Interview: James Farn of Home Invasion Talks ‘Enemy’

Chicago’s Home Invasion has been making music for several years now, but have finally decided to bless us with Enemy, their first full-length record, which is out now on WAR Records. Their music is unapologetically loud, fast, and a proud dedication to degenerates everywhere. After the group underwent a transition by replacing their lead vocalist, it became a make-or-break period for them to either put out an album or disband completely. Their new frontman James Farn seamlessly became their missing piece and, ultimately, Enemy was born.

Similar to their punk predecessors, Home Invasion were inspired to create songs from an anarchist point of view that has been emboldened by unrest, disconformity, and a general disapproval with the state of the world around them. Each member of Home Invasion is a seasoned performer, having been in and around the scene for decades. Unlike certain music scenes, there is a strong sense of community in the Midwest, and when it comes to making music. It’s less about the status quo and more about the ongoing support for local bands and artists to ensure underground networks don’t wither away.

Are all of you from Chicago originally, and in what ways has that shaped the music you make?

James Farn: This group has strong ties to the Midwest; most members are from the Chicagoland area, where there was a strong emphasis on community. Andy and myself however are from Indiana, where smoking two packs of cigarettes a day is considered cardiovascular exercise. Being from this area, in this subculture, in our collective era, when you sign up for your first day of “I’m a harcore kid,” you are handed the Negative Approach seven-inch and in so many words are told, “This is not Boston, nor is it LA; it’s Chicago, so unless you are actually good, no one cares.’ It doesn’t have to mean talented; it doesn’t have to mean popular, but it has to be genuine, even if it’s just shouting into a mic.

What has your experience been emerging within the hardcore scene today? How is it different than when you were growing up?

This is a band of aged hardcore freaks; we’ve all been in multiple groups over the last 10-plus years. While I think it’s fair to say that there are those people who really put in the work to carve out the space for music like ours to exist—booking shows, promoting new releases, photocopying zines—the way this scene works is the same way it did when I was in my first band in high school: DIY. If you think it, make it. If you wanna see it, build it. If it doesn’t exist, start it. Most importantly, if you like it, support it. No one is too cool. All of that is different in the way the medium exists through the internet today, but at the same time, it really never changes. If I don’t go to shows today to see bands I think are cool, then no shows exist tomorrow for anyone to play. Pick up a guitar; play it poorly, then get better.

Walk me through the making of Enemy and a little of the inspiration behind it.

Enemy was developed through necessity; this group had a backlog of great material released over a few demo sessions with the previous singer, Chris, but we decided to try and push some newer material out to see how I might fit in the space he left open. The concept was simply, “If this sucks, we aren’t doing it,” and, again, this being an aggressive no-coast hardcore punk band, the things that we think don’t suck are loud, fast music.

What are some of the lyrical and conceptual ideas behind Enemy?

The presupposition of this question is that this is a group that is intelligent enough to conceptualize a thematic idea; I promise you that we are not. There are no members of Mensa here, just five mouthbreathers trying to write really dumb music. The protest/disruptive imagery of the group’s design relates to that concept of simplistic aggressive Midwest hardcore, and the lyrics follow the same path. Unrest within myself, disapproval for the world around us, inability to conform—all topics that have been covered before, but maybe we can do it with more aggression.

Home Invasion had its first official release in 2022; when and what spurred you all to start making music together and establish Home Invasion?

This group did a lot of its preliminary work during less social times in 2020, more focused on writing and development—prior to my entry as the singer—but the answer would be the same regardless of the time period or the circumstance; when one band ends, there’s nothing to do but start another one and try to do something cool with it. It’s baseball for vinyl nerds; it’s hard to grow out of it.

What are your plans for the band now that you’re dropping your first record?

Play as many shows as possible; release another record; play twice as many shows; release twice as many records. Andrew / War Records has been great to work with and done a lot of cool things for us. We’d love to continue working with them, but if for whatever reason it doesn’t happen, I’ll release everything myself on Laserdisc and 8-Track. It doesn’t matter, I just want to do punk things with punk people; that’s the goal.

What are some of the key takeaways that you hope fans/listeners will get from this Enemy?

1992, Live At Budokan, pit like Scott Ian, stage dive like Billy Milano.

What can fans look forward to in the coming year as far as live shows or a tour?

We are planning a run around Canada with our brothers in Conservative Military Image in the fall. Both bands are outstanding people and play outstanding music, very excited. We never stop writing music; neither should you.

Is there anything else you would like readers to know about the band or the EP?

Everyone is invited; degenerates are preferred.

Enemy is out now, and you can order it from WAR Records. Follow Home Invasion on Instagram for future updates.

Photo courtesy of John Hambone

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