Everyday Fishbone

I wish everyday the sun would shine
Take me to another place in my mind

Where everything is beautiful

And no wants or needs
Nor sign of greed
Could rule our soul

How I wish the sun would shine
How I wish the sun would shine

If we could fly away on wings
To a place where all could be true

And the skies were blue
And love was true 
And me and you

How I wish the sun would shine
How I wish the sun would shine

Today these lyrics of the song, Everyday Sunshine ring true as the day they were originally penned by Christopher Dowd and Angelo Moore of the band, Fishbone. Now in their 33rd year of existence, the band continues to ring ears of ska/funk/punk fans of all ages. They served as influences for such notable acts as Red Hot Chili Peppers, No Doubt and Jane’s Addiction – just to name a few. Many expected the band to rise and dominate over all in the Los Angeles punk scene of the 80s and if anything, the ska-boom of the 90s. However the band has kept their democratically creative ethic to the grindstone while other acts and trends passed them by. Such is the tale told in Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler‘s new documentary Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. 

Personally, I didn’t need another reason to love Fishbone. I already felt a creative kinship when I picked up their VHS tape Fishbone – Reality of My Surroundings: Past to Present as a young ska fan in the 90s. I fell in love with their freedom to explore genres, while singing tales of their frustration with racism. Their video and slew of ska/funk/punk odes inspired me to tap into my own feelings to create the foundation of what would one day would breathe life into PIMPBOT. However with that being said, I still welcomed the documentary to cement my respect for the Los Angeles-bred hood rockers.

While those that live by the gospel of the Billboard charts can easily dismiss Fishbone as a failure to achieve mainstream success, their story of tribulations continue to inspire countless underground acts all over the world. Many bands such as my own live the life of the underdog – too different and experimental to be accepted and classified to a mainstream niche.

The documentary also examines the psyche of Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore. His struggles of losing band members over the years and the balance between his solo endeavors are again all familiar territory to me. Of course I do not even come close to Moore’s realm of genius but when he spoke about going insane because he has too many ideas that he can’t get out in time, I felt the documentary was made especially for me. It was as if the film was created so that I don’t feel alone in my struggles as an artist.

PIMPBOT with Norwood from Fishbone

I have had various run-ins with Fishbone over the course of my 14 year music career. From being an opening act for them in 2000 to jamming with Angelo on stage in DC a year ago, all of my Fishbone experiences have been special. I agree with the sentiment of the documentary in that the band should have tasted much larger success by now. I should hope that if that level of notoriety had been achieved, that they would still be as humble as they are today. A year ago, my band members and I were having a few drinks at a bar in DC and Fishbone founder Norwood Fisher came to join us. Honestly, I could only hold a seemingly casual conversation for a few moments before excusing myself from the situation. What do you to tell someone that has helped define a genre in which you have based your adult life on? Perhaps, just that. However I’m sure they must hear that everyday.

The current members of Fishbone continue to strive for a life where no wants or needs, nor sign of greed could rule their soul. For that version of musical justice, may the sun continue to shine on them.

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone is already available for download on iTunes and DVDs can be ordered on Amazon.

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