Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone
Directed by: Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler
Starring: Norwood Fisher, Angelo Moore, Chris Dowd, Phillip Fisher, Kendall Jones, Walter A. Kibby II
Narrated by: Laurence Fishburne
By: Nevra Azerkan
Everyday Sunshine is the story of Fishbone, a band that pioneered funk rock in the African-American sector and influenced bands such as No Doubt, Sublime and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Fishbone, which began with Norwood Fisher, Angelo Moore, Chris Dowd, Phillip Fisher, Kendall Jones and Walter A. Kibby II, came together in California during the punk rock scene. They were signed to Columbia Records upon graduating high school and went on to tour all over the world for the past 25 years.
The film shows clips of interviews with some of the most influential names in entertainment including: Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal and Adrian Young (No Doubt), Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Ice-T (rapper), Branford Marsalis (saxophonist), Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction, Porno For Pyros), Questlove (The Roots), Tim Robbins (Actor) and more. That’s one of the best aspects of the film. The second would be the animated segments used to show the history of how Fishbone began. The animation is pretty kick-ass and I think they should have ended the film using that concept.
The first 30 minutes have you captured in what you think is going to be an interesting look inside of Fishbone, but then you are dragged into their drama which brings the audience down like it did the band. The documentary never explains why the band never blew up, but it doesn’t have to. Watching what went on in their lives and the attitudes of each member, I’m not surprised. This band has had so many ups and downs and crazy characters it’s a wonder they are still intact (albeit with lineup changes along the way). Just watching their story unfold had me wanting to leave the band. There’s no denying that Fishbone is talented and their outrageous stage antics keep the fans coming, but it takes more than that to become successful.
Primarily focusing on the conflicts the band went through took away from what the band has accomplished. I wish the angle of the film would have highlighted their talents more than the struggles they had with each other. They have now put aside their differences and they continue to play shows to this day, but ultimately what does Fishbone represent? You won’t find the answer to that by watching this—that’s for sure. While the title Everyday Sunshine is intended to mirror the name of one of their songs, there is absolutely no sunshine in this documentary.