View Full Version : Brett Gurewitz on The Offspring

01-25-2007, 02:13 AM
Let's discuss the label's defining moment, the Offspring's "Smash." Talk about your reaction when you first heard the album. Did you feel you were sitting on something?

I can remember when I first got the finished masters. Epitaph at the time had maybe five employees. I was driving home from work, listening to the masters, and I circled around my block. I didn't go in my house. I kept circling the neighborhood, listening to the record over and over. I listened to it at least five times in a row. I pulled in my driveway, and I don't know what made me say this, but I said to my wife, "Honey, we're going to be rich." I shit you not.
I don't believe I've ever told that story. I had this feeling deep down in my gut that "Self-Esteem" and "Come Out and Play" were huge hits. I felt it. I didn't know what that meant, but I knew it was by far the biggest record a band had submitted to me.

Prior to that you must have had dreams or designs on things you'd change if you hit it big.

I never thought we'd hit it that big. I mean, we were doing well. We were selling more than 1 million records per year before the Offspring hit. We had maybe 10 groups, and Bad Religion was selling about 100,000 records. We were making good living. What happened when the Offspring started blowing up was that a bunch of majors started coming around to buy my company.

They said, "An independent cannot do this." They told us they could make it go multiplatinum, and we'd have to sell half our business for that to happen. But N.W.A had just had a multiplatinum record with "Straight Outta Compton." That was an indie, Priority. So if a rap act can do it, so can a rock band. I was going to try it, and I turned down $25 million for one-quarter of my company-just one-quarter.

Did you take it personally when the Offspring left Epitaph for Columbia?

I did, and I shouldn't have. I learned a lesson there. It's business. It's not personal. I owe a great debt of gratitude to the Offspring camp, and I feel extremely comfortable saying that. I hope they read that.

Read the full interview here:

01-25-2007, 02:31 AM