They’re described as “rambunctious pop-punk rascals” and, thanks to a TikTok viral clip and riotous performances at Bloodstock, Slam Dunk and Download Festival in 2022, Punk Rock Factory have become a cult sensation. Tickets for their October tour are flying out of the door, and that’s before their new album, It’s Just A Stage We’re Going Through, drops on March 31st.
The album sees the band reimaging classics from stage and screen, and those of you that saw the band last year will be well-prepared for the “10 pop-punk bangers” the album promises. With all that in mind, we had a chat with the band about the music industry, nostalgia, collaborations and more! Before you delve into their answers though, check out their new video for “Defying Gravity.”
How would you describe your own music?
Punk Rock Factory: “Our music is basically loads of music you’ve heard before, just a lot faster and in most cases heavier, and with a few sausage references thrown in for good measure. It’s a lot of fun!”
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
“The list is endless. We’ve been lucky enough so far to collaborate with members of bands such as Simple Plan, Ice Nine Kills, Protest the Hero, Bowling For Soup, Zebrahead and many more. We even did a short TikTok video with Encanto star Jessica Darrow, which was pretty rad. If we could choose anyone, though, it would have to be someone like Blink 182 or Green Day.”
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
“Giving artists more power to be in control of their own careers 100%. We believe this is vital in this day and age. Too many artists are limited and stuck because they rely on so many different people, who ultimately keep so much of their income. We keep everything in-house, record everything in our own studio, create all our own videos, manage our own socials, have our own record label and release records independently. We even book and promote our own tours, this way we can manage every part of our careers and not rely on anyone else, as well as keep all income to reinvest straight back into the band.”
What’s next for you?
“We’re just about to go onto our next sold-out UK tour, the “Excellent Adventure” tour. It’s Bill and Ted-themed, so we have some super cool visuals to go with it that are going to hopefully blow some people away. Then we have our new album, It’s Just A Stage We’re Going Through, dropping on March 31st, then it’s a bunch of UK & EU festivals, the next UK tour supporting the album, a European tour. We’re also looking at Japan, Australia and USA, so a lot is in the pipeline!”
For those not familiar with your band, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
“We started in 2014 as 4 friends who had kind of given up on getting anywhere with music and were all pretty much just working normal jobs. We met up every Monday night in a crappy studio just to have some fun making covers; it was a total passion project with no real aims of success. Fast forward a few years, and we posted a cover of “Just Cant Wait To Be King” on TikTok, which absolutely blew up; off the back of this, we decided to do a full Disney album, which people really liked! And the rest is history.
“People associate us with nostalgia and having something they can use to connect with their kids on a musical level that they’ve never had before, and that’s amazing.”
What is your writing process like?
“It’s actually pretty easy. Everyone else writes the songs for us, which is incredibly convenient. We just reimagine them!”
Along those same lines, do you take advantage of technology and email riffs and parts back and forth, or do you get together in a room in a more traditional sense and write together?
“Since lockdown, we started working remotely on our recording process. We work with a lot of demo versions, sending parts back and forth that we’re separately working on at home. Everyone in the band gets to put their best parts down on the demo, and then when we’re all agreed, we come back into the studio together to track the final parts; it’s a very democratic process, and we work really well together as a collective using this approach to recording.”
What is the story behind the name of the new record?
“Our new album is called It’s Just A Stage We’re Going Through, and it’s a punk rock homage to stage and screen, featuring some of the biggest and best musical hits with our PRF spin on them.”
Is there anywhere you would like to go that you have not been to?
“We’d love to go to Japan and Australia, take in that oceanic part of the world. But also the USA. And South America! We’d love to play anywhere, provided it was logistically realistic!”
What are some of the newer bands that you are listening to or enjoying?
“We’re big fans of our fellow welsh brothers in Those Damn Crows. It’s amazing to see another sort of mini boom of welsh music happening again. They’re great guys and deserve the success they’re getting. Trashed from Bristol are another amazing young band on their way up.”
Do you receive a lot of support from your local scene and fans in general?
“To be honest, yes and no. We were sort of unknown until we exploded on TikTok; we didn’t play locally at all, we just grew online, releasing content, and when we popped, our audience was kind of global straight out of the gate. It’s pretty bizarre, but as all of our past local shows have shown so far, that popularity is right here at home too, and we’re incredibly grateful for it as they’ve sold out each time.”
Do you use the same gear when recording as you do when playing live? If yes, what and why? If no, why not?
“Everything is the same. We record everything in our own studio that we affectionately call ‘The Sausage Factory,’ with the very same gear we take on tour. We do all of the engineering, editing, mixing and mastering ourselves, which is pretty cost-effective! However, on the latest record, we did get it mastered by Chris Athens, who has one hell of a back catalogue.”
What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
“Probably our first show. It was at Bloodstock on the Sophie Lancaster stage as last-minute special guests. We don’t truly know how many people were in the tent that night, but judging by the sheer volume of the crowd singing, it was as memorable for them as it was for us.”
10/19 – BRISTOL SWX
10/20 – GLASGOW O2 Academy
10/21 – NEWCASTLE University
10/22 – SHEFFIELD O2 Academy 2
10/24 – NORWICH Epic Studios
10/25 – BRIGHTON Concorde 2
10/27 – OXFORD O2 Academy
10/28 – LEEDS Uni Stylus
10/29 – LONDON O2 Academy Islington
11/01 – SOUTHAMPTON 1865
11/03 – MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
It’s Just A Stage We’re Going Through drops on March 31st, and you can pre-order your copy here.