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The Sultans Of Slander - A NOFX Biography


The Sultans Of Slander - A NOFX Biography

El Hefe of NOFX

© Nicole Lucas


Los Angeles, 1983


Fat Mike - Vocals, Bass
El Hefe - Guitar
Eric Melvin – Guitar
Erik Sandin – Drums

Straight Up Punk:

If someone were to walk into a store and pick up their very first punk record today, they could do much worse than NOFX, This quartet, fronted by Fat Mike, plays fast-paced pop punk, mixed with elements of ska and hardcore. The overall attitude of the band dwells heavily on traditional punk and DIY ideologies.

Fat Mike is a very charismatic frontman for a band – depending on your definition of charisma, that is. He is bold and often snarky and sarcastic, as well as often blatantly political. They are great qualities for a punk rock band that is out to make people think and push a few buttons.

Strictly Indie:

Since the band's formation in the early '80s, NOFX has been a testament to the potential of a punk band on an independent label to enjoy popularity and success. In the '80s, the band released a handful of EPs an album on Mystic Records, before finding a home on Epitaph Records.

Epitaph is where the band saw its biggest commercial success in 1994, when their album Punk in Drublic went gold. Unlike other bands that were also seeing success at the time, NOFX didn’t head to a major label. Sticking to their ideals, they remained with Epitaph until 2000, when they left Epitaph for Fat Mike’s own label, Fat Wreck Chords.

During the band’s career, they have made a point to avoid all areas of mass media, fostering a relationship that is nonexistent rather than bad. They conduct very few interviews, and while they have made a few videos, they have not given permission for them to be played on mainstream channels like MTV or VH1. As a whole, they tend to attempt to promote themselves in the way of any other underground punk band, rather than to exploit the opportunities that could be available to them – opportunities that would render them contradictions of themselves.

In addition to the blatantly political nature of the band’s lyrics, Fat Mike is also politically active. His label has now released two Rock Against Bush compilations, and he also launched Punk Voter, a collection of punk labels, bands and fans that seeks to educate and inform America’s youth and get them to vote. Specifically, their goal at one time was to vote George W Bush out of office, but even after his reelection, Punk Voter is still actively educating youg voters about issues that affect them.

Selected Discography:

Studio Albums

Liberal Animation - (Mystic Records, 1988) - Rereleased in 1991 (Epitaph)
S&M Airlines (Epitaph, 1989)
Ribbed (Epitaph, 1991)
White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean (Epitaph, 1992)
Punk in Drublic (Epitaph, 1994)
Heavy Petting Zoo (Epitaph, 1996)
So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes (Epitaph, 1997)
Pump up the Valium (Epitaph, 2000)
The War on Errorism (Fat Wreck Chords, 2000)
Wolves in Wolves' Clothing (Fat Wreck Chords, 2006)
Coaster (Fat Wreck Chords, 2008)

Compilation Albums

45 or 46 Songs That Weren't Good Enough to Go on Our Other Records (Fat Wreck Chords, 2002)
The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By Us!) (Epitaph, 2004)

Live Albums

I Heard They Suck Live!! (Fat Wreck Chords, 1995)
They've Actually Gotten Worse Live! (Fat Wreck Chords, 2007)

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