My initial post was going to be about Lagwagon’s newest studio album “Hang”, but it got me thinking. I was sitting there listening to the new tracks from the album, getting just as stoked as the first time I heard them (early this year, we conducted our Lagwagon interviews during their recording session for the new album and we were fortunate enough to hear a few tracks off the new record.) The newest offering reinvigorated me and reminded me of skipping class in high school to go out and buy the newest punk release. But what got me into Fat Wreck Chords? How did I stumble upon a scene that would still consume me to this very day?
For me, it all goes back to Nofx’s “Punk in Drublic”. I was headed on my way to middle school, with a skateboard in one hand and a walkman cassette player in the other. 1994 was a very influential time for my blossoming music obsession. When I first heard “Linoleum” something jarred loose. I can’t explain it clearly, but I knew that this sound would drastically alter my path. I had already been playing drums for a few years and when that double time beat kicked in, I knew that this was the kind of band I wanted to be in.
I wanted more. I was able to find Nofx’s previous album at a local record store. “White Trash, Two Heebs, and a Bean” further reinforced the thought that this was the music scene that I wanted to be a part of. To my wonderful surprise, Fat Mike had already started his small record label. And every artist felt like they were hand picked specifically for me.
I had a back catalogue of amazing bands that today, I would consider punk rock royalty. Lagwagon’s “Trashed” was my first delve into Fat Wreck Chords. Blistering speed and jarring turn arounds was all I could comprehend at first. I didn’t know that punk and metal could blend so perfectly. There was raw unabashed aggression with crazy melodic hooks. How was this even possible!?
“How to Clean Everything” from Propagandhi was my next purchase and that solidified it. Fat Wreck would become my basis for all other record labels and albums that would follow. Powerful, thought provoking lyrics, with double time, and melodic guitar riffs made me realize that this wasn’t just another music phase for me. It didn't end here, but this was the unquestionable beginning of my life long affair with punk rock.
Here I am almost 20 years later to the day and these first few albums I mentioned are still in constant rotation on my iPhone. My love for punk rock and Fat Wreck has only grown over these past two decades. I even get to be involved on documenting the work of my favorite label and bands, with some of my closest friends. I truly feel lucky to have been given this opportunity by the wonderful fans of Fat Wreck Chords and from the amazing supporters of the Indiegogo campaign. Thank you for the support of our film A Fat Wreck and thanks to Fat Wreck Chords themselves, for helping shape my youth.