Yes In My Backyard: Download Star Fucking Hipsters' "3000 Miles Away"
Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
>New York's Star Fucking Hipsters are a joyous, double-middle-fingers-ablaze coup on political punk rock--pretty much inventing "bubblegum crust" in one grungy, ridiculously catchy swoop. S.F.H revolves around a dual croon: the weathered, loogie-centric voice of Scott "Stza" Sturgeon of banned-in-N.Y. crustos Leftover Crack and the comparatively sensitive coo of Nico de Gaillo. Together they blurt out some pretty sublime pop songs about things like dead cops--imagine Against Me! if they were still on Fat Wreck and mostly listened to Arcade Fire and Queen. "3000 Miles Away" is the second track on their second album, Never Rest In Peace (Alternative Tentacles). It is a perfectly addictive post-Rancid three-minute jammer, bringing the squat to the arena, complete with Spectorian melody and buzzsaw guitars. But hiding under its End Of The Century bombast is a heartfelt, terrifying, dead serious song about police brutality.
Banned in NYC. Photo by Alyssa Tanchajja Scott Sturgeon photo by Alyssa Tanchajja
Scott "Stza" Sturgeon of Star Fucking Hipsters on "3000 Miles Away"What is "3000 Miles Away" about?
It's about police brutality and their unaccountability when it comes to their role in murdering civilians, especially unarmed and/or innocent people. I have a friend in a band that I toured with earlier this year and it turned out that he was friends with the kid that was executed by a policeman on a BART in Oakland, California last New Year's. The person was handcuffed with his wrists behind him and he was on his stomach when the policeman shot him in the back of the head in front of dozens of shocked civilians returning from their New Years Eve parties. It was also filmed by several people. The cop later stated in his defense something like "he was making fun of my mother" or some such nonsense. What I always think about when things like that happen, which is all too often, is how many times do the police do this when there are no witnesses and when there is nobody filming? I believe it's like the theory that when you see a cockroach scurry across the table, there are hundreds that you cannot see hiding close-by.
What inspired the sound of the song?
The sound of the song is really inspired by the music of "Bicycle Race" by Queen--you know, the band that still played the Sun City resort in South Africa even after the Artists' Against Apartheid song. And also the musical stylings of New Jersey's Bouncing Souls, artists that are also against apartheid and friends with both members of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and S.F.H.
Leftover Crack and S.F.H. had some trouble getting booked for a while due to police intervention. What's the most recent development?
We have finally played a couple of NYC shows at Club Europa in Brooklyn, which is oddly enough right next door to the Greenpoint Police Precinct where uniformed police came over and threatened to shut-down the club if they let the two sold-out Leftover Crack shows occur in 1997--which they didn't. We're pretty sure that this is the same precinct where the cops based their illegal operation to shut down S.F.H.'s first NYC show at Death by Audio. After we had moved the show to a secret location "within 10 minutes walking distance from D.B.A." they had a "squad" of law enforcement "officials" conduct random searches of every bar and venue in the neighborhood--which we are pretty damn sure they stopped once they found the location of our show. We ended up playing our first official club show in McCarren Park, kitty-corner to the Turkey's Nest. We played until the police eventually showed up and then we disbanded quickly, but we got a full acoustic set in with drums and everything. Soon after that, officers identifying themselves as internal affairs snatched a few people I know and asked a lot of questions about Greenpoint police officers doing cocaine at Christmas parties and since then, the police have pretty much left us alone. I think that their petty antics of intimidating the clubs that had booked my bands was bringing a bit of attention to some of their much more illegal activities and so the crooked cops stopped bothering us so that they could get away with I don't even want to venture to guess... But why not? Drugs? Rape? Murder? They're cops, they probably do shit that we couldn't even imagine 'cause it's so illegal and crazy... They're above the law. They're innovating probably, just because they can.
Who is your favorite political voice in music right now? In hip-hop?
I don't know. I don't listen to the radio and I don't have actual television--I have a T.V., just no channels. I have been finding myself behind the times lately. I really like a band called Blackbird Raum from Santa Cruz; otherwise I rarely hear any popular music that is political. It seems like Green Day pretend to be political, but in a very watered down way to me, although they are probably one of the most "radical" pop bands going nowadays, so they're better than most. I actually have to applaud them for making an effort... Anti-Flag are sticking to their politics as far as I can tell and their ethics seem to be unchanged over the years. Against Me! I suppose? Besides those guys I'm being told that Lily Allen & Sum 41 are also, but I've never even heard of either of those bands and maybe my friend's just taking the piss. It's really depressing now that you mention it... I mean being pro-democrat and having an anti-Bush song makes you political? How fucking weak is that? I suppose Bruce Springsteen trumps all of those folks...
What's your favorite place to eat in New York?
Kind of off-topic. I hope that this isn't the only part that gets printed. I've been tricked into this type of thing in the past. I like a lot of the half-priced sushi places in my neighborhood, though I prefer cooking my own meals for health's sake. If I feel like pigging-out I go to Polonia on 1st Ave., between 6th & 7th, though it's not really as healthy as I like to be with my grub. I suppose it's my genetic Eastern-European Jewish comfort food. It's one of the last authentic NYC Polish Diners...
Download: Star Fucking Hipsters, "3000 Miles Away"
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