There’s a meme that’s been doing the rounds for a few years now. It pictures the grindcore band Wormrot performing in a dingy DiY space with no stage; a familiar sight for anyone with an inkling for underground music, especially at its grimier end. However, what’s most striking about this photo is not the band or space, it’s the audience; particularly, the white goat in attendance, watching diligently at the front of the crowd.
This goat is called Biquette and is more than just the meme that brought her into prominence. There’s a touching, funny, and sad story behind grindcore’s favourite goat.
Biquette was a milking goat for the first 5 years of her life. As is the way for farmed animals, Biquette had expended her use as a milking goat and was destined for the slaughterhouse. In a strange twist of fate (mostly to avoid the costs associated with giving the goat to the slaughterhouse), Biquette was instead handed over to a farm & DiY music venue in Mauriac, France where her de-facto minder became Flo, a resident on the farm who helped put on shows.
Her Adopted home, Mauriac farm, was a kind of punk squat with a DiY ethic behind it. It attracted those inclined to communal living, DiY shows and music at the crustier end of the spectrum.
In a Vice interview with Flo, she gave a bit of background on Biquette and her tendencies. Being a farm, the area to put on shows was actually a barn with wooden floors. Flo suspects that Biquette enjoyed the vibrations in the wooden floors, and this probably explains the goat’s inclination to pummelling blast beats a la grindcore.
Additionally, Biquette developed human-like vices, particularly in the form of consuming/stealing alcohol and tobacco. Apparently, she would eat anything from dirty butts in an ashtray to lit cigarettes in people’s hands. She would also drink alcohol dregs left at the bottom of glasses, and would root out stashed alcohol throughout the property. Biquette also developed a (potentially fateful) taste for what was left at “the bottom of pots of paint or oil drains”.
Wormrot have their own memories of Biquette, too. In an interview with Complex, Wormrot’s manager, Azean Rot, had the following to say:
“I took all the pictures of Wormrot… Actually, the goat is a pet of some punks. It was taken in a farm in France where we played last year. The goat is very tame and followed us around like it is a dog. When it was Wormrot’s turn to play, the goat suddenly went in front of the crowd and watched them play the whole set. It was just chilling around at the corner when other bands were playing. Since it was at the front, I thought why not take some photos of the goat while the boys were playing. It was really funny and everyone had a good laugh after that. I think the goat’s name is Lulu if I’m not mistaken, but I could be wrong. You would have never believed how tame the goat is. When we first arrived at the venue, the goat went up to us and rubbed its head against our hands.”
Sadly, around December 2013, Biquette died. At roughly 10 years of age, she enjoyed about 50% of her life expectancy. The correlation between Biquette’s death and her use of tobacco, alcohol and… paint(?) has never been made. Instead, it’s been posited that a change of ownership of the farm and the resulting clean up of the premises was too big of a shock for poor Biquette, and it’s this change that led to her demise. But what is for sure is that Biquette “burned the candle at both ends”, as per Flo’s words in 2014.
RiP Grind Goat.
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