A few months ago, in issue 169, we spoke to Fat Mike from NOFX. This dude’s forgotten more about punk rock than most people could ever learn. Here’s how it went down.
Fat Mike, how are you?
I’m great. I’m getting my head into writing lyrics right now. It’s such a bitch. I have to wake up early cos I can write well in the mornings, so I get up around 7am to get breakfast, drink a coffee and see what comes out.
Is finding inspiration harder to come by seeing as you’ve written hundreds of songs already?
That’s the thing: after 300 songs I’m totally getting a lot of blankness. I’m trying to write an album with choruses. We’ve never really done that before, so I’m starting from scratch.
For a guy that’s, let’s say, lived quite a bit, surely you’ve got plenty of experiences to pull from? For example, getting shit from bands like Avenged Sevenfold for calling them posers and suggesting Iron Maiden were all gay?
Yeah, I dunno. Henry Rollins got pissed at me once. He’s a weirdo. Shirley Manson from Garbage got pissed at me too, she kicked me in the shin.
Fuck! What did you say to her?
I while ago they opened for us, and I went to her to say I liked her band and she blanked me. So I told the crowd that she’s a fat cow and I’d just finished fucking her in the ass backstage. Apparently she has some image problems so the fat cow line didn’t go down too well.
Amazing. And Henry Rollins?
When Green Day broke with Dookie, he was talking shit about them saying how they weren’t punk and just a pop band. That kinda rubbed me wrong. I told a magazine that Rollins sucked. You’re the fucking Rollins Band, and that’s not punk. It’s just a terrible jazz metal band. Oh, and by the way, he ruined Black Flag.
As well as upsetting rockstars, you quite like your, er, bondage and that…
Totally, that’s my lifestyle. That’s my sexuality. Y’know, my girlfriend is a professional dominatrix and we’ve got our own dungeon in downtown LA. That’s the kind of lifestyle we lead.
Is that side of things weird when it comes to being a record label boss, too?
No, it’s not weird. When me and my girlfriend are out on tour together or when we’re around our kids or living life, we’re just a normal couple. Our sexuality is different. It’s like a gay lifestyle, in that gay couples are still just people at the end of the day. Oh, did you hear about that porno I just did?
Yeah, it’s called Rubber Bordello. I’m really stoked on it, and I think it’s a really good gateway into the BDSM world. A lot of my friends who aren’t into that and have seen it said they really liked it. It makes the fetish world more enticing.
How did it come about?
Well my girlfriend wanted to make one for a long time and we just started tossing ideas around and went for it. What’s cool about it is I’m not trying to get people to buy a movie that my girlfriend gets fucked in, y’know? She’s fully dressed and you know, she beats people up. She’s not the one having sex, she’s a dominatrix so it’s more of a power thing.
Cool man. What about the drug side of things? Are you as enthusiastic about that?
No. The thing is, when people see me in public, I’m either at a punk show or I’m playing a punk show. I’ll be drinking and doing drugs then, but when I’m at home I’m just with my girlfriend and our kids. I spend most of my life sober, but when I’m tour, you kinda have to go for it cos, y’know, that’s what it’s all about. Why be in a fuckin’ band if you’re not gonna have a fuckin’ great time?
People like us because I’m having more fun than they are. It’s like “Oh, this band is actually having a good time” and that makes everyone have a good time, too. If you’re just acting like you’re having a good time, people will see right through that shit.
You’d feel like an arsehole, too.
Totally. When we did Warped Tour you’ll be playing like fifty or sixty shows and you just can’t drink, you can’t party every night, so I did a lot of shows sober. They’re just not as good. But then again, those shows are only half an hour long so it’s fun for thirty minutes.
Didn’t you throw a load of money into the crowd at one Warped Tour show because it sucked?
Yeah, that wasn’t because we sucked, it was because the venue got changed to an indoor venue instead of outdoors and the PA was so weak that it just sounded like garbage. We thought people deserved their money back.
So when your daughter reaches that age where she’s gonna be experimenting with drugs and whatnot, are you gonna be all “don’t be like me” or embrace it?
No, I’m gonna tell her to follow in my footsteps. I’m gonna tell her to graduate from college and not to try drugs until she’s in her thirties and already made a success of herself. That’s exactly what I did. I didn’t touch any drugs until I was in my mid-thirties. I took it slow. I started taking painkillers and then a few years after that tried cocaine and years later ecstasy, so it wasn’t rushed.
That’s a pretty awesome outlook to have.
Yeah, I didn’t wanna do drugs as a teenager cos I didn’t wanna fuck up my life. That’s the problem with kids who do drugs, especially those with an addictive personality. You can pretty much never get a foothold on life then. All my punk friends dropped out of school, and I wasn’t gonna let that happen to me.
I wasn’t gonna be that person. Then you kinda realise, shit! You only live once, in this life I’m gonna have a fucking good time. I don’t wanna miss out on anything so why not do drugs? There’s absolutely no reason not to.
Hey, why not follow Fat Mike on Twitter? He’s called FatMike_of_NOFX