NOFX's Fat Mike Interview Outtakes
NOFX's live shows are visually sloppy, sonically tight, with equal attention given to onstage banter and song playing. NOFX fans have come to the expect bad jokes and degrading insults, take a listen to either of their live albums: I Heard They Suck Live and They've Actually Gotten Worse Live. We called up Fat Mike and talked about a little of everything -- here's what didn't make the print edition.
New Times: When making a set, do you think about what the crowd wants to hear -- or do you just play whatever?
Fat Mike: We keep our old set lists, so, we know what we played last time we were in town and we try to play all different songs. There are 4 or 5 that we always do; "Eat The Meek," "Linoleum..." Sure, we get sick of them, but we gotta play some of our best songs.
Do you guys practice before the tour?
The first few nights of the tour are practice.
Who's most likely to fuck up?
Usually (lead guitarist) Hefe, he's the best the player. But he also forgets the most parts.
2009's Coaster was an amazing record, the most shocking thing on it was the song "My Orphan Year." How did it feel to bring such a personal song to the rest of the guys, then put it on the record?
It was fun to put it out, it was difficult to sing.
Was it tough to sing because the notes were hard to hit, or the subject matter?
It wasn't hard to sing, it was a very personal song -- and I was glad when it was over
I show that song to people that used to listen to NOFX, but feel like they've grown out of it...
That's rad. I don't think Coaster is one of our best records, but it had some of our best songs, I really like that song "Blasphemy." The first five songs are really solid.
As far as I can tell, you're very open minded and you respect of other people's lifestyle choices...
Religious people I don't, because their lifestyle affects my lifestyle. If someone in their religion believe that women are second class citizens, then their religion is affecting other people. Some people say 'just live and let live' -- let people believe what they wanna believe -- no! You don't get to believe that you're allowed to molest children I don't care what religion you are -- there are certain things - you have to have respect for human and animal life and the planet and if your belief system doesn't have respect for other people: Fuck you! I don't have to respect your religion.
Are you still a vegetarian?
No, it was becoming very unhealthy for me, some of the most overweight people I know are vegans. I was pretty much a vegetarian for like 12 - 13 years. My doctor kept giving me shit about it, I kept eating too many carbs. My blood type is a meat-ish blood type -- fuck it, I'll try to eat free range and support independent farmers and eat organic, that's what I do.
How did the split with Seattle's the Spits come about?
I've gone to see them a lot, we started hanging out a little bit. Me and Sean were doing drugs one night, we said 'let's do a split', so we did.
The Lillingtons lead singer Kody is now in Teenage Bottlerocket; you once called the Lillingtons the best pop-punk band ever, that's awesome that your label Fat Wreck Chords has Teenage Bottlerocket...
I don't like [Teenage Bottlerocket] just as much as the Lillingtons, but I like them a lot.
You do one record deals, you gonna keep working with them?
We'll work with them as long as they wanna work with us.
I saw the Cokie the Clown performance at SXSW online, I felt really sad, really empty all day -- What did you set out to do that day?
Those were all real stories! I set out to do something that hadn't been done before. I wanted to be the anti-comedian, I wanted to get up there and fuck up everybody up.. The opposite of what everyone was expecting. I wanted to be the most depressing clown ever. I did a dress rehearsal at Fat Wreck Chords and I fucking freaked everybody out. I knew this was gonna work good...
Even the part where you revealed you had peed in the tequila you handed out to the crowd?
That part was a surprise.
Are you working on new NOFX songs?
I'm writing a lot of songs, and we'll see where it goes. It could be my favorite work I've ever done.
Is it NOFX or something else?
You'll know when it's out.
NOFX with Bouncing Souls, Old Man Markley, Cobra Skulls and Nobodys Hero. 7:30 p.m., Friday, January 28, at Revolution Live, 100 Southwest 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311, (954) 727-0950, www.jointherevolution.net
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