06 August 2007
Live from the Bottom Shelf: PUNK FARM
by Cluck Roosterman
In April, Bottom Shelf Books wrote a review of Punk Farm... a review that was admittedly based mostly on rumors, hearsay, and conjecture. In an attempt to get to the truth, they sent their most awesome rock critic (me) out to track down the elusive Punk Farm and get the band's side of the story. I found them at their barn in Wisconsin prepping for their upcoming tour. Here is a partial transcript from the upcoming article, Barn Burning: A Conversation with Punk Farm.
(Cluck Roosterman is a renowned rock critic and best-selling author of Sex, Drugs, & Chicken Feed and Last One is a Rotten Egg: The Merciful Death of Glamrock. This is his first time interviewing Punk Farm.)
CR: Does the band's newfound fame leave you any time to do the normal everyday things that an animal does? Do you ever miss the simplicity of your pre-fame days?
SHEEP: Do I miss coming out of the barn at midnight without all of the flashing lights – yeah, sometimes. But do I want to put down my microphone? No way!
GOAT: You know what is an animal supposed to do anyhow? It’s all just society’s way of trying to hold us back.
COW: I want to make art, not just give milk. Fame is the trade off. It’s the sacrifice we make as artists.
CHICKEN: Look, if I wanted to live my life laying eggs, I wouldn’t be in this band.
CR: A recent article in SPIN Magazine said that your most recent concert "blew the roof off the barn." Was that just a figure of speech or did the roof actually get blown off? If it was, who is going to pay for the damages?
PIG: Oh man! That was a crazy show! Just outside of Wheatland…
SHEEP: It was Kenosha.
PIG: Right, Kenosha. Anyways, yeah it was nuts!
COW: There was so much rock, just so much ROCK, the pressure sent the roof flying!
[At this point, a horse in a suit enters the room and whispers in Sheep’s ear.]
SHEEP: Actually, our lawyer has advised us not to discuss details of this event. Next question, please.
Left: The Infamous Kenosha Concert. Police have yet to locate the roof of the barn. Eyewitnesses last claim to have seen it somewhere over Des Moines.
CR: How has Farmer Joe reacted to your success? Do you see him as a threat to your career, or does he merely provide fuel for the fire that rages within Punk Farm?
SHEEP: Whoa, whoa whoa, WHOA! Keep it down! Farmer Joe doesn’t know a thing and that’s how we intend to keep it.
GOAT: Yeah man, don’t blow up our spot!
SHEEP: Farmer Joe has been very good to us. He feeds us, he provides a place for us to play…he shovels our poop…
PIG: Yeah, but Farmer Joe also expects us to work. He has very high expectations of us and sometimes I feel like we’re never good enough for him. I mean how can we work when we rock all night long? I think the guy needs to chill.
CHICKEN: If Farmer Joe ever found out we were even giving this interview, he’d be so mad. And he’s a pretty even guy, but I don’t want to send him over the edge, ya know?
COW: It would be like his whole world would just come crashing down around him. We’re all he’s got.
SHEEP: So I guess it’s a catch 22. In many ways, yeah he is a bit of a threat to our career. He would shut down this Punk Farm party so quickly.
CR: As Punk Farm prepares to go on tour, is there any worry that leaving the farm will be detrimental to the band's creative flow?
SHEEP: Sure, there will always be that fear. We need to continue to write, but we also need to get out there and play for our fans. This is going to be an important tour for us. It’s our first.
PIG: I can’t wait to get out there and meet some of the fans in person!
GOAT: I’m pretty psyched to see the country. I’ve never been outside of Wisconsin before.
CHICKEN: There’s so much at stake. What if no one likes our new music? What if I mess up when I’m playing the keyboards?! This whole tour thing stresses me out!
CR: What do you see in Punk Farm's future?
COW: Rock, rock, and then more rock.
CR: Do you think it is possible to have mainstream success and stay true to your punk roots?
[Everyone looks to Sheep]
SHEEP: I’ll take this one. Yes. We decided early on that if success came before the rock, then that was it. Punk Farm would cease to exist. So Punk Farm will always exist as an entity that will remain true to its punk roots. If we had a million dollars in the bank and we didn’t need to live on this farm, if farm animals were allowed to open up bank accounts in the first place, we would still maintain the attitude of - we love to rock, we’re here to rock, now get out of the way so we can rock. Sure, there will be haters. There will always be haters.
PIG: Let them hate, let us rock.
PIG: You go whine in the corner, I’m plugging in my amp.
PIG: It’s like, go crying all you want, hate, hate, hate, I’ll be playing my guitar so hard, I won’t even care.
SHEEP: OK, I think they get it.
"...Punk Farm will always exist as an entity that will remain true to its punk roots... we love to rock, we’re here to rock, now get out of the way so we can rock."
TO BE CONTINUED: Check back on Wednesday, when we get up close and personal with your favorite banyard rebels with some one-on-one questions.
A big thanks to Punk Farm and their publicist, Jarrett Krosoczka (left) for letting us backstage for this interview. Be on the lookout for Punk Farm On Tour, which comes out in October and the Punk Farm rockumentary that is being produced by Dreamworks. Critics are already raving, saying that "What Ratatouille did for food, Punk Farm will do for music. Prepare to be blown away."
You can read more about Punk Farm and download their music at their website, or you can visit them at work in Studio JJK.