NOFX is an American punk rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1983 in Los Angeles. The band was formed by vocalist and bassist Fat Mike and guitarist Eric Melvin. Drummer Erik Sandin joined them shortly afterward. In 1991 El Hefe joined to play lead guitar and trumpet, rounding out the current line-up. The band rose to popularity in 1994 with their album Punk in Drublic which was certified gold.
NOFX has released 12 studio full lengths, 15 EPs, and many 7" singles. The group has independently sold over 6 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful independent acts of all time. The band also aired their own show on Fuse TV entitled NOFX: Backstage Passport.
Early years (1983?1990)
In 1983, guitarist Eric Melvin met bassist/vocalist Mike Burkett (Fat Mike) and started the band under the name NOFX, after a Boston hardcore punk band called Negative FX. At this time, they were joined by drummer Erik Sandin. NOFX's first recording was a demo from 1983, produced by Germs drummer Don Bolles, which did not sell any copies. They released their self-titled debut EP NOFX on Mystic Records in 1985, which was later re-released in 1992 as part of the Maximum Rocknroll CD. The band's lineup had undergone numerous changes; however, the original three members had reunited. For a year, Erik Sandin left the band and was replaced by Scott Sellers, and later by Scott Aldahl. Dave Allen was in the band for about four months, until he died in a car accident. In 1986, the band released So What If We're on Mystic! Dave Casillas joined the band on second guitar in 1987 and was featured on the EP The P.M.R.C. Can Suck on This, attacking the PMRC's campaign for music censorship. The original cover was an edited S&M photo; the cover for the re-released version was changed to a photo of Eric Melvin.
They recorded Liberal Animation in 1988 with Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion. Although the title and some of the album's lyrics mocked vegetarianism and animal rights, Fat Mike says that he became a vegetarian after writing the Liberal Animation album. The album was re-released in 1991 on Gurewitz's label Epitaph Records. Dave left the band and was replaced by Steve Kidwiller (a.k.a. 'Steve the Caucasian') after the recording of Liberal Animation. NOFX released their second album S&M Airlines on Epitaph Records in 1989.
Epitaph years (1991-2002)
1991 saw the release of Ribbed. By that year, Steve Kidwiller left the band, and Aaron Abeyta (a.k.a. El Hefe) joined to round out the group. With Abeyta, the band recorded the album White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean followed by The Longest Line, released in 1992.
In 1994, punk rock entered the mainstream with the success of The Offspring's Smash and Green Day's Dookie, and NOFX had a commercial breakthrough with the release of their album Punk in Drublic, NOFX's best-selling album to date. The album went Gold without any radio airplay or aired music videos, although a video has been made for the song "Leave It Alone". Due to the success of Punk in Drublic, NOFX received many offers to sign with major labels, but they turned the offers down. The following year, the band released their first live album I Heard They Suck Live!!
Punk in Drublic was followed by 1996's slower Heavy Petting Zoo. The album did not approach the success of their predecessor, although it was the first NOFX record to achieve a position on the US Billboard charts, peaking at number 63. The band stated, "Weird record. I thought it was the coolest record when we finished it, but a few months later I wasn't so sure. Some of those songs are kinda weird. I like the cover a lot though. I think it sold well in Belgium."
In 1997 the band released So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes, a return to faster punk, as exemplified by the frenetic opening track, "It's My Job to Keep Punk Rock Elite."
In 1999, the band released The Decline, an 18-minute single-track EP which served as a fiery and cynical social commentary. The Decline, at 18 minutes, 23 seconds, is the second-longest punk song ever recorded (after Crass's 22-minutes Yes Sir, I Will).
NOFX released the full-length album Pump Up the Valuum in 2000. It would be their final album on Epitaph, as the band decided to move on to Fat Mike's own label Fat Wreck Chords.
2002 saw the band record BYO Split Series, Vol. 3, a split album with Rancid in which Rancid covered NOFX songs and NOFX covered Rancid songs.
Recent history (2003-present)
In 2003, NOFX released The War on Errorism, an album of political songs. It became the start of their anti-George W. Bush campaign, and a rallying point for leftist punks. Fat Mike organized the website punkvoter.com, compiled two chart-topping Rock Against Bush CDs, and kicked off a Rock Against Bush U.S. tour. The song "Separation of the Church and Skate" from that album was featured in the game Tony Hawk's Underground.
In February 2005, the band launched the NOFX