Anti-Trump Band NOFX Tells Vegas Audience ‘At Least It Was Country Fans’ Killed in Oct. Shooting
ByLaura LoomerPosted on May 30, 2018
In a shockingly distasteful comment made on stage, the lead singer of punk band NOFX said he was happy country music fans died in the Las Vegas shooting.
Michael John Burkett, who calls himself “Fat Mike,”made the comment while preforming with his band at the Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival in downtown Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend.
In between songs, Burkett said to the audience, “We played a song and didn’t get shot. There’s no getting shot in Vegas unless you’re in a country band. That sucks, but at least it was country fans and not punk rock fans” who died in Las Vegas shooting.
Eight months has passed since the Las Vegas shooting in which 58 people were murdered and over 800 injured at the Route 91 County Music Festival. Police say alleged gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from his 32nd floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino onto thousands of people attending the concert.
Las Vegas continues to grieve over the attack that shocked the world but that didn’t seem to bother the aging punk band, which has been around since 1983. NOFX continued to make jokes throughout their performance about the shooting.
NOFX and Burkett, 51, are no strangers to controversy and making distasteful remarks during performances. Last year at the same music festival in Las Vegas, “Fat Mike” decapitated a naked statue of Donald Trump on stage and proceeded to beat it with a baseball bat. Before decapitating the statue, he said, “If you’re a Trump supporter, fuck you, and get the fuck out of our scene.”
Several people who attended the punk rock festival over the weekend took to social media to express outrage and disgust over the comments.
Dear #NOFX you’re not funny and until you’ve had to run for your life while being shot at for ten minutes, you have no right to utter a single word about that night! Please don’t return to Vegas.
Unreal. Enjoy the rest of your time in obscurity #NOFX. I looked for a photo in our image bank for this story and the most recent one was taken in 2009.https://995qyk.com/2018/05/30/band-jokes-las-vegas-shootings-saying-least-country-fans/ …5:28 PM – May 30, 2018 · Tampa, FL
Band Jokes About Las Vegas Shootings Saying “At Least They Were Country Fans”
NOFX thought it would be “hilarious” to joke about the October 1 shootings while on stage in Las Vegas. They said “at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans”. This is disgusting and…
‘We crossed the line of civility’ – NOFX issue apology after joking about Las Vegas shooting
Fat Mike of NOFX By Damian Jones Jun 4, 2018 2:55 pm
Band also spark a backlash on social media
During a recent set at the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival in the city, the band spoke out about the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting last October that left 58 people dead.
“I guess you only get shot in Vegas if you’re in a country band,” guitarist Eric Melvin joked before frontman Fat Mike interjected: “At least they were country fans and not punk rock fans.”
The joke provoked a huge backlash and prompted Stone Brewing Co. – the San Diego Brewery behind NOFX’s beer and music festival both called Punk In Drublic – to sever ties with the band.
“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,” a representative for the company said in a statement.
Now, the band have issued a full apology for their comments, describing the episode as “shameful”.
“There’s no place here to backpedal. What NOFX said in Vegas was shameful. We crossed the line of civility. We can’t write songs about how people in this world need to be more decent, when we were clearly being indecent. Las Vegas has always been a welcoming city to our band, and to make light of the tragedy that occurred there was egregious”, NOFX wrote in a Facebook post.
“All members of the band would like to sincerely apologize to anyone who experienced loss from the Vegas shooting 8 months ago, and to anyone who was at our show who lost a loved one or a friend, or who had to witness the incredibly senseless violence that night.
“We were asked why we didn’t release an immediate apology. Well, we didn’t feel that we could write a sincere apology without reflecting on the actual damage we had done. No press agent was gonna write this for us. That’s why we have struggled with this for the past few days.”
The group added: “We didn’t plan or intend on saying anything so insensitive. It was off the cuff, but just as hurtful. We won’t blame it on drugs or alcohol or Ambien. That’s too easy. NOFX said it, and we own it. We made a tasteless joke. But to be clear, NOFX does not condone violence against ANY group of people, period!
“As sincere as we’ve ever been.”
Founders of the Punk Rock Bowling Festival also apologised for NOFX’s comments.
They said in a statement: “In light of NOFX’s comments during their performance at the Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival, we would like to offer a formal apology to those in attendance, the City of Las Vegas, the victims and their families of 10/1.
“Las Vegas is home to the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival, and we do not condone statements made from our stage on Sunday night. We take the safety of our festival goers seriously and want to relay that, there is nothing funny about people being shot and murdered, ever.”
NOFX’s joke sparked a backlash on Twitter with one user writing: “NOFX thought it would be ‘hilarious’ to joke about the October 1 shootings while on stage in Las Vegas. They said ‘at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans’. This is disgusting and callous. We will never support anything involving this band ever again.”
Another added: “I’ve been a fan of @FatMike_of_NOFX and his band since I was a kid. His comment about the Vegas shooting makes me sick. Fuck you. You just lost tons of fans.”
As NOFX once said, “It’s up to you to stand up to the bullshit that’s happening in this country.”
Surely NOFX won’t mind if Americans and the music industry stand up to someone who thinks country music fans deserve to die over other groups of people.
As of press time, NOFX did not respond to requests for comment.
feature image via Loudwire
Laura Loomer is a conservative investigative journalist and activist. She is the author of What Happens In Vegas, forthcoming from Dangerous Books. Follow her on Twitter @LauraLoomer