Envy NOFX. While other bands like Blink 182 took NOFX's catchy skate-punk sound to the mainstream and commercial success, NOFX consciously chose to avoid major-label deals and MTV exposure. Their sonic followers may have hit the big time, but most have also since broken up.
"We're very fortunate, and I'd like to tell other bands, 'This is the way you should do it,' but you just can't decide to do it like that. We just got lucky," says singer/bassist "Fat Mike" Burkett. "We made a lot of correct decisions over the years, and it worked out for us, but that doesn't mean it worked out for most bands. It doesn't. It just turns out after 23 years, we still have a great fan base. It's super-rare."
It's allowed NOFX to do what they want, whether playing during good golfing weather or having more adventurous touring plans. "We're extremely lazy, but 2007 is going to be a really busy year for us because we're trying to play every country in the world we haven't been to before," says Fat Mike. "We already started. We went to Peru, Chile and Ecuador. We're planning on going all over Israel, Cuba, Russia, Southeast Asia, South Africa—all over the place."
Building a career in which the band calls its own shots has also allowed Burkett to turn his lyrical ire toward topics that get under his skin. "I'm seen as a religion-hater now. Our last record, Wolves in Wolves' Clothing, had more of an anti-religion slant," he says. "It just seems like most of the problems in the world are caused by religious people now. I've had 15-year-old girls flip me off, which is also fine with me."
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NOFX with Strike Anywhere, Dead to Me and Love Equals Death at the House of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-blue; www.hob.com/anaheim. Wed.-Thurs., Jan. 4, 8 p.m. $20. All ages.