Probably not the best way to start off an article about how great a band is, but… NOFX aren’t really that great. They’ve been around for 25 years, although I’m not really sure why. Their live shows are hit-and-miss. Half their records kind of suck. They recently “totally sold out” or whatever and made a TV show. To quote the band, they’re kind of at 60 or so percent.
So, yeah. They’ve been around since 1983, but most people don’t give a shit about anything pre-White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean, and only give a shit about White Trash because of Bob. Occasionally Stickin In My Eye, but it’s mostly Bob. Everyone sort of likes Linoleum. I could probably go on about how people sort of maybe like NOFX the way NOFX are sort of maybe a good band, but I really wouldn’t be doing this article much justice if I did.
I love NOFX!
No, seriously, I do. I’ve been into them since I was fifteen years old, and I vaguely remember them earlier than that, but I lived in my own little personal void of weirdness for most of my early teens so I couldn’t be expected to know these things then. The first album I bought was So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes, from a record store in Amsterdam called Boudisque, back when I thought emo was an old 90s thing involving Sunny Day Real Estate and Fugazi, punk rock was ALL and No Use For A Name and I was hella into desert/stoner grunge rock. (I also bought Bad Religion’s The Empire Strikes First. Both of which are still two of my more favourite albums.) Shoes wasn’t my turning point for getting into punk rock properly, but it certainly geared on the process. That summer I saw them play Reading from fairly far back, but it wasn’t a big deal. They were still just one of those bands I liked.
In fact, it actually took a good few years for me to really realise how awesome they were. I had a handful of albums that I would listen to semi-regularly, I think I’d bought The Decline EP because it was cheap and never really paid attention to it… and then when I was pushing 18 I suddenly realised they were kind of cool. I read up, educated myself on these hapless old dudes, wow it’s so cool, Mike’s the dude behind Fat Wreck Chords and they’re an awesome record label! They weren’t really one of absolute favouritest bands until I started art school, listening to The Decline to pass the time on a train trip, and I got hooked like crack from there. That year, Naja was staying with me, and NOFX were playing shows in the UK, so we went and saw them a bunch of times, got to know the guys- band and crew- as people, made friends with some incredibly cool people that I still talk to regularly today, and Naja proposed to me onstage. (Which I actually sometimes forget and then I remember and go fuck, that’s awesome.)
NOFX aren’t so much a band but a part of my life, to be honest. It’s kind of weird. Where some couples go hiking or collect stamps, Naja and I go to NOFX shows. They’re a highly integral part of the last few years, have set off all kinds of big life decisions and events. And Heavy Petting Zoo is a really good album, seriously. I wouldn’t start there but it’s definitely worth a listen. I think the main problem with NOFX’s albums is they tend to be full of filler, but there are always a handful of really, really stellar songs, stuff that makes me warm and fuzzy when I hear it live or on record.
I’ve really forgotten where I was going with this…. uh.
NOFX are awesome. A bit shit, but awesome. And they’re really nice guys in person. (Which I have to tell people a lot because they don’t believe me.)
Yeah, NOFX are awesome.