By Kate Foote
Doing laundry sucks. The monotony of it all, combined with the sinking feeling there are a plethora of more deserving ways to waste your time makes for a generally unpleasant experience. However, if the chore is spiced up with one of the countless detergents engineered to smell like an orgy of assorted fruits and a bottle of Jack Daniels it becomes a downright acceptable use of a Sunday afternoon. Turning the chore into a glorious highlight of one’s life, though, can be considerably more difficult to stomach. For punk rockers No Use for a Name, clean laundry is exciting.
“It’s absolutely glorious,” begins frontman Tony Sly. “When you’re on tour and you haven’t done your laundry for a month, coming across [a laundromat] is very exciting.”
Dirty laundry aside, countless days of touring has been a fact of life for NUFAN over the past 20 years of their career. While contemporaries like Bad Religion and NOFX have begun to deflate their touring schedules, Sly doesn’t see less touring as an option for NUFAN. In his eyes, incessant touring is crucial in maintaining their fan base.
“We’re not as well off as NOFX, so we have to tour to keep this thing going,” he says. “We’re still kind of a working band, so it would be difficult for us to play less.”
Making life on the road even more difficult for Sly is knowledge of his two year-old daughter Fiona waiting at home for him. While his family generally tags along on summer tours, it was decided exposing a toddler accustomed to sunny California to the frigid cold of a Canadian winter the band will soon experience would not be a good idea.
“I’m three weeks into the tour, we’ve got three weeks left and I’m dying to see her,” Sly explains. “That makes it very very difficult. We’ve kept all the other tours really short, but this one is pretty long so it’s kind of painful right now, but at least it’s half done.”
In balancing their family lives with work, NUFAN has decompressed their tours, adding longer breaks in between. In their bachelor years, the band would tour for six to eight months at a time. Now an equal number of dates are spread across an entire year.
Despite his ambivalent attitude towards touring, Sly admits his career with the band has been a memorable one. Playing huge tours like Warped and Italy’s Rock in Idro festivals for thousands of fans-in the case of Idro, 40,000–NUFAN still appreciates their fans’ support.
“The first time I went to Europe and saw a couple hundred people singing the songs, it was just this amazing thing,” Sly remarks. “I wrote the songs in my bedroom like, 10,000 miles away. It’s just like, why are these people singing these stupid lyrics and melodies that I made up?”
Judging by the success of their most recent album, Keep them Confused, NUFAN’s present tour is likely to host plenty of the fan sing-a-longs of tours previous.