|Origin Manhattan Beach, California
Genres Punk rock
Years active 1978–1983, 1984–1988, 1995–1997, 2002–2004, 2010–present
Labels New Alliance, SST, Epitaph, Fat Wreck Chords
Associated acts All, Black Flag, Only Crime
The Descendents are an American punk rock band formed in 1978 in Manhattan Beach, California. They are seen as one of the most influential punk acts of 1980's and are considered one of the pioneers of modern day pop punk, skate punk, and even melodic hardcore. The Descendents were formed in 1978 by guitarist Frank Navetta, bassist Tony Lombardo and drummer Bill Stevenson. Their first release was the new wavish single "Ride the Wild/It's a Hectic World". In 1980 they enlisted Stevenson's old school friend Milo Aukerman as a singer, and reappeared as a punk band, becoming a major player in the hardcore scene developing in Los Angeles at the time. Their first release with Aukerman, 1981's Fat EP, was a furious six-minute barrage of teen angst and humour. Their debut album the following year, Milo Goes to College, was more melodic than many other hardcore records of the time. They sang about being (and wanting to be) rejected, girls, fishing, and other emotionally sensitive subjects. Songwriting was shared among the band members.
Milo Aukerman went to college, embarking on an education that would take him as far as a doctorate in biochemistry, while Bill Stevenson became the drummer for Black Flag. The Descendents did not record again until 1985 with the album I Don't Want to Grow Up. Much of the song-writing on this LP was much more sensitive than the band's earlier records. The band's lineup changed during the recording of I Don't Want to Grow Up. Navetta departed to become a fisherman in Oregon, and Lombardo left because touring was incompatible with his career as a postal carrier. Ray Cooper, who had originally replaced Milo as vocalist, then replaced Navetta on guitar upon Milo's return, and Doug Carrion (formerly of ANTI) replaced Lombardo on bass. Enjoy!, their next album released in 1986 was not well received by critics. After the Enjoy! tour, Ray Cooper got a job working in the emerging software scene and Doug Carrion left for other projects, eventually ending up in Dag Nasty. Stevenson invited Stephen Egerton and Karl Alvarez of Salt Lake City's Massacre Guys to replace them, and the now permanent lineup of the Descendents was in place. The group released All in (1987), which was considered at the time as the Descendents most mature album. This would be the band's final album before their seven-year hiatus. On the reunion tour, the band that five years before had claimed that they "couldn't sell out a telephone booth" were selling out nearly every show.
Milo left after the back-to-back "All" and "FinALL" tours in 1987 and the remaining Descendents reformed with singer Dave Smalley (later replaced by Scott Reynolds, who was followed by Chad Price) and reformed under the name All, and continued the legacy until 1995, when they reformed again with Milo Aukerman, now a full-time research biochemist, to record and tour in support of the album Everything Sucks, a bit of a return to their early-80s punk style (with Frank Navetta and Tony Lombardo making appearances on "Dog House" and "Eunuch Boy"). A reunion of sorts occurred at All's quasi-annual Stockage festival in Fort Collins, Colorado, in the spring of 2002. Frank Navetta joined Tony Lombardo and Bill Stevenson to play songs from when they were a trio, before Aukerman joined the group. In 2004 the band released the 'Merican EP and their newest full length Cool to Be You, which is among their more emotional releases to date. Containing songs not just about the regular Descendents lyrical themes, but also political commentary and a more mature view on relationships. By this point the group's future was uncertain as the members were living in disparate parts of the United States; Aukerman in Newark, Delaware, Stevenson and Alvarez in Fort Collins and Egerton in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
They have released six studio albums, three live albums, three compilation albums, and three EPs. Since 1987, the band's lineup has consisted of singer Milo Aukerman, guitarist Stephen Egerton, bassist Karl Alvarez, and drummer Bill Stevenson.
- Bill Stevenson – drums (1979–83, 1984–88, 1995–97, 2002–04, 2010–present)
- Milo Aukerman – vocals (1980–84, 1985–88, 1995–97, 2002–04, 2010–present)
- Karl Alvarez – bass guitar (1987–88, 1995–97, 2002–04, 2010–present)
- Stephen Egerton – guitar (1987–88, 1995–97, 2002–04, 2010–present)
- Tony Lombardo – bass guitar (1979–84)
- Frank Navetta – guitar (1979–84)
- Ray Cooper – guitar, vocals (1982–87)
- Doug Carrion — bass guitar (1986–87)
- Milo Goes to College (1982)
- I Don't Want to Grow Up (1985)
- Enjoy! (1986)
- All (1987)
- Everything Sucks (1996)
- Cool to Be You (2004)