NoMeansNo are a band originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and now located in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The band have never had, or have ever seemed to pursue, strong mainstream success, but they do have a devoted underground following in North America and Europe. They tour fairly often on both continents and maintain a dedicated fan base.
The band was formed in 1979 by brothers Rob Wright (bass guitar and vocals) and John Wright (drum set, keyboards and vocals). Their name derives from an anti-date rape slogan. For their first four years the duo’s music would seem to be influenced as much by jazz and progressive rock as punk rock. The musical press described their earliest recordings as “Devo on a jazz trip, Motörhead after art school, or Wire on psychotic steroids.” NoMeansNo have been credited with being an influence on, and perhaps even the genesis of, math rock.
The brothers Wright began recording as a two-piece in their parents’ basement in 1979. These recordings, heard on their first two self-released 7”s, consisted of full rock band arrangements and had a new wave, warped-pop sound, different from subsequent recordings. When, in the early 1980s, the duo began gigging simply with bass, drums and vocals, the present form of their distinct sound slowly took shape. The songs they played in this period are documented on the “Mama” LP (re-released in 2004 on their own Wrong Records.)