Fat Wreck Chords
|Fat Wreck Chords|
|Distributor(s)||Fontana (US), RED (US), ADA (US), PIAS (Europe), eOne Music (Worldwide)|
|Country of origin||U.S.|
|Location||San Francisco, California|
Fat Wreck Chords (pronounced as if spelled "Fat Records", / /) is a San Francisco, California-based independent record label, focused on punk rock. It was started by Fat Mike (lead singer and bassist of the punk rock band NOFX) and his wife at the time, Erin, in 1990.
They have released material for bands such as his own, NOFX, Good Riddance, Descendents, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, The Loved Ones, Screeching Weasel, Propagandhi, Rise Against, Lagwagon, Strung Out, No Use for a Name, Less Than Jake, Against Me! and Anti-Flag. Fat Wreck Chords has released 157 studio albums to date.
One somewhat uncommon and defining characteristic of Fat Wreck Chords is that they only sign one-record deals with bands. This allows the bands working with Fat Wreck Chords to have a choice as to if and when they want to put a record out on the label. In some cases, bands have released albums on Fat Wreck Chords but also on other labels. Many bands on this label participated in the campaign Punkvoter, which was started by Fat Mike and attempted to encourage the youth in the U.S. to vote in the 2004 U.S. presidential election for John Kerry and against George W. Bush.
The label has never been a member of the Recording Industry Association of America as indicated on the frequently asked questions portion of the label's website:
"Are we a member? Not only no, but FUCK NO! We spent three years having our label's name (which was misspelled) removed from their members list. A year went by, then our name showed up again on their fucking list! Who are these sonsabitches [sic]?! Needless to say, we're in the process of having our name removed again, but they aren't being too cooperative."
A documentary about Fat Wreck Chords called 'A Fat Wreck' is set to be released in 2015.
The label has had two subsidiaries over the years, Honest Don's and Pink & Black. Honest Don's released records from Chixdiggit and Teen Idols amongst others, while Pink & Black released albums from female-fronted bands like Fabulous Disaster and Dance Hall Crashers.
Fat Mike also advanced $50,000 to Chris Hannah and Jord Samolesky of Propagandhi which he recouped within months from sales of Propagandhi records to help them start up their own label, G7 Welcoming Committee, though G7WC is independent from Fat Wreck.
Fat Wreck Chords regularly releases compilation albums, often to promote bands signed to the label, but also, since 2003, to raise funds for various charities. The earliest Fat Wreck Chords compilations all have titles with some reference to fatness:
- Fat Music for Fat People (1994)
- Survival of the Fattest (1996)
- Physical Fatness (1997)
- Life in the Fat Lane (1999)
- Live Fat, Die Young (2001)
- Uncontrollable Fatulence (2002)
- Wrecktrospective (2009)
- Harder, Fatter + Louder! (2010)
Shortly after Fat Music Volume IV was released, Fat Wreck Chords released a similarly titled album, Short Music for Short People, which features 101 songs, all averaging approximately 30 seconds. The shortest song ("Short Attention Span" by the Fizzy Bangers) is only eight seconds, and the longest ("Out of Hand" by Bad Religion) is 40 seconds. Some of the songs were commissioned and recorded specifically for the album, while others were from the bands' pre-existing repertoires.
Since the last Fat Music album has been released, the Fat Wreck Chords compilations have been explicitly for charitable causes. Liberation: Songs to Benefit PETA is a benefit album for the animal rights organization PETA, and PROTECT: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children is a benefit album for the children's rights group PROTECT. Between Liberation and PROTECT, two other compilation albums were released in protest of President George W. Bush and his administration: Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
To celebrate 20 years of business Fat Wreck Chords released the 3-disc Wrecktrospective compilation on December 8, 2009. Disc 1 is composed of the label's greatest hits, disc 2 is composed of unreleased demos and rarities, and disc 3 is composed the Fat Club 7" series in its entirety.
Live in a Dive
|Live in a Dive||No Use for a Name||September 11, 2001|
|Live in a Dive||Bracket||February 26, 2002|
|Live in a Dive||Sick of It All||August 13, 2002|
|Live in a Dive||Strung Out||June 22, 2003|
|Live in a Dive||Subhumans||February 10, 2004|
|Live in a Dive||Swingin' Utters||June 29, 2004|
|Live in a Dive||Lagwagon||February 8, 2005|
Fat Club Series
In addition to the Live in a Dive series, Fat Wreck Chords also released the Fat Club series of 7" vinyl records during 2001. The series was only available to mail-order subscribers which received one single every month. Fat Wreck Chords did not publish any information on the upcoming releases so subscribers would not know what they were about to receive until the record arrived in the post.
Although the Fat club series was limited to 1,300 copies for each single, the songs contained on the records were later released as the third disc of the Wrecktrospective collection. The following 7" singles were released:
|FAT201||The Real McKenzies||January 2001|
|FAT202||American Steel||February 2001|
|FAT203||Strike Anywhere||March 2001|
|FAT205||The Vandals||May 2001|
|FAT206||Enemy You||June 2001|
|FAT207||Swingin' Utters||July 2001|
|FAT210||Strung Out||October 2001|
|FAT211||The Lawrence Arms||November 2001|
|FAT212||One Man Army||December 2001|
- BBC Jan-16-2003: Fat Mike on The Lock Up - NOFX Wiki
- Robertshaw, Steven (2005-10-13). "NOFX: The State of Punk to Come". Alternative Press Magazine. Archived from the original on 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- "Records: Fat Wreck Chords". Fatwreck.com. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- Fat Wreck Chords: "Live in a Dive"