NOFX & Frank Turner covering each other on new split album (2 videos out now)
NOFX and Frank Turner have teamed up for West Coast Vs. Wessex, a split album featuring both artists covering each other. It comes out July 31 via NOFX frontman Fat Mike's Fat Wreck Chords. Here's more background via press release:
Just how often does the leader of one of your favorite bands ask you to do a split album? One where his band covers your songs? It’s the situation Frank Turner found himself in last year, when Fat Mike of NOFX asked if he wanted to do a split covers album. “And I shit the bed and said, ‘Fucking of course I do! That sounds incredible,” Turner recalls. West Coast Vs. Wessex does sound incredible: NOFX filtering five songs from Turner’s sizeable solo back catalogue through their singular sensibility, with Turner reciprocating to record five of his personal favorites from NOFX’s 37-years-and-counting career. But these aren’t simply double-time versions of Turner’s folk-punk tunes or acoustic re-workings of NOFX’s iconic SoCal punk anthems - both took time to play with the possibilities each other’s music presented.
“I listened to all his records, and I picked the ones that I thought I could make more interesting,” notes Fat Mike. “What I did is change a lot of chords. Frank, he beats me in the singing department. So I can't sing better than he can, but I can maybe throw in a melody here or there or chord that he hadn’t thought of.” Turner took a similar approach. “I didn't want to just do straight covers of anything. I wanted to try and pick songs where I felt like me and my band could bring something different to the table,” he says. “But it did strike me that it would be cool to demonstrate to the casual NOFX fan, who doesn't know who I am, that I am actually a fan. I didn't just go to Spotify and pick the five most-listened-to songs.” For the record, only one of his choices appears on Spotify’s top five for NOFX: ‘Bob’, which Turner here transforms into a wistful country song.
“Everything he picked was from the ’90s, so I took that as it’s okay to mostly do his early stuff too,” says Fat Mike, who channeled ‘90s NOFX for their interpretations, transforming ‘Thatcher F*cked The Kids’ into a jaunty companion to ‘Philthy Phil Philanthropist’.
The first songs to be released are Frank Turner's cover of "Bob" and NOFX's cover of "Thatcher F*cked The Kids," and they each come with videos made by the song's original artist... which is why NOFX appear in Frank Turner's video. Watch/listen to both below.
Fat Mike is also doing AIDS/LifeCycle's 545 challenge to help raise money to "fund the work of San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center to provide free HIV/AIDS medical care, testing, and prevention services." Instead of biking 545 miles, though, Fat Mike will bike to 545 songs. "Luckily I'm a punk rocker and punk songs are generally under two minutes. I'm pretty sure I can ride 2-3 hours a day even in heels!"
If you want your song included in Fat Mike's playlist, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your PayPal donation receipt and a YouTube link to your song. Whatever Mike raises after June 6, Fat Wreck Chords will match. More info here and in the video below. You can donate via PayPal here.
Also, Fat Wreck Chords' iconic Short Music For Short People compilation -- which featured 30-seconds songs from 101 punk bands -- turns 21 today (6/1). We reviewed all 101 songs for the anniversary.