90's kids: whip out the Capri Sun, dump it into your after-work glass of wine, and cue up a Shrek marathon because Smash Mouth's "All Star" has returned.
Electronic production duo Breathe Carolina have turned back the clock for an official remix of "All Star" to celebrate the iconic earworm's 20th anniversary. The term "earworm" here is spot on, echoing a sentiment by Rolling Stone, who wrote, "Smash Mouth’s “All Star” has followed you incessantly for the last two decades. If you’re under the age of 30, it’s a part of the fabric of your life as much as it’s a strand of the DNA that keeps the internet funny and weird." While the song has been the butt of many memes, its influence on pop culture is undeniable.
Remixing a song of this magnitude is a daunting task, but Breathe Carolina hit the nail on the head. Taking the single into electropop territory, the Denver-born duo were smart to keep the infectious melody of the original intact, even using the same whistle samples that have been stuck in our heads for the last 20 years. Framing the remix in a bouncy moombah-pop rhythm, Breathe Carolina did a fantastic job of breathing new life into "All Star" with a refreshing twist instead of butchering it into electronic oblivion like many other producers. Smash Mouth agreed, saying, "We gravitated towards Breathe Carolina because of their prior work especially the Marshmello and Bastille "Happier" remix. Obviously, the EDM genre is on fire and it's still fresh and new but we really liked the way Breathe Carolina kept the skeleton of the song the same but transported it to 2019."
I had the distinct privilege of chatting with Breathe Carolina's David Schmitt and Tommy Cooperman about how the opportunity came about and their thought process behind the production.
EARMILK: It’s been 20 years since “All Star” was released, which is mind-boggling and makes me feel like an old man, even though I was born in ’91. How did this opportunity come about?
Breathe Carolina: Our management was asked if we would like to do it and we said, "Of course!"
EM: What drew you guys to this remix opportunity? What made it appealing?
BC: Well we grew up in the time this song was massive. And when we went to listen to it again for the remix, we knew we could give it a 2019 switch and make it a summer anthem again!
EM: In one word, describe the feeling of releasing an official remix of the main song from Shrek.
EM: Remixing an alternative rock song of this magnitude is no easy task. What was your creative thought process behind the production? How did you decide the direction you wanted to take?
BC: We knew we wanted to make it something for the summer, especially something for all the pool parties we're going to be playing.
EM: If another opportunity like this were to come along, what classic pre-2000’s song, from any genre, would you choose to remix? Why?
BC: We always sing "Closing Time" by Semisonic, haha. That one would be super fun.
EM: Fast-forward 20 years. The year is 2039. What Breathe Carolina track, which you believe will stand the test of time, would you want remixed? Why?
BC: “Blackout”. To date, it’s been our biggest track radio-wise and think it'll always be that song that people remember us by!
EM: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today!