ANYONE who caught the Warped Tours of 1998 and 1999 doesn't easily forget them.
They were a hot and loud explosion of skate and surf culture united by the soundtrack of punk rock. And topping both years' line-ups were Californian skate punk kings, Pennywise, who were riding the crest of their popularity.
"The Warped Tour was crazy. It was a non-stop party from start to finish," Pennywise guitar Fletcher Dragge said 20 years later.
There was nothing glamorous about The Warped Tour. Bands like Grinspoon, Blink 182, Bad Religion and The Living End travelled between places like Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour, Ulladulla and Newcastle overnight by bus and slept in tents by day in the summer sun.
Pennywise we having none of that.
"We were like, 'F--k that, we're getting some caravans'," Dragge said. "We got a couple of those for the band and crew and they were pretty small and funny.
"One reviewer said, 'Pennywise had their luxury caravans', and we were like, 'Jesus Christ, these weren't luxury man'.
"There was nothing luxury about that shit. You're on tour in America in a bus that costs a million dollars and those things were like riding a bronco."
Travelling in their own caravans also had the extra advantage of allowing Pennywise to stop at numerous surf breaks along the NSW coast to foster their love-affair with Australia that has existed for more than 25 years.
It was Australia's devout love of surf culture which helped make the country arguably Pennywise's strongest market.
Dragge credits the 1992 surf film Momentum by Taylor Steele for introducing the Hermosa Beach lads to Australia. Momentum, which starred iconic boardriders Kelly Slater and Rob Machado, was the first popular film to combine surfing and punk music.
The soundtrack featured The Offspring, NOFX and Pennywise and launched their crunching fast-paced riffs into the surf community.
"From our point of view, anyone who surfed was listening to Pennywise as they were watching that [Momentum] video," Dragge said. "By the time we came down we had a huge following in the surf community, as well as punk rockers.
"I think being from California, surfing, skating, drinking beer, growing up in the beach culture - and I think Australian beach culture is very similar to the Californian lifestyle - it just clicked for us."
Pennywise's popularity in Australia peaked when their 1999 record Straight Ahead reached No.8 on the ARIA charts, the highest commercial success in the band's 12-album career.
To mark the 20-year anniversary of Straight Ahead, Pennywise are returning to Australia in February to perform their fifth album in its entirety. It follows the successful commemorative tours of their albums About Time (1995) and Full Circle (1997).
Half of Straight Ahead has never been performed live and Dragge admits it'll physically challenge the band, whose members are all in their early 50s.
"My wrist is already hurting and I haven't really delved into it," he said. "I've gone through a few songs and thought this is going to be hardcore."
Like all Pennywise albums, Dragge said Straight Ahead was written and recorded during tense studio sessions. It was also the second album following the suicide death of original bassist Jason Thirsk in 1996, who was replaced by Randy Bradbury from One Hit Wonder.
"There was a lot of arguing, a lot of songs," Dragge said. "It wound up being the longest record we have ever done, 17 songs.
"We usually record up to 20 songs and see how they pan out, but that record we had so many good songs so we couldn't cut it down to 14. Instead of voting and figuring out what were the best songs, we just did 17.
"It was long process, it was definitely gruelling and we experimented with a few things. Alien was definitely a slower tempo song for us and had a more commercial vibe to it. We weren't going for that, it came up that way.
"We tried a lot of different things and it's an interesting album. Listening to it right now back it's pretty frigging gnarly."
Straight Ahead also featured many of frontman Jim Lindberg's most political lyrics on tracks like American Dream and My Own Country.
Singing of America's "temperature is ready to burst" and, "Salacious stories make them look obscene/ Spin on your nemesis fill up the news today," hauntingly resonate more powerfully 25 years on in Donald Trump's divided United States.
"It's kind of ridiculous that a song like My Own Country or American Dream could be popped in 20 years later and it's completely relevant to what's going on with Trump and The White House now," Dragge said.
"These politicians are not listening to Pennywise and heeding our warning, so all we've got are the people and the fans and we just try to keep on plugging away hoping for the world to become a better place and for the world to become more humane.
"It's crazy we can put on a song that's 20 years old, and some are 25 years old, and see this is happening right now. It's sad, but it's also cool to have songs that are timeless and can still have some type of message."
Pennywise perform Straight Ahead at Wests NEX on February 13 with special guests Strung Out and No Fun At All.