Smash Mouth is one of the few uniting forces left on the Internet circa mid-2015. Seemingly everyone hates the band, which means they make for an easy, collective, no-risk punchline. It doesn’t help, either, that when I ran a image search for “Smash Mouth” Google suggested Guy Fieri.
Who gets the last laugh here is tough to say. Back when buying physical CDs was still something music consumers did, Smash Mouth sold a lot of units. Their first album “Fush Yu Mang” went double platinum and their second, “Astro Lounge” went triple platinum. Right there, that’s five million in album sales, if driven by Smash Mouth’s contribution to the Shrek soundtrack.
Chew on that for a second. Smash Mouth sold more records than a lot of your favorite bands will ever sell, combined. Record sales aren’t a be all, end all, but for all the jokes at their expense, Smash Mouth was inexplicably quite popular for a brief moment in time during the turn of the century when pop music experienced one of its lowest epochs.
Smash Mouth is recognizable enough to still be out there doing its thing on the country fair circuit. Today the band is making the biggest buzz in years after singer Steve Harwell flipped out at the assembled crowd at the Taste of Fort Collins. Harwell appeared to be pelted with something — the Coloradoan says it was loaves of free bread from the festival — which prompted him to challenge the perpetrator to come on stage, using the words, “p—- punk bitch.”
Let’s agree Harwell seemed legitimately pissed off and this wasn’t some sort of staged event to help get Smash Mouth back to relevancy, not there is any way in the universe Smash Mouth will ever be relevant aside from Internet flotsam such as this. Irony or nostalgia doesn’t run quite that deep, does it?
That said, as someone who is not ashamed to admit he’ll nod along to “All Star” when it comes up on the radio let me offer some sage advice for Harwell in the wake of his low Internet moment:
You’ll never shine if you don’t glow.
C’mon man, you’re an All-Star and you’re a rock star. Get your game on, go play. Remember that.