EL HEFE NOFX
I don’t how many times you’ve read a NOFX band bio, but this has got to be like the fourth time I’ve written the damn thing. Just wanted to put that out there to remind you that, ya know, we’re old friends by now. But enough about us, we’re talkin’ about NOFX here. And we’re talking about a band that has done it all: their own reality TV show, gold records, played China (China!), performed on late-night television, etc. Imagine a punk rock version of U2 that lived on planet Earth and actually had a ton of fun with their band. And fun is the operative term with NOFX. I mean, how else does a band last 28 years?
NOFX formed in Los Angeles back in 1983, a helluva year for new bands and one that gave birth to Testament, The Cult, White Lion, and any number of bands that are completely defunct and irrelevant in this day and age. That alone says something about NOFX‘s enduring popularity. Maybe they lasted this long because they were forged in the same fiery furnaces of the L.A. hardcore scene that gave us Bad Religion, Suicidal Tendencies, The Germs, and Descendents. NOFX sharpened their teeth in that tumultuous talent pool until they joined forces with Epitaph Records in 1989 and went on to release a string of crucial skate-punk albums. Their first major breakthrough came in the form of 1990’s Ribbed, still a fan favorite, they then followed up with now-classics White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean and Punk in Drublic, the latter selling well over a million copies. That was a wildly successful decade for NOFX as the band popularized the Warped Tour and was the flagship band for the skate/surf/snow culture of the 1990’s.
Now with their own label, Fat Wreck Chords, their third decade was even more fruitful, which again speaks to NOFX‘s indomitable longevity. The band’s career-long ban on doing the mainstream press and media was lifted as they sought to actively share their dissent for the Bush Administration and speak out against the invasion of Iraq. And once the floodgates were open, NOFX and their “Rock Against Bush” movement were everywhere: Newsweek, Rolling Stone, New York Times, Howard Stern, and network television. All that high profile interest and hype was reflected in the success of their 2003 record, The War on Errorism, which was the #1 independent record in the country at the time if its release and topped Billboard’s indie chart.
Everyone knows about the band’s irreverent onstage banter and wild antics that land them on TMZ, but If there’s anything someone should take away from this band bio it’s that NOFX is a genuine punk rock band who, despite their size and popularity, have managed after all these years to still adhere to DIY values like booking their own shows and releasing their own records. They still take out young bands on tour and they still employ the same road crew. They’re not only an anomaly in terms of their success via the underground, but also in how they choose to run their band and stay loyal to their roots.
True to form, NOFX will be continuing onward and upward as they have tours and travels already planned through 2012. For a buncha drunken old punks, NOFX function at a surprising level of efficiency. They just wrapped up yet another tour in the States and next on their list is Europe and an extensive tour of Canada. They’re currently in the midst of filming the second season of Backstage Passport, their reality TV show that takes the band all over the world and films them doing all the unspeakable, wackadoo things that you’d expect from these dudes. It’s more than your usual “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” story. Let’s just say that due to FCC broadcast standards that you’re probably gonna want to see the DVD version.