By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Predators appear to be smart and kind on the surface, but are actually detestable and violent beings – never trust a poet boy.
Such is the point made on the third single by Manchester gutter punksters The Battery Farm from their debut album ‘FLIES,’ which dropped via Rare Vitamin Records on Nov. 18, 2022.
Produced by David Radahd-Jones and mastered by Pete Maher, who also worked on their previous death-centered soap opera ‘Dirty Den’s March Of Suffering’ EP, the quartet retain that same energy that has drawn them comparisons by fans to the likes of PIL, Fugazi and Pere Ubu.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk to vocalist/guitarist Ben Corry about what the group – also composed of guitarist Dominic Corry, bassist Paul Worrall and drummer Sam Parkinson – has been up to lately and more, which you can check out below.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide on the name “The Battery Farm”?
Ben Corry – Myself and Dom, my brother and our guitarist, formed The Battery Farm off the back of the messy demise of the band we’d previously been in together for 8 years. This resulted in a period of real struggle for us and an ever-increasing sense of desperation at the way our lives were going and the way the world was going. The songs we were writing together at that point reflected that desperation, that anger, that fear and brutality and so, the name “The Battery Farm” seemed to reflect that best. It actually comes from our single “When the Whip Goes Crack,” which is itself a relatively old song.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Ben Corry – The potential for catharsis, the potential to amplify our voice authentically. The means to stand up for what we believe in. The means to put something good in the world. The means to expel bad stuff from ourselves. The potential for endless evolution. What we do feels really human. It’s a beautiful thing.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Manchester to someone who has never been there before?
Ben Corry – Complex. Contradictory. Manchester isn’t the city it thinks it is and has allowed itself to start to become a playground for property hoarders and oligarchs and to reject its culture and history through that. It’s still largely fixated on its past, even though it has one of the most innovative culture and arts scenes on the planet. It is home to some of the most deprived areas in the country, about which the council don’t care. The rate of social cleansing and gentrification in the city centre and its surrounding areas has led to the disenfranchisement of working class kids, both from the area and who have moved to the area and has also contributed directly to our massive Spice and homelessness problem. On the flip side, it has that aforementioned incredible cultural scene, full of amazing creative from all over the world. It has a rich, storied history, not just in music, but in science, theatre, architecture and loads more. It is full of great people with an indomitable spirit from all over the place. It still has a genuine sense of working class togetherness and strong communal values and identity, even though the council have spent the last 2 decades trying to stomp that out. It still maintains a real kitchen sink beauty. Sometimes, I think, “Fuck Manchester.” Sometimes, I love it. It changes all the time.
Music Bugle – How would you compare your newer songs to your earliest material?
Ben Corry – It’s more expansive, it takes in more influences. In some places, it’s quieter. As we’ve evolved as a band, we’ve been able to show a lot of different facets in our writing and there are a number of sides to us that are only just starting to unfurl. Our newest stuff isn’t a million miles away from our earliest material. It just feels like a natural progression.
Music Bugle – How were you affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ben Corry – We lost a few opportunities – festivals, support slots, etc.. That was hard to stomach, but we also used the time well. The pandemic forced us to focus in on our writing and a lot of the ‘Dirty Den’ EP was written over the course of 18 months. We were fortunate in that we had the tools to be able to collaborate with each other and we used them well.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Ben Corry – Personally, I’m listening to Billy Nomates a lot. I think she’s an important, vital voice and is a complete standalone. There’s no one like her. Yes, including Sleaford Mods. I’m also loving St Vincent and enjoying Irish electro-pop artist Gemma Dunleavey. Also, everything Witch Fever release at the moment is stunning. They practice in the same mill as us and sometimes, I can hear them working on new stuff, which is cool. I’ve been reacquainting myself with a little known band called The Beatles, who have a big future ahead of them, even though two of them are dead.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Ben Corry – My Gran’s. We have a fine tradition of nights on the wine listening to Billy Fury and The Dubliners.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Ben Corry – I don’t really have one, to be honest. I have quotes that motivate me in other areas of my life, but nothing concrete for the band. I just keep going. It’s all I know.
Music Bugle – What’s something that people might be surprised to know about the band?
Ben Corry – There are six of us, but the other two are really short and we’re only ever photographed from the waist up in any given situation, so they remain invisible to those not in the know.