DO YOU LIKE WAFFLES? Is it raining tacos? Do you wish you went on tour with Weezer as Nerf Herder did? The career of these affable pop-punk titans is enough to make your head spin. Did you know they wrote the god damn theme song to Buffy The Vampire Slayer?!? Honestly, Nerf Herder is a band that just keeps on giving and today is no different. With a world burning at the stake, we are lucky that Nerf Herder has created the perfect distraction with their brand new single, “We All Got COVID (Except for Linus).” You can STREAM 240 seconds of pure pop-punk perfection on all digital platforms right NOW! Check out what frontman Parry Gripp had to say about the song below:
“This is a song where we recorded the music a few years ago before the pandemic and has been sitting around waiting for lyrics,” reveals chief Herder Gripp. “And then COVID happened and we got COVID. And I’m like, ‘Boom! Let me just make this song really fast.’ I recorded the vocals while I had COVID. Within three days after [recording] the thing, we were just going to release it. And then we thought, ‘Let’s release it through FAT.'”
Because we all need some good news for a change, “We All Got COVID (Except for Linus),” is an appetizer for more Herder activity. On June 24th, Fat Wreck Chords will be reissuing the band’s third album, 2002’s American Cheese, on vinyl and digitally. Previously released on Honest Don’s, and featuring such smudged gems as “Mr. Spock” and “Welcome To My World,” Cheese is a SoCal talisman no pop-punk practitioner should be without (especially with the inclusion of seven digital-only bonus tracks).
Nerf Herder’s slice o’ life vignettes are high in joy and low on pretentiousness. From the early days that spawned 1996’s legendary single “Van Halen” and a solid self-titled debut LP on Arista to arriving at the stable of Fat Wreck Chords artists, Gripp and his Herd-mates—lead guitarist Linus of Hollywood (who has yet to contract COVID), bassist Ben Pringle and drummer Steve Sherlock—have returned to remind you that in the face of life’s unrelenting sadness, there is always reason to laugh and pogo or discover that your zipper is down.
Gripp is an affable guy who has created a successful cottage industry of his own, writing and recording blink-and-miss-’em songs for cartoons, jingles for products that don’t exist and love songs to everything from kittens (“Cat Flushing A Toilet”) to carbohydrates (“Do You Like Waffles?”)—and picking up an Emmy Award for his work with Disney in the process. (Seriously, his “Raining Tacos” is a better smile generator than anything in that whole rassin’-frassin’ Baby Shark phylum.) But lest you think the Gripp and his Herder commandos are merely whimsical one-trick goofballs using pop punk like some kind of replacement poker night, Gripp will call you on your shade quickly.
Gripp describes Linus Of Hollywood as “a really amazing guy. He is, first of all, the best musician in Nerf Herder, an incredibly shredding guitarist. He was in a band called Size 14. They had a song called ‘Claire Danes Poster.’ So they’re kind of like contemporaries of Nerf Herder.” Bassist Ben Pringle did a stint with the Rentals and has a graduate degree in music history. (“He has this knowledge. If you have a question about Monteverdi or something like that, he can answer that. Not that it ever comes up, but nice to have.”) Drummer Steve Sherlock is an original Herder that Gripp credits with, well, everything. “I would not be doing this at all if it wasn’t for Steve,” says Gripp. “He’s my pal, I like hanging out with him and it’s fun to do stuff with him. He handles a lot of the artwork for Nerf Herder. He works in the art department at Powell-Peralta, so he’s got that cool skateboarding thing going for him.” Clearly, Nerf Herder’s punk bona fides speak for themselves.
It also should be stated that Gripp and his squad aren’t making light of the devastation that’s happened in the wake of the coronavirus. In typical Nerf Herding style, he’s staring into the mirror long and hard—and slapping himself silly.
“It actually did cross my mind that people would go, ‘Oh, you’re making fun of this thing, and all these people are dying,’” Gripp says. “But I feel like the point of the song is that we got COVID and we’re bummed about it. It doesn’t try to make any judgments or anything. It’s a staple NerfHerder thing to [act] like an idiot singing the song. You’re like, ‘Hey, I’m an idiot. I played these shows and I got COVID. Almost every one of our songs is from the point of view of someone who you’re supposed to think, ‘Oh, I don’t want to be like that person.’ I describe the perspective as the relatable idiot. Someone can hear the song and say, ‘Oh, I might do that. That is a dumb thing to do.’ That’s sort of the point of a lot of Nerf Herder songs. And there are people who would love to make fun of somebody who did something stupid. They can be like, ‘Ha, that Nerf Herder guy. Man, what a dumb ass.’”
Because we all need some good news for a change, “We All Got COVID” is a taste for more Herder activity. FAT will be reissuing the band’s third album, 2002’s American Cheese. Previously released on Honest Don’s and featuring such smudged gems as “Mr. Spock” and “Welcome To My World,” Cheese is a SoCal talisman no 21st century pop-punk practitioner should be without (especially with the inclusion of seven digital-only bonus tracks). In 2022, Gripp and Nerf Herder are preparing to make a bigger clamor for your attention. As much as they can without touring, that is…
“Oh my God, and get COVID again?” he asks in mock horror. “No, thank you! I think we’ll wait and see what happens. There was an article in the LA Times recently and it was just like, ‘All these bands are touring and everyone’s getting COVID.’ And I don’t want to go out and keep getting COVID all the time. But we are very excited about doing stuff with FAT. It’s something to do for fun, so we’re going to keep doing it because of that.”