Fishbone should have been one of the biggest bands in the world. In the late ’80s and early ’90s I got to see them play with and stand toe-to-toe with heavyweights like the Chili Peppers, No Doubt, Public Enemy, Rage Against The Machine, and a ton of others who went on to become huge. But being an exceptional live band with incredible musicianship and a totally unique style–starting with ska, moving into funk, and venturing into free jazz but always with a punk rock attitude–doesn’t mean the mainstream will catch on. (Even if we did feature them in Robot Power.) And so the band soldiers on with three original members, including hyperactive singer Angelo Moore and impossibly versatile bassist Norwood Fisher, pleasing a small-but-loyal fan base while barely paying the bills. Their new EP, Crazy Glue, comes out on October 11.
Filmmakers Lev Anderson and Christopher Metzler have created an unorthodox, excellent documentary about Fishbone, following band members around their humble lives, tracking down their famous friends, and filling in the blanks with funky animation and amazing live footage. Everyday Sunshine, which follows its hugely successful film festival run by opening in New York City on October 7 and rolling out theatrically afterward, will appeal to fans of the band, critics of the music industry, and students of subculture. It’s emotional without being sensational and powerful while remaining complex. It will speak to any outsider who struggles personally and financially while dedicating his or her life to something creative and meaningful.