It isn’t often that a band breaks onto the music scene and sets the world on fire. In 1979, Los Angeles musical pioneers Fishbone did just that. Their music is a mixture of punk, hard rock, funk and soul, and they have been influencing younger bands for over twenty-five years. Many bands of today have stated Fishbone as their musical influence such as No Doubt and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The band was founded by bassist Norwood Fisher, along with his brother, Phillip “Fish” Fisher (drums). The album Truth and Soul (1988) brought Fishbone critical acclaim, and through the years, the band has had their share of ups and downs. The upcoming documentary, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone tells their personal story very well.
I recently had an opportunity to talk with Fishbone bassist Norwood Fisher about his legendary band. Fisher says that his earliest musical influences include The Beatles, Sly & the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix and The Ohio Players.
When asked what he thinks it is about the band that has kept the music going for more than twenty-five years, he said, “At a certain point, we became aware of our legacy. We do it for the love of the music and for the love of our fans. 95% of what we do is what we want to do.”
In celebration of their 25th anniversary, the band has recently released a new EP, Crazy Glue (DC-Jam Records). Fisher said that his favorite song off the album is Deep Shit Backstroke. “It’s about letting life take its course and gracefully gliding through the hardships of life.” He is a very thoughtful person who has a lot of wonderful insight on the challenges in life.
The new documentary Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone is a must see film for any music fan. It will take you through the bands ups and downs. At the heart of the story is Fisher and lead singer Angelo Moore. They have overcome many things to re-invent themselves in the face of dysfunction and ghosts from a painful past. I asked Fisher what it was like to see the documentary for the first time. “The directors did it right. That’s what I said and that’s what I did. It’s honest and real. They (the directors) did a good job allowing the words to stand on their own.”
Fisher told me that he has had some exciting moments in his career. “I’ve had some incredible, colorful journeys. I remember being younger and touring with bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys. Awesome and hilarious things happen all the time,” he commented.
Some great advice he gives to up and coming musicians is this: “Program or be programmed.” He talked about how the music industry has changed so much since Fishbone first got started. “The music business is evolving in a way that we’ve never seen before,” he said. Basically, he believes that if you stay true to yourself and to your music, then that’s all you need.
He concluded the interview by saying this: “Fishbone is moving forward in the future and even though it’s not been easy, it’s happy and bright.”
For an exclusive interview with Chris Metzler, co-producer and co-director of Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, please visit HERE