Ladies and Gentleman you're tuning in to Stephen Star live on Europa Radio
By Steffen Armstrong
Back in December Third Outing were proud to bring you the latest and greatest from top alternative record label Little L Records with the release of Stephan Star's incredibly lively and intriguing Europa Radio. Though LLR and it's Irish collaborations often take pride of place here at Third, somehow such an introduction didn't seem enough. So without further ado, Third Outing followers, here we introduce you to the genius that is Stephen Star live on Europa Radio. Take it away...
Who are ya?
I've been making music for a while under different names: under my own name for my last album, under the name Drowse Tape for a lot of the time before and now under Stephen Star. The main influences for Stephen Star are Big Star, Phil Lynott and Slayer. I don't have a game plan for where I want to go I just take it one day at a time.
What's Europa Radio?
Europa Radio isn't my first record but I suppose it's hard to find the others if you're not trying. Europa Radio is just an album of songs slowly put together through the course of a year: different pieces of me in all the songs. I have a live band with Sam and Cosmo of Tobi the Dog, it's a fun auld thing to do and we put some soul into it ay! Other than that I'm just keeping it real.
"After they all calmed down and went away I got one of their shoes and forced myself to get sick in it. That's what Stephen Star's all about".
What you in to?
I don't know what's going on! I like all of my friends bands and the odd Little L Records band but I really do have my head in the clouds. Tobi the Dog, Mr Rosso and Kiddo Eclipse. Tobi the Dog are very cool and their hearts are in it too, they don't go through the motions like all these other Dream Pop Indie Lo-Fi dudes.
A story about you?
Once when I was maybe 10 or 11, I was at a birthday party and there was a bouncy castle there. At some point the birthday boys older brother and his friends came out sprayin all the little kids with a hose and tackling them and stuff. I thought this was scary so I kicked one of them really hard in the balls and then ran away and hid under a slide. By the time they got around I was probably whimpering or tearing up. One of them said "guys, leave him alone. He's just a kid". After they all calmed down and went away I got one of their shoes and forced myself to get sick in it. That's what Stephen Star's all about.
Yeah it's safe to say we're fans of Stephen Star here at Third Outing. And not only because of his music. There's a lack of "taking oneself too seriously" in everything that Star seems to do, whether it be his album artwork, interviews or the music itself. Throughout most of Europa Radio there are little skits of sporadic telephone conversations, audio recordings and clips. All steeped in a strong Irish accent and a lot of fun. Fun. But fun doesn't pass without a little bit of genius, and in flashes that's exactly what Star portrays. We highlighted it late last year with the première of Europa Radio, and it is evident in other tracks on the record too. In none more so than Big Dan, a stripped back acoustic ballad which has it all; the voice, the guitar harmony, the hook, and the cool. It's the stand out on the record. "Big Dan"!
Other notable efforts worth a mention must be the energetic bass driven Out With The Boys, the Daniel Johnston chord organ-esque Japanese Schoolgirl, the slow moving Magpie and finally without doubt the big track to end on entitled 17. The record showcases many different sides and styles of Star, and when he truly masters the better of these, we will have a serious contender for LLR and Ireland's top artist crown.