Origin: San Jose, California
Genre: Punk rock, Skate punk
Years active: 1987–2012
Don’t Miss the Train (1992)
The Daily Grind (1993)
¡Leche con Carne! (1995)
Making Friends (1997)
More Betterness! (1999)
Hard Rock Bottom (2002)
Keep Them Confused (2005)
All the Best Songs (2007)
The Feel Good Record of the Year (2008)
No Use for a Name (sometimes abbreviated NUFAN or No Use) was a punk rock band from San Jose, California, United States formed in 1987 by Chris Dodge (guitar), Steve Papoutsis (bass), Rory Koff (drums) and John Meyer (vocals). The band’s sound evolved considerably through its career, taking on a much lighter brand of melodic punk as the years passed and Tony Sly replaced Meyer on vocals in 1989. After Sly’s death on July 31, 2012, the remaining members chose to disband.
The original line-up of four added Doug Judd as a second guitarist. The band was first featured on Maximum RocknRoll’s 1987 Turn it Around compilation, with the song “Gang Way.” A year later the band’s self-titled debut EP was released on Woodpecker Records. Their second EP, Let ’em Out, was released a year later through Slap A Ham Records. Chris Dodge, Doug Judd, and John Meyer left the band after the release of “Let ’em Out”. Soon after, Tony Sly entered the band.
NUFAN’s debut album, Incognito, was released in 1990 through New Red Archives. Chris Dodge rejoined on second guitar, and they released their second album Don’t Miss the Train in 1992 before signing up with Fat Mike’s label Fat Wreck Chords in 1993. During this year Chris Dodge left the line-up, and was replaced with guitarist Robin Pfefer, who took over on lead guitar so Sly could concentrate on singing and stick to rhythm. No Use for a Name also released their first record on Fat that year, The Daily Grind, which turned out to be a highly successful album.
Ed Gregor replaced Robin Pfefer on lead guitar soon after the release of The Daily Grind. In 1995, after the release of Leche Con Carne, their fourth full-length, Chris Shiflett and Matt Riddle joined the band to play guitar and bass, replacing Ed Gregor and Steve Papoutsis respectively. With the punk music breakthrough in 1994, No Use for a Name received a larger audience after releasing this album, compliments of their video for the song “Soulmate” which was played on the MTV show 120 Minutes. This was the first video on Fat Wreck Chords to ever be aired on MTV. In 1997, after the success of Making Friends, the band went on a worldwide tour through the U.S., Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan.
After releasing More Betterness!, Chris Shiflett left the band in 1999 to join the successful Foo Fighters, being replaced by Dave Nassie. Two years later, the band contributed to Fat Wreck Chords with the release of their live album, Live in a Dive: No Use for a Name and during the following year in 2002 No Use for a Name released its seventh studio album Hard Rock Bottom.
The band released their 8th full-length studio album titled Keep Them Confused June 14, 2005. It takes a more political position than earlier releases. A greatest hits collection titled All the Best Songs was released on July 10, 2007. A new fourteen song full-length studio album entitled The Feel Good Record of the Year was released on April 1, 2008. In 2009, when promoting the album in Europe, Dave Nassie left the band to join the ranks of Bleeding Through. In August 2009 the band announced, that they replaced Nassie with Lagwagon’s guitarist and founding member of RKL, Chris Rest. In December of 2010, Rory Koff announced to the band he would need time off from touring to go full-time with his snowplow business and eventually was replaced by new full-time drummer Boz Rivera (of King City, RKL, and The Mad Caddies.) Koff was the last remaining member of the original 1987 No Use for a Name line up.
Tony Sly died in his sleep on August 1, 2012. Riddle, Rest, and Rivera played a tribute performance to Sly at the Envol & Macadam Festival in Québec City on September 8, 2012, featuring former No Use for a Name members Dave Nassie and Rory Koff. This was the band’s final performance, with Riddle commenting “This is the last No Use for a Name show ever. No one wants to do this without Tony.” The band’s final show before Sly’s death had also occurred in Quebec, at the D-Tox Rockfest in Montebello on June 15, 2012.