Read what the Oakland press had to say about Pennywise!

Pennywise is known for its outspoken political views, which have resulted in some of the most potently strident punk rock of the past 10 years. But frontman Jim Lindberg insists the Southern California quartet knows how to have some fun, too - one of the reasons why it's worked up a superspeed version of OutKast's Grammy-winning hit "Hey Ya!" for its live shows. "It just seems so ridiculous ... and it's a great song," explains Lindberg, 38. "We all like the song. We're not ashamed to say it; it's one of those songs that comes along very rarely, where everyone loves it, no matter what. My kids, the first time they heard it, crowded around the television and couldn't believe it. "We figured, 'Wouldn't it be really stupid for us to play it fast?' So that's what we do. Especially if you're a band that's as serious as we are, it's important to inject a little levity or people feel like they've been hit over the head with the pulpit." Pennywise's latest album, "From the Ashes," has the usual dose of heavy lyricism - both personal and political - including songs such as "God Save the USA," "Holiday in the Sun," "Judgment Day" and "This is Only a Test." But even without the oddball cover of "Hey Ya!," Lindberg says the group is confident that its live show does convey a sense of fun. "I think it's a pretty big difference from our releases," he says. "If you see us live, you say, 'These guys are like a party band.' We like to have fun when we play. If people want to know where we stand, they just need to listen to the lyrics. When they come to the shows, we just want them to enjoy themselves."

-Gary Graff
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