NOFX got themselves in hot water last year when a couple members cracked a joke onstage about the horrific massacre that took place at a country music festival in Las Vegas. Now, the veteran punk band has released a new song that scrutinizes mass shootings, with frontman Fat Mike pointing out that it was actually written three years ago.
In October 2017, more than 50 people were killed when a gunman opened fire from a hotel room onto fans at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in downtown Las Vegas. While onstage in Vegas in May 2018, Fat Mike exclaimed, “We played a song about Muslims and we didn’t get shot. Hooray,” and guitarist Eric Melvin added, “I guess you only get shot in Vegas if you are in a country band.” Fat Mike responded, “At least they were country fans and not punk rock fans.”
The band was subsequently booted from its own Punk in Drublic festival and other events following the onstage comments, and laid low for several months afterward.
Today, NOFX released the new song “Fish in a Gun Barrel”, along with a video introduction from Fat Mike that explains the song was written two years before their controversial comments and more than one year before the Vegas massacre.
Sitting next to a computer screen that listed the song being uploaded on June 14th, 2016, Fat Mike added, “It was written a year before the Vegas shooting, but I didn’t want to release it ’cause it would be insensitive. And then other stuff went down in Vegas, so I couldn’t release it then. And now it’s coming out on our new record, so now it the right time to release it.”
He continued, “There’s been so many shootings that we’re releasing it early. I just wanted to show everyone when I wrote it — 6/14/2016. That’s all I got. I hope you like the song.”
The song itself addresses the talking points around mass shootings, including mental health, religious beliefs, the NRA, and more topics. Lyrics include: “Does anyone know what made him decide to unload his first round? / Do you think he cared what race or faith are the victims he left for dead on the ground?”