NOFX's Fat Mike

Page 3

By Josiah HughesWith that in mind, why would Fat Wreck Chords have put out the new Screeching Weasel?
It's a good record! He's a weirdo. I've always been a Screeching Weasel fan. They asked us to put out a new record. Sure, why the hell not? We used to put out their old records. As far as business goes, we've always had a good relationship with them. We sold a bunch of their records, we paid them, they were always happy with us, so they wanted to come back because we were the only label that never screwed them over. It was all fine and good, but I'm definitely not friends with Ben Weasel. In fact, I went to see them in L.A. and I went there early to say hi before the show, and they wouldn't let us backstage. They wouldn't let us fucking backstage because they were praying or whatever. They needed alone time before the show. So I don't know. Oh, I'm mistaken. After the show he did say hi for a few minutes, and that was the first time I talked to him in ten years.

Would you put out another Screeching Weasel record because you like the band?
No. Definitely no. The thing is, when we got them for the new record we also bought all their old records. So we may be putting out their old records still, but I have no interest in doing anything with them now.

So you mentioned earlier that NOFX isn't working on a new album yet, but there obviously still will be more new NOFX albums. How do you keep writing new material and do you ever feel like you've run out of songs?
Yeah, I feel like that every day, that I've run out of ideas, but somehow I manage to come up with new ideas. I have been working on other shit.

With that in mind, what does a day in your life look like in terms of a working day?
[laughs] Today I woke up and drove my daughter to school at 7:30. Came back, had some tea. I'm working on a project with my girlfriend. We're writing a story for something together. I worked on that for an hour, then I did an interview and had this other interview. After this interview I go to Fat Wreck Chords because we're making some t-shirts and we have a meeting about our hardcore seven-inch. But I only go to work for maybe two or three hours a week. After that I'm going to the salon to dye my hair because I have a tour starting soon. Tonight I pick up my daughter at 5:30 from piano class and we're going bowling because we need to practice for Punk Rock Bowling.

So you're busy with a lot of projects.
Yeah. And I also produce too. I've been helping the Cobra Skulls out a bit with their record. I'm producing Old Man Markley later this year.

My last question would be, at this point, what would it take for NOFX to be done?
To be done? Fuck, we have way too much fun to be done dude. I always looked at it like when Bad Religion quits we still have another three or four years because that's how much older than us they are. The thing is, you don't just quit. Jack Nicholson doesn't quit acting. You don't quit when everything's good and fun. What are you supposed to do, stay at home? We're travelling the world with our best friends having the time of our lives. It's not like it gets old, it keeps getting more fun.

If that's the case, then why do so many younger punk bands just put out a few small releases and break up just as they're finding their footing?
It's not like that. Bands start and if they're good they do okay for a while and then people get bored of them and they quit because things aren't as good as they used to be. It took us eight years before anyone liked us, and kids do not have the attention spans that we used to have, and they don't have the fucking work ethic either. They want everything to happen. Bands want to get big. "Hey we're gonna start a band to get big." And if it doesn't happen they fucking quit because they're not lifers. The eight years no one liked us we kept doing it because we're alcoholics and we just did it because it was fun. We're punk rockers. Nowadays they don't think about it like that. They think about making it, they don't think about doing it because they love it.

Does that mean even if you lost everything you'd keep doing NOFX because it's fun?
Well yeah, but it's not going to be fun for me if we can't afford a bus. If I have to fucking drive across Canada in a van, I'm not going to do it. But, you know, in some places our crowds aren't as big as they used to be and in some places they're bigger. The ebbs and flows of that, that's fine. But I still think we put out decent records and we're still popular in most places we go in the world. Last time we played in Rio, there were only 1,800 people. The time before that there were 5,000. But it's like, who cares, it's still 1,800 people! It's still awesome. But you know, if it gets down to 100 people then there's a problem.

Is there anything else you wanted to add?
I was gonna say something about how I made the list of the biggest meltdowns. (http://exclaim.ca/News/listing_em_off_10_insane_onstage_meltdowns) Just so your readers know, I had that planned for a month and I did do a secret performance of that a few days before that. I played in front of seven people in San Francisco. So I knew exactly what I was doing. There was no meltdown. It was pure performance. That's what I was doing.

You totally got the last laugh then. Where did you get the idea for that, and were you exorcising personal demons up there or was it all personal?
No, it's all true stories. But Vanessa, my publicist at Fat Wreck Chords, was like "can you do something at SXSW? Can you play acoustic?" I said okay. I was just thinking about it and I decided I didn't want to just play acoustic songs, I wanted to do something memorable. So I went up there and told the most horrific stories of my life. They weren't all the most horrific, some of them were kind of funny. But I told some of the most horrific and some shocking stories. But they're all true.

The people you did it for in San Francisco, did they know it was just a practice run?
Yeah. It was just friends of mine. I said I'm going to do this and I want to do the whole show in front of some people and see if I can do it and how it works. After that show they were just as shocked as the people at SXSW. They were like "no fucking shit! Really?" Even people that were close to me, they knew some of those stories but they didn't know all of the stories.



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This interviewer is terrible. He had a legend of this caliber on the phone and asked him this pointless questions making this hardly worth reading.
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Great interview.
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Excellent interview. The questions weren't pointless. He actually got Mike to open up, and with being online, it was fairly long. Best Fat Mike interview I've ever read, that's for sure.
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I don't think the first commenter knows how the "Page 2" link works...
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fat bastard mike doesnt respect thunder bay phhhhfff flyin toronto to winnipeg you bastard
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Article Published In Jul 11 Issue