1. Come Find Me 2. Burning Questions 3. Middle America 4. Cyber World 5. The Talk 6. Guilt and Relief 7. Runaway Jane 8. Robots 9. Teenage Wallflower 10. Tears are Falling 11. Bitter and Sour 12. Maybe Tomorrow 13. Midnight Blue
(WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13 2021) — In January of 2020, Dan Vapid and the Cheats began recording their fourth full-length album at Encapsulated Studios in St. Louis, Missouri. They opted to stop the session due to the Coronavirus pandemic and it sat in limbo for over a year. Upon receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, singer Dan Vapid continued the session in the summer of 2021. Now they are ready to release their fourth full-length, Escape Velocity, due out on November 5th via Eccentric Pop Records. Listen to the single “Runaway Jane” here.
“Escape Velocity exemplifies the trials and tribulations the Coronavirus pandemic has had on all of us. But life goes on. And the year hiatus made clear that this life is too short to not do what you love. The single, ‘Runaway Jane’ is inspired by John Updike’s novel, Rabbit, Run. I thought about what it would be like if a woman from a small town in Illinois left her husband without giving him a warning. I pictured a woman who felt she lived her entire life serving the prescribed roles in our society, only for it to blow into a middle-age existential crisis.” – Dan Vapid
Dan Vapid And The Cheats is a punk rock band featuring singer, songwriter, and guitarist Dan Vapid. A veteran of the punk scene who has played in influential bands such as Screeching Weasel, The Riverdales, Sludgeworth, The Methadones, Noise By Numbers, The Mopes, and The Queers. The current lineup features Dan Vapid (Vocals/Guitar), Simon Lamb (guitars/vocals), Dillon Dunnagan (bass/vocals), and Gabe Usery (drums/vocals).
In 2013, they released their self-titled debut (recorded by Justin Perkins), a sophomore LP titled Two, produced by Matt Allison (Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms), a split 7″ with Masked Intruder, a split 7″ with The Jetty Boys, and made an appearance on Our Lips Are Sealed – A Tribute to The Go-Go’s. Three, the band’s third full-length and first in six years, was released in 2019 via Eccentric Pop Records. Escape Velocity was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Gabe Usery at Encapsulated Studios in St. Louis, MO., and produced by Dan Vapid and Gabe Usery.
Durham, NC punk band The Muslims have announced their forthcoming albumFuck These Fuckin Fascists. The band’s Epitaph Records debut is out digitally September 24 and on CD/Vinyl November 5.
Taking inspiration from classic punk and afropunk roots, they have successfully synthesized the “fuck you” energy of the oppressed into an ass-kicking, head-smashing, fascist-punching sonic experience. Fuck These Fuckin Fascists, is the ultimate sing-along anthem against all forms of oppression. It’s the perfect balance of humor, tenderness and political rage, wrapped in affirmations for oppressed peoples. Musically, The Muslims continue to bring dynamic melodies to the foundation of classic punk riffs, sprinkled with out-of-this-world rhythmic outbursts. Lyrically, the band unapologetically uses music as a vessel to call out racism, the American political landscape, and white supremacy.
The band’s leader and resident bad Muslim, Sheikh QADR, draws songwriting inspiration from trailblazing Black artists, such as Bobby Hackney Sr. (Death), Nina Simone, Jimi Hendrix, and Poly Styrene (X-Ray Spex), while drummer Ba7Ba7 and bassist Abu Shea blend their diverse musical backgrounds to drive a noisy-melodic truck into your face.
Today, the band share their new single “Unity,” a song dedicated to activists fighting to make change and call out the hypocrisies in government policy. “Love is an action word that demands of us to speak up and fight, passionately, for the future we all deserve,” proclaims vocalis QADR. “I’m so tired of their belligerent screams for ‘UNITY,’ corny dances and symbolic gestures. We don’t want Harriet Tubman on a fuckin $20, we want reparations and no more racist police.”
FUCK THESE FUCKIN FASCISTS TRACKLIST 1. Hands Up, Don’t Shoot 2. Crotch Pop A Cop 3. Unity 4. Illegals 5. Kill Your Masters 6. Fuck These Fuckin Fascists 7. IDGAF 8. Coronavirus 9. GCDC 10. Froot of The Loom 11. Live Laugh Lead 12. John McCain’s Ghost Sneaks Into The White House And Tea Bags The President
The Muslims formed in 2017, brought together by the aftermath of the 2016 election. They have since released three albums The Muslims (2018), Mayo Supreme (2019), Gentrified Chicken (2020), and one EP Inshallah: Tomorrow We Inherit the Earth (2020).
The Muslims are QADR (vocals/guitar), Abu Shea (bass), and Ba7ba7 (drums).
Los Angeles, CA – SUZI MOON has just released her video for “Nuthin’ To Me” which can be seen exclusively over at GRIMY GOODS. The song comes from Moon’s critically acclaimed Call The Shots 3 song EP, the debut solo release for the former CIVET member and TURBULENT HEARTS frontwoman. The video, like her others, was self-directed and edited.
“Nuthin’ To Me is a classic “fuck you” song about running into an ex-lover and realizing that they no longer hold a place in your heart. In fact, you can’t remember why you fell in love with them in the first place. It is one of those tunes that wrote itself in 10 minutes, the words & melody came pouring out of me. The chorus was so direct & straight to the point that I felt like there was no reason to add extra lyrics. I said what I needed to say. Repeating the hook over and over again continues to be a cathartic and empowering mantra,” says Moon.
The video, which once again showcases Moon’s directorial and editing chops, highlights her love for old B horror movies & weird burlesque videos from the 60s. “Visually, I knew I wanted a black & white video to reflect the mood of the song. I definitely see a story in there, others may see something completely different. It’s up for interpretation! I hope that viewers enjoy the weird, wild ride,” Moon adds.
Since the release of her debut EP to rave reviews, Moon is finally getting ready to hit the road. Moon and her crew will be playing songs from her EP plus a few more surprises!
Catch SUZI MOON live: 09/09/2021 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fire 09/10/2021 – Brooklyn, NY – Our Wicked Lady 09/11/2021 – Artemas, PA – Four Quarters – Camp Punksylvania
Today, we’re psyched to share a brand-new CLOWNS song off their upcoming double A-side 7,” Does It Matter? Out November 19th and available for pre-order, you can hear the second single, “Sarah,” blazoning over on our YouTube channel. Watch the video, then pre-order it via our webstore. Next, dive into what vocalist Stevie Williams had to say about their new track below:
Sarah -I’ve never met a Sarah that I haven’t liked. It’s a great name that seems to breed excellent qualities in people. That being said, the Sarah we are referring to metaphorically in this song is the hormone serotonin, and oh boy, is our Facebook relationship status “it’s complicated.”
Our new song “Sarah” explores the idea of how love can be like a drug. Dizzying highs and soul-destroying lows. It can elevate your life to heights you never knew were possible but can at the same time be life-crushingly addictive. We all love Sarah, don’t we? But what happens when she goes away? Why does she go away so often? How come we are so smitten in her presence and yet so surprised when she leaves, especially after a lifelong history of this ambivalent behaviour? It’s love and lackluster for all of us with love and Sarah.
We recorded this song at Red Door studio with producer Woody Annison (The Living End) and co-wrote the tune with Matt Squire (One Direction, Panic! At The Disco).
2020 was going to be a colossal year for CLOWNS. The Melbourne, Australian five-piece was locked into worldwide touring to support their 2019 full-length and FAT debut, Nature/Nurture. The album included 11 blistering songs that veered from frantic punk to slower, more nuanced, and psychedelic-tinged rock. However, before the band could really roll out their epic touring plans, that nettlesome global pandemic hit, and the world was shut down.
Luckily, CLOWNS are not one to rest on their laurels and harnessed their solitude to write music. The pause on being an active band allowed the group to record a batch of new songs, with two standing out as their favorites. Out November 11th, you’ll get a healthy dose of quarantine-blues curing melody in the form of their double A-side single Does It Matter?
“Does It Matter?” was the first single to be released in May of 2020 and is about breaking the law, says CLOWNS vocalist Stevie Williams. “We all do it sometimes-and if you say you don’t, then chances are you are a liar or a coward. Musically, we wrote this song during lockdown as the world was melting around us.” The single is a hook-heavy raucous number that demonstrates the prowess of their current lineup. Now completed by drummer and founding member Jake Laderman, vocalist Stevie Williams, bassist/vocalist Hanny J and guitarists Rod Goon and Cam Rust.
The second A-side single, “Sarah,” completes the release with the kind of sound that you’ve come to expect from Clowns: blazing guitars, huge vocals, and infectious melodies. Vocalist Stevie Williams expands, “Sarah explores the idea of how love can be like a drug. Dizzying highs and soul-destroying lows. It can elevate your life to heights you never knew were possible, but can at the same time, be life-crushingly addictive.” The song was recorded at Red Door studio with producer Wood Annison (The Living End) and co-wrote the tune with Matt Squire (One Direction, Panic! At The Disco).
Additionally, in 2019, CLOWNS started a record label/booking agency called Damaged who’ll release Does it Matter?, in Australia, with FAT distributing the release everywhere else. What’s next for CLOWNS? Vocalist Stevie Williams shares, “While we feel happy to be living a relatively normal life after our COVID episode, we are still unable to leave Australia and tour. We’re using this time as wisely as possible, writing all kinds of new music and playing shows where we can. Expect lots of new tunes until it’s legal for us come to you!”
Los Angeles-based band The Interrupters have just released Live In Tokyo! via Hellcat Records. The live record, produced by guitarist Kevin Bivona, is taken from the band’s 2019 performance at Tokyo’s Summer Sonic Festivalin support of their latest album, Fight the Good Fight(2018).
The past few years have been pivotal for The Interrupters. Fight the Good Fightdebuted #1 Heatseekers, #5 Current Rock, and #5 Current Alternative Album on the Billboard charts. The lead single, “She’s Kerosene” charted #5 at Alternative Radio in US, #1 Alternative in Canada, and #1 Rock in Canada making The Interrupters the first female-fronted band with an Alternative Radio hit since No Doubt. The follow-up single, “Gave You Everything”charted #19 at Alternative Radio in US, and #2 Rock in Canada. In addition, the band made their US TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and were featured as iHeartRadio’s On The Verge Artist (Fall 2018).
On top of this success, The Interrupters toured extensively worldwide including sold out headlining dates as well as appearances at Coachella, Punk Rock Bowling, Warped Tour (Main Stage), Hang Out, Epicenter, Sonic Temple, Aftershock Festival, Slam Dunk, Download, Hellfest, and support runs with 311 & The Dirty Heads, and Rancid to name a few.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to attend an Interrupters show, you know that it is not just your typical concert, it is an event. It is a big energy sing-a-long where everyone feels like family. “You want to go to a show to feel better, put your arm around your friend, and dance, and sing, and have a release,” notes Aimee Interrupter. “Celebrate life and forget about your problems. We want to participate in that whole exchange”
In celebration of the release, the band will premiere their documentary film Live in Tokyo – This Is My Family!on June 24 for North & South America at 6pm PT/9pm ET. The film features the live performance from Summer Sonic, behind the scenes footage, and exclusive interviews. The film will rebroadcast twice on June 25; the first being 6pm JST/7pm UTC for Asia & Australia and the second at 6pm BST/7pm CEST for UK, Europe, and Africa. Tickets will be $10 and can be purchased via https://www.momenthouse.com/theinterrupters. During the premiere and rebroadcasts, fans will have a chance to purchase exclusive merch items.
LIVE IN TOKYO TRACK LISTING 1. Intro / A Friend Like Me (Live) 2. By My Side (Live) 3. Take Back The Power (Live) 4. Title Holder (Live) 5. She Got Arrested (Live) 6. Bad Guy (Live) 7. Gave You Everything (Live) 8. On A Turntable (Live) 9. She’s Kerosene (Live) 10. Family (Live)
The Interrupters will appear as special guests on the Hella Mega stadium tour supporting Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and Weezer. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit www.hellamegatour.com.
THE HELLA MEGA TOUR NORTH AMERICAN DATES: 7/29 Houston, TX Minute Maid Park 7/31 Jacksonville, FL TIAA Bank Field 8/1 Miami, FL Hard Rock Stadium 8/4 Flushing, NY Citi Field 8/5 Boston, MA Fenway Park 8/8 Washington, DC Nationals Park 8/10 Detroit, MI Comerica Park 8/13 Hershey, PA Hersheypark Stadium 8/15 Chicago, IL Wrigley Field 8/17 Columbus, OH Historic Crew Stadium 8/19 Pittsburgh, PA PNC Park 8/20 Philadelphia, PA Citizen’s Bank Park 8/23 Minneapolis, MN Target Field 8/25 Denver, CO Dick’s Sporting Goods Park 8/27 San Francisco, CA Oracle Park 8/29 San Diego, CA PetCo Park 9/1 Milwaukee, WI Summerfest 9/3 Los Angeles, CA Dodger Stadium 9/6 Seattle, WA T Mobile Park
The Interrupters are Aimee Interrupter (vocals) and the Bivona brothers (guitarist Kevin Bivona, bassist Justin Bivona, drummer Jesse Bivona).
L.A.-BASED PUNK BAND TO MAKE THEIR NATIONAL TV DEBUT JUNE 3 ON “JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!”
Epitaph Records is thrilled to announce the signing of The Linda Lindas. The label approached the Los Angeles-based, all-female punk band behind the viral smash hit “Racist, Sexist Boy” several months prior to their now-legendary set at the L.A. Public Library. With their explosive and authentic collision of garage-punk, power-pop, and new wave, The Linda Lindas are an exciting new addition to the Epitaph roster.
“Epitaph offered us full creative control and they’re really supportive of what we want to do as a band,” says Linda Lindas vocalist/guitarist Lucia, age 14. “We’re really happy about signing with them, and we can’t wait to put out more music.”
Founded in 2018, The Linda Lindas also include Lucia’s 10-year-old sister Mila (vocals, drums), their 13-year-old cousin Eloise (vocals, bass), and longtime friend 16-year-old Bela (vocals, guitar). They first played together when former Dum Dum Girls frontwoman Kristin Kontrol invited them to take the stage to play covers for Girlschool LA (a music and ideas festival focused on connecting and empowering women-identified artists, leaders, and voices). After forming their own band and playing DIY gigs around Los Angeles, they were asked to open for punk icon Alice Bag and for seminal riot grrrl band Bikini Kill at one of their 2019 reunion shows at the Hollywood Palladium. In time, the band began writing their own material, including a song featured in the 2020 Netflix documentary The Claudia Kishi Club.
In December 2020, The Linda Lindas released their self-titled, self-released debut EP showcasing their high-energy and heartfelt brand of punk, naming Jawbreaker, The Go-Go’s, and The Alley Cats among their inspirations. Months later, they appeared in a key scene of Amy Poehler’s Moxie!
On May 4, 2021, The Linda Lindas’ set at the Cypress Park branch of the L.A. Public Library was streamed as an AAPI Heritage Month event (the band members are Asian American, Latinx, or both). The highlight of their 40-minute set: a blistering performance of “Racist, Sexist Boy.” In addition to amassing over four million views on Instagram, the clip has earned major praise from the likes of Hayley Williams, Questlove, Flea, and members of Rage Against the Machine and Sonic Youth.
“We knew the song would get a good reaction, but we never imagined this,” says Eloise. “Even though we started the band for fun, now it feels we can actually make a difference with what we’re doing.”
Lucia adds: “People have reached out to us from all over the world — we get a lot of messages from little girls, but we also get messages from grandmothers. We always hope that the music we put out will inspire other young girls, but we also want it to make anyone feel like they can do anything, no matter what age they are.”
Currently, at work on new music, The Linda Lindas will make their national television debut on Thursday, June 3, on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” at 11:35pm/10:35pm CT on ABC.
The Linda Lindas are Eloise (vocals, bass), Mila (vocals, drums), Bela (vocals, guitar), and Lucia (vocals, guitar).
I have been reading a book for the last month. It’s a good book. It’s well researched and thorough.It’s not just good. It is a great book.
My initial plan was to tell you about that book. I changed my mind.
I woke up this morning and realized that I don’t want to tell you about the book. I do want you to read the book though, so here’s a little story about how I stumbled into a love of Ska.
I grew up in the midwest in the late 70s and early 80s. Life was easy. We loved Night Ranger and Loverboy. It’s what you loved if you didn’t pledge allegiance to Conway Twitty each and every night. We turned the radio on. We turned the radio up.
Maybe I had it easy on my path to Ska, but I grew up in a reasonably diverse household, musically speaking. My dad loved a wide blend of hippy music and acid rock, and my mom was way into Motown. I started to climb a mountain. That mountain’s name was Rock and Roll.
I will do you a favor and fast forward you a bit through the horrors of later 80s rock radio. It was a lot more bad than good. Let’s leave it at that.
Radio rock aside, I wasn’t really much into music. My older brother was. He was my gateway into other music. It was hit or miss for a while, but when he played Appetite for Destruction for me, I started to come around. When a friend of his was over and played the new Suicidal (How Will I Laugh Tomorrow) I was hooked. I can still feel my hair growing. That’s how metal I was.
New forms of music became my thing. I liked to be on the forward front, all “Have you heard this?” This continued when I went away to college. New Pantera, cool, but “Have you heard the new Voivod?” “Hey what if we listen to Ween?” In that quest for “new”, I found new. New to me anyway. In 1993 I heard “Don’t Know How To Party” for the first time. The Bosstones had me hooked on a new thing.
Later that year I was in a music store (Big Don’s Music City) in Joplin, MO. There was a message board near the front. (For the post-internet crowd, physical message boards were a place to connect with like-minded individuals to sell used appliances and find bass players.) That message board had a “take-a-number” sheet on it looking for members to start a Ska band. Influences including: Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Let’s Go Bowling, Toasters. Welp, I had heard the one, Let’s hear more.
I liked this Ska stuff. It had horns. (was a trombone player once) It was opinionated, but at the same time, friendly.
About a year later, MU330 rolled through the college town I was living in. I don’t even think they had an opening act. Just them doing a solid hour set. Afterward the sat down to chill and talk to the fans. I remember sitting with Dan and Jason (who was on lead vocals at the time). Jason shook my hand with the kind of handshake where you cover the entire handshake with your other hand, and don’t let go until you know the other person’s hand is fully shook. … if you know what I mean. It’s the handshake of long lost friends; the hug of handshakes. We chatted a bit, Jason, Dan and myself. I asked Dan, “how do you get those guitar sounds? I like it, but everything I try comes out sounding like Black Sabbath.” Dan said, “There’s nothing wrong with that. Keep Trying.” Better words were never said.
I was in love with Ska. I tried to tell my brother, to share a bit of what he had given to me. He wasn’t into it. I think maybe the first stuff I played for him wasn’t quite aggressive enough. He was still pretty much a metalhead then. … but things change. Something stuck and he was asking me if I knew of more Ska bands, and where I could get more CDs.
I was living in Portland at the time and my brother came to visit. I took him to Ozone Records and he bought every Ska CD they had in the store. If I have my chronology right, later that year, maybe early the next, I went back home to visit. My brother picked me up in Kansas City and we went to Lawrence for a show at The Grenada. Less Than Jake, Skavoovie and the Epitones, and Chris Murray. IT WAS AMAZING.
Special shout out to Chris. Skavoovie’s keyboard player had decided mid-tour to go back to college (I think that’s the story) So Chris played his opening “Campfire Ska” set, then went backstage, jumped into a suit, and proceeded to rock the full Skavoovie set on the keys. (Many years later Chris played my 20th wedding anniversary party.)
I bought my first Asian Man Records shirt at that show. It was magic. Later that night we went to the record store next to The Grenada. My brother bought me Mepheskapheles “God Bless Satan”, and Spring Heeled Jack (usa) “Static World View”.
Life was a whirlwind back then. I was young, living in a city. Bands were playing all the time. So many. It was hard to keep up. I saw the Pietasters for the first time then. I was enamoured. Cool jazz guys almost, in wrinkled suits, with a couple of drinks in them. Good times. I bought a CD copy of OoLooLoo. I was blasting it in the apartment and one of my neighbors was all “Pietasters? Fuck Yeah!” She was from DC and totally on board with hometown music hitting the West Coast
A little anecdote here, but while I was living in Portland, my rather concervative grandmother came to visit. She wasn’t happy about a lot of the music I listened to, but she loved The Pietasters. She said it reminded her of big bands from back in the day.
Nothing ever changed for me after that, as it pertains to Ska. I mean, one time I couldn’t get tickets to Less Than Jack and Reel Big Fish because the show was sold out. Life goes on though. I didn’t turn my back because of that. I just found new stuff. I’m like, “Up yours Reel Big Fish! I’ll listen to Thumper instead.”
I suppose I could ramble on more about the bands that bent my ear (Suicide Machines) and all the great shows I saw, but it would all be driving to the same destination. Ska is awesome. There is, not now, never once, a reason to be ashamed.
I stand In Defense of Ska. But, as they say, the best defense is a good offense. (I think people say that) So to that end, I say, “GO OUT THERE AND BUY THIS MUTHAFUCKING BOOK AND LISTEN TO SKA!”
Sacri-Political sent me a copy of their new single, Shove It Up Your Ass!, and well, fuck yeah. It rocks in an old school way that reminds me of the snottiness of Wasted Youth’s “Fuck Authority”.
There’s, of course a very compelling reason there’s such an “old school” sound. They’ve been around for a couple minutes. According to the band’s bio:
‘Sacripolitical (1982 – 1993, 2019 – present) is a punk rock band from Marin County, CA. The name Sacripolitical refers to the band members’ attitude toward politics. Just as a person who is sacrilegious is irreverent toward the sacred, Sacripolitical plays songs, like “Peace: Under our Supervision,” “The Nihilist Void,” and “Napalm Baby,” that are politically and philosophically irreverent.’
The track is both irreverent and finger wagging, opening a view into what I think a lot of people have felt during the pandemic. It is kind of the idea that everything is pretty fucked, because everybody (politicians, corporations, racists, zealots) keep fucking everything up. Everything is fucked. It’s your fault, and you can, well, shove it up your ass.
The music itself is a mid-tempo 3-chord banger. Very straight forward 4-piece punk rock with a little bit of a shuffle to it. It’s not out to pave new roads, but fits nicely in the well worn grooves in the asphalt.
The B-side, “Gogol’s Nose” is in a little more of a DK vein, but with some horn parts dropped in. At any rate, I dig it. Check it out. Support local music any way you can.
NOFX RELEASE NEW FULL-LENGTH SINGLE ALBUM TODAY, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, VIA FAT WRECK CHORDS “NOFX Los Angeles punk veterans’ latest record tackles everything from drug addiction to mortality.” – COS
“If you think you’ve heard it all before from the veteran punks, this record begs to differ.” – Kerrang!
“NOFX’s Fat Mike on His Sobriety, Sexuality: ‘I Think I Came Out of the Closet Even More’”– SPIN STREAM: SINGLE ALBUM (IN FULL ON ALL PLATFORMS HERE)
Photo credit: Jonathan Weiner
Fat Wreck Chords and longstanding California punk band NOFX are thrilled to present Single Album, the band’s 14th full-length studio album, out now. As frontman Fat Mike explains, “Single Album was initially supposed to be twice as long, as I wanted to make a perfect double album, and I didn’t accomplish that, so I decided to just make a single album, hence the title.” Alternative Press interviewed Fat Mike in this extensive interview, tackling everything from drug addiction to newfound sobriety. Recently, Consequence of Sound caught up with Fatty to stream their latest opus, as well as post a lengthly track-by-track where Fat Mike breaks down his lyrics, musical arrangements, and more.
Check out the music video for “Fuck Euphemism” on YouTube. Read an extensive Interview with Fat Mike & Spin about the video HERE. View the music video for “Linewleum” on YouTube . Watch the music video for “I Love You More Than I Hate Me” on YouTube.
Nearly 40 years in, what else is there to say about NOFX?
And aside from the occasional negative headline, how can one of the pioneers of SoCal punk—a style hardly known for experimentation—surprise anyone these days?
The answers lie on Single Album (Fat Wreck Chords, Feb. 26), NOFX’s 14th full-length studio album. There’s the nearly six-minute post-hardcore opener (“The Big Drag”). The meta sendoff for the band’s best-known song (“Linewleum”). The reggae-inflected song about a mass shooting (“Fish in a Gun Barrel”). Even a piano ballad (“Your Last Resort”).
It is, as frontman and bassist Fat Mike repeatedly describes, “a dark album.” That wasn’t the original intent. By early 2020, NOFX—which includes guitarist El Hefe, guitarist Eric Melvin, and drummer Smelly—had written and recorded enough songs for a planned double album to be released that fall. Like so much about 2020, those plans changed.
“When you write a double album, you write differently,” Mike says. “I was writing really different songs, and some fun songs, but you have to make a double album interesting enough to listen to the whole way. I wanted to make a perfect double album, and I didn’t accomplish that. So I decided to just make a single album, hence the title.”
Recorded at Motor Studios in San Francisco with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore (Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Teenage Bottlerocket), Single Album pares down the roughly 23 songs NOFX tracked. “I just kept adding songs,” Mike says. “I was maybe a little out of my mind.”
How so? “I was pretty high on drugs that year,” he adds. While fans may wonder what else is new, Single Album casts the frontman’s habits in a surprisingly harsh light. While “Grieve Soto” eulogizes beloved Adolescents founder Steve Soto, it takes a meta turn when Eric Melvin warns Mike to be “cautious, more respectful, less obnoxious.”“Birmingham” has what people in recovery call “a moment of clarity,” when he realized he was an addict.
“That was a clarity moment in my life when I was by myself, and the sun’s coming up, and I’m scraping cocaine off the floor, like, ‘Eww, gross. I shouldn’t be doing this,’” Mike says. “So what did I do? I ordered more.” After being hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer—a terrifying experience that caused him to vomit blood—Mike entered rehab in fall 2020. He promptly wrote another new album while there and has been sober since.
Unsurprisingly, Single Album represents his most personal work to date. Heartbreak permeates “I Love You More Than I Hate Me” and “Your Last Resort.” “Fuck Euphemism” dives into Mike’s sexuality for a “pronoun bar fight.” “Doors and Fours” is a grim look into the early ’80s LA punk scene, when dozens of people—many of them Mike’s friends—overdosed on a prescription drug combo. “The Big Drag” is a personal vow to make the most of life, even when it undeniably sucks. “It’s one of my favorite NOFX songs ever. I don’t get sick of listening to that song,” Mike says of “The Big Drag.” “No measure is the same length. Every time a new chord change happens, there’s a different rhythm to the guitar. The bass never stays on one note. You’re not sure when the chords are going to change because they always change at a different point.”
In other words, it’s unpredictable—just like NOFX. Turns out there is a lot to say about them, even after all this time.
Fat Wreck Chords will release Single Album on Feb. 26, 2021. Single Album track-listing