Pennywise is a skatepunk band from Hermosa Beach, California, formed in 1988. The 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, the band has released ten full-length studio albums (the last being 2012's All or Nothing), one live album, two EPs and one DVD. Although their first two studio albums were critically acclaimed, Pennywise would not experience worldwide commercial success until the 1995 release of their third studio album, About Time, which peaked at number ninety-six on the Billboard 200, and number fifty-five on Australia's ARIA Charts. The band's mainstream success was signified by a growing interest in punk rock during the 1990s, along with fellow California bands NOFX, Rancid, Blink-182, Bad Religion, Green Day, The Offspring and Sublime. By 2007, the band had independently sold over 3 million records worldwide,[1] making them one of the most successful independent punk acts of all time.

Pennywise's current line-up consists of Jim Lindberg (vocals), Fletcher Dragge (guitars), Randy Bradbury (bass) and Byron McMackin (drums). They had kept their original line-up together until bassist Jason Thirsk died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound 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.[2] With Téglás, the band recorded their tenth studio album All or Nothing, which was released on May 1, 2012.[3] Lindberg rejoined the band later that year after Téglás was sidelined by a back injury.


Pennywise in 2012

Band historyEdit

Early years (1988–1992)Edit

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, except for McMackin, who attended Redondo Union High School.

The group signed to Epitaph Records in 1990 and released their first album Pennywise (1991). The album quickly circulated 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)Edit

Lindberg got married and returned to the group in 1992 in time for their second album Unknown Road released in August 1993, an underground hit that established the band as a force in punk music. While the album did not chart on the Billboard 200, it gained Pennywise supporting slots on national and world tours with bands such as The Offspring (who were also not very well known at the time). It contained 13 tracks and one hidden track, "Slowdown".

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 Australian 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 his alcoholism. While initially successful, he relapsed and died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest on July 29, 1996.

New bassist and continued popularity (1996–2002)Edit

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 was 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."

A live album, Live @ 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. 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 and The Fuse (2003–2006)Edit

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.[4]

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.

Reason to Believe and split with Lindberg (2007–2009)Edit

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 Billboard chart, but this was largely because the album was offered as a free download on Myspace, where over400,000 copies were downloaded, making it one of their most successful albums. It peaked at No. 98 in the United States on the The Billboard 200, and No. 46 in Australia on the ARIA Albums Chart. Reason to Believe did retain three singles, "The Western World", "Die For You", and "One reason".

In August 2009, Jim Lindberg announced he was leaving the band.[5] 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.

By the time Lindberg left the group, Pennywise had begun writing new material for a tenth studio album.[6]

Zoli Téglás and All or Nothing (2009–2012)Edit

[1][2]Pennywise in 2011 with Lindberg's replacement Zoli Téglás (second from left)Zoli Téglás, frontman for OC hardcore/punk band Ignite, previously filled in on vocals during the band’s set on the 2009 Smokeout Festival, while Lindberg was filming a documentary, The Other F Word, based on his book, Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Real Life.[7]

It was announced on February 16, 2010 that Téglás would become Jim's permanent replacement.[2] In an interview with Zoli, he talked about his joining Pennywise and plans for a brand new Pennywise album. Ignite will continue on as a band with Zoli. However, the release of their new album was delayed, partly due to commitments with the 2010 Warped Tour. Guitarist Fletcher Dragge said in a July 2010 that it would be released around the beginning of 2011.[8] The album's release date has since been pushed back again. On October 19, 2011, Pennywise announced on their Twitter page that they had begun work on their new album.[9] On March 7, 2012, the band released the song "All or Nothing" from the album with the same title on KROQ's website.[3]

Pennywise did a six-date South American tour in December 2010.[10] After that, they toured Europe in January and February 2011, followed by Australia's Soundwave in February and March and three live dates in Japan in April.[11][12]

Reunion with Lindberg and next album (2012–present)Edit

Téglás injured his back during a June 2012 concert in Germany, requiring emergency surgery.[13][14] Pennywise was forced to cancel all touring activity for the year to allow the singer to heal.[13] Téglás wanted to leave the band and had been in touch with Lindberg, asking him rejoin.[13] In an appearance on KROQ-FM that October, Dragge and Lindberg announced Lindberg's return, to be celebrated with a January 2013 show at the Hollywood Palladium commemorating the band's 25th anniversary.[13] Lindberg's return was at a South American Festival Tour, that started November 4th in São Paulo, Brazil.

Pennywise is currently working on a new album, which will be their first with Lindberg on vocals since 2008's Reason to Believe.[15][16] They also have plans to release a box set.[17] In August 2014, Pennywise will play to Heavy MTL, with Bad Religion, Offspring, Metallica, Dropkick Murphys and many others.

Style and influencesEdit

Pennywise's style is mostly made up of punk rock, but it also contains elements from other genres most notable Surf Rock but also including alternative rock, metal/crossover thrash and 1990s 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". Their lyrics also cover a wide range of topics, including the degradation of the United States and society in general with songs like "Society", "Victim of Reality", "Fuck Authority", "Anyone Listening" and "God Save the USA".


Main article: Pennywise discography;Studio albums

Band membersEdit

Current members
  • Jim Lindberg – lead vocals (1988–91, 1992–2009, 2012–present)
  • Fletcher Dragge – guitar, backing vocals (1988–present)
  • Randy Bradbury – bass, backing vocals (1996–present)
  • Byron McMackin – drums, backing vocals (1988–present)
Former members
Touring musicians


  1. Jump up ^ "Epitaph Records: Pennywise Vocalist JIM LINDBERG Releases First Book: Punk Rock Dad". Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b "Pennywise officially names Zoli Teglas of Ignite as new vocalist." February 16, 2010.
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b "Pennywise Premieres "All Or Nothing" Title Track From Forthcoming Album". March 7, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  4. Jump up ^ Home Movies hosted on Vimeo
  5. Jump up ^ "Vocalist Jim Lindberg leaves Pennywise." August 21, 2009.
  6. Jump up ^ "Pennywise writing next album." June 2, 2009.
  7. Jump up ^ "Pennywise frontman leaves group." August 21, 2009.
  8. Jump up ^ Borges, Christine (July 24, 2010). "Countdown to Warped Tour: Q&A with Flether Dragge of Pennywise – Broward Palm Beach Music – County Grind". Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  9. Jump up ^!/Pennywise/status/126819574921433088
  10. Jump up ^ Sandal Studios, "PENNYWISDOM 2009". Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  11. Jump up ^ Sandal Studios, "Tour Dates". Pennywisdom. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  12. Jump up ^ "Pennywise / Red Tape Parade (Europe)". Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  13. ^ Jump up to: a b c d Tilles, Jay (October 29, 2012). "Pennywise Reunite with Singer Jim Lindberg, Celebrate with L.A. Concert". KROQ-FM. Retrieved 2012-10-29.
  14. Jump up ^ Yancey, Bryne (July 2, 2012). "Pennywise Cancel Euro Shows After Frontman Zoli Téglás Collapses Onstage". Retrieved 2012-10-30.
  15. Jump up ^ Kira (March 5, 2013). "Interview: Jim Lindberg (Pennywise)". Retrieved 2013-07-18.
  16. Jump up ^ Aubin (April 15, 2013). "Tours: Pennywise working on anniversary box set, new album". Retrieved 2013-07-18.
  17. Jump up ^ Hebblewhite, Mark (April 2, 2013). "Like Sands Through The Hourglass". Retrieved 2013-07-18.

External linksEdit