When Smash Mouth released their debut album Fush Yu Mang
in 1997, they built a fanbase thanks to the hit "Walkin' on the Sun
." They heard from many of these fans when they were writing songs for their second album, Astro Lounge
, which inspired "All Star." Like most Smash Mouth originals, it was written by their guitarist, Greg Camp, who told the story in a Songfacts interview
"When we were on tour for the first record, it's still when people were writing fan mail, like, in the form of paper and pencils and typewriters and stuff," said Camp. "We would get these big bags of fan mail and we would take them to the Laundromat and do our laundry and read all this mail while we were sitting around waiting for our clothes to get dry. And about 85-90 percent of the mail was from these kids who were being bullied or their brothers or older siblings were giving them s--t for liking Smash Mouth or liking whatever they're doing or the way they dressed and stuff. So we were, like, 'We should write a song for fans.'
It was sort of like a daily affirmation. It was designed to be an uplifting, self-confidence building song."