Fang performing in 1983. Left to right: Tim Stiletto and Tom Flynn. Vocalist Sam McBride and bassist Chris Wilson are not visible.
|Origin||Berkeley, California, USA|
|Genres||Hardcore punk, punk rock|
|Years active||1980-1989, 1997-present|
|Labels||Boner, National Trust, Wingnut, Malt Soda|
|Website||Fang's official MySpace page|
|Members||Sam 'Sammytown' McBride
|Past members||Bill Collins
Fang is an American hardcore punk band, formed in Berkeley, California in 1980. The group was originally part of the punk rock scene in Berkeley, California in the 1980s. Fang initially broke up in 1989 when vocalist Sam McBride was sent to prison for killing his girlfriend, Dixie Lee Carney. Upon his release, in 1995, McBride changed his name to Sammytown and reformed Fang.
The band's first record under the name Fang was an "experimental record", according to the band; this was the "Yukon Fang" single. Fang guitarist Tom Flynn and bass player Brian Beattie, his former bandmate from the bands Tapeworm and Safety Patrol, put out "Yukon Fang" as a duo, and Fang was formed.
The original incarnation of Fang toured the country once, only to break up shortly thereafter with Beattie moving on to Texas where he later formed the band Glass Eye. In the early fall of 1981, Flynn began playing with drummer Chris Ritter. They soon added bass player Chris Wilson and began playing shows in the Bay Area as a three piece, with Flynn on vocals. While this was happening, Sam McBride, the band's soon-to-be vocalist, was singing with future Fang drummer Greg Langston in the band Shut Up. In early 1982, Ritter was replaced with drummer Joel Fox, and at Fox's audition he brought along his friend McBride, who volunteered to be the band's singer. The line-up solidified as McBride (vocals), Chris Wilson (bass), Tom Flynn (guitar), and Joel Fox (drums). Together they contributed the song "Fun with Acid" to the Not So Quiet on the Western Front compilation album.
Shortly thereafter, guitarist Tom Flynn founded the label Boner Records and released Fang's debut album Landshark and their EP Where the Wild Things Are. Tim Stiletto drummed on the latter. These two releases are now considered classic East Bay punk.
The original line-up of Fang dissolved in 1985 after the departure of founder Tom Flynn. Sammytown carried on the band, recruiting a new line-up of Bill Collins (guitar), Joe Miller (bass), and Steve Chinn (drums). Flynn and Boner Records remained affiliated with the band, putting out the first tracks by the new line-up on a Boner Records compilation, Then Boners Be Poppin' in 1985. In January 1986, the "Spun Helga" LP was recorded in West Germany with McBride singing vocals, and two Germans named Joe (guitar) and Ollie (drums) playing instruments. We Bite Records released the LP in Germany, and in the US it was handled by National Trust Records. Fang next release was 1987's A Mi Ga Sfafas? (literally, "Give Me Head?").
In 1988/89, drummer Mike Branum replaced Chinn. Fang then recorded the album Pissed Off Buddah, which remained unreleased until 2008, when it was released with Fang's other albums Spun Helga and A Mi Ga Sfafas?
By 1989, the band had entered a decline, and had become inactive with Sammytown's crippling heroin addiction. Turning his efforts towards drug dealing for income, Sam McBride eventually strangled his girlfriend, Dixie Lee Carney, to death, and led police on a manhunt for six months. McBride claims he was aided by informants in the punk rock community and thus was able to stay ahead of the police. McBride also alleges that his former bandmates, Collins, Miller, and Branum turned on him and provided information to police. Upon being apprehended in Alaska, McBride was sentenced to six years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.
After a long break, Fang regrouped in 1995 and put out the "Electric Chair" single on Man's Ruin Records. The line-up at this time included Sam McBride (vocals) (who had recently legally changed his name to "Sammytown"), Greg Langston (drums), Bill Burnett (guitar) and Josh Levine (bass). This incarnation of the band recorded the American Nightmare LP on Wingnut Records.
In 1989, Boner Records released Fang's first compilation album, Landshark/Where the Wild Thing Are. The album included Fang's debut album and debut EP.
In 1999, Jim Martin, formerly of Faith No More, joined on guitar and recorded four songs for the Hello Records CD Fish and Vegetables, which was released as a split LP by fellow punk rock groups Dr. Know and Hellions.
In May 2000, Sammytown and Jim Martin, along with Casey Orr (Gwar, Rigor Mortis) on bass, and Dallas drummer Clint Phillips (The American Fuse) performed two shows in Texas, one at Trees Dallas, and a sold-out show at Emo's in Austin.
By 2001, the band was composed of Sammytown, Brian Schopflin (bass), Jonny Manak (guitar), Alby Wasted (guitar), and Ike Eichensehr (drums). Sammytown, Brian, Jonny, Alby and Ike also started the Resistoleros, an Oakland-based rock 'n' roll band. Steel Cage Records released the Resistoleros CD Rock 'N Roll Napalm in 2003.
In 2004, the Live Cheap CD came out on Malt Soda Recordings, featuring Sammytown (vocals), Brian Schopflin (bass), Ike Eichensehr (drums), Alby Wasted (guitar) and Jimmy Crucifix (guitarist for 1980s hardcore band Crucifix and hard rock band Proudflesh) also on guitar. This is the only Fang recording with two guitarists.
In 2004, the band toured the United States. Sammytown, Jimmy Crucifix (guitar), Brian Schopflin (bass), Bubba Dennis (bass) and Ike Eichensehr (drums) toured as Fang in the spring of 2004 and as the Resistoleros and Fang in November 2004 with Greg Elliott on rhythm guitar.
In January 2005, Sammy, Jimmy, Brian and Ike recorded a cover of Agression's (1980s hardcore–Nardcore band) song "Salty Leather" for a tribute to Agression members Mark Hickey and Henry Knowles, who had died. Dave Haro and JellyRoll came up with the idea for the tribute. The CD, Taking Out a Little Agression, was released on Dr. Strange Records in 2007 and featured bands including JFA, McRad, DI, Ill Repute, Dr. Know, Verbal Abuse, MDC, Oppressed Logic, Shattered Faith, and Dave Haro & JellyRoll's band KatKiller.
From 2005–2008, Fang performed with the steady line-up of Sammytown, Jimmy Crucifix, Brian Schopflin, and Greg Langsten (returning to the drums). 2008 also marked the year Sammytown formed the Disciples, a raw mix of hard rock, which recorded the album Redemption in 2009. The Disciples consisted of Sammytown (vocals), Jamey Dangerous (drums), Scary Larry Tamez (bass), J-Stain Werthless (lead guitar; originally from punk outfit Diesel Boy), and Mat "The Kid" McCoy (guitar), the line-up which also emerged in 2010 as the current line-up for Fang. After countless live shows and touring, the band wrote and recorded "Here Come the Cops", which included contributions from original member Tom Flynn, who has re-emerged and played live with the band on at least one occasion in 2012.
In 2011, Malt Soda released the double disc CD Pissed Off Buddha, comprising three Fang albums: Spun Helga, A Mi Ga Sfafas?, and Pissed Off Buddha, the latter being a previously unreleased album recorded in 1988. A live DVD of the band was also included with the release.
A new album, Here Come the Cops, was released by Malt Soda in 2012. In summer of 2013, the band released a split 7" with Whidbey Island, WA's Potbelly, on PB Records.
2014 saw the band appearing on a limited edition split 12" alongside Symbol Six with two exclusive new songs, including a cover of "Riot in Cell Block #9". The EP was released as an exclusive Record Store Day release via Jailhouse Records.
Fang has gone on to influence an array of West Coast bands, and has been instrumental in the hardcore punk movement. Guitarist Tom Flynn's distinct guitar playing has also influenced many followers, including those in the grunge genre. In Kurt Cobain's list of his top 50 albums, Landshark was at number 6.
While not achieving chart activity during their heyday, Fang has been covered by many high profile bands. The most enduring composition by the group, "The Money Will Roll Right In", has been covered by Mudhoney, the Butthole Surfers, Metallica, and Nirvana. Another of the band's popular tracks, "I Wanna Be On TV", was covered by Green Day.
- Landshark (Boner Records, 1982)
- Where The Wild Things Are (Boner Records, 1983)
- Spun Helga (National Trust Records, 1985)
- A Mi Ga Sfafas? (Boner Records, 1986)
- Pissed Off Buddha (Malt Soda Records, 2011, recorded 1988)
- American Nightmare (Wingnut Records, 1998)
- Fish and Vegetables - released by Fang, Dr. Know, and Hellion (Hello Records, 2000)
- Here Come the Cops (Malt Soda Recordings, 2012)
Singles and EPs
- "Enjoy the View" / "Yukon Fang" (1981)
- Fang/Oppressed Logic split 7" - Skinheads Smoke Dope with a Cheap Beer Hangover (Beer City Records, 1998)
- Fang/Potbelly split 7" (PB Records, 2013)
- Fang/Symbol Six split 12" EP (Jailhouse Records, 2014)
- "Fun with Acid" - Not So Quiet on the Western Front compilation (Alternative Tentacles Virus 14, 1982)
- "They Sent Me to Hell C.O.D." - Rat Music For Rat People, Vol.2 compilation (CD Presents, 1984)
- "Red Threat" and "Fun With Acid (Ill Version)" - Life is a Joke compilation (Weird System, 1984)
- "Johnny Puke" and "Better Off Dead" - Them Boners be Poppin' compilation (Boner Records, 1985)
- "Police on My Back" - Backlash, The Clash tribute compilation (Dwell, 1999)
- "Salty Leather" - Taking Out A Little Agression, Agression tribute compilation (Dr. Strange Records, 2007)
- "Skinheads Smoke Dope with a Cheap Beer Hangover" - Fang/Oppressed Logic split 7" (Beer City Records, 1999)
Live and compilations
- Landshark/Where the Wild Thing Are (Boner Records, 1989)
- "Electric Chair" (Boner Records, 1995)
- "Hair of the Dog" (Man's Ruin Records, 1998)
- Live Cheap CD (Malt Soda Recordings, 2004)
- Pissed Off Buddha (2-CD set comprising three albums - Spun Helga, A Mi Ga Sfafas? and Pissed Off Buddha) (Malt Soda Recordings, 2011)
- Fang's MySpace at ; retrieved on May 7, 2008
- 2010 interview with Chris Ritter at
- Boulware, Jack and Tudor, Silke. "Gimme Something Better" Penguin Press, 2009. Interviews with Flynn and McBride.
- Fang's Discography Short-Form at ; retrieved on May 7, 2008
- Blush, Steve. Petros, George. 'American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Feral House. 2001.
- Fang's Discography Long-Form at ; retrieved on May 7, 2008
- Yockel, Michael (March 12, 1998). "Between Punk Rock and a Hard Place". Miami New Times.