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Dexter Holland is the lead singer of the punk band The Offspring.
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Frontman for punk band The Offspring, Dexter Holland was born on December 29, 1965, in Garden Grove, California. Part of the massive resurgence of punk in the mid-1990s, Holland and his bandmates emerged from the mosh pit of obscure fanzines and college radio with their 1994 album Smash—one of the highest-selling albums of all time on an independent label. To date, Holland's metal-inspired punk band has released eight records and performed more than 1,000 shows across the world.
"You have to be able to keep hold of that free part of yourself, or you just turn into a commodity you're ashamed to keep selling. And that hasn't happened yet. When it does, I'm gone. And that's a promise."
"There's something undeniably oxymoronic about a 'successful' rock 'n' roll band ... That's a dichotomy every successful band wrestles with."
Dexter Holland, frontman of the popular punk band The Offspring, was born Bryan Keith Holland on December 29, 1965, in Garden Grove, California. The son of a hospital administrator and a school teacher, Holland grew up in suburban Orange County, earning outstanding grades in school and participating in high school sports. Despite what appeared to be a Happy Days plotline, his counterculture trajectory began taking root when Holland was in his teens, becoming a fan hardcore punk bands as Agent Orange, Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, and The Sex Pistols.
In 1984, Holland and his track-and-field teammate Greg Kriesel were at a show by local punk band Social Distortion when a riot erupted. Though the two had to leave the event early, they were forever changed by the experience: Soon after the show, they decided to form a band called Manic Subsdial, which would later become The Offspring. Despite never having played instruments before forming the band, Holland strapped on a guitar and Kriesel picked up a bass. The two were soon joined by Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman and Ron Welty, pacticing regularly and landing gigs.
Nested in the manicured landscapes of Garden Grove, California, the group lacked the rich musical soil of Seattle, where Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were helping lead the indie-rock charge. After a decade of slogging through the underground music scene, Holland and his bandmates broke through in 1994 with their album Smash, which has sold more than 6 million copies. Soon, Holland’s voice became a fixture of MTV line-ups and Top 10 radio. As their fan base surged, the group left the indie label Epitaph in favor of Columbia Records—a move that tarnished the band’s anti-establishment image. Suddenly, Holland found himself facing one of the greatest downfalls for a counterculture music group: Success.
"There's something undeniably oxymoronic about a 'successful' rock 'n' roll band," Holland said in a 1999 interview with Metal Hammer magazine. "Who wants to hear a bunch of success stories whining about their success? More importantly, what can be the drive behind a band, what can they have to rage against when they are successes? That's a dichotomy every successful band wrestles with."
Oxymorons notwithstanding, The Offspring have enjoyed a steady stream of success thanks to tracks almost exclusively written and composed by Holland, featuring a unique (and almost contradictory) blend of both pop and social critique. In June 2012, the band released their ninth studio album, Days Go By.
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