Interview: Star Fucking Hipsters' Sturgeon

posted November 2, 2009

by Corinne

Star Fucking Hipsters' Sturgeon

How are you?

I’m recovering from our record release show. I ended up getting tripped during our last song & I hit my artist friend Fly on her head with my guitar accidentally, she’s fine, but I pull[ed] a muscle in my leg, I’m also starting to feel like I have been hit on the right side of my forehead, but that doesn’t bother me, it’s the not being able to walk thing that [is] a pain in the ass (literally)…

In writing your new album, “Never Rest In Peace,” did you go into it with specific topics you wanted to discuss, an overall concept or were the songs more individual pieces that came together?

It wasn’t a concept album, but we (myself & Nico) discussed what we were gonna’ write about or we gave each-other half finished lyrics & the other would advise & finish their allotted parts, but really they were all individual pieces at the end of the day, they just seemed to work well with other in my opinion.

You roped some notable names – Dick Lucas, Jasper Pattison, Bryan Kienlen – into making cameos on the album. How’d you get everyone involved? What’s it like on that day in the recording studio with everyone assembled?

Well, first of all, the “recording studio” ended up being 3 of the 4 bedrooms on the fifth floor of C squat (mine & Nicos included), Bryan played on the first SFH record “Until we’re dead” & I totally forgot to put him in the credits, he actual lives across the street from me & we’ve been friends since the early 90’s, so he was in town & I wanted to get him involved again because of my mistake & then Dick & Jasper happened to be in NYC when we were finishing the vocals because Phil (Citizen Fish Guitarist/Subhumans Bassist) was getting married to a good friend of ours from the west coast. I suppose that NYC seemed like a good halfway point between Bath, England & S.F., I promised them it would only take 20 minutes & I paid their cab fare from the Knitting Factory & back. I felt a little bad cuz they were so hung-over from the wedding/show/party the night before, but we’re good friends as well & we’ve been touring & working together for years since my other band did a split full-length with them. All just really great people.

With the band being an additional project for everyone involved, what makes this band special to you?

Well, I can’t stress enough that this band is not a side project for me. This is where I vent my music & lyrics now, I’m just happy to have the company of some really supportive, dedicated & fun people to help me make these records. Almost everybody in the band have other bands/projects, but this is my number one. Leftover Crack is on the back-burner for now. It’s almost more likely that Choking Victim will be playing more shows in the future, save for LoC in Australia this November.

What makes a track right for Star Fucking Hipsters as opposed to any of the other bands that SFH members are involved in?

I do most of the song-writing. If it was good enough for any of my other bands, then it is good enough for SFH. They are all really quite similar bands when you get down to it. I am the constant, we’ve just been lucky enough to have great musicians lending a hand & it really feels like a rebirth for me thanks to Nico, Frank, Chris, Yula, Ara, P.Nut, Alex, Franz & all of our other guests including help from Jello Biafra @ Alternative Tentacles & Fat Mike.

Over the last few years – specifically the end of Bush's terms and the 2008 presidential election – there was a definite surge of interest in music with political messages, both from younger music fans and from musicians. Going forward, what kind of atmosphere do you see for political music and youth engagement?

Hopefully a thriving atmosphere. I’ve never been one to predict the future, I just try to work hard at our little niche. I would like to see a bit more unity & less in fighting between people that hold practically the same ideals, it’s all so self-destructive… Has it always been this way? I don’t know, but I try to be optimistic. Perhaps that is off subject & I’m the only one that’s been kind of out-cast. I suppose I’d prefer that then think that every musical “scene” & region have these hateful things to say about each-other. I will gladly be the scapegoat if it helps unite everybody else.

Who are some underrated bands that you think deserve more attention?

What, besides S.F.H? (joke…kind of). There’s a great band originally from Santa Cruz named “Blackbird Raum” who are just amazing, especially live & I love our NYC punk bands like “Death Mold”, “Rabia”, “perdition” & our N.J. boys in “Degenerics”, they wrote the song “Heaven” that we perform on “Never rest in Peace”. Also I think Citizen Fish are still completely under-rated to this day.

What have you been listening to recently?

Mostly indie-rock, Death Cab & Modest Mouse are two of my favorites. I have been listening to “they might be Giants” since I was 12 & I still love ‘em. Since my other band toured with Sacramento’s “Trash Talk” I’ve been listening to them a lot & as always the bay-areas “Neurosis” & “Dystopia”. Also a lot of 80’s pop (since the 80’s) & Hip Hop, but it’s been awhile since I have found something new.

If you could have written any song what song do you wish you had written and why?

Mozart[']s 40th symphony. Also known as “Jupiter” or Pachabel’s Cannon in D (I’ve stolen that one for at least four different songs by now: “In Hell” by Choking Victim, “Crack City Rockers” & “Life Causes Cancer” by Leftover Crack & I can’t remember the fourth one, but I’m sure it exists, I suppose Star Fucking Hipsters will have to write our version at some point if we haven’t already…). I’m just amazed by classical music. But if I had to pick a rock song off the top of my head, I would say “In My Life” by the Beatles which has a classical harpsichord solo that we’ve already stolen for “Two Cups of Tea”.

Anything you would like to add?

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. & John Steinbeck are two of America[']s greatest Writers, I can’t describe the lessons that can be learned by reading their books or the joy that they can bring. I suggest “The Sirens of Titan” & for beginners “Cannery Row”, but “East of Eden” is amazing if you have the time to read an 800 page novel. And on the literary tip, fuck Ayn Rand… Don’t waste your time…

Thanks very much for your time!

Thank you for your interest,
Sturg F’n Hipster