The questionable remarks were made by the band onstage during last weekend’s Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival.
There’s no place here to backpedal. What NOFX said in Vegas was shameful. We crossed the line of civility. We can’t write songs about how people in this world need to be more decent, when we were clearly being indecent. Las Vegas has always been a welcoming city to our band, and to make light of the tragedy that occurred there was egregious. All members of the band would like to sincerely apologize to anyone who experienced loss from the Vegas shooting 8 months ago, and to anyone who was at our show who lost a loved one or a friend, or who had to witness the incredibly senseless violence that night. We were asked why we didn’t release an immediate apology. Well, we didn’t feel that we could write a sincere apology without reflecting on the actual damage we had done. No press agent was gonna write this for us. That’s why we have struggled with this for the past few days. We didn’t plan or intend on saying anything so insensitive. It was off the cuff, but just as hurtful. We won’t blame it on drugs or alcohol or Ambien. That’s too easy. NOFX said it, and we own it. We made a tasteless joke. But to be clear, NOFX does not condone violence against ANY group of people, period! As sincere as we’ve ever been, NOFX
Prior to releasing the above statement, NOFX and the band’s frontman, Fat Mike, tweeted the below apology via social media.
He communicated via the band’s Twitter account, “What we said in Vegas was shitty and insensitive and we are all embarrassed by our remarks.”
— NOFX (@NOFXband) May 31, 2018
NOFX members Fat Mike and Eric Melvin reportedly made a joke about the victims of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. These comments appeared as onstage banter while the band was performing at the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival.
The referenced shooting occurred during the Route 91 Harvest festival in Vegas last October. A lone gunman opened fire from a hotel window onto concertgoers, leaving 58 people dead. It’s the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. (Per ABC News.)
NOFX are now being replaced on the bill with Descendents. Revealed today by Punk In Drublic’s organizers, the Fat Mike-featuring Me First And The Gimme Gimmes are also being removed from the festival roster. (They’re being replaced with the Vandals.)
Camp Punk In Drublic happens Friday, June 1 (Friday Kickoff Party); Saturday, June 2; and Sunday, June 3, at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio. The festival released a statement on Thursday decrying NOFX’s remarks, which reads, in part:
“the festival producers of Camp Punk In Drublic are shocked and disappointed by the band’s recent statements about the Route 91 Harvest Festival victims and country music fans. These statements do not reflect the feelings or views of the Camp Punk In Drublic festival, its staff, and its sponsors.”
The statement continues. “The festival producers support fans of all music genres and take safety very seriously at all of their events.” […] “Out of respect for Route 91 Harvest Festival victims and their families, Camp Punk In Drublic will make a donation to a fund benefitting those affected by the 2017 tragedy.”
Punk In Drublic fest takes its name from the band’s 1994 fifth album. (As NOFX fans know!) The album contains classic NOFX songs such as “Linoleum” and “The Brews.”
What NOFX said
Fat Mike and his bandmate compared victims of the tragic Vegas mass shooting to punk music listeners. Mike reportedly said of the victims: “At least they were country fans.” (Footage of the incident comes from TMZ.)
It happened between songs during the band’s festival performance. Fat Mike announced, “We played a song about Muslims and we didn’t get shot. Hooray.” Another NOFX member then chimed in. “I guess you only get shot in Vegas if you are in a country band,” he said.
“That [the massacre] sucked,” Mike continued. “But at least they were country fans and no punk rock fans.” The NOFX frontman didn’t stop there. “You were all thinking it,” he added.
Fat Mike and the band have visibly drawn widespread criticism from the punk and alternative communities following the news of the rude onstage comments.
The band have now also lost a beer sponsorship deal with Stone Brewing Co., as noted by Pitchfork. “We are severing all our ties with NOFX,” the beer company said.
Punk Rock Bowling also released a statement regarding NOFX’s comments. And you can read that here.
Watch a video of the incident in question below, via TMZ:
NOFX’s most recent album was 2016’s First Ditch Effort. It was their thirteenth full-length effort and released on Fat Mike’s longtime label, Fat Wreck Chords.
Are you a NOFX fan? What’s up with Fat Mike and the band’s offensive onstage talk? Were you planning on attending Camp Punk In Drublic this weekend?
Sound off in the comments.
[Photo by: Joe Leonard]