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What's in a Name?: An Interview with Starfucker Before The Name Change

Republished from SF Station

The band currently have a contest to change their name. Their name is changing, but not their uplifting electro-pop sound that gets anybody, and everybody dancing at their shows. 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. For Bay Area fans, Starfucker will be playing in San Francisco on Oct. 7th at the Bottom of The Hill (18+).SF Station spoke with keyboardist and producer Josh Hodges before a show of theirs in Brooklyn, about having fun, names, and starfuckers.

SFCritic (SFC): So I remember at your last show, I saw that you guys were dressed in drag. Why do you do that?

Josh Hodge (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.

SFC: Has there ever been a time when the crowd looked at you blankly like, “why are they dancing and dressed like that?”

JH: I feel like we get pretty favorable responses everywhere. If people are confused, I can’t read it.

SFC: 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, 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.

SFC: 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.

SFC: 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.

SFC: 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.

SFC: 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 were 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.

SFC: 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 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.

SFC: Hopefully, the fans know and support you. I want to emphasize that, because it’s important to realize.

It’s the same song, same music. I hope it doesn’t change.

SFC: Ultimately, some critics will say this is selling-out.

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.

Well said. 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.

SFC: Take this with a grain of salt, and irony. What about the name “sell-out?”
I totally thought of that.

JH:Two days ago I was just talking about that. I wish the name “millionaires” wasn’t taken. We were thinking about the name “trust fund.”

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