Photo by Melodie Jeng

Part of CMJ Film Festival

Everyday Sunshine celebrates Fishbone’s 25th year as a band, and all of the travail and dedication that its members have put in thus far. The film is an inside look at the lives of six dynamic musicians—showing them on the road, touring around the world, jamming onstage and crowd surfing. It details the story of growing up in their hometown of South Central, Los Angeles, the hate crimes and racial injustices in that area, and how those commonplace experiences of their youth became a pulpit for their lyrical and stylistic delivery in music. The need to dispel racist attitudes became one of the political forefronts of the band, as well as a message that enlivened and energized audiences.

A fantastically documented film, featuring interviews from the likes of Gwen Stefani and Tony Canal (No Doubt), Flea (the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction), as well as a multitude of music industry professionals, Everyday Sunshine goes above and beyond to describe the evolution of both the band and the era.

Beginning with the 1940s migration of African Americans from the South to L.A., the film describes music’s effect on a downtrodden community. For many, music enhanced emotionality and relinquished their minds of epithets and prejudices.

From Fishbone’s inception in High School, upon Angelo asking Norwood if he could be in his band, the group took off. Signed just one year after graduating from high school, the band was recognized for their originality and presence. The band’s members were determined to do their own thing, and as John Norwood describes it, initiate a “pure democracy” in music. They derived inspiration from every genre of their time and wanted to mix their influences into something completely original. What fueled Fishbone’s music was their upset about racism, and this later fueled their incredible tours in the U.S., Europe and Japan. The band went on to tour with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Public Enemy and, at present, is still going strong.