They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and they’re usually right for the most part. For this particular instance, the book is actually a 175-page dissertation and the cover has the words “By Bryan Holland” on it.
The reason why this little dissertation is incredibly interesting is because it’s all about looking for a cure for HIV, and Bryan is none other than Dexter Holland, the lead singer of seminal punk rock band, The Offspring.
That’s right, the frontman of a band behind iconic 90s songs such as ‘Self Esteem’ and ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ is a legit doctor on the lookout for a HIV cure in his spare time.
Before Dexter became one of the 1990s leading punk rockers, he was originally pursuing his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California.
But as The Offspring quickly became popular, he shrugged his shoulders and put his studies on hold to ride the punk rock wave because why the hell not. But while being in a band was his day-to-day vocation, science wasn’t too far off his mind.
Remember the lyric ‘keep ’em separated” in the song ‘Come Out and Play”? That was inspired by his experience in a lab involving keeping two liquids separated so they can cool down. Write what you know indeed.
It wasn’t until 2017, some eight albums, 40 million records, and countless concerts later, that Dexter finally got that pesky Ph.D. Who would’ve thought the guy who sang lyrics like “my friend’s got a girlfriend and he hates that bitch” would actually be a secret genius?
Whereas most rock stars would be partying day in day out, Dexter was probably holed up studying up on stuff that will hopefully one day cure HIV. Having said all that, he does caution that his research isn’t a cure or even an immediate step towards it, but he hopes it’ll one day lead to whatever the cure may be.
No need to defend yourself there, Dexter. You’re a goddamn doctor masquerading around as a rock god so you don’t need to give us any excuse.
He may have made his mark by being one of modern punk rock’s legends, but becoming a doctor and fighting the good fight against HIV is probably the most punk thing Dexter’s done in his entire career.