Greetings bio readers…we’ve not got much time! All these years as the Fat breadwinner and NOFX never had a proper band biography. An outrage! Well, we finally asked NOFX frontman Fat Mike if he could punch himself in the face and “please write us a fucking bio!” and he eventually got around to writing us an uninformative drunken e-mail. We took what we could get. It sure was swell of Mike to play along, but we figure’d it’s best if we threw in some relevant points of interest about the band before we cut to the horse and his mouth.
NOFX was formed in L.A. back in 1983 and has released 10 studio full lengths, about 6 EPs, and a metric ton of 7”s. They’ve somehow managed to sell over 6 million records worldwide, which is an unprecedented feat for an independent band. They’re true pioneers of the genre as they’ve toured all but one continent—no Antarctica yet, sorry. No band has achieved more success independently, and no band has turned down major labels and MTV more often. Although they’re reluctant to admit it, they’re musically influenced by bands like Bad Religion, Misfits, RKL, etc. At least they were back in the day, now they do all the influencing. After years of working with mega-indie Epitaph, the band switched to Fat Mike’s own imprint. Thus began 2003’s War On Errorism, one of their most successful releases yet, and a record that catapulted the band into the mainstream of political press: Newsweek, CNN, NY Times, etc.
Next up for NOFX was a 6-song CDEP Never Trust A Hippie (uhhh, see record cover for explanation); which was really just a prelude to their latest full length, Wolves In Wolves’ Clothing. After this was yet another crackpot scheme: the band has attempted playing 30 shows in 30 countries where they’ve never sold any records. The final frontiers of touring—from Bolivia to Burma—and they’re gonna capture it all on film. I wouldn’t expect that stuff to end up at Cannes. Sundance maybe.
Ever done something you regret while drunk like…RECORDED A LIVE RECORD? In January of 2007, NOFX booked 3 nights of talking mixed with the occasional song at Slim’s in San Francisco and recorded a live record. It’s their sloppiest, drunkest, funnest, best sounding recording ever with new versions of old songs, rare songs and they even made sure not to play any songs off their 1995 live album I Heard They Suck Live. They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live is scheduled to make the walk of shame into record stores sometime in November of 2007. Anyhow, here’s that e-mail we warned you about:
i fuckin did it, it’s ok i think, whatever dude i’m wasted, fm
Being in NOFX is easy. There’s nothing easier than being an alcoholic in a punk rock band. We didn’t start out being alcoholics, but we’re definitely gonna finish that way. It all started in the winter of 83. We were all 16 and had no idea how to play musical instruments. Lucky for us we wanted to play punk, therefore you didn’t need to know how to do anything. So Melvin, Smelly, and I start writing songs and playing shows in Hollywood. After about a year we start touring the US without even a 7” out. All we had was a demo. We played places like CBGB’s, The Mabuhay Gardens, Blondies, and the Anthrax. No one liked us, but that was OK cuz we were having a hell of a good time. So we start recording songs, but none of them were good, and we kept on touring, but no one liked us. Years go by. The year was 1989 when we wrote our first good song, “S&M Airlines”. Brett from Bad Religion heard it and signed us to Epitaph records. Then we made the S&M Airlines LP. It was weird, we made a good record and people actually started to like us. Before 89, we had never made more than 200 dollars at a show (lucky to make 100). From there on out things got better. 10 records, and about 15 world tours later, we’re still here, and happier now than ever. Now we can afford the best drugs and booze, and we get comped on tons of great golf courses all over the country. We don’t make videos, we don’t do interviews, and we only play shows in warm months (good golf weather). We even got a gold record a few years ago. Cool. It never even charted once, but it went gold anyway. So there it is. NOFX, a hella happy punk band. Now if we could only get that asshole out of the white house, everything would be great.
Oh yeah. In 91 we got a second guitarist in the band. His name is El Hefe and he was in “ The Bad News Bears” when he was 12. He played Miguel. See ya.