Today marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Shrek, the DreamWorks animated film that went on to spawn a franchise and a million memes. But it also established Smash Mouth as the official Shrek band: Their 1999 hit “All Star” opens the film, and their cover of The Monkees‘ “I’m a Believer” closes it. Now, 20 years on, the band is proud of the association.
Smash Mouth founder and bass player Paul DeLisle tells USA Today, “That’s how we’re identified: kids are like, ‘Look, it’s the Shrek guys.’ We are the Shrek band. What are you gonna do? You can’t fight it. I just embrace it. You’ve got to be a good sport about it.”
While former Smash Mouth guitarist Greg Camp, who wrote “All Star,” was initially “hesitant” about it being used in the film, DeLisle believes Camp’s since come around.
“At the time, I think he might have felt that we were maybe losing some [street cred] or something, but I never saw it that way,” says DeLisle, adding, “Once everyone saw the movie it was hard to argue that we [didn’t make] the right choice.”
Smash Mouth recorded “I’m a Believer” for the film first, and then the producers decided to add “All Star” later on. DeLisle jokes that they chose it because Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell “vaguely resembles Shrek.”
“He’s kind of Shrek-ish himself and ever since then, I don’t think we’ve played a show in 20 years where there isn’t someone in the audience dressed up like Shrek or with a Shrek sign or something,” he laughs.
“It’s such a wonderful American institution that keeps regenerating,” DeLisle notes. “It’s a wonderful thing to be attached to, and [I’m] very proud to be a part of it.”
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