|Fat Wreck Chords|
|Distributor(s)||The Orchard (US)|
eOne Music (Worldwide)
|Country of origin||U.S.|
|Location||2196 Palou Ave., San Francisco, California|
Fat Wreck Chords (pronounced "Fat Records") is a San Francisco, California-based independent record label, focused on punk rock. It was started by NOFX lead singer Michael Burkett (better known as Fat Mike) and his girlfriend at the time, Erin Burkett, in 1990.
The label has released material for many notable bands including NOFX, Good Riddance, Mad Caddies, Descendents, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, The Loved Ones, Screeching Weasel, Propagandhi, Rise Against, Lagwagon, Strung Out, No Use for a Name, Frenzal Rhomb, Less Than Jake, Against Me!, Hi-Standard, Snuff, Consumed, Leftöver Crack, and Anti-Flag. Fat Wreck Chords has released 157 studio albums to date.
The label was started by Michael Burkett (better known as Fat Mike) and his girlfriend at the time, Erin Burkett, in 1990. Michael wanted a label that would represent himself, signing only bands he liked and that had similar beliefs. In the beginning Erin would fill orders and handle mail when Michael was on tour. The operation moved into its own office around 1993.
The label grew during the 1990s selling over a million records per year. It had eighteen employees and four offices.
A documentary about Fat Wreck Chords called 'A Fat Wreck' was released on October 25, 2016.
One somewhat uncommon 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. In some cases, bands have released albums on Fat Wreck Chords but also on other labels.
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 [sic]?! Needless to say, we're in the process of having our name removed again, but they aren't being too cooperative."
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 in the 2004 U.S. presidential election for John Kerry and against George W. Bush.
The label has had two subsidiaries over the years, Honest Don's and Pink and Black. Honest Don's released records from 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, though G7WC is independent from Fat Wreck.
Fat Wreck Chords 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 Chords compilations all have titles with some reference to fatness.
Shortly after Fat Music Volume IV was released, Fat Wreck Chords 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 eight 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 were from the bands' pre-existing repertoires.
Since the last Fat Music album has been released, the Fat Wreck Chords 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.
|Live in a Dive||No Use for a Name||September 11, 2001|
|Live in a Dive||Bracket||February 26, 2002|
|Live in a Dive||Sick of It All||August 13, 2002|
|Live in a Dive||Strung Out||June 22, 2003|
|Live in a Dive||Subhumans||February 10, 2004|
|Live in a Dive||Swingin' Utters||June 29, 2004|
|Live in a Dive||Lagwagon||February 8, 2005|
|Ribbed: Live in a Dive||NOFX||August 3, 2018|
|Live in a Dive||Face to Face||October 18, 2019|
In addition to the Live in a Dive series, Fat Wreck Chords also released the Fat Club series of 7" vinyl records during 2001. The series was only available to mail-order subscribers which received one single every month. Fat Wreck Chords did not publish any information on the upcoming releases so subscribers would not know what they were about to receive until the record arrived in the post.
Although the Fat club series was limited to 1,300 copies for each single, the songs contained on the records were later released as the third disc of the Wrecktrospective collection.