I’M just a teenage dirtbag baby, listen to Iron Maiden baby with me…

I am sure you will all be familiar with these lyrics, still prominent nearly twenty years after the single was released.

This month Wheatus will be singing in Bridgwater on May 31, so we caught up with Brendan B Brown (the original Teenage Dirtbag) to learn all about the song that made Wheatus’ name back in 2000.

Brendan said: “When I was 9 I was obsessed with Angus Young – I loved ACDC. I used to beg my Australian friend to bring back new records that hadn’t yet been released here.

“By the age of ten, I had a serious ACDC collection.

“I was considered a metal head by the age of 15 when people like Rush, Metallica and ACDC were popular.”

By 1992, Brendan was in a band called Bandersnatch, who played cover sets to colleges but also wrote original songs too.

After college, Brendan got a job as soon as he could and brought the Village Voice every Wednesday. Each week he would answer all the guitarist ads, so for a while, his life consisted or working and auditioning.

Somerset County Gazette:

How did Teenage Dirtbag begin?

In1995, Brendan began messing around with the riff to Teenage Dirtbag.

He explained: “I was sat in my apartment in Queens, playing the riff and thinking about Cindy Lauper and how she would write a metal song.

“I wrote the first verse and chorus in a day and was stuck with just this for six months. While commuting to my job, which was about 45 minutes in New York traffic, I used to put on the tape of the music and sing along different lyrics – trying to find the right ones.”

Brendan has a back and forth relationship with Philip A. Jimenez, co-producer of Teenage Dirtbag.

In the summer of 1996, Brendan bumped into Phil and played him Teenage Dirtbag. The pair ended up joining forces and worked together on the song from 1996 until 1999.

Brendan said: “I wanted the first half to feel like a hip-hop song and the second half to feel like a Paul Simon meets metal track.

“It took a long time to swing into the drum beat but we managed to get a record deal in 1999 and finished the album in March 2000.

“I didn’t know it would be such a big hit. I knew it was a decent song, but I had no illusions about how easy it was to have a big hit.”

Since then, the record took off and the song still remains popular nearly twenty years later.

To celebrate, the band are releasing a new version of the original album in 2020, with twenty songs – to celebrate twenty years since Teenage Dirtbag.

Brendan added: “I went rifling back through old archives and found 10 or 12 songs that sounded right but didn’t make it to the album so we are releasing a new version of the old album.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Wheatus now

Since Teenage Dirtbag, Wheatus have released six albums (and a seventh next year).

Brendan said that their style of music has changed and become more technically challenging since their first album – especially if you listen to songs such as Valentine (2013) or Lullaby (2018).

Brendan said: “We have become a lot more progressive and technically challenging and we have made more complicated songs.

“We decided to put music out there that brings us to the edge of what we can achieve.”

Today the band consists of Brendan B Brown (lead vocals, guitar), Matthew Milligan (bass), Leo Freire (drums), Brandon Ticer (keyboards), Gabrielle Sterbenz (backing vocals), Joey Slater (backing vocals) and Karlie Bruce (backing vocals).

If you want to see Wheatus on tour, they are coming to Bridgwater Palace Nightclub on May 31 at 7pm.

And don’t worry, you are bound to hear your favourite Wheatus song.

As Brendan said: “It is the best. I have never been sick of playing Teenage Dirtbag.

“It has always been a song I need to keep an eye on and practice to make sure I can still do it.”

Tickets for the event cost £18.15.

To book tickets please visit www.seetickets.com/tour/wheatus

To find out more about Wheatus, the please visit www.wheatus.com