The Other F Word

The Other F Word

Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and daughter as seen in THE OTHER F WORD, a film by Andrea Blaugrund Nevins. Picture courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories. All rights reserved.

The Other F Word (2010/2011)

Opened: 11/02/2011 Limited

Film Forum/NYC11/02/2011 - 11/15/201114 days
The Nuart11/04/2011 - 11/10/20117 days
Kendall Square...11/11/2011 - 11/17/20117 days
Laemmle's Play...11/11/2011 - 11/17/20117 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Documentary

Rated: Unrated


This revealing, funny, and touching film asks what happens when a generation's ultimate anti-authoritarians -- punk rockers -- become society's ultimate authorities -- dads. With a large chorus of punk rock's leading men - Blink-182's Mark Hoppus, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea, Rise Against's Tim McIlrath - THE OTHER F WORD follows Jim Lindberg, a 20-year veteran of the skate punk band Pennywise, on his hysterical and moving journey from belting his band's anthem "F--k Authority," to embracing his ultimately authoritarian role in mid-life: fatherhood.

Other dads featured in the film include Art Alexakis (Everclear), Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo), Tony Adolescent (The Adolescents), Fat Mike (NOFX), Lars Frederiksen (Rancid), skater Tony Hawk, and many others.

Director's Statement

When I was a kid growing up in New York City, Punk Rockers were the people you crossed the street to avoid. So when Cristan Reilly, the film's producer, came to me with a book that her old friend, Jim Lindberg the lead singer of the Southern California skate punk band Pennywise, had written about being a Punk Rock Dad, I was both repelled and intrigued. This is the same guy who belts out his band's anthem, "Fuck Authority." How attainable is that credo for a dad trying to raise three girls?

I was struggling with my own version of that drill. While I wasn't a rebellious teenager, I had the usual teenage ambitions; where my parents had caved or sold out, I would be different. I would save the whales and Keep America Beautiful and make the world nuclear free. Amazing what happens, or more to the point, doesn't happen, when you suddenly find yourself with three little kids and a mortgage.

It seemed like a real opportunity to see how the most extreme version of our teenage, idealistic, rebellious selves might be struggling when placed in the real world, with real-life demands. So Cristan and I met with Jim Lindberg, who seemed nice, not so scary (off stage), and started filming the day his newest album was released. One of the amazing things about punk is that while the artists might get older, new teenage fans keep finding them, which meant Jimmy was heading on tour at 43 to perform for 17 year olds.

Turns out, Jim was the perfect gateway drug, and down the punk rock rabbit hole we went. We really set out to make a film following Jim through a year, as he tried to balance singing lyrics like "Fuck No! We won't listen!" and raising daughters rapidly approaching adolescence. But we ended up following a much more complicated path, finding that every Punk Rock father we spoke to (and they kept getting more and more Punk, as each one said, "Well, if you think I'M punk, you should talk to....") had a similar story: Fatherhood not only challenged their basic punk rock tenets, but more profoundly, opened their eyes more clearly to their own fathers.

What I found was not the story I expected, nor was it anything I'd seen before in a Punk Rock documentary. It was far more intense than the situational comedy and ironic humor, which we certainly recorded and which you'll see in the movie. The inspiration to rebel was ultimately about abandonment. The movie became a story about guys who were poets in protective spikes who would bend over backwards to be there for their children; whose own fathers had failed them when they were kids themselves.

It was a powerful and touching journey for my tiny team and me. There were several interviews I just prayed my DP could hold focus because I knew we were getting choked up, when, for example, Tony Adolescent told us, not only about losing his father, but also about losing a child, or when Flea explained why he ran away from home at 12. I firmly believe this is not a film limited to Punk Rock fans or rockumentary aficionados. It is for anyone who has ever struggled with reconciling adolescent dreams with adult realities and anyone interested in whether the sins of the father might actually be corrected by the sons. I'm so excited to be able to share the wisdom of these most unlikely philosophers.

-- Andrea Blaugrund

Producer's Statement

Punk Rock Dad. It's a great oxymoron. Andrea and I, who share, among many other things, an ironic sense of humor, started with that very tiny but amusing kernel. I already had known Punk Rocker Jim Lindberg when we were kids, so we first reached out to him to discuss his thoughts on family life and his recent book, Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Real Life. We had no idea how much deeper the story would go, and we believe our film reflects the journey from funny concept to a series of moving realizations about rebellion, growing up, fathers, and fatherhood.

We pitched the idea to Morgan Spurlock, and he leapt at the idea of shepherding the project. With Morgan's support as our executive producer, we pressed forward with our thesis: What happens when the ultimate anti-authoritarian becomes the ultimate authority? We began to follow Jim as our lead subject for the film.

Jim was about to go on tour with his new album, Reason to Believe, and was torn about leaving his three kids for a long stretch of time. Initially, Andrea and I thought this would be the tension of the film -- the pull of work (albeit an unorthodox kind) and home. It became clear pretty quickly to us that Jim was going through what he later described in the film as a mid-life crisis, and he began asking much bigger questions -- what did his life mean and how was he living up to his values?

This was clearly the stuff of a movie, but Jim was very cautious about becoming a reality star and as the crisis became more and more clear, the less he wanted cameras in his face. Wholly wedded to this idea of the clash of the punk rock ethos with fatherhood, Andrea and I peeled down to a new layer -- was this crisis Jim was having also being felt by other punk rockers, all of whom were hitting that stage of life?

The first person to join in the chorus was Josh Freese, who was playing drums for The Vandals, the opening act of a Pennywise concert in Los Angeles in early 2009. Josh had a newborn at home, his third child, and had decided not to go on tour with Nine Inch Nails in order to stay home with his kids. He invited us to his home and let us film him with his family. This access and openness started a chain reaction, and more and more guys offered their time and opened their homes to share with us what fatherhood was doing to them and for them.

Each one of these guys had an amazing story to tell, not only about balancing the punk rock ethos of no responsibility and no rules with parenting, but about how having children made them see their own childhood with a startling and heart-wrenching clarity. As our filmmaking team was gathering these stories in San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, B.C., and Chicago, Jim was getting to his wit's end. He had snuck away from tour to return home for the father-daughter dance. Andrea and I believed this was going to be his compromise, his resolution -- he would balance his need to be home and his need to be on the road by making sure he didn't miss the milestones. We shot this moment as if it would be the last one of the movie.

In fact, in assembling this moment, Andrea imagined using Rise Against's song about being satisfied with the simple things, "Swing Life Away," as the score, but she wanted Tim McIlrath playing it acoustically. She had already mentioned this to me while I was out of town; and weirdly enough, when I arrived back at LAX the next day, I saw a groupie-looking girl holding a sign that read "McIlrath." I approached the girl and asked her if Tim was coming to town. Indeed he was. 24 hours later we were recording Tim in his LAX hotel room as airplanes flew overhead.

But it was not the last moment in the movie, and rather than offer a spoiler alert here, we'll leave it at that. Andrea and I self-funded this project as a true labor of love. Although we had early fiscal partnership offers, she and I felt we were working with a skittish subculture and the only way to truly protect our subjects was for the piece to stay true to our vision.

We brought on first-time editor Geoffrey Franklin, also our DP, to comb through 180 hours of footage. It was an easy decision to work with him. Geoffrey had a deep passion for the musical genre, as well as intimate knowledge of every foot of tape. Using Andrea's script, Geoffrey's 20-something point of view and DIY nature suited the punk sensibility. Andrea and I felt that Geoffrey would help keep the movie honest.

In the end, after the journey we took with our punk rock dads, honesty is what everyone wanted to be expressed -- not just a funny, high concept, but indeed a moving examination of what it means to grow up and seize the opportunity to make right what felt terribly wrong to these men, what made them punks in the first place. As Jim says, "I want to be there for my kids. I want to be there when they want me to be there. I think that's the punkest thing of all."

-- Cristan Reilly

Subject Biographies

Flea was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He was a trumpet prodigy who learned to play the bass in high school for his good friend Hillel Slovak's first band, Anthym. He quit Anthym to join the punk rock band Fear. He later returned to Hillel's band with fellow classmate and best friend Anthony Keidis, which was now called the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have won 7 Grammy awards and have sold over 60 million albums worldwide, charting eight singles in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 (including three in the Top 10), five number one singles on the Mainstream Rock charts, and a record of eleven number one singles on the Modern Rock charts.

Flea lives in Los Angeles with his youngest daughter, Sunny Bebop. His older daughter, Clara, is a photographer who lives in both New York and Los Angeles.

Mark Hoppus is a California native who received his first bass guitar when he was 15. He met Tom DeLonge in high school; together, they formed the band Blink-182. They have sold over 35 million albums worldwide since forming. Blink-182 has had the most success at the Teen Choice Awards, winning three awards: Choice Rock Group (2000) and Best Rock Group (2001) for the band, and Choice Love Song (2004) for the song "I Miss You." "All the Small Things ", a single from the band's Enema of the State album, received three nominations from the MTV Video Music Awards in 2000: Video of the Year, Best Pop Video, and Best Group Video, which it won. Overall, Blink-182 has received seven awards from ten nominations.

Mark and his wife Skye live in LA with their 9-year-old son Jack.

Tim McIlrath was born in Indiana, but was raised in Chicago. He formed his punk rock band Rise Against while a college student at Northeastern Illinois University. The band has released 5 albums; three on Geffen records, The Sufferer & the Witness debuted at number ten on the Billboard 200 chart and received positive reviews from critics. The band's fifth studio album Appeal to Reason was released on October 7, 2008 and debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart. All three albums released via Geffen were certified platinum in Canada and gold in the United States. Tim still lives in Chicago with his wife Erin and their two daughters, Blythe and Scarlet. Rise Against's new album, "Endgame," came out in March of 2011, and they are in the midst of a year-long world tour.

Lars Fredriksen is a Northern California native who joined the punk rock band Rancid in 1993 when they were looking for a second guitar player. Rancid has released seven studio albums, one split, one compilation, two EPs, a series of live online-only albums, and has been featured on countless compilations. They have independently sold nearly 4 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful independent punk acts of all time. Lars lives in San Francisco with his wife Stephanie and his 3 1/2 year old son Wolfgang, and they are expecting a new baby this fall. Lars is also involved with side projects "Lars Fredriksen and the Bastards" and "The Old Firm Casuals." He is also the coowner of New York Hardcore Tattoos.

Tony Hawk was raised and still resides in San Diego, CA. He is a professional skateboarder. Hawk gained significant fame for completing the first 900, a 2.5 aerial spin performed on a skateboarding ramp. He has also gained fame from his licensed video game titles distributed by Activision. He is widely considered one of the most successful and influential pioneers of modern vertical skateboarding. He has four children: Riley, Spencer, Keegan, and Kadence.

Ron Reyes Grew up in Southern California in a single family home. He ran away from home while still a teenager, and while a street kid, was recruited to be the lead singer of Black Flag simply for knowing all the songs. He played with Black Flag for less than a year, but a very influential year it was. They released their highly influential record Jealous Again, and also appeared in Penelope Spheeris' documentary, "The Decline of the Western Civilization." After deciding that the punk scene had gotten too violent, Ron walked off stage in the middle of a set, and quit the band. He moved to Vancouver and met his wife Diane, never to return to Southern California. Long considered the "Greta Garbo" of punk, he agreed to sit down for The Other F Word cameras and talk about his experience in both punk and fatherhood. Ron still lives in Vancouver with his wife of 23 years and his 4 kids: Lavinnia, Jasmine, Damon, and Ethan. He recently started a new band called Sum Dumb Fun.

Jim Lindberg is a deeply entrenched South Bay native and in fact, lives in the exact house he grew up in! For 20 years, Jim was the lead singer of the hardcore skate punk band Pennywise. By 2007, the band had independently sold over 3 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful independent punk acts of all time. In addition to writing songs and touring, Jim released his first book titled Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Real Life in 2007, which explores the dichotomy of being a responsible husband and parent raising 3 daughters while fronting an anti-establishment punk rock band. Jim left Pennywise in August 2009 and has formed a new band called The Black Pacific, which released its debut album to four-star reviews from Alternative Press. Jim lives with his wife Jen (high school sweetheart) and their three girls, Brighton, Emma, and Kate.

Art Alexakis started the rock band Everclear in April of 1992. Their biggest hit single "Father of Mine" was nominated for a Grammy and has sold over 2 million copies. Everclear has a live album coming out this summer and are currently recording their first studio album in 5 years. Alexakis lives in Pasadena with his partner of 6 years, Vanessa, and their 3-year-old daughter Arizona. His older daughter, Anna, is starting her sophomore year at Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

Michael John Burkett, originally from Boston, Massachusetts, better known as Fat Mike, is an American musician, producer, lead vocalist, and bassist for the punk rock NOFX, as well as bassist for the punk rock supergroup cover band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. NOFX has released 11 studio albums, 15 EPs, and a number of 7" singles. The group has sold over 6 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful independent acts of all time. The band also aired their own show on Fuse TV entitled NOFX: Backstage Passport. Burkett lives in San Francisco, CA. He has a daughter named Darla.

Josh Freese was born in Orlando, Florida but grew up in Orange County, California. Josh was born into a musical family as his father conducted the Disney World and Disneyland Band and his mother was a classical pianist. He began playing drums at age 8 and played professionally at age 12 in a top 40 band at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. By age 15, he left high school to tour and record first with Dweezil Zappa and then with The Vandals (since 1989). Josh is a session drummer and songwriter. He is a permanent member of A Perfect Circle, The Vandals, and Devo, having formerly played drums for Nine Inch Nails from late 2005 until late 2008 and for Guns N' Roses from mid-1998 to 2001. He has appeared on close to 300 records and is currently performing live with A Perfect Circle, Devo, and Weezer. In December 2010, Josh began touring with Paramore on their South American Tour, temporarily replacing the drummer Zac Farro. Josh also released his second solo album, Since 1972, via his website on March 24, 2009. He co-wrote the song Chinese Democracy with Axl Rose as well as songs by Queens Of The Stone Age, The Vandals, A Perfect Circle, The Dwarves, and Goon Moon. It is reported that in 2010 he was in the studio for upcoming releases with Social Distortion, Joe Cocker, Devo, Megadeth, Katy Perry, The Vandals, Che, Gavin Rossdale, Avril Lavigne among others. Josh currently lives in Southern California with his wife and their four children; Hunter, August, Olive, and Lucy.

Matthew "McCall" Freeman (born Roger Matthew Freeman) grew up in Northern California and is the bass player for Rancid. He has been married for 7 years and has two chilldren, Otto and Wade.

Robert Clawson (aka Rob Chaos) is the front man for street punk band Total Chaos, which formed in Pomona Valley in 1989. He grew up in Southern California and has a daughter.

Greg Hetson was born on June 29, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York and has lived in Los Angeles since he was 2 years old. His career began as a member of the seminal punk rock bands Redd Kross and Circle Jerks in the 1980s. He is a guitar player for the band Bad Religion and Black President. He also plays guitar with the super group Punk Rock Karaoke with Eric Melvin of NOFX, and Steve Soto and Derek O'Brien of the Adolescents. He was featured with the Circle Jerks in the 1981 documentary, "The Decline of Western Civilization." He has a daughter named Violet.

Brett W. Gurewitz aka Mr. Brett was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Woodland Hills, CA. He has been the guitarist, background vocalist, and a songwriter for the punk band Bad Religion since 1979. He is the owner of music label Epitaph Records and its sister labels ANTI-, Burning Heart Records, Fat Possum Records, and Hellcat Records. He is also a producer and engineer. Brett formed the band Daredevils and the band Error in 2003. He has a son and two daughters and is living with his wife Gina in Pasadena.

Filmmaker Biographies

Andrea Blaugrund Nevins (Director)

Andrea Blaugrund Nevins was born and raised in New York City. After majoring in Social Studies at Harvard University, where she took a variety of visual arts classes, she pursued a career in journalism, working with NPR's All Things Considered, the New York Times, and directing and producing several awardwinning hour-long programs for ABC News, A&E, NBC, and Lifetime. In 1997, she produced the Academy Award-nominated documentary short "Still Kicking." "The Other F Word" marks her feature length directorial debut. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, David Nevins, and their three children, Clara, Charlie, and Jesse.

Cristan Reilly (Producer)

Cristan Crocker Reilly grew up in the late 70s in San Clemente, California. In high school, she met documentary subject Jim Lindberg while frequenting the Hollywood club scene where they listened to bands like X, The Cramps, and The Ramones.

Cristan put herself through college cultivating a successful ten-year career as a commercial actress that resulted in over 100 national commercials. She lives in Pacific Palisades, California with her husband, Kevin Reilly, and their three sons, Aidan, Emmet, and Owen.

Geoffrey Franklin (Director of Photography, Editor)

Geoffrey has been playing in bands since 1995 and filming bands since 2004. He spent the majority of his career working for Havoc Television. He has a great love for punk music and many of his favorite bands are featured in The Other F Word. This is his first feature as a director of photography and editor.