Smash Mouth celebrates 20 years with a stop in Park City
Band has fingers in many projects
On July 9, 1997, Smash Mouth released a little album called “Fush Yu Mang,” which featured a singled called “Walkin’ on the Sun.”
The album eventually sold more than 2 million copies and peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard charts. The song itself hit No. 1.
Two decades later, the band’s bassist Paul De Lisle, says he remembers when the album sold 500,000 copies.
“We were on tour with Sugar Ray on our first national tour ever,” DeLisle said during a Park Record interview. “The next thing we knew, we were presented with a Gold record.”
The certification extended Smash Mouth’s tour.
“It was a whirlwind,” DeLisle said. “I think we were on the road for three years straight and didn’t come home.”
So, what does the Grammy Award-nominated band do to celebrate its 20th anniversary? Go on tour, of course.
Smash Mouth will make a stop at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, at the St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights summer concert series at Deer Valley. The band will headline an evening that will feature Cracker and The Romantics.
“The last time we were in Park City was in 2015,” DeLisle said. “We play in Utah quite a bit. We love it there.”
As DeLisle and the band’s lead singer Steve Harwell — the remaining original members — thought about the anniversary, they decided to do some things to commemorate the event.
“[First of all] we commissioned some really cool remixes of ‘Walkin’ on the Sun,’ our first single,” DeLisle said. “The first one is on Spotify[.com] right now.”
That remix was crafted by Dave Aude who was nominated for a Grammy in 2010 for a remix of Dean Coleman’s “I Want You.”
“We’ll have some more coming out soon,” DeLisle said.
The second thing he and Hartwell decided to do was to rerecord “Fush Yu Mang” semi acoustically.
“It’s not quite done, yet, but we’re really having fun with this,” DeLisle said. “We’ve been talking with our old label, Interscope Records, and they are going to release it for us.”
DeLisle said he hoped to release the album at the end of the year, but it may be pushed back to the start of next year.
“We might package it with the original album and add a bunch of the remixes,” he said.
DeLisle also put together a band program for the anniversary.
“It tells the story about ‘Fush You Mang,’ and how we recorded it,” he said. “The program will be up for sale on our website sometime soon.”
Creating memoirs isn’t a new thing for DeLisle, who has a degree in journalism.
In 2013, he published a book called “Recipes on the Road.”
“When we are on the road and get to a town, we always find a cool place to eat,” DeLisle said. ‘So, we came up with this idea to have all of our favorite restaurants across the country submit some recipes. I made it into a cookbook, and with every recipe, I would write a true story about something that happened to us in that town. Most of the stories are pretty funny.”
Two years later, DeLisle published Smash Mouth’s official biography, “Walkin’ on the Sun.”
“This book is more focused on the band,” he said. “It tells the Smash Mouth story of how we got signed and how the whole thing took place from my perspective.”
DeLisle enjoyed writing the books.
“When you sit down to think about a memoir, you usually think about the good memories,” he said with a laugh. “I’m sure there were a lot of crappy things that happened along the way, but [we] don’t really highlight those things in our brains.
“You remember one thing and that leads to one thing and then another and another. All I can say is that we did a lot of [stuff], and we had a lot of fun and still do.”
Some of the added career highlights for Smash Mouth include numerous TV appearances and a cameo in Jerry Zucker’s 2001 comedy “Rat Race.”
“Originally, they wanted to hire Stone Temple Pilots, and it didn’t happen,” DeLisle said. “We just happened to be coming through home at the time. We got a call from our manager about the opportunity to do this film.”
After a little investigating, Smash Mouth decided to do the film and had a blast hanging out on set for a week.
“I’m not much of an actor, but they gave me a line, which I was terrified to do, by the way, but I got it out,” DeLisle said with a laugh. “I think it was something like, ‘Get these guys some jackets.’”
These days, the band is still in demand.
“Last year, there was this show called ‘Greatest Hits’ on ABC, which was cool and fun,” DeLisle said. “We also played the Today Show on Halloween, and we were just mentioned in a Geico commercial. We love poking fun of ourselves.”
The newest project is a “Fush Yu Mang” signature wine.
“We are doing a cabernet and chardonnay,” DeLisle said.
DeLisle said Smash Mouth has done a lot, but knows there are other opportunities that can come around.
One of those is a partnership with an independent band called Car Seat Headrest.
“We follow each other online and have kicked around the idea of having them record one of our songs, and we record one of their songs,” DeLisle said. “That’s the great thing now. We can do whatever we want. Some people may question our decisions, but the answer will always be, ‘Because we feel like it.’
That doesn’t mean life on the road is one big party.
“We tour year round, so we’re constantly in and out of hotels and airports,” he said. “We’re old guys now, so it does get tiring.
“It’s not easy to live out of your suitcase and live in airplanes. But we love it. And we love our fans.”
Being around for 20 years has its perks, DeLisle said.
“We have the luxury to go out and perform the hits without the stress of record executives breathing down your neck,” he said. “We just get to go out and play for the fans.”
The Park City Institute will present Smash Mouth, Cracker and The Romantics at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, at Deer Valley Resort. Tickets range from $44 to $79. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://www.bigstarsbrightnightsconcerts.org.
Summit County gardeners can purchase local-climate friendly plants and seeds to grow this season