Five rounds with the Offspring
Like many suburban garages at the ends of cul-de-sacs across America, the one at Offspring singer Dexter Holland’s Huntington Beach, Calif., home contains a bar. It’s long and wooden and adorned with various liquor bottles, an entire shelf of hot sauces, a vast array of shot glasses, some creepy wooden statues from New Zealand, a Jägermeister machine (alas, broken), and piles of CDs that Holland is in the process of loading into his iPod in preparation for the band’s upcoming eight-week stint on the Warped Tour in support of their new Greatest Hits album (out June 21). Seated around the bar on this cool May evening are guitarist Noodles, bassist Greg Kriesel, and Chris Higgins, an unofficial member best known for shouting ”Keep ’em separated!” during live performances of ”Come Out and Play,” off their six-times-platinum 1994 breakout album, Smash. ”So how does this work?” Holland asks. ”We’re just going to drink?” When LTT explains that the drink is merely a lip loosener and a framework for conversation, the spiky-haired frontman smiles. ”Cool. It frames most of our conversations.”
IS THAT A ZEBRA HEAD?
Mexican beers all around.
LTT So, nice bar. Is there a story behind it?
HOLLAND Not really. The garage just seemed like a good place for a bar. You know — make a mess, make noise, get drunk. So I had one built.
LTT [Pointing to a taxidermied zebra head above the bar] What’s up with the zebra?
HOLLAND One of my neighbors gave that to me. Supposedly it was shot in 1910.
HIGGINS Your neighbors ever get pissed about the parties?
HOLLAND Actually the neighbors come by and party too. Except for one guy. He usually comes by around 11 and asks me to quiet things down. At least he doesn’t call the cops. . . .Is it time to do a shot?
LTT Well, we’re not done with our beers yet. . .
HOLLAND I figured a shot was a round. The beer’s just extra.
Jägermeister shots all around! Much hubbub is made over Higgins’ discovery of a Rubik’s Cube and his subsequent inability to solve it.
HIGGINS You know, there was a book that taught you how to solve these things. . .
HOLLAND [Rummages in some things under the bar and pulls out a raggedy old pamphlet that’s titled The Simple Solution to Rubik’s Cube] You mean this one?
HIGGINS Look, he just happens to have it!
HOLLAND What do you think I do out here in the bar when you guys aren’t around?
LTT How about we time you?
Holland begins furiously twisting and turning the cube.
HOLLAND I’ve never done this with people watching. Makes me nervous.
Holland completes the Cube and slams it onto the bar. Noodles checks his watch.
NOODLES Less than two minutes!
HOLLAND Let’s see how I do as the shots go on.
KRIESEL Later on we’re playing Boggle.
HOLLAND Do we know how to party or what?