Behind the Mask of Fartbarf's Disgustingly Good Dance Music

Behind the Mask of Fartbarf's Disgustingly Good Dance Music
James Exley

Are you of the XX chromosome persuasion? If so, then you don't need to be told about Fartbarf, a synth-based trio from Redondo Beach and San Pedro, because girls fucking love Fartbarf. This should surprise no one as the first few rows at all of their performances are filled with dancing women. No one, apparently, except the members of Fartbarf.

"I think that's news to us," drummer Brian (first names only) says.

"I definitely don't feel like David Lee Roth," synth player Dan says.

"We have 'foamers,' a super fan, something frothing at the mouth for Fartbarf," other synth player Josh says. "But we don't act out on that stuff."

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You'd have to be blind not to notice the dance party happening every time Fartbarf plays, which partially explains why Josh, Dan and Brian don't know what's happening when they're on stage. You see, Fartbarf wear post-war German caveman masks with such limited visibility that Josh practices with his eyes closed so he can become accustomed to not being able to see what he's playing. The 36-year-old bought the original dozen or so bearded, gap-toothed masks from eBay and says the inside of his quickly transforms into a combination of sweat, pomade and latex. The result, Dan says, is akin to "sitting in a sauna." If wearing these masks - with matching astronaut onesies - sounds like a bad decision, Fartbarf agrees, even if no one remembers who suggested it, which Josh describes as "a collective bad idea."

"I don't know if you should print this," Brian says, "but if shit's thrown at us, we're fucked." Thanks to the masks, the name and the suits, it would be easy to write off Fartbarf as a joke, a band you'd be interested in listening to for 30 seconds before changing songs on your iPod. But here's the thing - Fartbarf is actually really fucking good. The band's full-length, 2014's Dirty Power, features 10 mutated synth-pop sure to make any Spudboy look for that real tomato. And, of course, Spudgirls.

"We're all super fans of Devo," Josh says. "It's probably the only common denominator of influences."

"It's dance-y music," Dan says, "and they don't feel like they have to be stuck in the back while a bunch of apes are pitting in front of them."

Instead, the apes are in front of Fartbarf fans, and this friendly atmosphere is just one reason people should attend the band's Thursday residency at The Continental Room in Fullerton. However, if apes, synth-pop and dancing doesn't sound like a good time, fret not as the members say there is still good reason to attend one of their weekly gigs.

"We really like the taco lady there," Brian says. "They usually do that on Tuesdays, but we negotiated to have that on our Thursdays."

"If you don't like Fartbarf," Josh says, "definitely come out for the Mexican food."

Fartbarf perform Thursdays (April 9 and April 16) at the Continental Room. For full info, click here.

See also 10 Punk Albums to Listen to Before You Die 10 Goriest Album Covers 10 Most Satanic Metal Bands

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