“I was down in the Bahamas, recording at Compass Point, and I got a call from my manager telling me that Dexter from The Offspring wanted to meet with me. Dexter flew down the next day and told me that his band and Rancid had just been offered $10 million apiece to move from Epitaph to Sony. Rancid said no – they didn’t want to lose their audience – and Dexter was afraid of the same thing. But he knew that I could work with alternative bands and bring them to the mainstream.
“We did Ixnay On the Hombre, which was pretty satisfying – it was kind of a crossover from their old production sound to their new sound. After that, we did Americana, which kind of picked up where Ixnay left off. But see, I never made a record for the money before, and this time I couldn’t say that.
“I made a ton of dough, but I was now making corporate-like records. I didn’t like that feeling. It threw me into a spin and off-balance. I always tried to do something different, but now I wasn’t. I was going for what everybody else would have. This has nothing to do with Offspring, and it’s nothing against any of them. They’re great guys, and they were fun to work with. But when I finished the record, I didn’t have the same kind of satisfaction that I once had. All of a sudden, I said, ‘Who am I? Am I the guy who’s expected to feed the radio system and make these big records?’ I kind of lost my bearings after this."