Double Album

Double Album

“I don’t think there are any good double albums besides Pink Floyd’s The Wall, maybe The Who’s Quadrophenia,” says NOFX vocalist Fat Mike, outlining the biggest challenge he faced when putting together his band’s 15th studio album. “They’re mostly not good—The Beatles, especially. Can you write a double album with all good songs?” Double Album may contain only 10 tracks, but that’s because it follows on from 2021’s Single Album—“which was a double album, which is funny,” he says. “They were supposed to go together, but then I only released one of them. Double Album wasn’t done. But it’s funny, too, because Double Album is a 10-song double album.” As comically layered as that sounds, it’s easy to forget that the bulk of music by NOFX, which first formed in 1983, has been heavily sociopolitical in nature. Their reputation as more comical than commentariat comes primarily from their onstage banter and antics—and, now, album formats. Single Album dissolved their scathing, absurd appraisals of worldly affairs in favor of sublime silliness—though still tinged with disarming meaning. “This record isn’t a serious album,” Mike says. “It is, in fact, our funniest album.” Below, the punk stalwart talks through each track. “Darby Crashing Your Party” “Originally ‘My Favorite Enemy,’ the second song, was the first track. But I think the percussion on this song just sounds really cool because it comes in really big, and the bassline’s kind of sick. I’m not making a statement; it’s just more of a poetic song. It’s a lot of wordplay: ‘That’s why I push my chips GG All-in.’ I had fun writing it and not making it a serious statement.” “My Favorite Enemy” “This is about me. I need people in my life that keep me under control. I cannot be left alone. Since I was six years old, I spent all day alone. After school, I was alone. My mother went out every night, and she worked, and I’d see her at dinner. I grew up with the TV. That was how I coddled myself. And then I found S&M, and now it’s what calms me down. I have a leather blanket and leather pillows and just feel like a hug, like when a woman puts her gloved hand over my mouth. And that’s part of bondage: someone takes enough time and care to do that for you, like being swaddled.” “Don’t Count on Me” “I had so many lyrics for this that some of [the lyrics] just became a new song within the same song. When you write a double album, you write things that you wouldn’t normally write, and that’s why I thought of things I wouldn’t normally do. The first song on Single Album, ‘The Big Drag,’ is crazy different. There’s no pattern at all to the chords. Each measure is a different time than everything else. I loved it. On this song, I made the song lyrics go into the next song. Who fucking does that? It’s fucking weird.” “Johanna Constant Teen” “This is about a wonderful woman, Johanna Constant Teen. I kind of mispronounced her name in the song. She’s a DJ. My friend Chris Mac, who is a fetish guy in New York, introduced us when I’d just become single. Johanna is such a latex fetishist. We met and I hired her to move in with me when I was doing my musical in New York, which took six weeks. And she wore a full latex catsuit every minute of the day. Never got out of it. We even showered together when she had full latex on. I just adore her.” “Punk Rock Cliché” “I wrote it and then, when I was sleeping on [former blink-182 guitarist/vocalist] Matt Skiba’s couch, I showed it to him because he was writing blink stuff. He loved it. He wrote some lyrics for it. He brought it to the band. The band recorded it. [blink-182 drummer] Travis Barker did interviews where he said it was his favorite song on California. The label picked it as their first radio single. Then Matt finally told him that I wrote it, and they dropped it off the album. It was a real bummer, especially because Travis played on Cokie the Clown [2009], and we were friends, but he just ghosted me. I was like, ‘Fuck.’ What sucks is that their version was better than ours.” “Fuck Day Six” “You feel like shit on day one when you quit opiates. Day two and day three suck, too. And then you start to feel better on day four, better on day five—and then on day six it’s like, ‘What the fuck just happened? Why is this the worst day?’ I didn’t know that. If you quit opiates, you’ll know exactly what I mean.” “Is It Too Soon If Time Is Relative?” “If you’re going to be funny, someone’s got to be the butt of the joke. I really went in on Stephen Hawking here. And I wrote it when he was alive! That’s even worse! He didn’t even get to hear it! I just saw some video, and I was like, ‘He just said so much that it looked like his teeth were sagging.’ That’s impossible, but that’s how it looked. It’s the funniest song I’ve ever written.” “Alcopollack” “This is about our booking agent in Europe since ’89. He still is, but I just called him out on his shit because he booked all these other bands and lost them all. He goes on tour, and he gets drunk, and he gives people karate chops and shows people how much kung fu he knows. I wrote this song, and my girlfriend was like, ‘You can’t put this out. It’s so mean. Dave’s one of your best friends.’ And I was like, ‘Oh shit, was I offensive? Ah.’ Punk rock is really perfect for me. So, I sent the song to Dave, and he was like, ‘Yeah, do it. It’s funny.’ He will regret it though. He made a bad decision.” “Three Against Me” “When I was going to high school, there was one gay kid who was open, and he just got his ass kicked all the time. This was way before it was safe to be gay. And I just thought how life would feel, like that. I’m not gay, but I’m kind of queer. I like rubber cocks in my butt and stuff. I was in a polyamorous family with trans people, and what makes a person good is how good they are at putting themselves in other people’s shoes—for not judging and for feeling empathy. And I just thought about how so many gay people I know had such terrible childhoods. So, I just put myself in that position.” “Gone With the Heroined” “I’m a big Gone With the Wind fan. Everyone should see it. It’s fucking hardcore. And I did see a dominatrix named Scarlet for a while, and she was brutal with a whip. She also had a $100,000 man-made pussy. Oh, I’ve never tried heroin by the way. Lidocaine and Oxy. It’s all pills.”

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