My name is Brett McFarland. I was born butt-first in a quaint little hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to a big, loving Midwestern farming family. My Mother worked nights as nurse in the pediatrics intensive care unit and my Father was an active duty officer in the United States Army so we moved a lot growing up. But somehow, no matter where we were stationed, we always managed to return to the South Dakota-Minnesota border where I would spend the holidays gorging nearly to death on grandma’s cookies, pies, and every kind of homemade bar ever invented. During summers I worked on my grandparents farm. By the age of fourteen, after years of intensive schooling, I had discovered the three most interesting subjects in the world; Girls, Music, and Farming. And once I learned to play the guitar I could sing about all three!
After graduating from high school in Beresford SD, I moved to Northern California to attend Humboldt State University and study botany. I started my first farm: three acres of organic vegetables at nineteen years old while going to college. It was an insane workload but I learned the value of hard work and found an even greater passion for the environment and growing food. That passion has taken me to some pretty wild places over the years. It inspired adventures to the Philippines and southern Mexico to volunteer and work with indigenous farmers to help make their communities more food-secure.
I am a friend, farmer, builder, musician, poet, entrepreneur, recycler of things, yogi, outlaw, activist, prisoner, and free man. I enjoy, hiking, biking, fishing, camping, backpacking, and just about anything that involves time in nature. I make homemade wine and cider and preserve/can food the way my grandma taught me. Building structures and creating rustic furniture from old wood are some of my favorite hobbies. And recycling/repurposing materials for my projects has become somewhat of an obsession. I work my tail off but I put art into everything I do. Much of my time is spent working around the farm keeping up fences, tending animals and chipping away at any one of the approximately 2.3 million projects we have going on around there. When I am not farming or building, I love spend time with friends cooking, laughing, and playing music around the fire. My biggest accomplishment to date is convincing a beautiful woman to live with me in a broken down travel trailer with no electricity or hot water for nearly two years at the farm. Truthfully I am married to my best friend and I would not have it any other way! Julia is a super badass woman who’s self-awareness and passion for life leave me pretty freaking inspired. It is a good life and music makes it all the sweeter.
Music adds depth to the human experience. It is something that has fascinated me since I was kid. When I was four years old my favorite musicians were Garth Brooks and George Strait. By fourteen I got into punk rock and jammed the Misfits, Rancid and Bad Religion until my ears bled and later I discovered Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Beck, and Weezer. Soon my tastes expanded in to blues, jazz and Latin music and from then on there has been no single genre. I love good music! I started playing the drums in elementary school and four years later I picked up the guitar and found another world. I loved it! I never learned many covers (except a few Tenacious D songs!) but I enjoyed making up little tunes of my own and singing about my life. Mostly I liked to sing outrageous lyrics and make my friends laugh. As time went on my farming work farming often pulled me away from music and kept me too busy to pursue it as anything more than a country pastime.
That all changed when in 2013 I was indicted by Homeland Security for a first-time non-violent farming offense: growing weed! After I was indicted, my attorney told me I would go to prison for quite a while unless I wanted to SNITCH. No thanks! Instead I decided to continue my passion for life and do a few things I had always dreamed of. I decided to find a band and record my first album. Time was of the essence but we pulled it together at the last minute. I owe everything to my family, friends, and Piet Dalmolen of Universal Balance Studios for his mad studio skills. An enormous thanks to Matt Schweicket-Stary for shredding the electric guitar, to Ryan ‘Chief’ Woemper for making love to the bass and letting us all watch/record it, to Jonathan Kipp for his tasty fucking drum licks, to Les Shiaman for sharing his deep love of the cello and fabulous sweaters, and last but not least to Ilan Navah for bringing us all together. They made this wonderful album what it is. After recording we managed to organize and play a benefit concert for the child advocacy group CASA and the night before leaving to prison we shot a super fantastic Happy Birthday music video with Matt St. Charles.
I had never previously been in any real trouble with the law but since I refused to implicate others, I was sentenced to 1,825 days imprisonment for a first-time non-violent offense, and I am currently serving out that sentence. I miss Julia, my family, and my dog Moe (who may not make it until I get out. F@%K!). It is most definitely frustrating to be here at times. But I am grateful for what I do have. I am immensely thankful for the support of my whole family, and Grandma: I promise not to cuss in church or take the Lord’s name in vain during grace. Really I am becoming quite civilized; I’m living the high life with all the hot water, electricity and high-roller amenities around here. (For the record, the permits were finally approved and Julia got electricity and hot water hooked up on the farm shortly after I left… I couldn’t be the only one living in style!)
So I am making the most of this time. I work out and practice yoga/meditation 5-6 days a week and I am in the best shape of my life! I teach English as a Second Language and Spanish I, II, and III Monday through Friday. !Hola a mis compañeros españoles! !Desfrutan los canciones! There is time to read write and even rest here! It equals time to dream. In the interest of blowing my mind, I am taking action now! I am developing several top notch business plans that are wildly successful in 2017. Julia and I are co-creating a book of positive frequency poems for families. With some help from friends on the outside I started the LET MY PEOPLE GO! campaign to address the absurdity of the War on Weed. I am even writing my next album here in prison. It is by far my best material yet! I am looking forward to collaborating and recording with a variety of artists when I get out. So that’s a little about me. I hope you enjoyed! See you soon!
If you wish to support any of our causes artistically, musically, creatively or in any way please write me. I would love to hear from you. I am wishing you the vey best day of your life!