Interview/Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer
Look. It’s true. I do get excited all the time about new music, new bands, fresh sounds. But every now and then I stumble across a band or song or album that I instantly become a tad obsessed with. It’s like suddenly I am 16 again and I am without a doubt, set to buy every album, tape their music videos off the TV and songs off the radio, plaster my walls with their posters, wear their merch with pride and tell EVERYONE who will listen and even those who won’t why said band/song/album is the bees knees. And if you don’t agree, you clearly have shit taste in music and we can no longer be friends.
So apart from that opening paragraph showing my age (taping music onto videos and cassettes man, that was a big thing in the 90’s!), it’s also the best analogy I can think of for how I feel about one of Sydney’s newest hard rockin’ bands, Starcrazy.
I stumbled across them on Facebook a little while back, tuned in and instantly fell for their fun music, videos, sound and just all round energy and vibe. They really do bring the FUN to rock and I dig that so hard. The guys have just released a new single, What Friends Are For along with a new video, filmed while in isolation. I reached out to the band and lined up a Q&A style interview with frontman, Marcus Fraser to ask about the new release and all things STARCRAZY.
Starcrazy have just released a rockin’ new track, What Friends Are For, along with a new music video filmed while in isolation! It’s super cool and super fun. So tell me about the single first, who wrote it? What is it about?
Well I’ve wanted to use that particular drum groove in a song for ages, it started with that. I wrote the guitar parts in my head one day while doing some mundane task like mowing grass, then the lyrics came to me when I was watching cartoons one night. I was thinking about the importance of nurturing friendships and the lyrics kind of just came out in one swoop. I listened back to a demo of the song on which I was wearily singing it, almost in a speaking voice and i just dug it, left it at that.
Now tell me about the music video! Who came up with the idea for it? How did you film it and who did you work with to film and edit? Also, the beginning makes me laugh a lot, where you are watching the ‘Today Show’ segment when weatherman Steve Jacobs gets ‘attacked’ by a large cockerel! Hahahah. I had to skip back and listen to it a few times to figure out where it was from. So funny! Who’s idea was it to pop that in there?
The music video was a joint effort, it started with the idea of the split screen telephone call bit and then we just filmed whatever we wanted from there. Odin came up with the evil twin part in the harmonised guitar solo and Jables and Jack brought their own hilarious ideas which made it extra fun. I’m glad it came together, otherwise it would have just been me bouncing around my living room like a prize goober.It was very DIY, all filmed on our phones by our girlfriends and relatives and then the fabulously talented, Michael Chow edited the footage into the final product. Michael was also the one who added the Today Show segment at the start, we were very much on board with that, a classic slice of Aussie TV.
Something I love about Starcrazy is the fun you guys seem to have with your music and your videos. Is that something you have done intentionally, like set out to be a band that brings the ‘good times’ and has fun with what they do? or are you just all naturally fun guys and therefore it’s reflected in your music!?
Yeah, intentional for sure. I think the bond between Odin and I and what we love about music is very strong. We’ve known each other since we were youngsters and we’ve always been about larger than life bands like Van Halen etc. Jack and Jables are also fun dudes in general, Jables is a particularly wacky young man, I love it, check him in the video, you’ll see.
Starcrazy was born in the Spring of 2019. It started off just you and your guitarist, Odin, then you became a four piece with the addition of your bass player and drummer, both named Jack! How did the band form, did it all come together organically? Were you all mates before you formed the band?
Well at first it wasn’t really a band it was just me and Odin getting drunk and recording songs onto my computer that had been in my head for a while, we were both pretty busy with other bands at the time, lots of touring etc.We decided at some point to put more effort into it and Odin brought some guitar parts into it and we started really enjoying ourselves. Again, we’re pretty in sync with our influences so songs were coming together pretty naturally. I had known Jables (Jack Barratt) from a bizarre experience in 2014 where I was asked to audition as a singer for a band who were managed by Ash from Caligula. It was Jables on bass and his two brothers, Connor and Chris on guitar and drums. They were very talented kids and had this opportunity to be produced by the legendary Harry Vanda! So we put some songs together and next thing you know I’m in Hercules Street Studios in Surry Hills with Harry and for some reason, Mark McEntee (of Divinyls fame).Harry was working with me on my lyrics and how I delivered them etc, I was really on a high! Anyways, nothing came of it in the end, I don’t think they were happy with my vocals, and to be honest, I wasn’t either.I’d been focusing more on the drums at that point. ANYWAYS I kept in touch with Jables and when Odin and I were ready to take Starcrazy to the next level, he was on board! Jack Farmer was introduced to us by our mate, Woodie from FANGZ. We were blown away with his drumming chops for such a young dude and we immediately asked him to join the band, luckily he was into it!
I notice on your Facebook page you list some of your influences as Porno For Pyros, Mother Love Bone, Aerosmith, Van Halen. All bands I love. I definitely hear those influences coming through your music. Who else are you influenced by or inspired by? And who are some current local Sydney bands you really love and would like to give a plug too?
Personally, I’m currently listening to a lot of Power Pop obscurities, as well as Suicidal Tendencies. Sydney has got some fantastic live bands, we really like what Black Heart Breakers, FANGZ and Astrodeath are doing. As far as Australia wide, I personally really like Pollyman from Geelong, Southern River Band from Perth and Mister Sister from Brissy!
How long have you been creating music? Has your love for music been with you since you were young?
I’ve been writing music since I was about 14, mostly with Odin as we had a high school band called Kill Appeal. I’ve been a drummer first and foremost until recently though and never learnt guitar properly so I’ve never considered myself a singer/songwriter type. I think I have a decent ear for melodies though.My family are very musical, I got into Bowie when I was 10 and that was it, everything changed, I became very obsessed with David Bowie, and why not, he was an incredible man.
With the current restrictions on live music and just going out in general, what are you doing to keep your spirits high? To keep your creative/musical side flowing? What music are you listening to while in isolation?
I’ve been learning guitar and doing home work-outs, both are new to me and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Been listening to Suicidal Tendencies, and Cro-Mags.
What’s next for Starcrazy? What else have you guys got up your sleeves for your fans and followers?
The only solid plans we have at the moment are to record an EP as a full band in late June. These new songs kick like a mule so we’re very excited. We might also reschedule our Townie gig with The Fossicks and Black Cardinals that got canned due to the virus, whatya say lads?
When it’s deemed safe to play live shows again, will you guys tour? Come to Brisbane? We’d love to see you play live here!
I appreciate your enthusiasm! I’m certain we will do some sort of tour when the EP is ready, we will definitely come to Brisbane and you will be first on the door list!
Starcrazy are without a doubt set for stardom in my opinion and I can’t wait for them to play live shows in Brisbane and to release more music and quality music videos! And whilst there is plenty of mentions of the fun they bring with their music, they also take themselves and their music very seriously. Stay tuned music lovers, if you’re not already, you are sure to be ‘Starcrazy’ soon too!
Marcus Fraser – vocals
Odin Wolf – guitar
Jack ‘Jables’ Barratt – bass guitar
Jack Farmer – drums
What Friends Are For is OUT NOW – Listen HERE.