October 9, 2011

An Interview With Stza Crack Of Leftover Crack & SFH

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I first learned of Scott Sturgeon (b. 1976), aka Stza or Stza Crack, when I was in high school in 1999 or 2000 and have since consistently enjoyed his music and lyrics and interviews and shows with high levels of interest, stimulation, delight, emotion. His previous bands were No Commercial Value and Choking Victim. His current bands are Leftover Crack and Crack Rock Steady 7 and SFH, whose third album, “From The Dumpster To The Grave,” will be released by Fat Wreck Chords on October 11 (there is a record release show that night at Club Europa in Brooklyn) and is currently “streaming” here. The following interview was done by email.

TC: What did you do on 9/11?

SC: I tried to organize a Karaoke party, but that turned into a room full of drunk naked people singing & dancing to Purple Rain.

TC: What are your parents like?

SC: Over-protective Jewish mom, irresponsible asshole dad we rarely saw & a step-dad that committed suicide when I was old enough to understand what that choice was.

TC: What’s the loneliest you’ve ever felt?

SC: Right now. It’s like how everyday can be the worst day of your life. Everyday that I feel lonely is the loneliest I’ve ever felt.

TC: Have you ever had groups of elderly people attend your shows?

SC: Not that I’m aware of. I mean not in an organized group or as part of a tourist package.

"From The Dumpster To The Grave" is volume III in a trilogy

"From The Dumpster To The Grave"
is volume III in a trilogy.

TC: What’s the most awkward situation you’ve been in that has been caused by the extreme nature of your lyrics?

SC: Blacked out drunk, throwing donuts at cops.

TC: How has shyness affected your life?

SC: It’s led to a lot of depression & paranoia. It’s a massive driving force for any creativity that I’ve had. Social anxiety can benefit art in extreme ways.

TC: Which city that you’ve played in outside of America has seemed the most anti-American?

SC: I don’t know, definitely a European city that is mostly full of white people. There is often this sense of elitism practiced by white western Europeans that boils down to them feeling a sense of superiority due to the fact that they are not American, but they were born in Holland or Sweden or someplace that has it’s own disgusting history of imperialism & third-world subjugation that really set the precedent.

TC: What other jobs have you had other than barback and dishwasher?

SC: Marijuana courier, envelope stuffer. I’ve never worked at a chain restaurant or anything like that. Never did any fast-food work unless you count digging through their trash & panhandling where I was likely to get a pity burger. I don’t quite understand why the only food that people will buy for you when you’re indigent is McDonald’s…

TC: How was Costa Rica? What did you do there?

SC: I didn’t think much of Costa Rica. There were a lot of older American tourists everywhere & everything cost the same or more than things in the states. It was raining a lot, so I mostly drank myself into oblivion by myself in hotel rooms. I’m sure that there is a way to enjoy that country, but I prefer Guatemala & Southern Mexico any day.

TC: What did you do for fun or relaxation in Southern Mexico?

SC: Spanish lessons, Zapatista support & I get to see the stars at night in a non tourist environment. I don’t masturbate on playground slides as you’ve hypothesized.

TC: You said people have told you about your appearances in my books. What do they say exactly? Is there a certain kind of person who tells you these things?

SC: Usually people that aren’t normally nice to me tend to give me some kind of credit. Perhaps because it puts things into a much different perspective & it’s a way to compliment me without actually giving me a compliment about anything that I’ve actually created.

TC: What did you know about Fat Mike before you met him? Was he what you expected in person?

Fat Mike, Stza Crack, Jello Biafra (photo by Alyssa Tanchajja)

SC: I knew that he was in NOFX & they wrote all of those songs that sounded like NOFX. The first time I met him, he was extremely condescending. I could tell that he really didn’t like crusties. He eventually came around & although I suspect he still doesn’t like crusties, I’ve become one of the few that he deals with. He’s generous with the little free time that he has & he seems to like atheist Jews & I am one of those.

TC: Can you give an in-depth summary of when you dressed up as a cop and posted pictures of that on MySpace and a real cop tried to become friends with you on MySpace?

SC: Oh, that story is a long one & might be the main source of why the NYPD & associated agencies have targeted me & my bands to be censored. I don’t think that I could do it justice, but let’s just say that an officer was downed by my mockery.

TC: Can you give a play-by-play of when you were arrested for throwing donuts at cops?

SC: I will & can. It was & still might be wrapped up in a legal battle over decibel levels at free shows in NYC parks which would have set a precedent for the whole state & country.

TC: What are your favorite songs you’ve written?

SC: I like “Soon We’ll Be Dead,” that seemed more substantial than a lot of the fast punk & ska tunes. There are a few songs that I really like, but I’m not sure that they were recorded or arranged as well as they should or could have been.

TC: What’s your most memorable shoplifting experience?

SC: There was a transit strike in NYC several years ago & I was about to head to Central America, so I figured that all of the store security & much of the staff were stuck in the outer boroughs, so I went on a spree getting all of these necessities that would of cost a lot. When I was a teenager, I stole a Kermit the frog puppet from FAO Schwartz by wrapping his legs around mine & his arms around my waist with his fairly large head in my crotch. I did that in the bathroom though.

TC: If you could go back in time to teach yourself better shoplifting skills what would you tell yourself?

SC: Never let ANYBODY see you take anything & don’t EVER, EVER, check a bag that you want back when you shoplift…

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