As the leader of the Offspring, Dexter Holland was partially responsible for making punk rock appealing to the masses nearly two decades after the band's predecessors spent their careers in sleazy, dilapidated clubs. Holland, whose real name is Bryan Keith Holland, was born in Orange County, CA, on December 29, 1966. In the early '80s, Southern California was a hotbed for punk rock and groups such as Agent Orange and Social Distortion built loyal followings from fanzines, college radio, and constant gigs. As a teen, Holland listened to DJ Rodney Bingenheimer spin punk records on his KROQ show; moreover, the Rodney on the ROQ compilations fueled Holland's interest in punk rock. Holland formed the Offspring in the mid-'80s, and in 1989, the band released their self-titled debut.
The Offspring's first two albums created a buzz in the underground, and in 1994, KROQ, the radio station that fed Holland his initial taste of punk, tossed the Offspring's indie single "Come Out and Play" onto regular rotation; the track exploded in popularity and other alternative radio stations and MTV leapt onto the track. Nirvana's Kurt Cobain had just passed away and teens were longing for somebody to fill the void. The Offspring's songs echoed Cobain's angst, but they were often injected with a witty perspective that attracted a more diverse audience. Holland was accused of selling out his punk ideals when the Offspring signed with Columbia Records in 1996. However, neither Holland nor the band did little to alter their sound for mainstream tastes. ~ Michael Sutton, Rovi