Ryan Chartrand

NOFX is a band that goes against the norm. Its members don’t give many interviews and the group has never had a music video play on MTV or VH1. “NOFX: Backstage Passport” first aired on Fuse TV at 10 p.m. last Tuesday.

The eight episodes make up a docu-series that follows the legendary punk band on its travels around the globe. The band, which has been together for almost 25 years, lined up shows in places such as Brazil, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Ecuador and Korea – many of which are unfamiliar with punk music. The band taped its experiences in the process.

“Playing the U.S. isn’t as dangerous as it used to be. It’s all about corporate rock, and it sucks,” lead singer and bassist Fat Mike said on the show.

The first episode introduced the band members, explaining the backstory of how they met and formed NOFX, and their hardships over the years. For example, Smelly, the drummer, battled a long addiction to heroin and cocaine and the other members told him if he didn’t quit, they would kick him out of the band. Smelly has been sober for 16 years.

The band first went to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After arriving at the airport, Kent, the group’s manager, was drunk and had to be dragged into his room. The first show went terribly wrong, with Melvin’s guitar freaking out and then the band just walking off stage.

Next, NOFX went to Chile, and played a show with an audience of about 3,000 unruly kids. The screaming fans were jumping off the banisters into the pit in front of the band and stage diving. El Hefe, the lead guitarist, was even locked in a chokehold while security guards tried to peel off a fan.

“At that point, the show exploded with energy, and this was the kind of punk show we were looking to play,” Fat Mike said.

The next episode aired right after the first; this one took NOFX to Ecuador and Argentina. The club owner in Argentina wouldn’t let the guys play an encore, which the band was pissed about.

Then in Peru, the band really got into a sticky situation. Yolanda, the show’s promoter, had nothing ready by the time they got there. After months of planning, they didn’t have vehicles to take the crew to the venue, which turned out to be a six-acre empty lot with no electricity to run the show or any permits for the show to even happen. Riot police had the venue surrounded and the crew had to be smuggled in the back of a truck to escape.

Yolanda couldn’t be found, and then miraculously showed up later, with no emotion and no apologies to the band that she screwed up big time. Two thousand kids were pissed off when the band didn’t play and about 200 of them showed up at the hotel when the band had to leave. To please the angry mob, Fat Mike sat down in the lobby and played acoustic versions of their songs to tame the wildness.

This band loves to cause mayhem and will continue to rock until its numbers are dead; so for those who want to catch more of the weird fiascos that follow the band, watch “NOFX: Backstage Passport” on Fuse TV every at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

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