Punk rock band NOFX is facing intense backlash after band members’ onstage comments at a Las Vegas music festival Sunday — and the jokes that did them in were about the Las Vegas massacre last October.
Frontman Fat Mike quipped, “We played a song about Muslims, and we didn’t get shot,” KNTV-TV reported. A resounding “alright!” followed. Then another NOFX member added a line about only “getting shot in Vegas if you’re in a country band.”
And with that, Fat Mike, whose real name is Michael Burkett, offered the following: “I mean, that sucked, but at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Here’s a clip. (Content warning: Profanity):
The crowd yelled and groaned in disapproval most loudly after the “country music fans” comment — and it turns out others weren’t too happy about what was said, either.
What happened next?
Punk Rock Bowling founders Mark and Shawn Stern apologized in a statement to the Review-Journal “to those in attendance, the city of Las Vegas, the victims and the families of 10/1.”
“Las Vegas is home to the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival, and we do not condone the statements made from our stage on Sunday night,” they continued, the paper said. “We take the safety of our festivalgoers seriously and want to relay that there is nothing funny about people being shot and murdered, ever.”
And a California beer company pulled its sponsorship of NOFX’s tour over the comments, KNTV reported, adding that the company said it will make a donation to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation.
Here’s the statement, the station noted:
We at Stone Brewing are aware of NOFX’s insensitive and indefensible statements this past weekend. As a result, we are severing all our ties with NOFX, including festival sponsorship and the production of our collaboration beer.
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.
At this moment, there is Stone & NOFX Punk In Drublic Hoppy Lager in the marketplace that was brewed by Stone Brewing. It’s done already. Know that NOFX does not earn any money from the sale of the beer.
Nevertheless, to try our best to make some good come out of these awful comments, we have decided that we will donate all profits of the beer to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation, which provides post Route 91 trauma counseling for officers and other first responders alongside other safety programs, training and funding.
We have cancelled any future rebrews of this beer. We apologize to the fans of the beer itself, but know that we make this decision out of respect to all. Punk rock is cool. These callous comments were the furthest thing from it.
What else do we know about NOFX?
NOFX has not commented about the incident, KNTV said, but the band and particularly frontman Burkett are known for making controversial statements.
In their song catalogue, the group has joked about the death of the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia (“August 8”), feminists (“The Black and the White”) and the Bible Belt (“Leaving Jesusland”), the Review-Journal said.
But while a fair share of commenters on the Punk Rock Bowling Facebook page said Burkett’s comments were typical of him and that detractors should move on with their lives, another commenter had this to say: “I’d like to see some of these people saying that everyone needs to ‘get over it’ go tell some of the survivors to just ‘get over it.’”
(H/T: Louder With Crowder)