RRRIINNGG! RRRRRRING!! RRRRRING! RRRRIINNGGG!!!
Sonny: Hello, Chris?
Chris Carnel: Sonny?
Sonny: Hey, wussup, dude. It’s hella early, like 8:03. I just woke up. Dude, I’m hella stoked. Lynn had the tour itinerary for Face To Face and were listed on a couple of shows so I called to Florida yesterday on a whim and got a hold of the promoter who said, “It’s your lucky day” and put me on a conference call with my friend Kent, their soundman from Canada. Dude, we’re goin’ global!
Chris: Ha! Hee! Heh! Ha! That’s rad, dude. When are you gonna talk to them?
Sonny: Fat Mike is supposed to call me today.
Chris: Do you have the questions I gave you yesterday?
Sonny: Yeah and I added a bunch more. Check it out, I’m gonna ask…
Sonny: Oh shit, dude. This might be him. hold on…
Sonny: Heckler Magazine…
Caller: (In a scruffy kid voice) Hello, is Sonny there?
Sonny: This is him.
Caller: Hey, this is Fat Mike.
Sonny: Rad, hey, can you hold on a second?
Fat Mike: Sure.
Sonny: Chris, it’s Fat Mike, I’m gonna jam and I’ll call you later.
Chris: Alright, dude. Call me when you’re done.
Sonny: Fat Mike?
Fat Mike: Yeah, hello?
Sonny: So what’s happenin’?
Fat Mike: Uh, I’m hung over.
S: Really? Do you feel like talking at all?
S: Oh cool. What’d you guys do last night? Fuckin’ drink?
M: Yeah. We were fuckin’ partying with Shaq.
S: No way dude!
M: Well kinda.
M: He was at the club we were at in Orlando. He was dancing.
S: Where are you at right now?
S: You partied with Shaq?
M: He was with a couple buddies, dude. They were all on the dance floor. You couldn’t miss him.
S: He’s like seven feet tall. He’s fuckin’ huge! So how’s the tour going?
S: How’s your voice holding out?
M: Good til last night. I started smoking pot.
S: Oh really?
M: I hate pot. I smoke pot when I get real drunk cause I usually just don’t like it. It makes me all weird.
M: I say weird things. Stupid ass things.
S: Crazy. Okay, well, I have a couple questions. They’re pretty simple and pretty cool so umm, okay. First one is, who writes most of the music and melodies?
S: Okay. And like, what kind of music do you listen to other than NOFX, and what are you inspired by?
M: I listen to a lot of punk rock, actually. It’s sad to say. You know I listen to this band called Bracket. Like daily, I listen to Green Day maybe or just like Operation Ivy or Snuff. Just your basic punk shit, Bad Religion. And they’re only bands I stray towards- I like Madonna some. And umm, I haven’t listened to The Beatles in a long time, but I used to listen to them a lot. I got a lot of influence from them.
S: Did you ever like Christian Death?
M: Not really.
S: The Longest Line. Why is it an EP?
M: Well because I wanted to start Fat Wreck Chords. And I thought it was a lot for me to ask NOFX to do an album, you know, cause it’d be like “the lost album”, you know. So I did did an EP and had just enough money to record five songs.
S: Speaking of Fat Wreck Chords, who are your new groups on that label?
M: I actually got a lot of bands coming out.
S: Really? Who’s coming out?
M: A band called Good Riddence and Guns and Wankers. The debut just came out.
S: I’ve heard of them.
M: That’s great! Guns and Wankers is really good. And the new No Use for a Name is comin out. And that’s really good! Cause I don’t think their last album is that great, but their new one’s really good. And a band called Tilt from Berkeley.
S: What’s the future for the label, are you going to sell it out to a big label or are you just going to keep it yourself?
M No, we’re just going to keep it going. We have four people working there now and everything just runs real smooth when I’m gone. I just take care of signing bands. That’s all I do You know, as long as people still buy punk, then I think it’ll do fine.
S: Yeah. I think so too. That’s a good thing. Right on. Okay, um, let’s see…
M: And even if punk- you know it’s real popular right now- even if it get’s non-popular as long as it’s still around.
S: Dude, it will always have it’s core audience. It’s the mainstream now.
M: Yeah. I’m not selling to the mainstream anyway. The records I’m putting out are selling between twenty and forty thousand. Those aren’t like big numbers at all.
S: Other than music, what do you do? Or do you have time for anything else?
M: I have so little time, I mean, uh, my wife and I spend a lot of time together when I’m not on the road. And, I know it sounds kinda funny, but she and I are getting pretty into snowboarding now. We got a cabin this year up at Donner. We’re sharing with some other people.
S: Jay (Gravel Throat ) and Kent (Stinky Butt) live up there don’t they?
S: What’s your favorite movie?
M: I like Breaking Away a lot. You ever seen that?
S: Who’s in it?
M: Bike riding movie.
S: Oh dude I did see that! That was like a race at the end? I remember that. Inspirational.
M: Cool flick.
S: That’s a rad flick. Hella inspirational. Aren’t you guys like sponsored by Morrow Snowboards or something like that?
S: So how did all your snow sponsorship come about?
M: We hang out with this girl named Kelly and she called everyone up, and it was, I don’t know, a couple years ago, and she just called some places and they were into it. And we went and played Rob Morrow’s basement up in Oregon and that was fun. First time I ever snowboarded I was totally sponsored. It was really funny. Free clothes (Special Blend) and free boards, and we got free lift tickets and stuff. One of the perks of being in a punk band.
S: Mark Curry is on the new album. How did you guys get involved with him.
M: Well, he wrote Perfect Government, but it never made it on a record. It was just acoustic guitar and I always thought it was the best song so we just start jammin’ it cause I love that song.
S: I love that song. You guys fuckin’ do it right.
M: Have you heard the original?
M: Yeah it’s really nice.
S: If you were to be a Sesame Street character, who would you be?
M: Of fuck, I don’t know. Snuffaluffagus.
S: What do you want to do with NOFX?
M: It’s just the same old shit. We’re just hoping that people are still going to like us. You know and we’re not going to go downhill as many bands do. We’re hoping that we’ll at least get to stay at this level cause we’re having a really good time.
S: No, I think this is like the best album you guys have put out. Which is good. It seems like it’s getting better and better.
M: Well thanks. Yeah a lot of people say they like our last album more, to me. I like the new one better, I think the songs are a little better. It’s not as diverse. We’ll see. I never know what any of our new albums are going to sound like, I just kinda write what I’m feeling at the time. We just started jammin’ this song. It’s like a Bauhaus house song. It’s really weird. So I don’t know what the next album will sound like.
S: When’s the new one come out? Or have you even started recording? You’re just touring for this one still right?
M: Yeah. We won’t record for about a year.
S: How long have you guys been together?
M: Umm, eleven in December.
S: Wow cool. Hey, did you meet Perry Farrell when you played in Hawaii?
M: No. He’s a dick. You know, he’s got him and his junkie girlfriend, they’re both junkies. They’re just hanging out being totally cool, and his girlfriend’s little boy is like six or seven, has to like hang out with the roadies. It’s pretty sad. But the drummer, Steven I think his name is, he’s pretty cool. They pretty much blow anyway. Jane’s Addiction was so much better.
S: Where’d you get the name NOFX?
M I don’t know. I hate it.
S: You’re over it?
S: So what other bands are out there right now that you just like hella dig?
M: I like Rancid a lot. who else? Ummm, I like Nirvana a lot. And Hole.
S: Yeah Hole’s new album’s fuckin’ killer.
M:Surprisingly enough cause they used to really bite.
S: Fuck yeah, dude. “When I Was A Teenage Whore.” That album was kinda weak.
M: It was totally weak. Well I’m sure Kurt had a lot to do with it. Did you notice on the record that he isn’t thanked?
S: Yeah, I did notice that!
M: But Evan Dando is thanked. Oh, what a jerk.
S: Total bitch, dude. He wrote those songs. I’m fucking convinced. Listen to those songs. those are fucking Kurt Cobain songs.
M: Yeah they’re great songs.
S: Fuck yeah.
M: I like Weezer a lot. They’re cool. Have you heard their new album?
S: Yeah. I sold it to help out with rent.
The telephone tape ran out, so I gather it was a cool conversation or I talk a lot. Fat Mike seems hella cool and I definitely like NOFX music. They are a band for now and the future. Check out their new album Punk In Drublic. If you haven’t yet, you’re lagging. Well, the other line is ringing so I gotta go. It’s probably Chris. Later.
Interview by : Heckler Magazine