AIDS research, punk rock and hot sauce on the side

Dexter Holland.

Dexter Holland's Gringo Bandito hot sauce.

Dexter Holland and Kai Ryssdal at Marketplace HQ.

"Punk rock is very rebellious of course but it also means thinking for yourself."

That's according to punk rock musician and lead singer of The Offspring, Dexter Holland. He doesn’t think you should be surprised by his side job as a molecular biologist -- or his hot sauce company, Gringo Bandito.

"You always feel like something’s slipping," says Holland about juggling so many careers. But he still enjoys the variety. "It’s like man, who gets to do what I do? It’s awesome."

He studied molecular biology before leaving to pursue music with The Offspring full-time, but has since gone back to school. His research is focused on finding ways to stop HIV/AIDs.

Plus, Holland has a sense of humor about all the different pursuits.

"I’m sitting eating a taco one day, putting some hot sauce on it and I’m thinking, why don’t I have a hot sauce?", so Holland DIY’d his own recipe and after a positive response from friends and co-workers, he started selling it.

Despite finding success in non-music ventures, he says doesn’t have plans to stop making music.

"Ten years ago, I was like, I can’t imagine doing this when I’m 50," he says. "Now I’m like, hell yes! 75! Let’s do it!"

“You can’t sing about the same things as you did when you were 20, it would be ridiculous to sing about, I don’t know, being in the quad," he says, but adds that “You can’t really write about mortgage payments or stuff like that … but you can talk about, let’s make the world a better place.”

Holland created a money-themed playlist for Marketplace. You can listen here:


Listen to the full interview with Holland:

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

Dexter Holland's Gringo Bandito hot sauce.

Dexter Holland and Kai Ryssdal at Marketplace HQ.

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