Star Fucking Hipsters

 

The name Star Fucking Hipsters may put off a few folks — like the merchandise managers at the big box retailers — but there are worse things they could be called.  Like a side project, for one.

SFH founder Scott Sturgeon (aka Stza) was so bothered by that label that he had the band record a full album’s worth of songs just weeks after they finished touring behind their last record. Mainly to prove that SFH was a committed band.

Recorded primarily in his New York apartment and engineered on a laptop, “Never Rest in Peace” manages to sounds even better than the band’s studio-produced debut. The songs are tighter, the lyrics clearer and more importantly the band is finally safe from being called a side project.

We recently caught up with Sturgeon long enough for him to answer a few questions:
 
Any lineup changes since the last record?

Yes, we now have Chris Portier from Dread Fabrik and Big Attack! On bass and drummers Alex Charpentier and P.Nut who also plays with Degenerics and Ensign. We still have Yula (Beeri on) bass and Ara (Babajian) on drums. They are very busy and interesting people, but they know that they always have a place in the band. S.F.H. has at least 10 members at this point and no bad feelings. My only thing is that I absolutely need Nico (de Gaillo) and Frank (Piegaro) to be there. They’ve even played a couple of shows without me, which I am proud to admit.
 
Did anyone ever try and talk you out of the name?
No, I started the band, I deal with almost every aspect of what we do when we’re off-stage, so I get to name it whatever the hell I want. I understand that I have a habit of shooting myself in the foot “commercially” but then again, that’s exactly why I do name my band something Fucking Something or naming a record Fuck World Trade. Although it may not be very shocking, it definitely keeps our albums out of places like Target or Best Buy; places that I would never want to support financially anyways and I suggest that people find alternatives to these huge global corporations that are bleeding you dry while you think you’re saving cash ‘cuz Wal-Mart has a smiley face discount. These stores will decimate your town, steal its money and then they’ll leave you in economic crisis.
 
You had a bunch of guests on the last record. Any guests on this one?       
Not quite as many as we were very pressed for time, but we did manage to get Dick Lucas from Subhumans and his band mate in Citizen Fish and Culture Shock Jasper to sing on two of the songs as well as having Bryan (Kienlen) from the Bouncing Souls sing and plays bass on a track and Miguel (Reyes) from Oakland/Citizen Fish plays a horn on “The Civilization Show”, a very Citizen Fishy song in my opinion. And we had a bunch of friends sing back-ups from various NYC bands. It’s in the liner notes.

You put out “Until We’re Dead”, toured like crazy, then immediately recorded this new record. Did you have any down time?
I had a bout a month and a half last winter to travel around Central America. I’ve been slowly learning Spanish over the last eight years. I can speak it enough to get by, I suppose. Other than that, no, I’ve really not had more than two days off from band business of some sort. I’m planning on taking it easy this winter as much as possible.

Why the rush to put this record out?
We really felt the need to put together a catalog of songs to cement the fact that we are not a side project, but an actual band. Plus we just had so many new songs and we knew we could make a better record than “Until We’re Dead”, so we figured why the hell wait, let’s get this thing out there and break out of the side-project category for real. We will definitely be waiting a bit longer to do our third record tentatively titled “Ska Fucking Hipsters”.

Where did you record “Never Rest in Peace”?
Myself and Nico live on the fifth floor of a fairly infamous building in Alphabet City called C-Squat or See-Skwat, depending on who you talk to. We rehearsed there a few times and it turns out that our apartment has a really great sound so we demoed and recorded a bit in a bedroom at P.Nut’s house in New Brunswick, NJ, but the record was almost entirely recorded and mixed in three of the rooms on the fifth floor of our place by a fellow named Ryan Jones (myspace.com/ryandjonesengeneering) who is a live soundman that happens to be an amazing recording engineer. He just had a laptop and two little monitor speakers. After we’d record a song take, it would already be mixed by him, he’s that good.

Any big inspiration for the songs that make up “Never Rest in Peace”?
Every song has its own separate inspiration. For example my first lyrics on the song “The Civilization Show” were inspired by the events that transpired on the Oakland BART platform last New Year’s where a police officer shot a kid in the back of the head while he was hand-cuffed laying on his stomach in front of a lot of civilian witnesses on their way home from their New Year’s parties. Later, the officer claimed that the victim was making fun of his mom or some such nonsense, my theory was that the cop was coked out of his mind when he publicly executed the young man.

Can you talk about the song “Banned from the Land”?
That song is about the subjugation of the native “American” tribes when our ancestors committed what amounted to an indigenous genocide and how this is stolen occupied territory.

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