Origin: Seattle, Washington
Genre: Hardcore Punk
Years active: 1981–2004
Steve Hoffman (Steve Fart)
1981 Because This Fucking World Stinks 7” EP – Fartz Records (Licensed to Alternative Tentacles in 1982, Virus 21)
1981 “Campaign Speech” on Seattle Syndrome Volume One compilation – Engram Records.
1982 World Full Of Hate 12” LP – Alternative Tentacles, Virus 17
1982 “Buried Alive” on Eastern Front Vol. II compilation.
1990 You, We See You Crawling 12” EP – Musical Tragedies, Eight Tragedy
1998 Because This Fuckin’ World Still Stinks anthology LP/CD – Alternative Tentacles, Virus 217
2001 What’s in a Name LP/CD – Alternative Tentacles, Virus 262
2002 “Injustice, 15 Working Class Songs” LP/CD Alternative Tentacles, Virus 279
The Fartz were originally formed in 1981 and were one of the first well-known hardcore bands from Seattle, Washington. They were signed to Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles Record label. The Fartz were one of Seattle’s earliest hardcore punk outfits, attacking governmental and religious corruption, racism, sexism, and poverty.
The Fartz original lineup in 1981 included vocalist Blaine Cook (under the name “Blaine Fart”), guitarist Tommy Hansen (who, along with Loud, was formerly of the Seattle band Kaos, not to be confused with the UK version with the same name), bassist Steve Hoffman, and drummer Loud Fart.
On the strength of a 1981 self-released 45 RPM 7″ E.P. Fuck Art Let’s Fart, they were signed to Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles Records, which released their full length LP entitled World Full of Hate in 1982, and also rereleased their first single under the new name,Because This Fuckin’ World Stinks.
They also had one song, “Campaign Speech,” appear on the 1981 “Seattle Syndrome Vol. I” compilation released by Engram Records.
Paul Solger replaced Tommy Hansen on guitar during the recording of the band’s 1982 album, although Hansen wrote a number of the songs on it. After the release of the 1982 LP, Duff McKagan replaced Loud on drums and appeared on some demo recordings that were not released until years later.
Few Seattle clubs were willing to book hardcore acts during the band’s short lifespan, so the Fartz often found themselves scrambling for any exposure or opportunities to perform. The band’s first full-length album, World Full of Hate, appeared in 1982, but even in spite of modest success overseas (one single reached the Top Ten on the NME’s alternative chart), the frustration with Seattle’s lack of opportunity took its toll.
The Fartz often opened for and toured with other west coast hardcore bands such as the Dead Kennedys and D.O.A. Their song “Buried Alive” appeared on the 1982 Eastern Front Vol. II punk compilation album.
10 Minute Warning
After several changes to the lineup in the guitar and drummer positions the first incarnation of the Fartz evolved into a new band known as 10 Minute Warning in 1983. The original idea was that the Fartz would simply change their name to 10 Minute Warning, but after one west coast tour with the Dead Kennedys, Blaine decided to quit and was replaced on vocals by Steve Swad (formerly of The Swads). Duff switched from drums to rhythm guitar, Paul continued to play lead guitar, and Greg Gillmore joined on drums. These lineup changes resulted in a post-punk sound quite different from the hardcore of the Fartz.
Fartz vocalist Blaine Cook started to sing for the hardcore/thrash band The Accüsed in 1984. Duff McKagan later gained notoriety as a member of the hard rock band Guns N’ Roses. The Fartz original guitarist Tommy Hansen later played with the band Crisis Party, which released one LP, “Rude Awakening,” in 1989.
Interest in the Fartz began to revive in 1990 with the release of an LP entitled “You, We See You Crawling,” which was composed of previously unreleased demo tapes recorded in 1981-1982. In 1998 Alternative Tentacles issued a retrospective anthology of all the group’s previous recordings entitled “Because This Fuckin’ World Still Stinks.” The 1998 LP included all the songs from both the 1981 45″ EP and the 1982 LP, as well as unreleased demos that included some songs recorded after the band had changed its name to 10 Minute Warning.
The release of the 1998 Fartz anthology by Alternative Tentacles prompted Blaine to reunite the lineup that had recorded the World Full of Hate LP. A new studio LP What’s In A Name? appeared in the summer of 2001, although most of these were re-recordings of their earlier songs. Loud was replaced on drums soon after their reunion, and Paul Solger was later replaced by Alex Maggot Brain, who had been the bass player in Blaine’s other band, the Accused, leaving Blaine and Steve as the only two original members in the reunited Fartz. This second incarnation of the Fartz continued to play shows in Washington and surrounding states until 2004.
Due to the band’s evolution from the Fartz into 10 Minute Warning and the Accused, and then back into the Fartz again, some of the same songs have been recorded by three or four incarnations of the band. “Is This The Way,” “Judgement Day,” and “Buried Alive” were all recorded by various versions of the Fartz and 10 Minute Warning. The Accused also rerecorded some Fartz songs.