Leftover Crack – Interview
Stza Crack (aka Scott Sturgeon, Osama Stiz Laden, and Ol’ Dirty Stza) is one of the most outspoken musicians in the punk scene, which is saying something. Part of the crack rocksteady crew from New York, he’s clocked time in bands like No Commercial Value, Choking Victim, the Crack Rocksteady 7, and most recently, Leftover Crack. Leftover Crack is one of the most confrontational bands of the 00’s, speaking their minds and being unafraid of pissing off their peers (who else would lump Rancid in with Britney Spears and Creed?).
I was expecting a bug-eyed squatter who would turn every question into an opportunity to lecture me on politics. Instead, he struck me as more than a little goofy, like a prankster who wanted to see if you were in on the joke, too. Read on to see what horrible thing he’d do for a vegan Klondike Bar!
Racket Matt: What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever had in your mouth?
Stza Crack: Umm…most embarrassing thing I’ve ever had in my mouth?
RM: Yeah, like a tampon or whatever.
SC: See, the thing is I’m not easily embarassable. I guess when maybe I was in kindergarten or preschool, I tasted my own shit. I have this vague memory of what shit tastes like because I took some and I put it into my mouth and went *makes chewing sounds.* I guess that would be the most embarrassing.
SC: But I’m not really a shit-eater. I’m not one of those people. I’m not into it. Does that apply?
RM: Yeah, that totally fits. Are you strong enough for a man, but made for a woman?
SC: I’m both. I’m strong enough for a woman and made for a man. I’m everything. I’m a chameleon.
RM: The line I always use is that I’m like currency – legal and tender.
SC: *laughs* I like that.
RM: What 40 oz. do you rock the hardest?
SC: King Cobra. I used to drink a beer called Midnight Dragon in New York City, but they don’t really make it anymore.
RM: That’s a bummer. That name is awesome!
SC: It was a classic squatter beer. It’s like, from the time squatters first came down in the mid-80’s to the Lower East side and started occupying buildings until the late 90’s, that was the beer of choice. We all had it, and then it disappeared. It’s kind of sad, ‘cause it was that point in time when the Lower East Side was cool. Squatters definitely had a role in gentrifying the area, because squatters come in, and then bohemian artists come in, and then rich people show up. It’s kind of like the timeline of gentrification, basically.
RM: Do you think it’s okay for anarchists to be on welfare?
SC: Sure, yeah. I was welfare for, like, ten years. I never called myself an anarchist…I financed the first Choking Victim 7” from my welfare checks.
RM: Is the concept of Billy Idol more awesome than his actual music?
SC: “Eyes Without a Face” is awesome because of the fact that Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker, would listen to it on his Walkman over and over. He’d shoot coke and stalk people while listening to “Eyes Without a Face,” and that song is really creepy. And the concept of that is pretty cool, for some reason. Even though, like, you know, raping and killing women is not cool.
RM: Yeah, it’s kind of a bummer.
SC: *laughs* Yeah, it’s a bummer.
RM: Does food really taste better out of the dumpster?
SC: Yeah, it does! As long as it’s not really, like, rotted. I think food tastes better out of the garbage. Food is better tasting when it’s free. Not if it’s soaked in garbage juice, but you can share it and everyone can dig in. I like finding for free something someone would normally pay, like, $10 for.
RM: Crass or the Clash?
SC: Yeah, all the way. I mean, fuck, y’know, if you asked me that question ten years ago, I would have said the Clash, but I’m older and wiser, and I understand that Crass is way the fuck more important. The Clash, although they had good music, they were kind of hypocritical in their whole political stances.
RM: What’s the big deal about barcodes?
SC: The big deal? Universal pricing codes are a way of homogenizing everything in the world. That’s why they’re eventually gonna put them in humans, if they haven’t already.
RM: What’s the best lie you ever told a cop and/or a woman?
SC: The best lie I ever told a cop was that I was under 18 years old when I got caught shoplifting in San Francisco. They took me to the juvenile detention. Luckily, I had a relative in the Bay Area, and I had them come get me. I had a bunch of syringes on me. I had like 100 syringes in a bag. Because I told them I was under 18 years old, they threw that out and let me go to my aunt. She picked me up, gave me $20, wouldn’t say a word to me, and dropped me off on Mission and 16th, which is where you buy drugs.
SC: If it wasn’t for her and that lie, I would be in prison right now, because I would have had three strikes, basically, instead of just two.
RM: Why did you have so many needles on you?
SC: Because I was doing a hell of a lot of heroin and cocaine and shit and syringes are the best way to do it. *laughs*
RM: I’m gonna ask you probably the hardest question you’ve ever been asked. Are you psyched? Are you ready?
SC: Am I psyched or am I ready? I don’t know. I’m a little bit of both.
RM: Say one positive thing about the Bush administration, other than “they inspired a bunch of great punk songs!”
SC: They’re good at war.
RM: *laughs* I like having a gangsta vice-president.
SC: Yeah man. I wish I could shoot all my friends sometimes.
RM: Do you think the Sex Pistols were musical innovators or a pop-top boy band?
SC: The second thing you said, but it’d be boi! band.
RM: What wildly inappropriate things are you gonna say on your death bed?
SC: Nothing I haven’t said already. I’d probably say something inappropriate, like “I actually like people!” or “I love the police!” I might be crazy out of my mind on morphine.
RM: If you could punch Tony Victory anywhere, where would you punch him?
SC: I don’t really know him. I’d punch him in his bank account, I suppose.
RM: Why did Hellcat Records act like such pussies about naming your first record Shoot the Kids at School? Did they think it just wouldn’t sell?
SC: They weren’t worried about selling. They told me straight up that we weren’t a popular enough punk band, that we didn’t have enough influence for them to go to another printer to print the record up with the art that we wanted to do.
RM: Why did you want to call it Shoot the Kids At School? What was the message?
SC: It was after the Columbine shootings. I wrote an essay about it in the Mediocre Generica art. [Ed. note – Yeah, I suck at doing research. Get over it, kids. It’s rock ‘n’ roll. – Matt]
RM: What can we expect with the upcoming Citizen Fish split? Is there gonna be a lotta ska, is it gonna be death-metally, or is it gonna be all xscenexcorex?
SC: It’s more raw, more punky, actually. Less experimentation. We wrote all the songs in a week, y’know, and busted ‘em out. The songs have been stewing in my head for a year. Brad had one, Ezra had one, I had three, and we’re doing a Citizen Fish cover and a Subhumans cover.
RM: Which Subhumans song?
SC: “Reason for Existence.”
*high-fives are exchanged over mutual love of this killer song*
RM: I have a hypothetical situation for you. You just took a wicked dump, and you realize you’re out of toilet paper. The only two magazines you have in the bathroom are Punk Planet and Maximum Rock’n’Roll. Which one do you use to wipe your ass?
SC: Well, I think the pages in Maximum Rock’n’Roll are a little more malleable.
SC: Punk Planet has that posterboard cover. So I’d definitely go with MRR, ‘cause I can roll it up and use as something more toilet paper-ish, which I think says something about their eco-values.
RM: Alright, last question. The public needs to know; what’s the absolute worst thing you would do for a Klondike Bar? Would you like, drown a puppy or hit a woman?
SC: I don’t eat dairy, so…
RM: It’s a vegan Klondike Bar.
SC: And the circumstances were that I had to have one? I guess I’d punch a baby.
RM: Out of anger?
SC: No, malice. I don’t wanna share the Klondike Bar. I’m sick of hearing the baby cry. All good reasons. I just wanna eat the Klondike Bar in peace. You know, if you punch them really hard, they stop crying and just bleed.
-by Matt Corbett