From the shifting fault lines of Hollywood fantasies and the economic and racial tensions of Reagan America, Fishbone rose to become one of the most original bands of the last 25 years. With a blistering combination of punk and funk, they demolished genre walls and challenged the racial stereotypes and political order of the music industry and the nation.
Formed in 1979 in South Central Los Angeles, Fishbone landed a major label record deal soon after the members graduated from high school. However, after this early success the band struggled for acceptance in a racially stratified music industry while their unabashedly hybrid style kept them proudly out of fashion. When the group emerged in the 80s, America s melting pot was being stirred by a mosh pit of disenfranchised youth confronted with lingering racial and economic issues left unresolved by previous generations.
Today, the band members are increasingly recognized as pioneers, and younger musicians often cite them as big influences in creating new musical possibilities in a blooming multicultural world. As Gwen Stefani of No Doubt remembers, Fishbone was the band that gave us the inspiration to be a band. They are just so unique and that is what I love … that they were super underground.