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Fat Wreck Chords
Fat Wreck Chords
Less Than Jake signed between 2000
Founded 1990
Founder(s) Fat Mike
Country of Origin United States
Official Website http://www.fatwreck.com

Fat Wreck Chords (pronounced 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, Erin, in 1990.

They have released material for bands such as his own, NOFX, Descendents, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Propagandhi, Rise Against, Lagwagon, Strung Out, No Use for a Name, Less Than Jake, Against Me!, Anti-Flag, and more.

One somewhat unique 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.[1] 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 against George W. Bush in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

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?! Needless to say, we’re in the process of having our name removed again, but they aren’t being too cooperative."[2]
However one of the many distributors carrying releases from Fat Wreck Chords is Sony BMG subsidiary RED Distribution,[3] an RIAA member.

ImprintsEdit

The label has had two subsidiaries over the years, Honest Don's and Pink & Black. Honest Don's released records from Diesel Boy, 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,[4] though G7WC is independent from Fat Wreck.

Compilation albums Edit

Fat Wreck 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 compilations all have titles with some reference to fatness:

Shortly after Fat Music Volume IV was released, Fat Wreck 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 seven 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, such as "Deny Everything" by the Circle Jerks and "Spray Paint" by Black Flag, were from the bands' pre-existing repertoires.

Since the last Fat Music album has been released, the Fat Wreck 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.[5]

Album series Edit

Live in a Dive Edit

Live in a Dive is a series of live albums recorded by Fat Wreck Chords.[6] In order of release:

Title Band Release date
1 Live in a Dive: No Use for a Name No Use for a Name September 11, 2001
2 Live in a Dive (Bracket album) Bracket February 26, 2002
3 Live in a Dive (Sick of It All album) Sick of It All August 13, 2002
4 Live in a Dive (Strung Out album) Strung Out June 22, 2003
5 Live in a Dive (Subhumans album) Subhumans February 10, 2004
6 Live in a Dive (Swingin' Utters album) Swingin' Utters June 29, 2004
7 Live in a Dive (Lagwagon album) Lagwagon February 8, 2005

Fat Club SeriesEdit

In addition to the Live in a Dive series, Fat Wreck Chords also released the Fat Club series of 7" vinyl records. These records were later released as the third disc of the Wrecktrospective collection. Artist who released Fat Club Series records include: The Vandals, American Steel, The Real McKenzies, MxPx, Strike Anywhere, Randy, NOFX, Swinging Utters, Strung Out, Enemy You, The Lawrence Arms, One Man Army.

Current bandsEdit

Former bandsEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. BBC Jan-16-2003: Fat Mike on The Lock Up - NOFX Wiki
  2. http://www.fatwreck.com/community/faq
  3. RED - An Artist Development Company
  4. NOFX: The State of Punk to Come
  5. http://www.fatwreck.com/record/detail/700
  6. Fat Wreck Chords: "Live in a Dive"

External linksEdit


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