One of the largest rock events ever to grace Southwest Florida, the first Fort Rock music fest is hitting JetBlue Park, 11581 Daniels Parkway, Fort Myers, in less than two weeks Sunday, April 14, with music starting at noon and raging all day and night, reigning from two stages, non-stop, until 11 p.m. featuring The Offspring, Volbeat, 3 Doors Down, Papa Roach, Stone Sour, In this Moment, Escape the Fate, Device (featuring Disturbed's David Draiman), Pop Evil, Otherwise, Mindset Evolution, Danko Jones and others.
Greg K., bassist for The Offspring and one of the three original members of the group, took some time out of his family life to speak a bit about the insatiable punk band and what to expect during their Fort Rock festival performance in just a couple of weeks.
"The hype for this concert has been phenomenal, and we're really looking forward to a great show," the bassist said of the April 14 concert. "It's always cool to have different, diverse styles of rock music all performing at one venue it makes for a very diverse crowd. It's gonna be lots of fun."
The Offspring is headling the all-day Fort Rock music festival, taking place Sunday, April 14. Other main acts of the show include Volbeat, Papa Roach, 3 Doors Down, Stone Sour and Device. Photo by SAM JONES.
The boys of The Offspring have been performing their own punk rock music together since the early 80s, and Greg gave us a little insight about the group, and how they first got started in the music business.
"We just started the band to be in a band, not even knowing how to play," he laughed. "None of us knew how to play any instruments. Dexter [Holland] figured he'd get vocals, I decided to take bass, Noodles said he'd play guitar and we just learned to play from there. I guess we kind of did it backwards."
As the boys started rising to fame, friends, colleagues and music associates tried influencing the group's style, making suggestions to try to fit in with what was hot at the time, but Greg said he and his fellow Offspring members stayed true to themselves and true to their style of music that makes them so unique. To this day, he instills that in young musicians looking to make it or break it in
the music world.
"I've always said stay true to what you like don't just do what the trend is at the time. In the '80s when we were starting out, people were telling us to add keyboards, to play a more metal sound punk rock was all underground at the time," he said. "But, we stayed true to who we were. And we continue that today. In a way, we kind of continually evolve off of our own music, but we were
big into influences from great groups like Social Distortion, The Vandals and The Clash."
AT JETBLUE PARK, 11581 DANIELS PARKWAY
What: All-day music festival featuring The Offspring,
3 Doors Down, Papa Roach, Volbeat, Stone
Sour, In This Moment, Popevil and more
When: Sunday, April 14, from noon to 11 p.m.
Cost: From $27 and up, VIP available.
More info: Visit FortRockFestival.com
As a group that manages to evolve while still keeping its core, punk-rock sound, so has The Offspring's audience members.
"From what we can see in the front from the stage, in the beginning, our earlier crowds were a lot younger, with much more aggression. Then, with us, they were getting a little older through the years. Recently, we've noticed a lot of younger fans, along with the original rockers still in the front of the crowd," he said.
What a great compliment and pure sense of homage to the group: Greg's observations show The Offspring's fans not only stuck with them and their music throughout the years, but the group managed
to evolve and gain a new following a new generation of punk-rocking hellraisers. A father of four young boys, it's safe to say Greg K. has his hands pretty full when he's not on tour or in the recording studio.
In his spare time, he likes to golf and enjoys keeping up with his sons' busy schedules.
"Between homework, sports, music, more homework and picking up, that's about it for me," he joked.
But, like many other musicians who hit the road during multiple tours throughout their career, Greg K. has his own tricks and picks while riding and flying along the musical highway of rock and roll.
As far as his favorite city or country while on tour, "I always love when we're in Australia and Europe always a nice trip," he said.
Every musician has a more preferred rest stop and restaurant while on the road.
For Greg, it's any Flying J or Cracker Barrel they can get to.
To keep busy during the boring stretches, he likes to read, and has lately been catching up on TV shows most recently, "Homeland."
Greg is proud to say that over the years, he and his fellow punk-rocking Offspring musicians have gained a real bond with each other, and considers themselves brotherly. Even though the group has been kicking back and taking it easy lately, with a handful of weekend shows and festivals here and there through summer, Greg said they regularly catch up, keep in touch and get together from time to time.
"It's definitely a brotherly thing. We're very close," he said. "We now all have our families, but we still see each other every now and then and always keep in touch."
The Offspring's most recent album is "Days Go By," released in 2012, and the band plans on touring out the rest of the year through 2014. For more information on one of the longest rocking punk groups of modern day history, or to keep an eye on their tour schedule and other band news, visit TheOffspring.com.
About Fort Rock
The first of a hopefully annual event, the upcoming Fort Rock festival is hosted by local radio station 99X and Beasley Broadcasting (99.3-FM), Jagermeister, Monster Energy Drinks, f.y.e., Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Live.
"It's a rock line-up, but we are proud of the diversity," said Jason Lewis, with Arms Division Concerts and Production.
"We have The Offspring with the punk rock edge; 3 Doors Down with the more classic rock commercial sound; then Papa Roach who's a little hard active rock. We try to bring something for everyone in the rock crowd."
General admission tickets are only $44.50 (plus fees), but if you do a little search on Groupon, you can find some reduced tickets.
VIP passes are available for $89.50, which includes access to VIP areas; VIP entrance to venue; access to VIP lounge area, featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service; premium viewing of the
Main Stage (seated and standing areas), seated area with shade for dining, and private restroom facilities.
Four-pack party passes are also available for $130 (plus fees), which includes four general admission tickets. No-service-fee tickets may be purchased for $45 at the 99X/WJBX/Beasley radio station, at 20125 South Tamiami Trail, Estero.
This is an all-ages show. Children 5 years of age and under get in free with a paying adult. Parents are responsible for bringing hearing protection for their children.
No coolers, food, beverages, video cameras, audio recording devices, professional cameras or ones with removable lenses, chairs, umbrellas, weapons, musical instruments, backpacks, duffle bags,
illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia, glass containers or pets are allowed at any time, with exception of service animals.
Blankets, cellphones, sunscreen and binoculars are allowed on premises.
Gates open at 11 a.m., show ends at 11 p.m. There will be a great amount of food, beer and drink vendors on-site, as well as band memorabilia and merch, and three ATMs are on-site for your convenience.
Heads up: food and beverages must be purchased with cash only no credit or debit cards.
For more information, to purchase tickets or for some general FAQs, visit FortRockFestival.com.