Pennywise (band): Wikis


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Pennywise in 2006.
Background information
Origin Hermosa Beach, California, United States
Genres Punk rock, melodic hardcore, skate punk
Years active Since 1988
Labels Theologian, Epitaph, MySpace
Associated acts Con 800, One Hit Wonder, Chaos Delivery Machine, Ignite
Zoli Téglás
Fletcher Dragge
Randy Bradbury
Byron McMackin
Former members
Jason Thirsk
Jim Lindberg
Dave Quackenbush

Pennywise is an American punk rock band from Hermosa Beach, California, formed in 1988. Their band name is derived from the monster, It from the Stephen King novel, of the same title.

Between their 1991 self-titled debut and 2005's The Fuse, Pennywise had released an album every two years on Epitaph Records, a label owned by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. To date, Pennywise has released nine full-length studio albums, one live album, two EPs and one DVD. Their most recent studio album is 2008's Reason to Believe, which was released for free through a partnership between MySpace and Textango, a mobile music distributor. The album was also sold in stores through MySpace Records in the United States and Epitaph in Europe.

Pennywise's line-up, which remained constant from 1996 to 2009, consisted of Jim Lindberg (vocals), Fletcher Dragge (guitars), Randy Bradbury (bass) and Byron McMackin (drums). They kept their original line-up until original bassist Jason Thirsk committed suicide in 1996, due to issues with his alcoholism, after which Bradbury joined as his replacement. In August 2009, Lindberg decided to leave the band; he was replaced in February 2010 by Ignite singer Zoli Téglás.[1]


Band history


Early years (1988–1992)

Pennywise was formed in 1988 in Hermosa Beach, California, by singer Jim Lindberg, guitarist Fletcher Dragge, drummer Byron McMackin and bassist Jason Thirsk. They released two EPs A Word from the Wise and Wildcard (both 1989). Each of the band members had played in other bands in the Hermosa Beach area and attended Mira Costa High School.

The group signed to Epitaph Records in 1990 and released their first album Pennywise (1991). The album quickly spread throughout the punk community, earning the band some nation-wide recognition. Lyrics in the album endorsed a positive mental attitude, helping promote progressive ideals for Generation X. Lindberg left the band soon after the debut record. Bass player Randy Bradbury joined the lineup as Thirsk took over lead vocal duties. In 1992, The Vandals lead singer Dave Quackenbush took over on vocals for a brief stint. Bradbury left the band and Thirsk returned to bass.

Increasing popularity and Thirsk's death (1993–1996)

Lindberg got married and returned to the group in 1992 in time for their second album Unknown Road released in August of 1993, an underground hit that established the band as a force in punk music. Like its predecessor, Unknown Road did not chart on the Billboard 200. It contained 13 tracks and one hidden track, "Slowdown".

By 1995, punk bands Green Day, The Offspring and Rancid hit the mainstream and Pennywise refused invitations to join several major labels. About Time, Pennywise's third studio album, was released on June 13, 1995. It was their first album to chart on the Billboard 200, ranking 96. It also charted 55 on the Austrailian Album Chart, and produced one single "Same Old Story". This was also the last album to feature Jason Thirsk playing bass throughout.

In 1996, Pennywise began recording their fourth album. Thirsk left the band in an attempt to conquer alcoholism. He was successful but relapsed and died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest on July 29, 1996.

Full Circle, Straight Ahead (1996–1999)

Following Thirsk's death, Bradbury rejoined the band as bassist and recorded their next album, Full Circle (1997). Despite the loss of the band's friend and bassist, the album came out several months after Thirsk's death and dedicated in his honor. In tribute of Thirsk, the band re-recorded a song from their first album "Bro-Hymn" and renamed it "Bro-Hymn (tribute)". The album artwork of Full Circle resembles the cover art from their first album.

The band's next album Straight Ahead was released in 1999. The album reached 62 on the Billboard Top 200, and 8 on the Australian Albums Chart. The album's only single is "Alien", which reached 36 on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks. An 18th track was released only in Australia, a cover of the Men at Work song "Down Under."

Live at the Key Club, Land of the Free?, and From the Ashes (2000–2004)

A live album, Live at the Key Club was released in 2000. It contained songs from all their previous albums. Land of the Free? was released in 2001 and ranked 67 on th Billboard Top 200 and number 21 on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart. This album contained an explicit song though it did not obtain a parental advisory label. The song "Who's On Your Side" was co-written by Brett Gurewitz (also known as Mr. Brett), a guitarist and song writer for Bad Religion.

From the Ashes was released on September 9, 2003 (United States), and reached number 54 on the Billboard Top 200, number 4 on the Top Independent Albums chart, and 13 Australian Albums Chart, marking the highest initial charting album in Pennywise's career. The album contained 14 tracks and retained no singles, although the song "Yesterdays" saw regular radio play on some stations.

Home Movies, the band's only video was originally released in 1995 and had been out of print since 1997. Home Movies was re-released on DVD for the first time in 2004. More footage of Pennywise can be seen on the Steve Martin film 45 Revolutions: A Slice of XVI St. Life, XVI St. being the place where Jason and Fletcher hung out in Hermosa Beach. [2]

The Fuse, and Reason to Believe (2005–2009)

Pennywise at the Vans Warp Tour in 2007.

The band's eighth album, The Fuse, was released in Europe on June 27 and in North America on August 9, 2005. The album retained 15 tracks and charted number 36 on the Australian ARIA Album Charts. The band's Australian tour was canceled leading to breakup rumors, which Lindberg denied. Also that year, digitally-remastered versions of the first four studio albums were released.

Around 2006, Pennywise recorded a cover of Sick of It All's "My Life" for the band's 2007 tribute album Our Impact Will Be Felt. Pennywise were one of many bands to contribute to the tribute.

The band returned to the studio in 2007 to begin work on their ninth album, Reason to Believe which was released on March 25, 2008. The album did not do well on the charts. It peaked at #98 in the United States on the The Billboard 200, and #46 in Australia on the ARIA Albums Chart. Reason to Believe did, however, retain three singles, "The Western World", "Die For You", and "One reason".

Split with Lindberg (2009)

In August 2009, Jim Lindberg announced he was leaving the band.[3] Lindberg released the following statement:

After 20 years, nine albums and thousands of shows around the world, my time in Pennywise has come to an end. Being the singer for this band has been an amazing experience, and along the way we made some of the best fans anyone could ask for. I want to express my deepest thanks to all of you for sticking with us over the years, especially through the passing of Jason years ago. It's your support and encouragement that kept me going this long. There are few things that made me more proud than seeing people at our shows singing our songs. I would also sincerely like to thank everyone who helped us along the way, in every capacity, we never could have done it without you, and I wish everyone in the Pennywise family the best of luck and continued success. Yours truly, Jim.

Front man for OC hardcore/punk band Ignite filled in on vocals during the band’s set on the 2009 Smokeout Festival. Lindberg is currently filming a documentary based on his book, Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Real Life and is planning on recording an album soon.[4] Téglás will be filling in for Lindberg again for the band's spring 2010 European tour.[5]

By the time Lindberg left the group, Pennywise had begun writing new material for a tenth studio album, but according to bassist Randy Bradbury, they have no plans to return to the studio any time soon.[6]

In September 2009, BYO Records released a compilation entitled "Let Them Know – The Story of Youth Brigade and BYO Records". This compilation will include Pennywise's cover of "We're Gonna Fight", by 7 Seconds. [7] This was the final song Jim recorded with Pennywise.

Lindberg's replacement was announced on February 16, 2010 to be Zoli Téglás of long-running Orange County band Ignite.[1]

New singer and new album (2010–present)

In an interview with new singer Zoli Teglas, he talked about his joining Pennywise and plans for a brand new Pennywise album. Zoli and the Pennywise gang are already writing a new Pennywise album from scratch with no Jim influence. Ignite will continue on as a band with Zoli.

Style and influences

Pennywise's style is mostly made up of punk rock, but it does contain elements from other genres including 90's grunge. Their songs and lyrics tend to focus on political and moral wrongs; this can be seen in the songs "Land of the Free?" and "The Western World".



Pennywise have had numerous line-up changes; Fletcher Dragge and Byron McMackin are the only two remaining original members.

Dates & releases Members & prominent instruments Notes
A Word from the Wise,
Wildcard, and
  • First line-up of Pennywise.
  • The classic Pennywise line-up.
  • Quackenbush filled in for Lindberg while he was on hiatus from touring.
Unknown Road and
About Time
  • The classic Pennywise line-up.
  • Although not yet credited as a member of the band, Bradbury contributed some tracks on the Unknown Road album.
Full Circle,
Straight Ahead,
Live @ the Key Club,
Land of the Free?,
From the Ashes,
The Fuse, and
Reason to Believe
  • Randy joined the group in October 1995 when Jason was on hiatus to visit rehab. [2]
  • Prior to Jason's suicide, Randy was supposed to switch to rhythm guitar when Jason returned, but this never happened. Thus, Randy became the band's permanent bass player.
  • Singer Jim Lindberg announced his departure from the band in August 2009. Teglas was originally added as a temporary touring vocalist, but the position was made permanent in early 2010.[1]

In popular culture

"Bro Hymn"

"Bro Hymn" is the theme for many sports teams around the world:

Video game appearances

Pennywise's music has also been featured in numerous video games.

  • "Might be a Dream" is featured in MTV Skateboarding featuring Andy McDonald
  • "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "It's What You Do With It" among others are featured in the arcade game Top Skater
  • "Society" is featured in ESPN X Games ProBoarder
  • "Greed" is featured in Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX
  • "Rise Up" is featured in Burnout 3
  • "Stand Up" is featured in Burnout Revenge
  • "Knocked Down" is featured in EA Sports NHL 06
  • "Knocked Down" is also featured in NHL 2K9
  • "Competition Song" is featured in SSX On Tour
  • "Now I Know" is featured in MTX Mototrax
  • "Wouldn't It Be Nice" is featured in Matt Hoffman's Pro BMX
  • "Disconnect" is featured in MX vs. ATV: Untamed

In other media

  • "No Reason Why", "Fun And Games", and "Living for Today" in Pennywise were featured in skate film Plan B Skateboards
  • "Get a Life" is featured in the BMX video Chaingang
  • Gabba artist DJ Paul Elstak with Teenage Warning used the chant from "Bro Hymn" in a song called "Brohymn (This One's For You)"


External links


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