I have a confession to make: before watching Everyday Sunshine, I had never listened to Fishbone. As an avid connoisseur of all things musical, I had heard of them and their influence on popular music, but I just never got around to actually listening. After hearing many of their songs, I can’t say I’m a fan, but their mark on the music world is indelible. Everyday Sunshine chronicles Fishbone’s tumultuous history, making it a fantastic place for any Fishbone newbie to start.
If you’ve ever watched other band documentaries or even been in a band yourself, then you know the extreme highs and desperate lows involved with the art. We follow Fishbone from their birth in the heart of South-Central Los Angeles to headlining world tours to small, half-sold out venues in their later years. The pacing starts off really well and we watch the members of Fishbone all meet each other in cartoon form, which adds some nice humor. The blend of Laurence Fishbourne‘s narrative and the actual members’ recollection is spot on. As the movie progress though, we get less of a general narrative and more individual time with each member. While I like this exposition as it rounds out the band, it tends to drag at points – especially areas of conflict within the band. After most of the members have left the band, we are left with what I think is the weakest part in the film.
I get why the filmmakers chose to focus on Norwood (bass) and Angelo (main vocals/sax) during the last third of the film, but sadly the pacing gets ruined. Seeing two punk rockers aged and hardened is sad and it adds the reality of the fickle music business in there, but it gets boring hearing them talk about it. It’s strange after the climax to have such a long downtime before seeing things pick up again, but maybe that’s because I’m expecting the film to behave in the classic format it started out.
All in all, Everyday Sunshine succeeds in telling an interesting history to an extremely eclectic band in such a way that even if you don’t love the music, you love the guys for completely putting their souls into their art and for doing so for over 20 years.