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What's in a Name?
by David Johnson-Igra on Sep 24, 2009
Starfucker, currently hosting a contest to help rename themselves, may be changing their image, but not their uplifting electro-pop sound. Known for their cross dressing antics, and non-stop dance parties, the group just wants to have fun. With big names like Target, the "Weeds" TV series, and IBM using the group’s music, it’s safe to say they’re on the rise. SF Station spoke with keyboardist and producer Josh Hodges before a show of theirs in Brooklyn, about having fun, names, and starfuckers.
SF Station (SFS): I remember at your last show, you guys were dressed in drag. Why do you do that?
Josh Hodges (JH): I think we all do it for different reasons, but we all like it. My reason is my mom. I spent my twenty-first birthday at a cross dressing club. It’s for fun, and, also, because it doesn’t matter. My Mom is friends with a lot of people that are cross dressers. One of her best friends is a Liza Minnelli impersonator.
SFS: Have you ever played in the south?
JH: No we haven’t, though I totally want to. I think that’s part of what’s fun about it anyways -- pushing the envelope and, sometimes, getting people a little out of their comfort zone. They’re not used to seeing heterosexual dudes dress up like ladies, play pop music and dance around. It’s just fun.
SFS: How does it feel to change the band’s name from Starfucker?
JH: It was extremely stressful at first, especially the way it all went down. It happened really half hazard, and not carefully. It feels good now. We would have changed the name a long time ago if we thought we’d still be touring right now. I thought this would just be a little project and we’d play a few shows, like ten shows. I had no idea that we would be touring and doing all this stuff. It’s causing so many problems. I’m really excited to be releasing an album under a new name, and be able to go on a support tour opening up for somebody bigger.
SFS: Is there any name you’re really glad your parents never named you?
JH: No. I always hated my own name. I wish I had a different name. I feel like the name "Josh" is so soft.
SFS: My name is David, but I always wanted a name like “Steven".
JH: I like the name David. One of my best friends is named David. It’s a normal name, but at least there is no “shh” sound in it.
SFS: What is one of the worst responses you’ve received for your band’s name?
JH: Most of the negative responses we get from the public are generally just funny. We had a guy write to the paper; I don’t know if it was in response to a review, but this guy is insane. He was upset with how they used “fuck” in their paper, but in his letter to the editor he talks about this band with the “n word” in their name. That is definitely not why we're changing our name, because that’s funny and actually makes me want to keep the name.
The stuff that is actually a pain in the ass is when we want to go on tour with somebody, and we would get on the opening slot on a national tour with bands that we really like, but we can’t because the managers are maybe afraid of our name. There are other stuff, like we want to go to Europe, and there is already a band called Starfucker. It might not be a big deal, but I feel it’s better now than never, though I wish we had changed it earlier.
SFS: It seems that the band’s name and the band’s concept is about pushing the envelope and pointing a finger at starfuckers, or racists, or people who complain about your name. Do you feel like the band is changing now with the change of the band’s name?
JH: The music isn’t, and I don’t think the general philosophy is. The reason the whole band started was that I was just fed up with playing music that I wasn’t really into, which I did with the band before Starfucker. The idea behind Starfucker is that this is what I do for fun, this is my therapy. We had no idea, or intention, for this success, and that’s why we had this name, like “Fuck success, that’s not going to happen.” It is different now, because now we are in the position where we can keep doing this and not have to work. If we change our name, and record a really good album, maybe we can do this all the time.
SFS: Hopefully, the fans know and support you.
JH: It’s the same song, same music. I hope it doesn’t change.
SFS: Ultimately, some critics will say this is selling-out.
JH: Yeah. If we never had “fuck” in our name in the first place then it wouldn’t be. It’s just unfortunate because if we had the foresight we’d never have had that name in the first place, we would have changed it a long time ago.
SFS: Have you gotten any good feedback on a new name?
JH: We’ve gotten a ton of entries, but not a ton that we all like. I don’t know what our policy is talking about our new name. We’ll just keep a secret for a little while.
Starfucker plays Bottom of the Hill on October 7th. Tickets are $10. Doors open at 8:30pm and the show starts at 9pm. All ages.
by David Johnson-Igra on Sep 24, 2009