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Biography

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Pennywise was formed in 1988 in Hermosa Beach, California by four members Jim Lindberg (vocals), Fletcher Dragge (guitar), Byron McMackin (drums) and Jason Thirsk (bass). They released two EPs: A Word from the Wise (1989) and Wildcard (1992). Each of the band members had played in other bands in the Hermosa Beach, California area and attended the same high school.

The group signed to Epitaph Records in 1990 and released Pennywise in 1991; the album quickly spread 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 and Thirsk took his place on vocals, with Randy Bradbury taking Thirsk's place on bass. Lead singer of The Vandals, Dave Quackenbush also took over on vocals for a brief stint in 1992 while Thirsk remained on bass. Lindberg married but returned to the group in 1992.

With Lindberg back, Pennywise released Unknown Road (1993), which was an underground hit and established the band as a force in punk music. By 1995, punk bands like the Offspring and Rancid had hit the mainstream and Pennywise was invited to join several major labels. The band refused and stuck with Epitaph Records, releasing About Time in 1995; the album was another indie hit.

In 1996, Pennywise began recording their fourth album; Thirsk left to try to quit drinking; he was successful but then committed suicide after a relapse on July 29, 1996.

After Jason Thirsk's death, the band released Full Circle (1997) with Bradbury and Straight Ahead (1999). This was followed by a live album, Live at the Key Club (2000) and Land of the Free? (2001) After that came From the Ashes (2003).

2004 saw the re-release of their only video called Home Movies for a DVD version. The video was originally released in 1995 and has been out of print since 1997.

The band's eighth album, The Fuse, was released in Europe on June 27 and in North America on August 9, 2005. Also during that year, they released digitally-remastered versions of their older albums: Pennywise, Unknown Road, About Time and Full Circle on March 8.

After the release of The Fuse, there were some rumors of a break up after their Australian tour was cancelled. However, frontman Jim Lindberg has later denied this statement.

An interesting note of the band is that they release an album every two years, and because of this, some fans are expecting their ninth studio album to be released in 2007. However, as of the summer of 2006, no details about the album are known and plans to record it haven't been announced. Rumors on internet reports believe that a new Pennywise album would be recorded after their upcoming tour, but the band has not confirmed this.

Pennywise has been confirmed for the 2007 Vans Warped Tour. They will be playing from June 28-July 25 and then will be re-joining the tour August 17-25.

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