Interview: STRFKR

After over one hundred shows in the past two years, recording and releasing their acclaimed third album Miracle Mile and now in the midst of a twenty-five date tour across Europe, it would probably be an understatement to say that indie-dance quartet STRFKR (Starfucker) have been keeping themselves busy. Nevertheless, founder and multi-instrumentalist Josh Hodges was good enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer some of our questions…

First off, how are you all today? Where are you?
Right now we're leaving Poitiers, France, headed to Paris. We had a day off yesterday which was great. I love going out in a new city and getting lost a little. 

Congratulations on releasing your fourth album, Miracle Mile. How have the audiences reacted to the new material?
We've definitely had a positive reception to the the new record. It was the most collaborative record we've made so far, which is a nice change up.  

You’ve been touring pretty intensively across Europe. How have you found it and where has been your favourite stop so far?
We're all happy to be here and especially excited to go to some cities and countries that we've never been to before. Spain was very good to us.

Do you find there is a difference between crowds in Europe and crowds back home in America?
Yeah, in the US our shows are much bigger, but it's kind of nice to play smaller, more intimate shows again. We grew up going to and playing house shows in Portland so it's almost more comfortable in a way. I don't like how at bigger shows there is a weird separation between the audience and the band. I don't like when it feels like you're at a museum looking at something separated from yourself, you know? It's definitely best when it feels like the band is just a part of everything going on, like we're all there together sharing energy or whatever. 

Your live shows have grown quite a reputation for being theatrical and more of a wild dance party than a gig. Has that always been high on the agenda, or did it just develop naturally?
I think a little of both, in part because of what I was just saying. As we started playing bigger shows we just wanted to try and figure out a way to keep that carefree vibe going at the shows. We've tried all sorts of silly antics! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's not that big of a deal, which I guess is the point: kind of trying to create a space that is conducive to just letting go for a little while.

Got any embarrassing/disaster tour stories?
I was punched in the face by a Romanian taxi driver last time we came to Europe.

How do you guys pass the time between shows?
When we're home we all spend a lot of time alone. In the van we work on music, read, play poker, sleep. 

What tunes have you been listening to on the tour bus recently?
I've been really into Connan Mockasin lately. Super excited for the new album.

What was the first record you bought?
I don't know. I had a 7" of The Rolling Stones’s Honky Tonk Woman when I was a kid.

When did you realise that music was what you wanted to do with your life?
When I was like 15 or so. We just had instruments around the house and I used to pretend I knew how to play them before I could. 

Generally speaking, what influences you and where do you get song ideas from?
Other musicians. Loneliness. Fear of death. Whatever.

You’ve included samples from lectures by (British philosopher) Alan Watts in quite a few of your songs. Would you count him as an influence?
Yeah, definitely! Meditation helped me pull myself out of depression a number of times and Alan Watts is such an entertaining speaker on all of that, eastern philosophy etc. I thought he would be a good little hidden message to stick into the songs. He's unique in that he has the ability to communicate deep philosophical ideas in a really engaging way without sounding preachy or like he's proselytising.

What are your plans after the tour finished?
Visit my Mom, haha! Then do a meditation retreat, then write and record. I have a bunch of other musical projects that I want to put some time into as well as getting started on the next Starfucker record.

And last, but not least, what would you guys like for Christmas?

Some times at home in our own beds sounds pretty good right about now!

Check out James's review of STRFKR's gig in Hoxton Square Bar here, and check the band out on SoundCloud and Facebook