From the shifting faultlines of Hollywood fantasies and the economic and racial tensions of Reagan's 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 the walls of genre and challenged the racial stereotypes and political order of the music industry and the nation. Telling it like it is, the iconic Laurence Fishburne narrates EVERYDAY SUNSHINE, a story about music, history, fear, courage and funking on the one.
At the heart of the film's story is lead singer Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher who show how they keep the band rolling out of pride, desperation and love for their art. To overcome money woes, family strife, and the strain of being aging Punk rockers on the road, Norwood and Angelo are challenged to re-invent themselves in the face of dysfunction and ghosts from a painful past.
Featuring interviews with Flea, Gwen Stefani, Ice-T, Perry Farrell, Branford Marsalis, George Clinton, Tim Robbins, Gogol Bordello, ?uestlove, and others, EVERYDAY SUNSHINE traces the band's history, influence, and struggle as individualistic, genre-blending artists up against an unforgiving music industry that threatens to pass them by.
LEV ANDERSON (co-director, co-producer)
After graduating from Beloit College, and taking just five years to design the cities of the future, Lev left the bureaucracy of Urban Planning and jumped feet first into filmmaking. As a fine art photographer with works exhibited in San Francisco, Japan, and Mexico City, he has honed his unique perspective to create dynamic images with a sharp eye for finding contradiction and beauty where least expected. His first attempt at capturing the magic of music on video was at 12 years old, when, after attending a Suicidal Tendencies concert with his father, the two produced a fully dramatized lip-sync rendition of their song "Institutionalized."
CHRIS METZLER (co-director, co-producer)
After graduating from USC with a degree in business and cinema, Chris' film career has taken him from the depths of agency work, to coordinating post-production for awful American movies seen late at night in Belgium. His film directing and producing work has resulted in him criss crossing the country with the aid of caffeinated beverages. He eventually made his way in the Nashville country and Christian music video industries, before finally forsaking his soul to commercial LA rock n' roll. These misadventures eventually culminated in him winning a Billboard Magazine Music Video Award.
His feature length directorial debut was the offbeat environmental documentary, PLAGUES & PLEASURES ON THE SALTON SEA, which was narrated by legendary counterculture filmmaker and "King of Trash" John Waters. A cult favorite, the film was released theatrically in the United States and broadcast nationally on the Sundance Channel.
JEFF SPRINGER (director of photography, editor)
Jeff Springer was born in an abandoned town in the California desert, raised in Hawaii, and educated at USC Film School. After living for a winter in Russia, he returned to Los Angeles to direct music videos and shorts, as well as edit for Fox, the WB, UPN, Lucasfilm, Capitol, and Geffen Records. Burned out and hungover he fled to San Francisco to start work on the feature documentary PLAGUES & PLEASURES ON THE SALTON SEA, which went on to win 37 awards for Best Documentary. He frequently directs, shoots, and edits short documentaries on offbeat and unexpected subjects for HDNet's World Report.
LAURENCE FISHBURNE (narrator)
Laurence Fishburne was born in Augusta, Georgia but grew up in Brooklyn, New York. When just 12 years old, he and his mother moved to Los Angeles to start his acting career. At age 14, he earned a supporting role in APOCALYPSE NOW as swift boat sailor "Mr. Clean." Mr. Fishburne has since gone on to appear in many television shows and films, including memorable turns as "Morpheus" in the MATRIX trilogy, "Furious Styles" in BOYZ IN THE HOOD, and on the Broadway stage as "Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall" in THURGOOD for which he received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show. Mr. Fishburne got to be friends with the Fishbone members while working as a bouncer at a Hollywood club in the early 1980s. While he enjoyed rocking in the mosh pit to Fishbone's music, they also bonded over the shared experience of working as Black men in the entertainment industry challenging the stereotypical roles offered by the status quo.
The band Fishbone has been musical pioneers rocking on the margins of pop culture for the past 25 years.
When Fishbone emerged in the 1980's, 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. Ronald Reagan's "New Morning in America" had a polarizing effect on the social welfare and progressive movements of the 1960's, reordering a hopeful generation into a social majority geared more towards Wall Street than the dwindling imaginations of the counterculture and the aging Civil Rights movement. In Los Angeles, where the American dream and Hollywood fantasies collide with the realities of racial and economic tension, there was a widening gulf between Rodeo Drive and Crenshaw Boulevard, the emergence of designer boutiques and crack cocaine, and the violent rise of the Crips and Bloods street gangs. Fishbone was born from these chaotic contradictions and constantly searched for common ground between their Rock star ambitions and the realities of being Black in America.
Their journey began in 1979, when as part of the first post-civil rights generation, they were bussed from the predominately Black communities of South Central to the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley as part of the controversial desegregation efforts of the time. Angelo, the lead singer, already lived in middle class Woodland Hills and his encounters with his new classmates were as alien to him as the Valley was to them. Bass player Norwood Fisher's "Fan Club" soon morphed into the band Fishbone through their love of musical diversity. As kids they were already listening to Parliament-Funkadelic and Rick James on Black radio, but in the Valley they soon started rocking to Rush, Led Zeppelin, and the emerging Southern California punk rock bands. They soon found themselves spending less time on the streets as rehearsals became regular events at Mama Fish's (mother of Norwood and drummer Phillip) two-bedroom apartment nicknamed the "Aquarium."
Once the band stepped from the bedroom to the stage, they were at ease switching back and forth between speedy Metal guitar riffs, horn infused Ska, and smooth riding P-Funk grooves with a language of subversive politics and redemptive church choir-like vocals. As soon as they graduated from high school, Fishbone moved into the club scene and started touring. With dreadlocks and Mohawks, sporting Mod fashion cool or wearing no clothes at all, Fishbone helped inspire a diverse community of musical comrades and fans at a time when the politics of the 1980's divided communities across America. Through it all, they made it okay for Black kids to slam dance and brought the funk to the punk.