NOFX on Las Vegas Shooting Comments: “We Won’t Blame It on Drugs or Alcohol or Ambien”
Humbled punks NOFX have released a lengthier apology for “tasteless” remarks frontman Fat Mike (Mike Burkett) and guitarist Eric Melvin made about the victims of the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting while performing at last week’s Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival. The band’s latest statement, issued on Sunday (June 3), follows last Thursday’s promise to get together to “write an in depth, sincere, and honest apology.”
The band’s full apology makes an oblique reference to Roseanne Barr as it takes responsibility and acknowledges the comments “crossed the line of civility.” Although “tasteless” is basically NOFX’s brand, the jokes about the shooting victims went viral, leading the band to lose its beer sponsor and get replaced on the lineup of a festival named after their 1994 album Punk in Drublic.
Here’s the entirety of NOFX’s latest statement, via their Facebook page:
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.
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.
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,
The mention of Ambien is a reference to Barr’s hit sitcom reboot Roseanne getting axed after she wrote some startlingly racist tweets and then tried to explain them away as side effects of the prescription sleep aid.