Smash Mouth, one of the top rock bands, is widely known for their first single, ‘Walkin’ on the Sun. The Monkees’ I’m a Believer was featured in the 2001 Shrek soundtrack and the 1999 hit single All-Star was a No. 1 chart-topper. With their new lead singer, Zach Goode, the band has been on tour and has sold over 10 million albums.
When Was Smash Mouth Band Formed?
The alternative rock ensemble, Smash Mouth, was born in 1994 in San Jose, California. Steve Harwell fronts the band, with Greg Camp on guitar and songwriting, Paul De Lisle on bass, and Jason Sutter on drums since 2006. Michael Urbano had to part ways due to creative differences. The band achieved fame with Walkin’ on the Sun (1997) and All-Star (1999).
Smash Mouth’s story begins in 1990 when Kevin Coleman and Steve Harwell first crossed paths. Harwell, a former rapper in the group F.O.S., got together with Coleman’s acquaintances, guitarist Greg Camp and bassist Paul De Lisle, who had both been involved in a local punk band.
Coleman took on the role of drummer and the four of them began to practice, eventually forming the group Smashmouth, derived from the American football term. In the early days, their sound was mainly in the rock genre.
The Rise & Fall of Fame
In 1999, the band’s second album, Astro Lounge, was released and demonstrated a shift in sound, as it leaned more toward a pop style than its predecessor’s ska sound. This garnered the group much more attention, and it was highly praised by critics. With its hit singles All Star, which famously appeared in the first Shrek movie, and its music video along with Then the Morning Comes, Astro Lounge earned a triple platinum certification.
In 1999, The East Bay Sessions was put out as an anthology of early tunes. Shortly after the record was out, drummer Kevin Coleman had to leave the group due to back issues. This was first remedied by Michael Urbano, but he was soon replaced by Mitch Marine for the tour promoting Astro Lounge. Eventually, Michael Urbano was brought back in after the tour.
In 2001, Smash Mouth released a cover of the Monkees’ classic I’m a Believer. It was included on the soundtrack for Shrek, as well as their self-titled album. Unfortunately, the album was not as successful as their previous works but still managed to be certified gold. Additionally, the group made a cameo appearance in Rat Race in the same year.
In 2003, Get the Picture? was released to the public, featuring the songs You Are My Number One, Hang On, and Always Gets Her Way. Unfortunately, shortly after, Smash Mouth was let go from Interscope. That same year, the group covered the Sherman Brothers’ tune I Wanna Be Like You in the animated movie The Jungle Book 2.
The lineup of the band shifted throughout the years. In 2008, Greg Camp departed, and Smash Mouth replaced him with Leroy Miller on guitar. However, he left in 2009, and Camp returned. In 2011, Camp exited once more and the band chose Sean Hurwitz as his successor, who stayed with them until 2012. Mike Krompass then took over from him.
In 2012, Hurwitz made a comeback. In 2009, Mitch Marine exited, making way for Urbano, who only stayed for one year before Marine came back. In 2010, Marine had a brief tenure, then exited once more. Randy Cooke took his place, and after a short period, he was substituted by Jason Sutter. Then, Charlie Paxson assumed the role.
On September 4th, 2012, Smash Mouth released their sixth studio album Magic, with Mike Krompass as the primary producer. The opening single of the same name entered the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart at No. 22. Following the release, the band went on a tour to promote their musical book of food recipes titled Recipes from the Road.
At the end of 2012, Cooke departed and was replaced by Paxson. The following year, Smash Mouth was part of the Under the Sun tour with Gin Blossoms and Sugar Ray. Paxson left during the tour in July and was ultimately substituted by Sutter. In 2012, Tod Burr, who had previously been the drummer of Merle Jagger and drum tech of Def Leppard, became the drum and keyboard tech of Smash Mouth.
In 2016, Steve Harwell and Paul De Lisle welcomed Sam Eigen into the band. Sam had already been a friend of theirs for a long time and had previously worked with Alanis Morissette, Janet Jackson, and John Fogerty. Additionally, he was featured playing guitar on some of Harwell’s solo records.
Greg Camp rejoined the band Smash Mouth in early 2018. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first album, Fush Yu Mang, the group released an acoustic version of the album through PledgeMusic.
Steve Harwell’s Exit From The Band
At The Big Sip beer and wine festival in Bethel, New York in October 2021, Harwell was apparently drunk and appeared to make a Nazi salute while performing. After the show, he declared his retirement due to health problems. Before the final gig, the group had already been playing with a replacement singer to cover while Harwell dealt with his medical issues.
In early January 2022, it was revealed that Steve Harwell had stepped down, and the band had brought on Ghoulspoon’s Zach Goode to take his place. On July 1 of that same year, Smash Mouth unleashed their new single 4th of July. Then, exactly one year later, they unveiled Underground Sun on July 28, 2023.
On September 3, 2023, the band’s manager Robert Hayes announced that the band’s lead singer Steve Harwell is receiving medical care at a hospice. He further confirmed that the 56-year-old star will not live longer as he’s battling a serious health issue.