Fat Mike (Cokie The Clown)

Fat Mike has seen some shit. Dude has been rocking out with punk legends NOFX since the '80s, and he's picked up some crazy stories along the way. When he actually told some of his tales at a recent SXSW performance at Emo's, it got him banned from the venue. Also he peed in a bottle of booze which he then served to the crowd. So that probably factored into the banning as well. Fat Mike performed the show as Cokie the Clown, so when the Punknews writer Joe Pelone, reached out for an interview about the night, it was suggested Mike do the interview as the alter ego. Here now is an e-mail interview with the clown.

So how are you feeling today?

I’m in Billings, Montana and I feel like hell/shit.

You sure dropped quite a few bombshells at your recent SXSW performance. The two that hit me the most were the story about ignoring a girl’s plea for help as she was about to be raped back in the ’80s, and the story about your mother’s assisted suicide. What prompted you to bring these up at the show? Was it for shock value? Was it out of guilt?

I wouldn’t really call it shock value. I just wanted to tell some stories that would bum everyone out. Neither one of those stories were told out of guilt. They were just tragedies that I have been through. I may have felt some guilt for not trying to stop the rape, but I feel no regret in the actions I took. Had I stepped in I would have probably been killed or beaten to with an inch of my life. Not something I was willing to do when I was 16. The punk scene in LA was really fucking violent. No one tried to stop the constant violence, you just tried to avoid it. That was how you survived.

As far as my mother’s assisted suicide goes, helping her was one of the best things I’ve ever done. After all my mother did for me, the least I could do is help her with her dying wishes. That was extremely difficult, but also the easiest decision I ever made. How could I not help her? She brought me into this world and I helped her leave it.

Any other lingering problems you’d care to discuss?

I’ve got a pretty bad case of hemorrhoids, but I can handle them on my own.

How far in advance did you have these stories planned out? Were they off the top of your head? What has the reaction been to them since the show?

I had most of the stories worked out weeks in advance. In fact the whole show was planned out in advance. I’ve never really planned out any performance before. It was kinda fun. The reaction to the stories has been pretty outstanding. Lotsa heated debate. Lotsa people thinking I’ve lost my marbles. I love it.

You started the event by passing out shots of Patron Anejo to the crowd and capped if off with a video of you peeing into the bottle before the show. Did you look into the legality of that beforehand? Anybody throw up? Anybody ask you for more?

I looked into the legality of it. Seemed like I wouldn’t get sued. It didn’t seem like anyone was too bummed anyway. If you look at kids reactions after they found out about the shots, no one was too bummed, just kind of shocked. Most were just laughing their asses off. Last week I passed out more tequila shots, and guess what? They all got drank. Of course. No one gives a shit about a little extra ingredient.

You’ve been banned from Emo’s, the venue that hosted the show. Do you care at all?

I actually think it’s pretty cool. I’ve always wanted to be banned from somewhere.

What can you say as Cokie that you can’t say as Fat Mike?

I don’t know, I pretty much have no filter in my conversation. I’ll fucking talk about anything after I get enough drinks in me.

Can we expect more songs from/about Cokie in the future? Perhaps even a full-length? An animated series? Underoos for kids?

As of now I have no Cokie plans. Maybe an unannounced show now and then, but Cokie is going to stay at his local bar and do what he does best.

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