NOFX does something for the first time in history as backlash over Vegas shooting joke continues to grow
In what might be a first in the long and calculated-to-offend history of NOFX and its singer Fat Mike, the band has come out and apologized for something it's said on-stage.
Notorious for between-songs banter that’s designed to offend pretty much everyone, the quartet has been condemned for crossing the line in Las Vegas on Sunday.
While appearing at the city’s wildly popular Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival, the group finished up a song and then joked, “We played a song about Muslims and we didn’t get shot. Hooray.”
That was followed by the comment “I guess you only get shot in Vegas if you are in a country band,” after which Fat Mike added, “That [the massacre] sucked, but at least they were country fans and not punk-rock fans.”
That’s, of course, a reference to the Route 91 Harvest Festival tragedy in Vegas last October. A gunman in a nearby hotel room opened fire on an outdoor concert featuring country singer Jason Aldean, killing 58 people and injuring over 800 others. It remains the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Reaction to NOFX’s comments have been swift and unforgiving, with the group being dropped by beer sponsors, criticized by others in the punk-rock community, and removed from the lineup of upcoming festivals.
Some have ruminated that NOFX was just being NOFX, which is to say doing its best to push boundaries.
Still, Fat Mike and company seem to realize that they went too far. In response to backlash, the band—which has joked about everything from the Holocaust on down during its long and storied and career—issued the following statement on Twitter this morning:
This morning, the upcoming Camp Punk in Drublic Festival—which was ironically founded by NOFX—announced that the band will no longer be headlining the event, which will take place from June 1 to 3 in Columbus, Ohio. Replacing NOFX and Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies (in which Fat Mike also performs) will be Descendents and Vandals.
The festival issued the following statement this morning: "While NOFX is known for their dark, uncomfortable humor, 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 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."More