On June 29, iconic rock band Smash Mouth — whose social media account, it absolutely must be said, contains a veritable cornucopia of hashtags, YouTube video retweets and brief replies to followers — posted one of its more esoteric messages.
“I see you, I see everything!” it reads. This mildly threatening note is already a bit off-brand for Smash Mouth. The group’s previous tweets are rife with “lols” and “oks” and the occasional ribbing of smarmy followers.
Even more off-brand is the picture attached to it.
There’s a lot of questions I have about this, but the biggest is this: What’s the face of Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell doing on Captain Olimar’s body?
I did my best in tracking down the what and why of this tweet, although there are some parts that remain mired in mystery. For one, this is not the first time that Smash Mouth has tweeted the Olimar Photoshop.
The first and only other time that this image has appeared on the band’s account was way back in May 2015. This tweet’s message, albeit likewise unintelligible, is a bit more fitting of Smash Mouth’s image.
“#EveryoneThinksImWeirdBecause I like to fly around my garden,” Smash Mouth wrote. “#AstroMan.”
That first hashtag was briefly trending back in the late spring of 2015, although the Astro Man hashtag seems to never have been en vogue. Instead, it’s likely the band was using it to refer to the tiny Captain Olimar, whose starring role in Pikmin begins with his rocketship landing on the creatures’ planet.
But where did this picture even come from? The only other instance of it online is in an article from Gamnesia, posted just days before Smash Mouth’s tweet. The story concerns a mashup of “All Star” and “Ai no Uta,” the theme song from Pikmin.
I reached out to MatrixMario, the creator of the song, to see if they knew of the image’s origins. But they told us that they, too, were introduced to it by the Gamnesia story.
It turns out that the writer of that Gamnesia piece made the image himself, but until I reached out to him, he had no idea that Smash Mouth had gotten a hold of it.
“Smash Mouth is more of a meme than a band these days so I guess having them recognize the meme potential in an old banner image I did means I must have done something right,” Gamnesia reporter Alexander Zangari told me.
Zangari’s since memorialized Smash Mouth’s recognition of his hard work in the best way possible. He sent me this image over Facebook Messenger after I told him of how far his image had spread.
As for Smash Mouth’s take on all of this? The band’s still not talking. I contacted its manager, Ron Xepoleas, whose response was as vague as the tweet.
“There's a meaning behind it but not sure the band wants to dive into it,” he said. “Let me ask them.”
I’ve yet to hear back, despite repeated prodding. We’ll see if Smash Mouth is ever willing to talk about how much this image means to them, but at least we can all continue to appreciate it for all of its beautiful weirdness.