Music can give ‘voice to voiceless’

Star Fucking Hipsters live.

Australian tour
Star Fucking Hipsters w/ AC4
April 7-14,

Star Fucking Hipsters are a New York-based punk band. It was formed in 2005 by members from other punk acts, including Leftover Crack, Ensign and The Ergs! The band’s third album, From the Dumpster to the Grave, is due for release this year.

SFH are touring Australia in April with Swedish band AC4. Green Left Weekly’s Chris Peterson spoke to singer/guitaris Sturgeon (also known as Stza) ahead of the tour.

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Star Fucking Hipsters is a highly political band. What sort of role do you think that music and culture more generally can play in changing the world?

Just giving a voice to the voiceless, hope to the hopeless and at the very least some empathy and understanding that the First World doesn’t completely think of the Third World as enemies or generally “scary” places to visit. Because that is what we are taught here in America, at least, at a very young age.

We’re told things like “Mexico is a dirty and dangerous place”, for instance. I have been to Mexico and Central America a dozen times in the past ten years and you know what? Mexico is fucking awesome!

It’s a bit more polluted than Louisiana or Texas, the roads are a bit less repaired, but it’s a sophisticated country with really nice people that care about each other and aren’t completely apathetic like so many Americans and Australians.

Their activism transcends states. Yes, Mexico is a bunch of united states in America also, they just don’t play it up like the assholes do here. Believe me, the states in America are not united, every state hates the next one over for no logical reason.

Music is the most important invention of humankind. It’s a universal language. It’s the one unifying force that can reach 99% of the world.

Perhaps that is an over-estimation, but right now I’m in a van on the way to play a show in New Jersey and I’m listening to what is usually the “punk” radio station and we’re all listening to Pakastani music.

It’s hit or miss tunes, but it’s commercial free and that’s what is most important to me at this point in my life.

Music is free or cheap if you roll like me and most of the world.

When people ask me about why I write songs against the police, I tell them that it might be the sound-track to a future revolution.

Any thoughts on uprisings that are happening all over the middle east and north Africa?

I think that revolution is very healthy. The only problem is that it is a revolution, which is to say that the politics are revolving in a circle. That is to say, they just might eventually end up exactly where they were in the first place or sometimes in even worse situations. Read Animal Farm by George Orwell, he explains it quite eloquently.

But, yes! Rise up! Wake up! Everybody around the world, take back what’s yours from that .01% that has been steadily robbing & killing us for hundreds, even thousands of years.

All the members of SFH have all played in a range of other bands. What makes SFH unique?

The answer to your question is in the question itself. We are all from different and unique bands. Basically, and especially on the record we’re currently working on, it’s like all of our bands fucked and had a baby and that baby gets guests on its record like Boots Riley from The Coup, Blackbird Raum, Bouncing Souls, Lagwagon, Swingin’ Utters and Subhumans/Citizen Fish.

The list goes on and on, it's quite impressive now that I have it all on a page here. And that’s only a partial list, there are so many others that have helped.

The line up of Star Fucking Hipsters is constantly fluctuating how does this impact on your song writing and liver [sic] performances?

It's funny that you wrote “liver performances”, cuz I drink too much. But, to answer the question you meant to ask: each drummer (our main fluctuating position) has their own style and type of music that they listen too.

I’ve noticed that it’s made a great impact on our song writing in general. For instance, P.Nut from Degenerics will steer the band towards more crust, metal and faster punk, where as the drummer we’re currently working with (Mikey from The Ergs!) seems to steer us in a more pop-punk direction.

We might actually have to find another drummer if P.Nut, who’s a dad any day now, can’t rock with us. We might have to get somebody that plays double-kick & blast- beats, though I suspect that we can trick Mikey into it somehow.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry and on the use of the internet for downloading songs?

I think that the music industry is tanking and they might figure out someway to charge for music, but I’m a proponent for free music. I mean, if you like the band, then shell out a few bucks for the show.

I have no idea about how expensive our tickets are gonna be, but I’m sure they won’t be priced for punks — they will probably be really fucking expensive. But flying half-way around the world is fucking expensive, we can’t afford those tickets.

I understand that they will not be that affordable for a lot of people that really would like to see us. We’re poor folks that write music for poor folks, but [ticket prices are] usually filed under “the shit the band doesn’t know about category” — especially in a situation where we don’t know how much another countries money is worth compared to ours.

So, yes! Download that fucking shit! Burn a disc for your friends, whatever, that’s how I fuckin’ roll.

Are you active in any campaigns at the moment and if so what are they?

That question is kind of vague. Maybe the word campaign is used for political purposes down under, but up top it’s used for adverts, as the british say —probably you folks too.

My main speaking point at shows since we did the Deadline split with Citizen Fish is how we’re gonna run out of potable drinking water in the next 30 years and that the world might die really fucking thirsty.

What do you see as some of the most important issues facing people in general at the moment?

Well, besides the water problem and overpopulation, which includes running out of food, cuz you cannot sustain agriculture without water … Um, that’s a lot on my plate as I see it.

Also, I don’t like the police just like I don’t like war or hate.

Star Fucking Hipsters & AC4, with special guests
April 7: The Zoo, Brisbane, w/ The Mercy Beat & The Quickening.
April 8: The Wall, Sydney, w/ Homeward Bound & Cap a Capo.
April 9: Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, w/ The Worstmen & Coma Lies.
April 10: Blush Nightclub, Gosford, w/ Whole Hearted & Porn Ring.
April 14: The Arthouse, Melbourne, w/ Viking Frontier & Madonna.

‘I spied the government today, they seemed inclined to make us pay. After one hundred broken treaties and accords, they could not blame us for our pain. And if 1000 die tonight, no one could say just who was right. Statistics tend to lie, but they don't mean too much ...’ Video clip for Star Fucking Histpers’ ‘3000 Miles Away’.