Dead Stars have been gaining popularity in the four years they’ve been rockin’ and rollin’ around the neighborhood, thanks to energetic live shows and a refreshingly unpretentious approach to making music. Their songs are quick, to the point, and poppy without feeling flimsy. If you check them out live be prepared to get their shout-along choruses stuck in your head for days; the amount of crowd members mouthing the lyrics at any given gig is testimony enough to Dead Stars’ catchiness factor. The trio is made up of bassist John Watterberg, drummer Jaye Moore and lead singer and guitarist, Jeff Moore, who took a break from finishing up the band’s upcoming EP, High Gain, to answer a few questions.
Dead Stars play tonight, Thursday March 28 @ Saint Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave) 8pm, $10 – with Dichroics & Circle of Buzzards
GP: Describe your sound in five words or less.
Jeff: Loud Fuzz Pop.
GP: Any releases that curious listeners can check out?
Jeff: We are releasing a brand new five song EP High Gain this spring on Uninhabitable Mansions Records (Radical Dads, Plates Of Cake, Sat. Nite Duets). We recorded at Galuminum Foil Studios in Williamsburg with Jeff Berner, who did our last EP (I Get By). We’re really excited about this one. Everything was done to 2“ tape and recorded live with minimal over dubs.
GP: Where are you from originally and how long have you been in Brooklyn?
Jeff: Jaye and I are from Jacksonville, FL and John is from Albuquerque, NM. We’ve all lived in Brooklyn around 10 years plus. We used to live in the bar Bembe, on South 6th and Berry, back in the day. I’ve seen a few different waves of changes to the neighborhood in that time. It’s pretty weird.
GP: How did you and Jaye (who are cousins) meet John?
Jeff: We met him through a mutual friend in the neighborhood, who told us about this bass player named John. Then we met him and he joined the band.
GP: What are your favorite venues to play in the Williamsburg / Greenpoint / Bushwick area and why?
Jeff: Glasslands, Death By Audio, Union Pool, St. Vitus. There are too many to list. Mostly we enjoy playing places with good sound. It also helps if the people who work at the venue are cool. There’s also a bunch of really great DIY venues: Big Snow, Muchmore’s etc. we’ve made a ton of friends in some awesome bands playing these shows. That’s more important to me than the venue, playing with bands we like and respect.
GP: What’s your favorite thing about Greenpoint?
Jeff: Sunset Diner and Lobster Joint. Both are awesome. I guess my favorite thing about Greenpoint though is our practice room. It’s like a home away from home for us. We’re there like three or four times a week as a band either jamming or recording demos. Sometimes I just go hang out there by myself and listen to music through the PA.
GP: With so many bands in this particular part of Brooklyn, what can/do you do to stand out?
Jeff: That’s a tough question. I’d like to think that being a good band would make you stand out. Although I’m not sure that’s always the case. Sometimes people are more focused on what’s “cool” at the moment. Doing your own thing regardless of that is a better way to stick around in my opinion. We just sound like what we sound like, instead of consciously saying “oh let’s be this kind of band.” That’s more interesting to me. It’s like being yourself through your music.
GP: Will Greenpoint ever become the music neighborhood that Williamsburg and Bushwick have? Is it already going that way?
Jeff: I think it could. More venues would help for sure. St. Vitus is a great start. It’s going to be tough though because there’s such a backlash from the residents that have been there for a long time. I always read about complaints when something new opens up. The best thing would be for a few places to open up all around the same area. I know if there were three or four venues on the same strip it would make a big difference. That’s the way it starts.
GP: What are some preconceived notions about the Brooklyn scene that you would like to do away with?
Jeff: I really don’t have any preconceived notions about the scene, and I wouldn’t speak for anyone else. But I guess most people think everyone in a band is some kind of Hipster or whatever. They should know that there are plenty of uncool, nerdy people in bands as well. We are three of them.
Dead Stars will be playing Europa on April 17 with Esben and the Witch, Heliotropes, and CREEP, and Union Pool on April 25 with Plates of Cake and Pre War. Go check them out, and keep in touch via the links below!