By Konnie McCollum
(June 2008) As drivers in the NASCAR Nationwide Series gear up to put their game on at Kentucky Speedway on June 14, race fans will be treated to a free, pre-race concert.
Smash Mouth got its name from a
football term coined by Chicago
Bears Coach Mike Ditka.
Pop rock group Smash Mouth, best known for its 1999 hit single All Star, will perform at 6:30 p.m. on the grandstand concourse at the Kentucky Speedway prior to the Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo.
Formed in 1994 by lead vocalist Steve Harwell, guitarist Greg Camp, bassist Paul De Lisle and drummer Kevin Coleman, the band has collectively sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Coleman left the band in 1999 due to lower back problems. A series of drummers have replaced Coleman since that time.
The group named itself Smash Mouth after a football termed coined by Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka. The term describes a style of hard, straightforward and bare-knuckles rock-and-roll.
Smash Mouths style and musical influences have been a matter of much debate by fans. Most people who only know the bands hit singles often label them as a 1960s-influenced band, however much of their music is more musically diverse.
The band originally played a form of punk music called ska punk, which was popular when the band was formed, but then later branched out and adopted retro styles from several decades of popular music.
Overall, the band claims diverse acts such as Elvis Presley, Van Halen, the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Punk acts Buzzcocks and The Clash were major influences on their musical style.
Smash Mouth got its break in 1996 when a San Jose, Calif., rock radio station played a demo of the bands song Nervous in the Alley. Radio listeners were thrilled with the bands new sound, and Interscope Records signed them to a recording deal.
In 1997, the group released its first major single Walkin on the Sun. The song was the lead single for the album Fush Yu Mang, which went double platinum.
Their next album, Astro Lounge, held the hit single All Star, which rose to No. 1 on the charts. That song was featured on the soundtracks for the movies Mystery Men, and Inspector Gadget, and later Shrek and Rat Race. Astro Lounge is the groups most critically acclaimed and commercially successful album to date.
Along with those two hits, Smash Mouth has consistently impacted radio with other recognizable songs, including Then the Morning Comes, Cant Get Enough of You Baby and a cover of The Monkees classic Im a Believer. Im a Believer, was also featured on the the Shrek soundtrack and went to No. 4 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 Chart.