Norwood Fisher is the bassist and a founding member of the legendary punk/ska band Fishbone. Media Mikes got to talk with Norwood recently about the bands recent documentary “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone” and their upcoming album.
Adam Lawton: What were your first thoughts when the idea of a documentary film was brought up?
Norwood Fisher: I thought it was a nice idea but I wanted to wait till we were done writing the story. I wanted to be closer to the finish line. The band at that time was in a bad place and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tell that story from where I was sitting. I wanted to be able to see a curve/arc from where I was at.
AL: Was it hard working with the cameras around?
NF: Once we had agreed to do the film we knew that we would be fully exposing the inner workings of the band. Personally I am not so attached to looking good. We knew going in that we would have to let the film be what it was going to be. I did talk to the directors as they were sensitive to the fact that we might not want them to film certain things. My attitude was fuck it! Let it slide.
AL: Was it hard reflecting on some of the bands past?
NF: I had made friends for the most part with all of the dark corners of my past. When everything was happening I really faced it head on. I know it was hard at times for Angelo to talk about some of the things that had happened. For me I don’t hold any resentment. It took all of those hardships to get me to where I am now. My life isn’t always easy but, I like being me.
AL: Do you have any regrets towards anything shown in the film?
NF: For me I don’t have any regrets. I am looking at it as an honest story that I said yes to allowing it be captured and displayed. If I look like and asshole then that just might be who I am. (Laughs) If I could see it then I have the opportunity to do something about it or not. I think everything is good and the difficulties of the band were shown. When we started we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We may not have known how deep things were but, we did know we were the ones laying on the barbwire so that others could cross over. I think we all knew pretty early on how that was going to work.
AL: What can you tell us about the new Fishbone record?
NF: We have about 4 new songs but they are not quite completed. We started them back in September and Angelo finished the lyrics in January. We have a few more over dubs to work on and then we will be done. I am really happy with the songs that we have and the energy is very good. It’s different from what we did on the “Crazy Glue” EP but, it still has some of that same spirit. If you put these tracks along with the “Crazy Glue” EP it might read like an older full length Fishbone record. The tracks are groovy rocking.
AL: What is the bands approach to song writing like?
NF: Recently we have been thrust into the recording situation without a whole lot of thought. The last few records were basically what we thought we could do quickly. We were very fortunate that what we did do was cool. The next batch of songs we are going to do full pre-production. We will probably go in with 25-30 songs and pick out the best 10 or 15. As a band we try to jam and Angelo will try and find lyrics that marry best to the songs. The last album that Angelo and I actually sat down together and wrote was “Still Stuck in Your Throat”. There wasn’t a lot of pre-production on that because at the time we were basically putting together a new band. Sometimes Angelo will hear a piece of music and instantly have a lyric. Other times I will see a lyric and have the perfect piece of music for that. Then there are times where it’s like a cage match.(Laughs)
AL: Is there a chance we will see a reunion of the original line up?
NF: Right now it doesn’t seem so possible. However in the long run it’s not impossible. I personally have a lot of love and respect for those guys. I try my best to honor the legacy that we all laid down together but, we do have some difficulties.
AL: Do you have any other upcoming projects we can be watching for?
NF: Fishbone has a lot of work ahead of it. We have some international touring to cover as well as a good portion of the United States left to hit. If everything goes right we will probably be doing a couple more videos from the “Crazy Glue” release. We will be working from now until at least September on the new full length record. Personally I have a record in the can from my side project that I want to release at some point as well. I have been playing with a number of different people lately also and that’s been really great. However, right now Fishbone is my priority.