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NOFX formed in 1983 in Berkley, CA, and is still performing today. They have released over 13 albums and other compelation CDs over their performing career, each one better than it's predacessor. NOFX's main members are El Hefe(guitar, trumpet, vocals), Melvin(lead guitar), Fat Mike(bass and lead vocals), and Eric Sandan(drums). Out of the 4 current members, El Hefe was the only member that wasn't with NOFX in the beginning. My favorite of their albums is The Decline(which is also my favorite song). Most would describe NOFX as a punk/ska band, mixing typical old-school punk rhythms with trumpets and the like. The most interesting part of this band is the fact that the bassist is the lead singer, while with most other bands it's the guitarist or another person.


No, they don't do interviews; no, you can't hear them on commercial radio; no, their videos are not on MTV; and no, singer/ bassist Fat Mike is not actually overweight. But despite all these punitive (ironic?) factors, Los Angeles-bred punksters NOFX are doing quite well, thank you. Or would that be NO thank you? Rude burp-and-fart purveyors to the end, NOFX would most likely prefer the latter.

One of the very first bands to sign with Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz's then-fledgling Epitaph Records, NOFX formed in the early '80s as a three-piece (Fat Mike--nee Burkett--with pals Eric Melvin and Erik Sandin on guitar and drums, respectively). After a not-so-productive start recording material for local indie Mystic Records, NOFX took the classic punk D.I.Y. route and self-released an EP on a label hastily founded by Burkett solely for that purpose. The record threw a figurative finger to the radio world via its title, The PMRC Can Suck On This, but managed to capture the attention of Gurewitz, who agreed to produce NOFX's first full-length. Liberal Animation, a catalog of ribald punk tunes offset by the first glimmers of Burkett's talent for wry humor, cemented the bond between NOFX and Gurewitz. The band settled comfortably on Epitaph.

NOFX's first two releases for the famed indie, 1989's S&M Airlines and 1991's Ribbed (the original Liberal Animation would be re-released on Epitaph in 1992), featured an indefinite mix of hardcore speediness and Burkett's persistent leanings toward sarcastic hilarity. The band didn't quite hit the nail on the head until the release of 1993's White Trash, Two Heebs & A Bean--which featured the advent of second guitarist/ trumpeter El Hefe (i.e., the "bean"--completing "white trash" Sandin and "heebs" Burkett and Melvin). The record abandoned all pretense of being "serious punk" and instead rollicked and careened wildly through songs about lesbianism, promiscuity, radio sellouts, drunks and other sophomoric but amusing topics.

Admittedly, such lyrical fare placed NOFX forever as the darlings of the 12- to 14-year-old-male set. However, Burkett often displayed a mature ear for both cutting cynicism (read the lyrics to White Trash's "Bob" for a hysterical, on-the-money commentary on the punk-revival trend) and a good melodic hook, which ultimately set his band apart from the myriad of would-be infant punk outfits. Furthermore, NOFX decided to adopt a "no-media" stance circa 1995--a clever maneuver, designed to maintain the band's indie cred, which hurt their record sales not a whit. Burkett's additional possession of a sharp business sense helped him to expand his aforementioned hastily-founded record label into today's San Francisco-based Fat Wreck Chords, an indie which rivals Gurewitz's Epitaph in terms of success and popularity.