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Smashmouth Biography

Home > Music > S > Smashmouth > Biography

Birth Place: San Jose, California, United States
Years Active: 1994-present
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop Rock, Ska Punk, Surf Rock

Smash Mouth is an American rock band from San Jose, California. The band was formed in 1994, and was originally composed of Steve Harwell, Greg Camp, Paul De Lisle and Kevin Coleman as lead vocals, guitar, bass and drums respectively.

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 after a show, 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's track, “Walkin' on the Sun” was the band's first major single and it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The album reached the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 Albums chart and eventually was certified double platinum.

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. Supported by the #4 hit single “All Star,” which was featured in several movie soundtracks, “Astro Lounge” peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 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 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” movie soundtrack as well as the eponymous album “Smash Mouth.” The album sold fewer copies than the band's earlier works, eventually being certified gold.

Two years after “Smash Mouth” was released, “Get the Picture?” was issued. Featuring the single, “You are my Number One,” the album reached #48 on the Billboard 200. The other singles from the album, “Hang On” from the film “The Cat in the Hat” and “Always Gets Her Way” were generally poorly received. Due to the low sales, as well as band concerns over loss of control in their sound, 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 a greatest hits compilation “All Star Smash Hits” in 2005. The album contained some of the more popular songs from previous Smash Mouth albums, as well as songs from soundtrack albums which were not on the band's own releases. 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. 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. Smash Mouth returned to the studio intent on making their new record better. “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 in September 2006. Smash Mouth let Sony Pictures use much of their music from “Summer Girl” and other songs for the movie “Zoom.”

Before the release of “Summer Girl,” drummer Michael Urbano left the band without warning on February 14, 2006 due to creative differences. The band found a new drummer, 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, just one year after joining the band, Jason Sutter left Smash Mouth to play drums for former Soundgarden and Audioslave front man, Chris Cornell and fill-in drummer Mitch Marine returned to Smash Mouth. Greg Camp left the band in the summer of 2008 and Smash Mouth recruited Leroy Miller to play guitar.