Punk rock legends NOFX have announced their new record, Single Album, out February 26 via Fat Wreck Chords, releasing the first single from it, “Linewleum.”
A reimagining of one of the band’s most iconic songs, “Linewleum” is best explained in Fat Mike’s words:
“I have no idea why “Linoleum” is THE NOFX song that is covered by so many bands while other NOFX songs get hardly any attention. “Linoleum” wasn’t a single; it had no video; it got no radio play, and most importantly, it didn’t even have a chorus!!! All popular songs have choruses! WTF!
“So, One night, I stayed up till 4:00 a.m. checking out all the different versions on YouTube. Watching hundreds of bands from over 28 countries (mostly Indonesia) doing “Linoleum” was a humbling experience for me. So, I decided to write a song that was a shout-out to all those people that learned those four chords and remembered the non-rhyming lyrics.
“Then, I asked the biggest of all the bands (Avenged Sevenfold) to play some leads on the song. Then, M Shadows suggested we do a video together. Then, I figured I should put all of the bands in the video. Well, I couldn’t fit all the bands, but I picked a bunch of cool ones! A song about not playing a song that’s not a hit song with a video about other bands covering the song! This is why I love punk rock writing punk songs. Rules out the door!”
Single Album is NOFX’s 14th full-length, and was recorded at Motor Studios in San Francisco with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore (Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Teenage Bottlerocket). It’s a self-prescribed “dark album”, featuring some of the band’s most personal songs to date.
Written in 2020, the album started life as a double album, with the intention of releasing it in fall. As was tradition for 2020, that didn’t go as planned.
Fat Mike says:
“When you write a double album, you write differently. I was writing really different songs, and some fun songs, but you have to make a double album interesting enough to listen to the whole way. I wanted to make a perfect double album, and I didn’t accomplish that. So I decided to just make a single album, hence the title.”
“I just kept adding songs. I was maybe a little out of my mind.
“I was pretty high on drugs that year.”
And that’s a subject given the spotlight on Single Album, with Eric Melvin warning Mike to be “cautious, more respectful, less obnoxious” on “Grieve Soto,” a eulogy to the late, great, Adolescents founder Steve Soto, while “Birmingham” is all about the frontman’s realization that something wasn’t right:
“That was a clarity moment in my life when I was by myself, and the sun’s coming up, and I’m scraping cocaine off the floor, like, ‘Eww, gross. I shouldn’t be doing this’. So what did I do? I ordered more.”
But, after a terrifying experience of a bleeding ulcer—complete with puking up blood—Mike went to rehab in fall 2020. Single Album was the product of that stay in rehab, and Fatty’s been sober since.
The product even features one of Mike’s favorite NOFX songs to date, in “The Big Drag.”
“I don’t get sick of listening to that song. No measure is the same length. Every time a new chord change happens, there’s a different rhythm to the guitar. The bass never stays on one note. You’re not sure when the chords are going to change because they always change at a different point.”
Check out the video for “Linewleum” below, and preorder Single Album here!
Images courtesy of NOFX. Featured photo credit: Jonathan Weiner.