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A Brief History of Krupted Peasant Farmerz

In Music
Utter Failure, featuring the re-teaming of Dave and Rob Fraser from KPF, plays Johnny V's on Friday.

Utter Failure, featuring the re-teaming of Dave and Rob Fraser from KPF, plays Johnny V's on Friday.

Krupted Peasant Farmerz, better known as KPF, is now one of San Jose’s most famous punk bands, with a cult following that spans the globe. But when the band broke up in the ’90s, guitarist Rob Fraser had no idea that would be the case.

It was only after the band was gone, says Fraser, that he started to see the impact they’d made.

“People would write us from all over the world,” he says.

Fraser went on to a long line of bands—Apeface, Angry for Life, Joe Q. Citizen, Boar Hunter, and more—but none have made an impression on the punk world the way KPF did. Still, neither Rob nor his brother Dave, who wrote the songs and sang lead, can be blamed for not realizing everything they had going for them at the time. When the band played its first show in 1989, Dave was still in high school, and Rob was barely out of it.

“We were kids,” remembers Rob. “We were setting up shows at halls and pizza parlors.”

What KPF did so well was bridge the old-school hardcore bands like Dead Kennedys and Reagan Youth that were out to tear down the status quo with the new-school bands like NoFX and Green Day that broke punk rock into the mainstream by bringing a pop sound to the genre.

They could be funny and snide, but even a two-minute slice of punk lunacy like “Cowz Humping” had a point.

“That was almost a vegetarian song,” says Rob. “There was always a political undertone.”

In 1992, KPF appeared on the first compilation from Lookout Records, best known as the launching pad for Green Day. Titled Can of Pork, the double album had a tortured development—it took a year and half to produce—but went on to be one of the most famous compilations in punk history.

“That probably got us the most fans,” says Rob.

KPF contributed “Piano Song From Hell,” a song which actually features no piano, but instead refers to the fact that Dave wrote all of his songs on the piano first before adapting them for the band—just one of the quirky elements that made KPF unique.

Another was the guitar harmonies that came from Rob’s metal background. In fact, KPF had an unusual sound for an American punk band.

“It was a European punk sound,” says Rob. He remembers discovering Swedish and German punk bands for the first time at the KFJC record swap, and what an effect the international punk scene had on KPF. They would go on to be one of the few South Bay punk bands to tour outside of the U.S.

In 1993, Dave left the band. It’s been so long now that Rob can’t even remember what triggered the split. But in retrospect, he doubts he would have kept the band going for five more years, if he could do it again.

“I think it lost some of its integrity at that point,” he says.

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