Starfucker's Vowel-Free and on the Dancefloor
Sluggish after a night spent driving from Portland, Oregon, to Oakland, California, Starfucker's lead singer, Josh Hodges, was still happy to talk about his electro-dance trio's unique vision and provocative moniker, one that's gone through quite a few changes in just the last year.
"The name didn't come from that Rolling Stones song," Hodges says. "Besides, that's not even a very good song. There's a Nine Inch Nails song called that as well, but it's purely coincidence that we are called Starfucker and those two songs have that title."
Though the name was already taken by an all-girl punk act from Belgium, Hodges said it just felt right. "Thankfully, the girl band broke up so we didn't worry about a lawsuit," Hodges explains. "But I don't think you can even copyright a name with the word 'fuck' in it."
And even though the name Starfucker felt right to the Portland-based group, their label thought otherwise. On promotional material, the band is often referred to simply as STRFKR. Seems the all-caps version is a lot easier to sell.
"We get so much grief from some longtime fans when they see that," says Hodges, "but STRFKR is just easier and looks really cool on posters."
Absence of vowels aside, Hodges and crew still create colorful, dance-friendly electronic pop to go along with the aesthetic. Their most recent Polyvinyl LP, Reptilians, features edge-of-disco songs such as "Death As a Fetish" and "The White of Noon," which have drawn comparisons to The Postal Service and Passion Pit, though Starfucker's dance DNA goes back to NYC in the early '80s. Hodges certainly doesn't mind the more modern comparisons.
"There are certainly worse bands to be compared to," he says. "People are always looking for something tangible to relate our music to, and if we play a smaller town where people aren't familiar with us, it's always cool to bring up those bands."
While some dance music is written off as just a thumping beat without a melody, Hodges wanted to make the beat simply the byproduct of a great song.
"I just wanted to write dance songs that could stand up as regular songs with choruses and verses," Hodges says. "But if you're at one of our shows and you don't like the music, you can still always dance."
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