NOFX (pronounced no-eff-ex) is an American punk rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1983 in Los Angeles.
The band was formed by vocalist and bassist Fat Mike and guitarist Eric Melvin. Drummer Erik Sandin joined them shortly afterward. In 1991 El Hefe joined to play lead guitar and trumpet, rounding out the current line-up. The band rose to po***rity in 1994 with their album Punk in Drublic which was certified gold.
NOFX has released 12 studio full lengths, 15 EPs, and many 7" singles. The group has independently sold over 3.5 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful independent acts of all time. The band also aired their own show on Fuse TV entitled NOFX: Backstage Passport.
Early years (1983–1990)
In 1983, guitarist Eric Melvin met bassist/vocalist Mike Burkett (Fat Mike) and started the band under the name NOFX, after a Boston hardcore punk band called Negative FX. At this time, they were joined by drummer Erik Sandin. NOFX's first recording was a demo from 1984, produced by Germs Germs (band) drummer Don Bolles, which did not sell many copies. The only people who possess this rare copy were either the people who made it or the people they sold it to. It is an incredibly rare collector's item. Many have been uploaded online, but barely any are valid. Fat Mike claims no copies exist anymore, though it is unclear whether he or any other members of the band still possess the item. They released their self-titled debut EP NOFX NOFX (EP) on Mystic Records in 1985, which was later re-released in 1992 as part of the Maximum Rocknroll Maximum Rocknroll (album) CD. The band's lineup had undergone numerous changes; however, the original three members had reunited. For a year, Erik Sandin left the band and was replaced by Scott Sellers, and later by Scott Aldahl. Dave Allen was in the band for about four months, until he died in a car accident. In 1986, the band released So What If We're on Mystic! Dave Casillas joined the band on second guitar in 1987 and was featured on the EP The P.M.R.C. Can Suck on This, attacking the PMRC Parents Music Resource Center 's campaign for music censorship. The original cover was an edited S&M Sadism and masochism photo; the cover for the re-released version was changed to a photo of Eric Melvin. Prior to the release of Liberal Animation, a compilation of 14 early NOFX songs was released on Mystic Records. The album was self-titled, and featured the songs from the NOFX and So What If We're on Mystic! EPs. The album is quite rare and only printed around 1,000 copies. The price of the album ranges from $80-300 (see on NOFX Wiki for more details). The album's cover was a remastered version of the cover from the NOFX EP.
They recorded Liberal Animation in 1988 with Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion. Although the title and some of the album's lyrics mocked vegetarianism and animal rights, Fat Mike says that he became a vegetarian after writing the Liberal Animation album. The album was re-released in 1991 on Gurewitz's label Epitaph Records. Dave left the band and was replaced by Steve Kidwiller (a.k.a. 'Steve the Caucasian') after the recording of Liberal Animation. NOFX released their second album S&M Airlines on Epitaph Records in 1989.
Epitaph years (1991-2002)
1991 saw the release of Ribbed. By that year, Steve Kidwiller left the band, and Aaron Abeyta (a.k.a. El Hefe) joined to round out the group. With Abeyta, the band recorded the album White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean followed by The Longest Line, released in 1992.
In 1994, pop punk entered the mainstream with the success of The Offspring's Smash Smash (album) and Green Day's Dookie, and NOFX had a commercial breakthrough with the release of their album Punk in Drublic, NOFX's best-selling album to date. The album went Gold music recording sales certification without any radio airplay or aired music videos, although a video has been made for the song "Leave It Alone". Due to the success of Punk in Drublic, NOFX received many offers to sign with major labels, but they turned the offers down. The following year, the band released their first live album I Heard They Suck Live!!
Punk in Drublic was followed by 1996's slower Heavy Petting Zoo. The album did not approach the success of their predecessor, although it was the first NOFX record to achieve a position on the US Billboard charts, peaking at number 63. The band stated, "Weird record. I thought it was the coolest record when we finished it, but a few months later I wasn't so sure. Some of those songs are kinda weird. I like the cover a lot though. I think it sold well in Belgium."
In 1997 the band released So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes, a return to faster punk, as exemplified by the frenetic opening track, "It's My Job to Keep Punk Rock Elite."
In 1999, the band released The Decline, an 18-minute single-track EP which served as a fiery and cynical social commentary. The Decline, at 18 minutes, 23 seconds, is the second-longest punk song ever recorded (after Crass's 22-minutes Yes Sir, I Will).
NOFX released the full-length album Pump Up the Valuum in 2000. It would be their final album on Epitaph, as the band decided to move on to Fat Mike's own label Fat Wreck Chords.
2002 saw the band record BYO Split Series, Vol. 3, a split album with Rancid Rancid (band) in which Rancid covered NOFX songs and NOFX covered Rancid songs.
Recent history (2003-present)
In 2003, NOFX released The War on Errorism, an album of political songs. It became the start of their anti-George W. Bush campaign, and a rallying point for leftist punks. Fat Mike organized the website punkvoter.com, compiled two chart-topping Rock Against Bush CDs, and kicked off a Rock Against Bush U.S. tour. The song "Separation of the Church and Skate" from that album was featured in the game Tony Hawk's Underground.
In February 2005, the band launched the NOFX 7" of the Month Club, a subscription-based service which saw the release of one new EP almost monthly, from February 2005 to March 2006 (a total of 12 releases). The cover art for these EPs was chosen from fan-submitted entries. The first 3000 subscribers to the club received all of their records on colored vinyl. Fat Wreck Chords later released full sets of the EPs.
On March 6, 2006, lead singer Fat Mike was rumored to be in a bar fight in Lexington, KY with an unnamed member of a local band Jumpin Jack and the Jackaroos, but no charges were ever filed.
On March 14, 2006, the EP Never Trust a Hippy was released. This EP was followed on April 18 by the full-length album Wolves in Wolves' Clothing. On September 12, 2006, the video game EA Sports NHL 07 was released, featuring Wolves in Wolves' Clothing on its soundtrack, produced by Bill Stevenson and Fat Mike. Also in 2006, NOFX's song "Kill All The White Man" was played briefly in the action movie Crank, and was credited as such in the film's soundtrack.
In January 2007, the band recorded three nights of shows in San Francisco, California, for a live album entitled They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!, released November 20, 2007. The live album is described on the press release as "their sloppiest, drunkest, funniest, best sounding recording ever … and they even made sure not to play any songs off their 1995 live album I Heard They Suck Live." on April 28, 2009.
NOFX released a new EP on November 24, 2009. Entitled Cokie the Clown, it was also released on two 7" vinyl records or one CD, which are called Cokie the Clown and My Orphan Year. The EP consists of outtakes from the Coaster sessions. NOFX will start their spring 2010 "Fermented and Flailing" tour on April 21. This will be the official tour for their Coaster album.The band's sound is diverse, utilizing elements of punk rock, melodic hardcore, skate punk, ska, and other music genres. Their more recent songs often focus on issues such as politics, society, racism, ***ism, homophobia, class inequalities, drug use, the music industry, and religion. The band has released songs that range in length from under a minute, with songs like "Murder the Government", to their longest song, "The Decline" which was over eighteen minutes long.
They cite their influences as Adrenalin O.D., Rich Kids on LSD, Descendents, *** Pistols, Bad Religion, The Adolescents and The Subhumans Subhumans (UK band) .For years the band has consented to very few interviews and have only made a few music videos, citing the fact that they do not need any more exposure and that people were exploiting them. In recent years Fat Mike has consented to more interviews, including four different interviews with Nardwuar between 2002 and 2006. The band has also refused permission for their music videos to be played on MTV, VH1, and similar music channels, although they made a live appearance on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 2004. The credits on the album Heavy Petting Zoo call on MTV, along with major labels, to "Leave us the *** alone."
Fat Mike has also repeatedly conducted friendly interviews with the Australian Broadcasting Corporations' alternative radio station Triple J on its breakfast show with Jay (Jason Whalley) and the Doctor (Lindsay McDougall). Jay and the Doctor are both members of Frenzal Rhomb, an Australian punk rock band that has played many tours and festivals with NOFX, and have their music distribution outside Australia handled by Mike's Fat Wreck Chords label.
In 2008 NOFX aired a documentary series on Fuse TV about their worldwide tour. The show was entitled NOFX: Backstage Passport.
*Fat Mike - lead vocals, bass guitar, keyboards (1983 / present)>
*Eric Melvin - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1983 / present)>
*Erik Sandin - drums, percussion (1983 / 1985, 1986 / present)>
*El Hefe - lead guitar, trumpet, backing vocals (1991 / present)>
*Steve Kidwiller - guitar (1989 / 1991)>
*Dave Cassilas - guitar (1986 / 1989)>
*Scott Sellers - drums, percussion (1985 / 1986)>
*Scott Aldahl - drums, percussion (1986)>
*Dave Allen - lead vocals (1986)>
*1987: Maximum RocknRoll Maximum Rocknroll (album)
*1988: Liberal Animation
*1989: S&M Airlines
*1992: White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean
*1994: Punk in Drublic
*1996: Heavy Petting Zoo
*1997: So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes
*2000: Pump Up the Valuum
*2003: The War on Errorism
*2006: Wolves in Wolves' Clothing
*2009: Coaster Coaster (album)
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