NOFX's New Single Was Originally Recorded by Blink-182: "Their Version Is Way Better"

"Seriously, I really wanted to kick their ass on it, but I think their version is better"

Photo via NOFX (Facebook)

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Nov 2, 2022

If you missed it, the current state of the NOFX union is as follows: the punks are gearing up to release Double Album, the sequel to 2021's Single Album, next month ahead of their yet-to-be-announced final touring stint as a band, beginning in 2023. Today, they've shared new single "Punk Rock Cliché," which bandleader "Fat" Mike Burkett says was originally recorded by Blink-182 — and that their version is "way better" than NOFX's.

In a new interview with SPIN, Fat Mike opened up about the song's conception six years ago when he was staying on Matt Skiba's couch ("as one does," he told journalist Josh Chesler). "This is when he had just been asked to join Blink-182 and they were demoing songs for California," Burkett said, explaining that he had written a song he thought would be great for the trio.

After working on the lyrics together, Skiba brought it to Blink and they recorded it — and Travis Barker proceeded to do "a bunch of interviews with NME and Exclaim! and whoever else," according to the NOFX singer, excitedly naming "Punk Rock Cliché" as his favourite thing they had worked on.

It wasn't until after the song was decided as the first Blink-182 single in years that the band got wind of the fact that Burkett had written it. "[Skiba] called me up six weeks later and said, 'I don't know how to tell you this, but I told the band you wrote the song and they dropped it off the album completely.' I was really bummed because I thought it was going to be my first radio hit," Fat Mike remembered.

He continued, "But it was just weird because Travis and I used to text and talk pretty regularly. He played on one of my albums. We weren't close, but we were friends. And he just never spoke to me again after that."

NOFX recorded the song a year or two afterwards, and though it didn't make Single Album, it's coming out on Double — but Blink are apparently still being cold to him. Burkett said that he reached out to the band six months ago, inquiring about doing a split 7-inch with both their versions of "Punk Rock Cliché," and never heard anything back.

"No shit, but their version is way better than the NOFX version," Fat Mike admitted. "I tried really hard, but Travis just killed it. He's such a monster on drums. Skiba was singing it. Seriously, I really wanted to kick their ass on it, but I think their version is better. It's too bad because I really thought it would be a really cool split with them, but the world only gets to hear the NOFX version of 'Punk Rock Cliché' for now."

The musician added, "The song doesn't sound like NOFX per se, because I wrote it to be a Blink song. I just wrote it with more chords than the normal Blink song, and a different melody than they'd had before."

Enjoy the admittedly second-best iteration of "Punk Rock Cliché" — and NOFX doing their best Blink impression — below.

Last month, Tom DeLonge rejoined Blink-182 and the band's original lineup released "Edging." DeLonge also wrote an open letter to Skiba, whom insists there "isn't any bad blood" between them. He replaced DeLonge in the band in 2015.

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