NOFX’s Fat Mike Claims He’s the Reason Underoath Left Warped Tour 2006
Last year, NOFX bandleader "Fat" Mike Burkett looked back on Warped Tour 2006 and an apparent difference of beliefs between him and tourmates Underoath that affected the trek. The punk singer and Fat Wreck Chords founder claimed he purposely inflated that divide, driving the then-Christian metal band off the tour.
It's no secret that Underoath left that year's Warped Tour a little over halfway through. Fifteen shows were left on the traveling U.S. music fest when they last played the Jack in the Box stage on July 27, 2006, in Pittsburgh. NOFX performed on the Teddy Bear stage.
But did Fat Mike's retelling add an admission?
During an August 2021 episode of One Life One Chance, the NOFX figurehead told host and H2O lead vocalist Toby Morse that he had focused on criticizing Underoath from the stage after he learned an Underoath member was apparently against same-sex marriage.
He explains, "When Underoath was on the Warped Tour, and I found out that the guitar player — I asked him, 'I hear you don't like gay people?' He's like, 'No, no, I just don't think they should be allowed to get married.' Heh-heh, yeah, that's what I really heard."
Fat Mike continues of the unnamed musician, "I'm not comfortable with you being on the Warped Tour with me. So I'm going to talk shit about your band every day. And they ended up quitting the Warped Tour. I don't want someone who's actually homophobic on my tour."
However, the NOFX singer's explanation was different at the time. That summer, he said in a statement, "As much as I do like controversy, there really isn't any to report on this subject. Underoath have left the Warped Tour, and as much as people want to give me credit for that, the truth is they just really needed a break apparently. Some people have suggested that they bailed because I made too much fun of them (I kinda did). Problem with that theory is that I have made fun of plenty of bands on this tour. … I feel I am an equal opportunist when it comes to getting laughs."
Underoath said at the time, "We're deeply frustrated and sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. We felt it necessary to take some immediate time to focus on our friendship, as that's more important than risking it for the sake of touring at this time."
Seemingly pleased by the outcome now, Fat Mike tossed in his disdain for former President Trump on One Life One Chance. "That's what's cool about punk rock," the bassist-vocalist says. "We do have a belief system, even though it's weird now [because of] people like Trump. And everyone's scared now to say anything bad."
He adds, "If you like Trump, you're a liar, and you like lies, and you're comfortable with lying to your family and your friends. And you're like, Finally, a president who's giving me the okay to lie because he lies constantly."
Hear Fat Mike discuss Underoath around 27:00 below.