Hey there guys, here's my interview with band, The Star Crumbles
The Star Crumbles is a band consisting of Brian Lambert and Marc Schuster. Their music would sound right at home on any 80s radio station!
How'd you get started in music?
Marc: I remember hearing music everywhere as a kid—just in the everyday noises that surrounded me. I’d cup my hands over my ears while my dad was running the vacuum cleaner, and I’d move them back and forth—closer and further from my ears—at different speeds, and I could hear the pitch changing. Some variation on the doppler effect, I imagine. And I’d compose tiny songs just by doing that. Or I’d beat sticks against the sidewalk to make a rhythm. More formal training came later--song flute, piano, and guitar—but my first forays into music were about as DIY as possible.
Brian: As long as I could remember I loved music. I was always singing to the radio. Of course there was church and I'd rather sing in the choir than just sit in pews. When I was sixteen, punk and the whole DIY scene was everything so I picked up a guitar and taught myself how to play. Since then I've been doing bands or performing solo in one form or fashion. I even did country music for a stint and played Buddy Holly and did a deep dive into 50's rock. Music has always been a big part of my life.
Who are your inspirations or influences?
Marc: I have so many inspirations and influences that it’s hard to know where to start! I remember hearing the Beatles’ white album when I was four and thinking that I wanted to be in a band just like them. And then when I was old enough to really appreciate music and be a part of it, the whole New Romantic movement just sucked me right in. David Bowie, for sure. And Brian Eno, of course. His Oblique Strategies approach to making music—using a deck of cards with random suggestions to stimulate creativity—really resonates with me. And a lot of they synth-pop bands of the early 80s that Bowie influenced like the Human League and Depeche Mode. And some of the more goth-sounding bands of the 70s and 80s as well: Bauhaus, Joy Division, the Cure. The list could go on and on!
Brian: My first influences were from MTV. I loved Duran Duran and Rick Springfield, the whole early 80's New Wave movement really. Then I discovered the Beatles and was really in the 60's and 70's classic rock. High school coincided with grunge and punk which was a huge shift for me. Ever since then my musical tastes have ranged all over the place from experimental music like Can and Brian Eno to Latin American pop music to classic country and Americana. At the moment I am revisiting the 80's new wave movement.
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
Marc: Make noise, have fun, do it because you like doing it. Try not to worry so much about numbers, and don’t do something that isn’t you because you think it will gain you followers. Be the best you that you can be, and let people discover the wonderful person or artist you really are. My friend Timothy Simmons is a music teacher, and he always tells his students to begin with one genuine sound. If you can do that, you’re really onto something.
Brian: Don't overthink things too much. A lot of time and energy is wasted trying to figure out what people will respond to and only doing things if you think it will get the response you want. I think that's backwards. For me, it has been more effective to have an attitude of curiosity. More like I wonder if/how people will respond when I do this. That keeps you focused on your creativity and less worried about the response you will get. My thinking is that this approach actually gets to something interesting that is what, ironically enough, people will respond to.
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
Marc: I don’t necessarily know that we really try to set ourselves apart from other bands. Personally, I’m interested in trying to be part of a community, part of a larger discussion of what music can do and be. Whenever we put something out as the Star Crumbles (or even individually), it’s like saying, “Hey! Here’s another cool thing music can do!” Maybe that’s why we both like to work with other artists in addition to recording as the Star Crumbles. The more we play with other people, the more connected we become to the process of making music. There’s so much cool stuff out there, and it’s a privilege to get to be a part of it.
Brian: I don't really think about it. It's more important to make connections with the audience and focus on what I am doing right in the moment. If you're striving to be as honest as you can about your own experience I think the natural result is to be different because we all have very different journeys.
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
Marc: Yes! We have an album called The Ghost of Dancing Slow coming out on September 22, and a mini-documentary about the album is coming out on the same day. In terms of sound, you can definitely hear a lot of the influences I was talking about earlier. It’s definitely the kind of album that would have – and arguably should have – come out in the 80s. It has that kind of vibe. But we’re more than happy that it’s coming out now!
Brian: Always. Right now the Star Crumbles album is what I am most excited about, but I am happiest when I am working on music so there is always something else coming down the pipe.
Marc: Thanks so much for interviewing us! We’d love for folks to check us out on our website: https://www.thestarcrumbles.