Steve Harwell, the lead singer of Smash Mouth who will forever be known for the iconic words “somebody once told me” is hanging up the microphone. After a performance this weekend that found him at times hostile to the audience, it was clear to him, the band, and everyone in attendance that it was time to retire.
According to TMZ, the Smash Mouth singer has struggled with substance abuse and a series of health problems. These include cardiomyopathy and Wernicke’s encephalopathy—a condition affecting his motor functions.
“Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a Rockstar performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream. To my bandmates, it’s been an honor performing with you all these years. I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with,” Harwell told TMZ.
Harwell was reportedly planning on stepping away from the band temporarily. This past weekend’s performance hastened his departure.
A Hit Song for the Ages
It doesn’t take a Smash Mouth fan to recognize the band’s impossibly catchy hit song “All Star.” It’s been played everywhere, from the opening credits of “Shrek” to the Space Shuttle Discovery. Steve Harwell lends his vocals to the iconic lyrics. But the 1999 song was written by Smash Mouth’s guitarist Greg Camp.
Camp talked about the song’s origins in an interview with Songfacts.
“…And about 85-90 percent of the mail was from these kids who were being bullied or their brothers. Or older siblings were giving them s**t for liking Smash Mouth or liking whatever they’re doing or the way they dressed and stuff. So we were, like, ‘We should write a song for fans.’ It was sort of like a daily affirmation. It was designed to be an uplifting, self-confidence-building song,” said Camp.
Smash Mouth Will Carry on Without Steve Harwell
It’s not the greatest news Smash Mouth fans have ever heard. But Steve Harwell himself admitted that his exit from the band is for the best.
“To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you. I’ve tried so hard to power through my physical and mental health issues, and to play in front of you one last time. But I just wasn’t able to,” Harwell told the outlet. “I cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next and am looking forward to counting myself as one of the band’s newest fans.”
We wish Steve Harwell the best as he navigates his health issues in the future.