Why Has Smash Mouth Singer Steve Harwell Quit the Band?

Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell has quit the band after spending 27 years as their front man.

Smash Mouth are famous for the the hit "All Star," which was used in movies like Shrek, Inspector Gadget, Mystery Men and Rat Race. They also released popular covers of songs including "I'm a Believer," "Why Can't We Be Friends?" and "Can't Get Enough of You Baby."

Harwell announced he was leaving the band after attempting to power through his "physical and mental health issues." One of the band's final performances went viral on TikTok after footage was shown of Harwell seemingly slurring his words, threatening the crowd and giving crude gestures on stage.

Why Has Steve Harwell Quit Smash Mouth?

On Tuesday October 12, Harwell's representative told the New York Post: "Steve will be retiring from Smash Mouth to focus on his physical and mental health."

That was followed by a personal statement from Harwell, who confirmed the news. He shared a message to Smash Mouth fans and gave more details about what he'd been struggling with.

The 54-year-old said: "Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a rock star, performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream. To my bandmates, it's been an honor performing with you all these years and I can't think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with.

"To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you. I've tried so hard to power through my physical and mental health issues and to play in front of you one last time, but I just wasn't able to. I am so grateful to each and every one of you who has helped Smash Mouth sell over 10 million albums worldwide, put us on top of radio charts and those who have kept 'All Star' relevant as one of the top memes on the internet today," he continued.

Confirming that Smash Mouth will continue without him, Harwell concluded, "I cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next and am looking forward to counting myself as one of the band's newest fans."

Harwell has been suffering from a number of medical issues, according to several publications. TMZ reported that the singer was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy eight years ago.

Why Did Steve Harwell and Smash Mouth Go Viral on TikTok?

Smash Mouth started trending online days before Harwell's retirement after their performance at the New York festival The Big Sip went viral.

On TikTok Haley (@doesthisfeelgood) shared a compilation of clips of Harwell's performance on stage after calling it "the most chaotic show" she's ever seen "in her entire life."

Some of the clips showed Harwell slurring his words talking to and swearing at the crowd. He makes an unusual gesture, which could be misconstrued, taking a rest against a pole he drops his beer, and he also appears to say to one crowd member he'll kill his whole family.

After the clip went viral, Haley shared more clips of Harwell's performance with Smash Mouth. She shares a longer clip of Harwell's gesture, which NME.com suggests was a "Nazi salute."

A spokesperson for the band said the singer "regrets his actions, but this TikTok video is not an accurate representation of the man Steve is."

The band had recently been performing with a substitute singer occasionally filling in for Harwell.

Steve Harwell with Smash Mouth
Steve Harwell performing with Smash Mouth at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in 2017. Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images