Skate punk icons NOFX are no strangers to Riot Fest, having appeared on our stages many times since the festival’s inception. The group formed in Los Angeles in the early 1980s and have maintained the same lineup since 1991 when guitarist/trumpet player Aaron “El Hefe” Abeyta came into the fold, making them one of the longest-running bands in the genre. Over that time they’ve been incredibly prolific, with twelve studio LPs and nearly twice that number of EPs, singles, live albums, and comps to their name, and were even the subject of a Fuse.TV series titled NOFX: Backstage Passport.
In April, 2016 NOFX collectively released a memoir titled NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub And Other Stories, which looked back through their lives and times, from the grit and violence of LA’s early punk days to the group’s current status as one of the most successful independent punk bands. The book landed a spot on the New York Times Bestseller list and the memories in it brought the band closer together as friends and provided some of the inspiration for their thirteenth album, First Ditch Effort, which will be released on October 7.
Before NOFX returns to Riot Fest this month, playing at Riot Fest & Rodeo on September 2 and Riot Fest and Carnival on September 16, both El Hefe and vocalist/bassist/Fat Wreck Chords head honcho Fat Mike were kind enough to answer our 10 Questions:
What is the first album you ever purchased?
El Hefe: Van Halen, Van Halen
Fat Mike: Urgh! A Music War on vinyl, Ramones self-titled on cassette
Name one band that changed your life. How?
EH: Dio, i grew long hair and started wearing upside down crosses.
FM: Germs…..how? really? They’re the fucking Germs!
What was the first concert you ever attended?
FM: Donny and Marie in Vegas in 1977, then the Cars in 1979
What was the last concert you attended (that was not your own)?
EH: Steve Aoki.
FM: The Dirty Nil
What is your favorite tour snack?
EH: Mixed nuts.
FM: Anchovy pizza. Nobody else eats it.
What is one book we should read?
EH: 1984 by George Orwell.
FM: American Demon by Jack Grisham
Tell us your best festival survival tip.
EH: Always carry Imodium.
FM: Bring at least $1,000. You never know…
If you were running for president during this election, what would be the top item on your platform?
EH: Health Insurance,
FM: Tax the fucking church, and make voting mandatory for every citizen (like Australia)
Imagine the world is ending at midnight. What are your plans for the rest of the day?
EH: Hang out with my family.
FM: Being with my friends and family…. and MDMA
What is the best song ever written?
EH: “Smokin,” by Boston
FM: “Kids of the Black Hole,” by Adolescents