Thom Wilson, best known as the producer of the Offspring’s “Smash,” died on February 8. The official statement sent out by the Epitaph label does not mention a cause of death.
“In ’82 when I was just getting started Thom Wilson was a guy all the bands in the scene looked up to,” said Brett Gurewitz, CEO of Epitaph. “He was the pro in our midst who loved punk and was willing to take kids under his wing to help them sound great. His work with TSOL and The Adolescents set the bar for everything that came after, including The Offspring’s multi-platinum LP Smash, which was the best-selling independent release of all time. Tom was a friend, a teacher, and a great producer. He’ll be missed.”
Since the 70s, Wilson has worked on a wide range of projects with a wide range of stars. He gained h is start through engineering records for Burton Cummings and Seals & Crofts. Some of the other big names he worked with include Dead Kennedys, Face to Face Automatic 7, Christian Death, The Vandals, Social Distortion, The Joykiller, Bad Religion, Adolescents and T.S.O.L.
While working with The Offspring’s, Wilson produced the groups first three albums and one of their EPs. These albums are The Offspring (1989), Ignition (1992), and his best known work Smash (1994) and the band’s EP Baghdad.
According to Rolling Stone Wilson’s career spanned additional facets of the industry including the audio of TV show departments. He worked specifically on audio for The Joan Rivers Show, A Different World, Roseanne, and Grace Under Fire.
“One thing I like about Thom is he always made me feel real confident,” T.S.O.L. singer Jack Grisham said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “A thing people don’t understand about punk rock is that it’s about having fun and not following any set rules about doing things. Thom fit right in with us the minute he got there. He was willing to not let us be structured.”