderdale, FL with Michela
Paige from Season 3 of The Voice. The event also served as a final
round in the AutoNation Culture of Caring Contest.