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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band EDM Post-punk





“Vastly unique in a day and age of cookie cutter folk bands being drowned out by the DJ’s at your local multi-day music festival, I still don’t have an answer to why Fartbarf is not the biggest band in the world. Yet, with the band having a strict manifesto that includes avoiding trends, creating what others cannot easily duplicate, and most importantly having fun, it is just a matter of time before I wish that one of LA’s biggest and brightest local acts had not become worldwide superstars.” - ANTIQUIET

"Fartbarf,...: the year in band names 2012"

Ranked #1 on AV Club - The Year in Band Names 2012. Noted as, "Kind of genius". - A.V. Club

"The Band Fartbarf Tell Us About the Name Fartbarf"

Josh McLeod is the lead singer of Fartbarf, a South Bay band that performs something they call analog electronic thrash music. They've gotten hate mail saying their music's not really thrash, but who cares? They're called Fartbarf. We contacted McLeod to talk about how they came up with the name Fartbarf, what their grandmas think about the name Fartbarf, and how Fartbarf can be a verb.
Why Fartbarf?
Yeah, it's pretty much the worst name in the world. We started in 2008; the name kind of came before the band. Farting is funny, barfing is painful, so those two verbs seem to fit well with the music we make. It also sets a very low bar when people come to see us, so it actually helps, because it sounds like an 11 year old's punk band. It started as a joke, but it kind of snowballed. We got flown to Scotland to play the RockNess Festival in 2010. So now we're kind of stuck with it.

What do your grandmothers think of the name?
?I actually gave my grandma one of our shirts and I think she wears it. On our logo (right), you can't really decipher what the name says. We give all our family Fartbarf shirts.
Did you consider Barffart?
Yeah. It's funny; a lot of people can't pronounce it as it is now. 50% of the people literally can't pronounce those two words combined.

Which part of your name do you think more encapsulates what you're all about, the fart part or the barf part?
I would say the barf part. We've all done more than our fair share. We do a lot of drinking before shows.

What other bands' names have inspired you?
Mr. Bungle is a good one. It seems kind of arbitrarily chosen, and their musical style is a big influence too. When we finally came to grips that we couldn't change our band's name -- because we'd played so many shows -- we realized that a lot of our favorite bands have have terrible names too. Metallica is a pretty terrible name. Pink Floyd is pretty terrible too, when you really stop to think about.

Do you think Fartbarf will be remembered in 40 years?
I would hope so. We're trying to do something different. We're staying true to playing only analog synthesizers. We're always out of tune, depending on the weather and the humidity -- and the voltage, when we were in Scotland.
Have you ever farted and barfed at the same time?
Yes. I think it actually happened in Scotland. Also, I'm almost positive our drummer Brian fartbarfed after we played our show in Cleveland. He normally doesn't drink at all, but we got him really drunk on Jager bombs. After the gig at 3 am we went to a place like Denny's called The Eat'n Park there, and Brian tried the weird mustardy-looking sweet special sauce. He was puking everywhere and farting too. He definitely achieved fartbarf.

Fartbarf perform this Saturday, January 28 at Redwood Bar - LA Weekly - Ben Westhoff

"Ladies and Gentlemen... Fartbarf"

We've seen the future, and it is Fartbarf. - LA Weekly - Drew Tewksbury

"Fartbarf is (A)live"

Someone said that experiencing Fartbarf is “like battling through an O.G. Nintendo videogame, on acid, with special appearances from Sega’s Shinobi.” Well, I suppose. At any rate, these maestros are brilliant. They fume creative art, intelligence, and fun.

In many circles Fartbarf can be misunderstood or just way over people’s heads. For one, they apply a stimulating, freaky visual medium to their exhilarating live performances by jamming out in orange NASA jump suits and monkey masks. They could be aptly described as looking like grotesque Planet Of The Apes characters. No gimmicks or hollow novelties here though, these freaky apemen can play.

With the drummer as the backbone, the other two members of Fartbarf put on a complex display of keyboard prowess. I can’t even tell exactly how many boards and devices there are on stage, but I know they always play with at least four to six octaves at once, and that they strictly use analog, electric equipment (and brains). For those of us who don’t speak that language, think of loading, shooting, advancing, winding, and developing film as opposed to shooting and printing digital photos. On top of this, a mastermind in the group, with too much brains on his hands, digs into old games and devices from the 80’s, like Speak and Spells, and manipulates the circuit boards (circuit bending) to produce funkier, more robotic sounds; which are then transmitted and played through various keyboards.

Then there’s the vocals. In a manner analogous to Peter Frampton using a voice box to sing through the strings of his guitar, Fartbarf transform their voices into robotic form and sing through the keyboards. It seems quite complex. They sing into microphones, but manipulate the sound of their voices depending on which keys they play.

Needless to say, even though I did, there’s a lot going on here. I would watch out for these guys, they’re up to something. And fair waring: if you’re not into a good time, probably shouldn’t search them out. (For more details on Fartbarf, check out their blog.) ~Dirty Jeff - Dirty Hippie Radio

"More than a name: The Advent of Fartbarf"

Three freaky ape men donning orange NASA jumpsuits, singing in robotic voices and jamming intensely unique waves of sound on complex electronic equipment – this is what erupts from the stage during a Fartbarf experience.

Yes, they’re called Fartbarf. They wear grotesque ape masks and usually sport NASA jumpsuits with the occasional jet-pack, though they sometimes substitute heavy denim or white formal attire. Their stage looks like a Chia Pet of electronic equipment and wires, with drums. Similarly, to how Peter Frampton sang through the strings of his guitar when he asked if you felt like he did, they manipulate the sound of their voices through their keyboards to sound like robots. Fartbarf’s music might make you feel like you’re battling your way through an O.G. Nintendo videogame on acid, with help from Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog, who’s teamed up with Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters to defeat you in a dance-off.

Somehow the whole experiment works, magically.

With their infectious presence and fun electro-dance-rock music, unsuspecting crowds have been hopelessly sucked in like The Millennium Falcon caught in The Death Star’s tractor beam. Music lovers of all walks find themselves seduced by the spectacle. Even those who initially aren’t into this type of music have run to join Fartbarf’s followers. Fartbarf is a social experiment in paradox. While they exude a refined intellectualism, they fume a drunken hilarity. Their music says we’re serious, their name says we don’t give a shit. While their songs are catchy, they push progressive sound to the limit.

Fartbarf’s Josh McLeod and Dan Burley, both Redondo Union High grads, were traveling throughout Northern California when the name came to them.

Josh explains: “We stopped in this little town and it smelled like, wow…it smelled like a fartbarf actually…it smelled terrible. We stopped for a bathroom break because that’s the only reason to stop in this crap-hole town…and there was a label [in the bathroom] from a label maker that some kid or someone had wrote fartbarf with. Many months later Dan and I started jamming and we needed a name for the collaboration, and Fartbarf was there.”

Their name may be funny (it most certainly is funny, many cannot hear it or say it without laughing, including the band members), maybe even downright offensive, but they’re no joke. They take their music seriously even if they don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re breaking unprecedented ground, producing a sound this area has not heard or seen before.

“Whenever you tell somebody that you’re in a band and they say ‘Oh wow, that’s awesome, what’s the name of the band?’ and you say Fartbarf, they’re like ‘What?’ They just get instantly turned off by it,” admits Dan.

“No one wants to put us on a marquee anywhere. We were supposed to play with E-40 and they wouldn’t play with us, just based on our name. I think it’s just people being weird and way too freakin’ PC these days. It’s definitely our biggest handicap. But we’re not changing the name.”

Even the hip hop scene is PC these days. They were supposed to open for E-40 at the Anaheim Grove and had actually prepared a dance troupe, but were cancelled last minute because of their name. Suzy’s in Hermosa Beach changed their name a couple of times for their marquee. “What’s weird to me is once people hear us and they’re talking about it, they’re almost more comfortable saying it than I am,” says Brian Brunac, the third member of the band.

Classical gas

What makes them so humorously classic is their willingness to perform anywhere and with anyone. Whether it’s a Brixton heavy metal show, pretentious bars, dive bars, shops off the beaten path, festivals, your backyard, or some little Vietnamese girl’s birthday party, Fartbarf is down to play. The first time I saw Fartbarf was at a backyard Halloween house party in Torrance. Their fun-spirited nature and energetic presence has helped their experimental sound reach a surprisingly diverse audience. They’ve been invited to perform in two music festivals in Scotland this summer. They blew the roof off of Ohio’s Devo-fest last year and have been asked to return for the DEVOtional 2010 this summer as well.

Fartbarf has also enjoyed airplay on KXLU, and most recently, they’ve received an artist endorsement deal through Tom Oberhiem and Oberhiem SEM’s. (Oberhiem is a synthesizer-building pioneer like Robert Moog).

“Getting shows without having an EP done is kind of a strange thing,” Josh says.

Brian adds, “Getting to Scotland without a record done is a strange thing.”

“Yeah, we screen our own shirts, and we have no music other than videos in local bars in Redondo Beach and we’re going to Scotland? I don’t know, there’s something weird going on,” Dan agrees.

Those who like them really get them, but those who don’t really don’t.

“There’s almost nothing that I like about Fartbarf,” says local musician Jason Flentye.

When asked if he wanted - Jeff Vincent


Still working on that hot first release.



We begin in the year 2008 with Josh, Dan and Brian. Three unassuming, well mannered and fun-loving fellows from a town near the sea. Regressed, mutated and collectively known as Fartbarf, they somehow bring us all into the future, captivating audiences with relentless melodies, robotically tight rhythms, and danceable beats by use of a strict limitation of tools at hand; vintage analog synthesizers, vocoders, drum machines, analog modular systems, and live drums.

Band Members