Interview

w/Jeff Moore of Dead Stars

                                                                                                                                                                              (deadstars.bandcamp.com)
Nick Lotz

Dead Stars blends classic pop punk sound with a self-deprecating twist vibes and heavy yet feel good atmosphere. Lucky for Clevelanders, Dead Stars is coming to town.

 Noisey hailed Dead Stars as, “A time machine taking us back to the 90’s” Dead Stars really does have that feel-good, innocent yet depraved, feeling that the late 1990’s gave us. My favorite track off their new album was Bloomer, which, with its straight no nonsense pop punk, was a comfortable throwback to a simpler time in music.

This year has been huge for the band as they embark on a full East Coast tour then head down to SXSW this month. I had the opportunity to chat with Dead Stars' vocalist/guitarist Jeff Moore during the band's album release tour.

You guys are from Brooklyn, how has that music scene helped develop you as artists?
I think it’s inevitable that when you are kind of part of a scene of bands that you kind of get influenced by each other. Day to day life in Brooklyn being what it is, make enough money to live, and rehearse, you can’t help but get into the music as well.

You guys have been compared a lot to The Lemonheads. I feel like you have a unique sound that’s entirely different.
I have this theory that when people like a band they inevitably compare it to something they also like, so I feel like whoever compared us to Lemonheads, that was their frame of reference, and that’s the closest thing they could equate it to. We’re definitely influenced by a lot of different things, we naturally gravitate towards pop, but we’re also fans of super fuzzed out guitars. I think a combination of those things makes it our own.

What genre would you describe Dead Stars as?
We always refer to ourselves as fuzz pop. There are so many genres it’s hard to say now. I would definitely say that we’re not punk, but there are some elements of that, because we grew up listening to punk bands.

Your songs deal a lot with teenage angst. What was your clique in high school?

There’s definitely some angst in there. Maybe some of it's teenage angst, but I think anybody can relate to some of the lyrical content, the day to day frustrations of life. My clique in high school? Probably loner/ nerdy/ hanging out with the weird kids on the fringe. I definitely wasn’t part of any sort of cool clique.

You weren’t the star quarterback?
Definitely wasn’t that. I feel like there was a lot of people I could get along with, but I didn’t run with any specific group of people.

I feel like a lot of people can relate to that.
I still feel like that today. If you’re that sort of person, I feel like we definitely don’t belong to any sort of scene here in Brooklyn. A lot of that stuff spills over from being a teenager into adulthood. It never leaves you.

Have you ever played in Cleveland before?
We played Cleveland only once before, at Happy Dog.

That’s a cool bar.
Yeah. We did a tour in 2014 right after our first album came out. We did a two week tour and Cleveland was the last of that tour, and this time it’s the first stop on this tour. We played with this band called Shitbox Jimmy.

Haha. Shitbox.
And then we were on tour with this band called Shark Muffin. It was cool. Met a lot of people. We didn’t get to spend much time in Cleveland, so we’re definitely looking forward to coming back and checking it out this time around.

Noisey described you as a “throwback to the 90’s.” How old are you guys?
We’re all in our 30s.

So you were born in the mid 80s?

Yeah.

What’s your favorite 90’s pop culture reference?
Uh … that’s a good question. You mean like a TV show or a movie or something like that?

Whatever just screams 90s to you.
Was the OC in the 90s? (laughter) I was really focused on music growing up. The thing I remember the most was watching MTV back when they played music, and watching 120 minutes every Sunday night for two hours.

What was that?
120 minutes came on every Sunday night from midnight to two [a.m.] and it played all alternative rock, especially the early 90s, right before the grunge Seattle explosion happened. Siouxsie and the Banshees, basically anything that wasn’t on the radio or MTV at that time, like Whitney Houston and all that stuff.

I’m really interested to see what you guys are like live.
I feel like we’re always a little more intense live. That’s always a good thing.

We could sit around and compare Dead Stars to Blink 182 or Weezer, but the fact is they have their own unique sound. They’ll be playing at Now That’s Class! on March 9th. Stop in and say hi, then rock out.