Ixnay on the Hombre is the fourth studio album by the American punk rock band The Offspring. Produced by Dave Jerden, the album was released on February 4, 1997 through Columbia Records (their former label Epitaph released it in Europe). After the massive commercial success of their previous album, Smash, The Offspring entered the studio in the middle of 1996 to record a new album. Asked about the title, frontman Dexter Holland claimed that Ixnay on the Hombre means either "fuck authority" or "fuck The Man". ("Ixnay" is the Pig Latin version of the word "nix," familiar in 1940s Hollywood movies.)
Ixnay on the Hombre was a moderate success debuting at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 chart and it was well received by both critics and fans. The album was certified platinum in the US for the shipment of 1 million copies. Ixnay on the Hombre has sold around 3 million copies worldwide. The album contains the singles "All I Want", "Gone Away", "The Meaning of Life" and "I Choose", while "Cool to Hate" also received radio airplay. The first two singles later appeared on The Offspring's Greatest Hits album.
By the time The Offspring began writing new material for their fourth studio album in 1995-1996, they were the biggest act of Epitaph's roster and had originally declined to leave the label before signing a recording contract with Columbia Records. Following the widespread commercial success of the band's previous album, Smash, frontman Dexter Holland wanted The Offspring to release more albums on Epitaph, or remain on the label for a long time. However, tensions were encountered when Epitaph founder and Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz decided to sell Smash to a major label in "return for a royalty override on it," an action that the band did not like. Gurewitz had approached several major labels, such as Geffen, Capitol and Sony, in attempt to sign The Offspring. The band eventually signed to Columbia, and Holland recalled that they "took less money" with the label and the signing "was not to try and make more money." Holland also claimed that The Offspring signed to Columbia because they would not "record for someone who thinks [Gurewitz] can force [them] to" and would not "record for a guy who's worse than a major label." Recording sessions for Ixnay on the Hombre took place from June to October 1996 at Eldorado Recording Studios with producer Dave Jerden (Alice in Chains, Anthrax, Jane's Addiction, Social Distortion).
On the recording process of the album, guitarist Noodles stated:
We recorded a few more songs than we needed, and if we had used some of the other ones that were left off, it would have ended up a little more risky. But we're not disappointed in what we kept. I think it's a great record and I love these songs. Maybe we'll save the limb-walking for the next one.
"Change the World" is a further development of the unnamed hidden track that appeared at the end of the previous album Smash. "Change the World" itself contains a hidden track, a brief spoken piece by Larry "Bud" Melman of the David Letterman Show.
Ixnay on the Hombre was released on February 4, 1997, and is the first Offspring album distributed via Columbia Records. Their former label Epitaph Records released it in Europe because of disagreements between the band and the label's founder Brett Gurewitz. The band was able to release its album on Columbia for the US and other international releases but had to complete the album release in Europe through Epitaph. The Offspring would continue releasing albums on Columbia until it was announced in early 2013 that they had fulfilled their contract with the label.
Ixnay on the Hombre peaked at number 9 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Although the album was less successful than its predecessor or successor, it also went 2x Platinum soon after its release.
The AllMusic review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine awards the album 2.5 stars and states: "Ixnay on the Hombre sounds like a competent hard rock band trying to hitch themselves to the post-grunge bandwagon."
The Offspring toured relentlessly for less than a year to promote Ixnay on the Hombre. Prior to its release, they headlined the Big Day Out tour in Australia in January–February 1997, along with Soundgarden and The Prodigy. The Ixnay on the Hombre tour kickstarted on February 11, 1997 at Foothill in Long Beach, California with One Hit Wonder, who had just been signed to Holland's label Nitro Records. A week later, they played five shows in the East Coast of the United States with The Joykiller, which was followed by a ten-date tour with AFI and Strung Out and a European tour with The Vandals and Lunachicks. The Offspring continued to tour over seven-month period from May to December 1997, which included U.S. tours with AFI/L7, Voodoo Glow Skulls/The Joykiller and Hagfish/One Hit Wonder/Good Riddance, as well as a Canadian tour with Doughboys, three Brazilian shows with Charlie Brown Jr., and four shows in Australia with The Living End.Social Distortion also supported The Offspring on selected dates. The Ixnay on the Hombre tour ended on December 18, 1997 in Osaka, Japan, with AFI supporting them.