Meet: Punk Rock Factory at Slam Dunk Festival North

BM: My name is Erin. I’m from Backseat Mafia. Could you just introduce yourself and then what you do in the band?

PRF: I’m Peej. I’m the singer and rhythm guitarist and I’m Kob and I play drums.

BM: Lovely. I just watched your set, we don’t talk about technical difficulties because by the end it sounded amazing, we just wanted to hear your vocals a little bit more. That was the problem. I think the sound guy just didn’t want you to be heard today ha!

PRF: He’s actually our sound guy.

BM: Did you piss him off yesterday?

PRF: No, but it’s kind of our fault. We introduced an entire new rig and system last week and we never told anyone about it and it wasn’t tested.

BM: Do you know what? We like testing on the job and it worked eventually!

PRF: You know what? Tomorrow we’ll be banging.

BM: But it’s not the north, though, is it?

PRF: This is the story of PRF, though. Everything goes wrong. We were saying earlier that most bands, they do all their learning stuff on the toilet circuit, playing live in front of ten people, then we’ll do it on a stage in front of 8000 people.

BM: Your new album ‘A Whole New Wurst 2’ came out last week, has it been a good reaction from the fans? Have they enjoyed the covers?

PRF: Really, really good yeah!

BM: How did you go about choosing those particular songs for this album?

PRF: Quite a few of them were suggestions, so when we did the first album, so many people were saying “you haven’t done this one!”…I2I from the Goofy movie, it was so random, we’d never heard of it and so many people were commenting, saying on the person say that we didn’t do it. And as soon as we listened to it, we were like OH SHIT this is a tune! We just worked our way through, like that would work… that doesn’t. We left a lot on the cutting room floor making the album.

BM: Is it one of those things where you might grab those songs later on if you fancy playing them another time?

PRF: There were some on this album that we left off the first album that didn’t work then, but now all of a sudden they do..

BM: So you’ve collaborated from Jaret from Bowling For Soup and Benji from Skindred on this new album. Is there anybody else that you’re, like, dying to collab with?

PRF: For me, if we could do something with Mark Hoppus.

BM: Oh, he would definitely be up for it!

PRF: Exactly. I feel like it’s right up his street as well. Yeah. We’re aiming high.

BM: You know what, though? Benji seems to be having the time of his life in the video for Shiny!

PRF: Honestly. He only lives 10 minutes down the road. So we went and picked him up, brought him down to the studio. It was crazy. We gave him the brief. We were like, It’s shiny. We then just sat there and listened to his stories, it was great!

BM: So you’ve tackled Disney tunes, TV themes, movie themes. What is next? Are you going for advert songs?

PRF: So this is the second Disney album. It wasn’t supposed to happen, we were gonna do a musicals album! We’ve got a few ready as well, we did Greatest Show, a TikTok version of Defying Gravity.

BM: People will love this, because Disney fans and musicals fans love their “brands” so much! Don’t you find that rock, metal, punk fans go hand in hand with Disney fans because we’re all so obsessed with certain genre. They definitely overlap in so many ways because people are just because they’re just obsessed with culture.

PRF: They’ve all got kids, so they’ all come to us and say I’ve listened to How Far I’ll Go 300 times for my kids. Thank you so much for giving me a new version! Every night we went to the merch desk, the amount of people that were like, I hate Disney. I can’t stand it because my kids just play it all the time. And you guys have just made my life easier.

BM: It’s perfect, though. So you say you’re going to do musicals next. How do you go about deciding the covers? Is it just what’s relevant now?

PRF: It doesn’t have necessarily relevant, but we do look at the numbers. We always look at the numbers of anything we do, and we make a list off these. Like, the ones that people want to hear with the Disney films. For example, if there’s sort of three sort of stand out songs from a Disney film, we would maybe just pick the one that’s maybe the biggest.

BM: We Don’t Talk About Bruno. You had to do it. It was like you almost had to!

PRF: Stead came in and he was like, “I’ve been looking at TikTok, and everyone keeps doing this Bruno craze” It was the filter where it was like the man’s face and the woman face. He was like, trust me, we got to do it, and then we listened to Bruno. It’s such a weird song.

BM: Yeah. Because it’s got so many different levels in it as well.

PRF: We went through all these kind of multiple vocals and stuff, and it’s very unconventional. It’s not a punk rock song, there’s no verse/chorus/verse, there’s lots of different parts. But we’re super happy with how it came out. A little sneak peek we haven’t actually said about… We were doing Family Madrigal with Stephanie Beatriz from Encanto… timings just didn’t work out! She was in London doing a play and was liking everything online. So we were like, let’s do it. She said, “I’m in London doing the play and if I got time, we’ll do it” But we were going to get a hotel, take recording equipment, bring it to the hotel. But it never worked out!

BM: That’s something that you could plan for the future, though.

PRF: Definitely.

BM: You need to aim for Lin Manuel Miranda now!

PRF:We’re always aiming for it, obviously. We did a lot of his other songs, we did the Encanto stuff, then I found an interview where he was saying, my kids will listen to a Pop Punk version of Encanto, which we think he was referring to us!

BM: If I can just touch on TikTok for a little bit. Obviously, it’s such a massive platform and you guys have really jumped to the chance of using that platform. How have you found it being different to, like Twitter and Instagram?

PRF: It was weird because we never set out to do anything with TikTok. It was Beth who is our photographer and a videographer, she was like, you need to put stuff on TikTok. We did a couple of little bits, but then we put up just a clip of our Just Can’t Wait To Be King music video and it ended up with like a million views in like a couple of days. We made small videos for TikTok and that’s how we got to making a Disney album. We use it and we obsess over it, but it’s painful. The amount of times we do a TikTok video, we like, that’s the one, it’s going to be the one. It’s going to be a million views in an hour and then two days later it’s not gotten nearly that. We’ve been spoilt really because our How Far I’ll Go video got a million views in a day so we have really high benchmarks for ourselves now!

BM: Going forward, are you still going to keep using the platform?

PRF: Oh for sure, it was a springboard for us. For a while, it was our sole vision, but now we use it to boost everything else. We’re heavily focused on social media, we’re always monitoring the numbers. We’re obsessed!

BM: You’re playing Download Festival next week on Thursday, anything else planned for the future for you guys?

PRF: Tuesday and Wednesday we’re in Germany playing with Ice Nine Kills, then we fly back from there to play Download! We don’t stop, we’re in the studio every single day. We’ll have a break from playing but we’ll be looking forward to making our next album.

BM: Are you not doing a tour to support this album?

PRF: We’re not a conventional band in that sense, we don’t release an album and tour it- we work too fast, we just want to keep making the music.. we were working on this latest album up until the week before it’s release, we just work so fast! We just want to make things and put them out. We do have an American tour in November, we’re gonna be out there for 4 weeks- East to West Coast. 60% of our fans are American!

BM: That’s the good thing with being so proactive on social media, you know where your fans are from?

PRF: Our next biggest audience after the US is Germany! So after the US tour, we come home and have 5 days off, then fly out to Germany for some gigs… then there will be Christmas for a short break then UK tour!

BM: Awesome, well thank you for your time and enjoy the rest of the festival! Anyone you’re excited to see?

PRF: Sum41! For sure, we can’t wait!

Punk Rock Factory: Website | TikTok | Instagram

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