In 1995, NOFX released a live record called I Heard They Suck Live!!. In 2007, they followed that up with another one called They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live! But after remarks they made onstage on Sunday night, their next release would probably be called These Are Really Fucking Garbage People Live!!
NOFX, a punk band that you haven’t thought about since your mom dropped you off outside the Warped Tour, performed what may or may not be one of their last shows at the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival in Las Vegas. Regardless, it’s definitely their last show with a beer sponsor.
During their set, frontman Fat Mike started some already terrible stage banter, and it just got worse from there. “You play a song about Muslims, you’re going to get shot. Alright!” he said. Guitarist Eric Melvin stumbled over his response, but added “Man… I’d say you’re only getting shot in Vegas... if you’re in a country band.”
At that point, the crowd can be heard giving a collective “Ohhhh…”
“That sucked, Dave,” Mike replied. “But at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans.”
While these comments probably wouldn’t be well-received anywhere, NOFX happened to be playing in Las Vegas, where, as we all know, 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured when a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival last October.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction to NOFX’s remarks has been near-universal disgust—and they’re also down one beer sponsor and one music festival.
California beermaker Stone Brewing has announced that it is cutting ties with the band, and will no longer produce its Punk in Drublic beer or sponsor its accompanying Punk in Drublic music festival.
“We at Stone Brewing are aware of NOFX’s insensitive and indefensible statements this past weekend,” the company said in a statement to The Blast. “We respect punk rock, and the DIY ethos for which it stands. To us, it means standing up for things you believe in, and fearlessly committing to what’s right. And it is for that reason that Stone Brewing is immediately disassociating ourselves from the band NOFX. Stone had a sponsorship deal for this summer’s Punk In Drublic festivals. Emphasis ‘had.’ That sponsorship is now canceled.”
Stone further emphasized that the beer would not be brewed again in the future, but in an attempt to “make some good come out of these awful comments,” all profits from any remaining cans of the lager will be donated to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation. Among its other initiatives, the Foundation provides trauma counseling for officers and first responders who were affected by the Route 91 Festival shootings.
According to Pitchfork, the organizers of the Camp Punk in Drublic festival have announced that neither NOFX nor Fat Mike’s other band, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes, will be headlining the remaining shows. (The bands have been replaced by the Descendents and The Vandals on the lineup.)
“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,” the festival said in a statement. “These statements do not reflect the feelings or views of the Camp Punk in Drublic festival, its staff, or its sponsors.” And, like Stone Brewing, the festival will also be making a donation to a charity that supports “those affected by the 2017 tragedy.”
It took almost four full days, but the band has finally apologized. “I can’t sleep, no one in my band can,” they wrote on Twitter. “What we said in Vegas was shitty and insensitive and we are all embarrassed by our remarks, so we decided we will all get together to discuss and write an in depth, sincere, and honest apology because that’s what the people we offended and hurt deserve.”
When Stone Brewing released its first cans of Punk in Drublic beer, the brewery said it absolutely was not a “light, corporate, tasteless beer for drinking on the beach.” The beer might not be tasteless, but as far as fans and sponsors are concerned, the band’s comments sure were.