Hi, I’m Fat Mike.

I play bass and sing in NOFX and sometimes play bass in Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. I’m also president of Fat Wreck Chords (http://www.fatwreck.com/) and occasionally go into the office for meetings. I sorta produce bands at my studio Motor Studios. I co-own a dungeon in downtown LA called Dungeon Snakeoil, where I also like to spend my weekends. When I’m not taking my daughters to school or writing songs, I’m usually badly golfing or riding my bike around San Francisco. I like taking all kinds of drugs and drinking in excess but only when I’m on tour, or out of town. I recently got engaged to my long time girlfriend and Domme, Soma Snakeoil. Sound confusing? It is…. Oh, also I’m a bowling champion!

Whats new? NOFX has the second season of our cancelled TV show Backstage Passport coming out on DVD in a few months. We also are putting finishing touches on a NOFX tell all book that will be out by Christmas.

Also, My restaurant in Brooklyn, Thistle Hill Tavern is a having a special on Korean Beef (http://www.thistlehillbrooklyn.com/) Tell em Fatty sent you.



Comments: 3100 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

mull3286606 karma

Who do you think is the best bass player, and why is it Matt Freeman?

_FatMike669 karma

Because Lars said so on stage. I heard it.

_FatMike489 karma

I think I'm done. Thanks for questions. Maybe one day we can all meet at Gilman Street and have some beers. Last rounds on me!

JeffCaers457 karma

If you could give one tip to a beginning punk band, what would it be?

_FatMike2079 karma

Start taking drugs and drinking a lot. You are going to eventually, so you might as well start now.

Fatwreckchords373 karma

Remember when you stuck a paperclip in your computer and fried your hard drive?

_FatMike373 karma

Ha, I do...that fan was just making too much noise!

Richyproyer322 karma

my dick has a weird curve, why?

_FatMike923 karma

You're gay!

DoctorHarkness309 karma

Do you enjoy playing The Decline live?

_FatMike779 karma

I really do like playing it a lot. I like to see how wasted I can get and still get through it. I was on E once and couldn't remember what part was coming up next, but my hands went to all the right places. Stupid brain...

mull3286303 karma

What's up with Tim Armstrong....is he alright?

_FatMike415 karma

he's awright.

papajim22300 karma

Hey Mike, how big was your involvement in the musical writing process of "Transgender Dysphoria Blues?" It's been in my car non-stop since I got it last week. Did you and Laura bounce ideas off each other about your bass lines in "Unconditional Love" and "FuckMyLife666," or did she hand you the riffs and asked you to play them? And how exactly did you manage to get asked to record with Against Me!?

_FatMike466 karma

That was really cool to record with her. I came up with the bass line for Unconditional Love and was super nervous to show her, cuz I never had to get the OK to record a bass line before. But she liked it and I love how it turned out. The other two songs I recorded, I just played what Laura wrote. Good album. I gave Laura some tips on applying lipstick too, but she didn't appreciate those too much...

nofxjunkie296 karma

Who's the biggest douche in the punk rock world?

_FatMike770 karma

If you can't tell who the biggest douche is, its probably you. But I can think of a few. How about Greg Ginn?

nofxjunkie77 karma

i would guess weasel or fletcher

_FatMike410 karma

Fletcher is not a douche, he's a hero! He once picked me up and threw me across the room for no reason at all. Once he threw me on a drum set during our show. Once he shot me in the back with an automatic BB gun. Not douchey...fun!!!

Gonzosquirrels261 karma

Were the stories from your Cokie the Clown SxSw show true or just entertaining bullshit? Either way I'm fucking glad that show happened.

_FatMike303 karma

All true!

MissAmyS250 karma

I seriously have no idea what I'm doing...

_FatMike368 karma

Neither do I

pshehooi238 karma

How did the cat get so fat?

_FatMike286 karma


tin_can_conspiracy237 karma

Hey Fat Mike! What drugs have you not tried yet?

_FatMike790 karma

I haven't tried heroin or PCP or meth. I tried Kaht and GHB while I was in South Africa, but I was on coke and MDMA so I didn't really feel them. Oh, Darla, Daddy's just kidding.

aluckey89193 karma

Hey, Mike. What's the worst reaction an artist has had to you making fun of them on stage?

_FatMike747 karma

I made fun of Shirley Mansion once and she kicked me in the shin. Once the singer of Skunk Anansie slapped my face. And of course I got Under Oath to quit the Warped Tour and eventually break up cuz all the shit I talked about them. I think they really think I am the anti christ... pretty close.

cptbownz188 karma

Hey Fatso, how's the new Gimmes album coming? Can you tell us the theme? If not, what are some ideas you had for Gimmes albums that didn't work?

Thanks, been a fan for many years!

_FatMike489 karma

New Gimmes album just got finished last week, and the theme is Divas! We do Streisand, Aguilera, and Lady Gaga among others. Its pretty douchey (pun intended), but good.

TheRedNemesis184 karma

What is the worst US state to play a NOFX show in?

_FatMike509 karma


kilgore69181 karma

In one of George Carlin's books he has a list of rhymes you never hear and one of them is Nudist/Buddhist. Did that have anything to do with the same rhyme in x-mas has x'd or was it just coincidence?

_FatMike511 karma

What a coincidence, George Clooney is on reddit right now. I love that guy.

smodge173 karma

Fat Mike

Are there any plans for an autobiography?

_FatMike523 karma

yeah, but I need to hire someone else to write it.

mull3286165 karma

Has there ever been a band you wanted to sign to Fat Wreck Chords but just weren't able to?

_FatMike322 karma

I had a chance to sign the Lillingtons but I blew it. Thats the band I still want on the label. Death by Television fucking rules!

skaschmidt160 karma

Hey Mike, greetings from down under.

You said years ago in an interview that you're often surprised how cool some bands are that you thought were gonna be dicks, I think Papa Roach was an example. Any other bands who are surprisingly cool guys, or just massive dicks?

_FatMike394 karma

4 super cool bands: Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Slipnot, Oasis (some members)

Not cool: Alice in Chains, Slayer, Arctic Monkeys, and surprisingly DEVO

atheistpiece90 karma

Please don't say Josh Freese is the dick in DEVO. That dude is one of my heroes.

_FatMike223 karma

Josh wasn't there for the show when they were total dicks.

Nocontrol76157 karma

Where was the shittiest place you've ever played?

_FatMike367 karma

Phillipines kinda sucked

Mark1900156 karma

Hi Mike, is iT true that you Guys met THE dutch punkrock band Fexet on the airport two years ago and that they supported nofx that year? If that's true that is fucking cool of you guys!

_FatMike371 karma

Yeah, we met this band Fexet at the airport. They were like 15 year olds. We asked them if they wanted to open for us in a few days. They did, and now we can't seem to get rid of them.

rethcif154 karma

How do you manage to get such technical and clean bass parts on records ? Cheers

_FatMike950 karma

I get Matt Freeman to play my parts for me.

LKCsound152 karma

What is your "safe" word?

_FatMike470 karma

Safewords are for amateurs

Preppy-Punk147 karma

What band first got you into the punk rock scene?

What is you all time favorite band?

What parts of the punk idea/lifestyle do you identify with the most and which are bullshit?

_FatMike481 karma

I heard the Ramones in 79 and loved it. Then I saw X in 81 and was hooked for life. Bad Religion will always be my favorite band.

xxbryce12xx146 karma

Hey Mike! Who is your favorite young punk band? Who are some of your favorite bands besides NOFX

_FatMike302 karma

I just got a 7" called Fucking Up Young by the Dirty Nil. Fucking great! I hope to sign them someday, but they wont call me back.

mull3286143 karma

How do fights usually turn out with your girlfriend/domme?

_FatMike301 karma

Nobody wins. But then She wins. She always wins. It's part of the deal.

tuomas_n143 karma

Which one of your albums was closest to turning out great? And what went wrong with it?

_FatMike283 karma

I think Wolves in Wolves clothing could have been our best record if we took off Getting High on the Down Low, Cool and Unusual punishment, and Cantado en espanol, and put Everything in Moderation on it. Yep, I love that album.

artsyalexis141 karma

I would just like to say thank you for putting on an incredible show in Boston, calling my father epileptic when he passed out, and getting kissed like a real man. I remember seeing you guys when I was 7 at my second Warped Tour. My father and I haven't seen you guys since but through the years we listened to NOFX and the Gimmie Gimmies every time I went to his house. I'm 21 now and I can honestly say that thanks to you my father and I have an incredibly strong bond through music. Thank you.

_FatMike175 karma

I just call em like I see em.

craftybeerdad133 karma

Can you explain a bit about your beer, Stickin' in my Rye? How the idea came about, how you selected the brewery and beer style, etc?

_FatMike275 karma

I dont know, some guy on the east coast said he wanted to start brewing NOFX beer. He sent me a growler I drank it (after my taster drank the first glass). It was great and now we're making plans to package it in cans. Kinda cool.

Weathercow128 karma

You always have great and different setlists each night on tour, how do you guys choose your setlists each night?

_FatMike357 karma

Gee thanks, I usually take a valium and have a few vodka drinks and I write a setlist about an hour before the show. then Hefe and Melvin come look at it and practice the songs that we haven't played in a while. The drunker I get the more obscure songs I put in.

Olgar126 karma

What was your best experience with drugs? Worst experience with drugs?

_FatMike419 karma

My worst experience with drugs was in Canada. I smoked a few bowls of weed and got the munchies, so I ate some cookies. Then Kent told me those were pot cookies I just ate. Worst night ever. I made the bus pull over for 2 hours just so I could lay on the floor in fetal position. Second worst was eating pot at Disneyland. Sat on a bench for 4 hours. Kids.... dont eat pot!

intrepidpunk24123 karma

Can I ask you a question?

_FatMike224 karma

Thats a good question, lemme think on that for a while...

hubbahubbauncletom118 karma

Hi, have you ever worn a fox tail butt plug and if so, would you wear one while playing a show?

_FatMike281 karma

Fox tail butt plugs are for girls, dummy!

BastardOfYoung_108 karma

What band that you have signed to Fat Wreck Chords are you most proud of?

_FatMike375 karma

Not to be a downer, but putting out all of Tony Sly's many records was an honor.

holemole106 karma

What inspired the second season of Backstage Passport? Will this one also be censored?

_FatMike256 karma

Shit, I gotta do my own typing? This is bullshit! Anyway, We wanted to do another season cuz its super fun. This one isn't censored, in fact you get to see me and Melvin do a whole bunch of South American blow.

SmallTownMinds78 karma

What about Melvin's giant cock?

_FatMike255 karma

What about it. It's huge! but not as big as Dave Quackenbush's from the Vandals. He's got the biggest cock in punk rock. Thats what Joe Escalante says anyway.

kellysweet106 karma

How come you forgot the lyrics to i believe in goddess in san francisco. best song ever, and you fucked it up!

_FatMike292 karma

When I fuck up the lyrics to that song I get my ass beat. So I tend to fuck them up whenever possible.

evan-ess100 karma

How do you feel about all the pop-punk bands (blink, Green Day, etc.) that have used your music as an inspiration? Do you like them, hate them?

_FatMike205 karma


Rise_phoenix96 karma

How could you let Cobra Skulls go on hiatus. You should have locked them in your studio and get them to write one song a day.

Also i'm form Germany and therefore have to insult you, dick!

_FatMike125 karma

Isn't that schwanz?

blipdibbledibbydoo88 karma

Fat Mike,

Which fans do you like the most?

_FatMike312 karma

Eastern Canada, Eastern Australian, Northern Japanese, and South American

OrphanAbortion87 karma

When was the last time you had to drink piss?

_FatMike188 karma

Not since New Years. :(

buhumit86 karma

Hey Mike, is it true Fat Wreck almost shut down? What were the reasons? How is it doing now?

_FatMike296 karma

Nope, not true, we just had to downsize a bit. Things are great here now. I'm even here right now. Its like a huge party... cept everyones on their computer and no ones smiling. hmmm

warptheory8482 karma

I really admire your song writing style. How do you begin writing? Lyrics or melody? Do you plan out the arrangement and present it to the band, or do you have the lyrics and general outline of the song and let everyone join in until it meshes together?

_FatMike179 karma

I usually start with a song title. Then the chords and melody always are written at the same time. Can't write chords without a melody. Thats why I always think its weird when a band writes a song musically and shows it to the singer. Here, now sing something over this. Thats just crazy. Anyway... Song title, chords and melody, lyrics last. Then I show the band and they add stuff sometimes.

mrakus81 karma

It's really late and I feel horrible that I missed this AMA when it first started but there's something I wanted to say to you that I've been wanting to say since I was 14 years old.

I just wanted to say thank you. At that time in my life I was going through a lot of shit. It sounds cliche and people say this stuff all the time but I really was. I was being abused by my stepdad on a daily basis. I have the scars both visible and emotional to prove it. What you and your band did for me was offer an escape. I got into punk rock because of you. Learned to not take life so seriously even though I was in a bad situation. I won't say I took the enlightened path. I did drugs, played music, did crazy things with both women and men but dammit I had fun for the first time in my entire life as a teenager. I escaped the daily torment I was going through and it's all because I found an outlet through the music you played.

Seriously, thank you.

_FatMike100 karma

Glad I could help. :)

befamous770 karma

Have you ever been able to find what you dubbed the "Green Dragon" that you guys snorted on Backstage Passport again?

_FatMike111 karma

I haven't found it again, but I know how to make it!!!

nofx5770 karma

What's your least favorite part about answering lame questions from a bunch of lonely douche bags. The waste of time?

_FatMike235 karma

I'm actually having a pretty good time. This totally beats answering questions by one magazine writer who doesn't know shit.

AustinATX67 karma

Will you ever try to up the bar one more time - as in try to go above and beyond what you thought you could do as a musician? It's hard to one-up the Decline, but have you ever considered doing something out of left field again that would really test the bounds of your songwriting and musicality?

_FatMike298 karma

Nope, I'm just gonna coast from here on out.

enzobgratz63 karma

nofx will play here in Brasil in 2014?

_FatMike274 karma

Yes, we will not play Brasil in 2114?

shaving62 karma

Hey Fatty! Quick question about your label. Of course everyone loves NOFX, Lagwagon, Strung Out and No Use (RIP) but what do you feel are the most underrated artists and/or records on Fat? For me it's a toss up between Only Crime's Virulence and Tony Sly's Sad Bear. Virulence just kicks unreal amounts of ass and Sad Bear, in my opinion, has some of the most beautiful songwriting and arrangements I have EVER heard, and it somehow completely flew under the radar. What are your choices? Thanks for all the great music!

_FatMike141 karma

I agree with your choices, both great albums. Western Addiction and Frenzal Rhomb are also sadly overlooked.

Fart_Carbuncle56 karma

What are you reading these days?

_FatMike147 karma

Please Kill Me and Lullaby

TehChezBurger28 karma

Hey Mike! Thanks for doing this! NOFX has been my favorite band for a long time, and I've been digging on Fat releases for a long time too. Anyway, here are my questions:

  1. What was your favorite time period in NOFX history to tour?

  2. A lot of the bands you've been signing to Fat in the past few years have come from Red Scare (Teenage Bottlerocket, Masked Intruder, Cobra Skulls). Are there any other smaller labels you look to in finding new bands for Fat?

  3. NOFX has had the same lineup for 20+ years now, and everyone's individual personality and musicianship really show through in live shows and on records. If one of the members wanted to call it quits, would NOFX call it quits as well? Would you consider replacing them and continuing on?

  4. Do you have any favorite covers of NOFX songs? What's your favorite version of Linoleum?

_FatMike102 karma

asking 4 questions is just rude! and there's actually 6! jerk!