Interview with Leftöver Crack frontman Scott Sturgeon
Ottawa, Ontario – American punk band Leftöver Crack will be playing at The Brass Monkey in Ottawa on September 9th, 2018.
Leftöver Crack released their third last album titled “Constructs of the State” on Fat Wreck Chords. There was a 14-year gap between the bands second and third album. According to Leftöver Crack frontman Scott Sturgeon, the band wanted to spend as much time as needed to get it right.
“I wanted to spend as much time as I needed to make the record good. I was prepared to work on it for another 12 years, but as things turned out, it started to come together quite well by early 2014 and it quickly snowballed into a release that I felt proud of,” Sturgeon stated.
On the album Leftöver Crack collaborated with Jesse Michaels of Operation Ivy, Penny Rimbaud of Crass, and Joe Jack Talcum of The Dead Milkmen. Scott Sturgeon describes what each musician contributed to the album.
“Well, Jesse is a very busy person, but, because it took us so damn long to finish the record. We got him to participate at his own pace which I think was the only way it could have happened,” Sturgeon said.
“Penny was in touch with me via e-mail and he mostly helped by being very supportive of our project and offering us anything that we wanted involving his spoken word recordings,” Sturgeon added.
While Joe Jack Talcum he was a long time friend helping to do the tracking for the record.
“Joe Jack has been a friend for a long time. I think that he was surprised to learn that I was a fan of his at first and he was down to do anything that he could. Since he was on tour during our tracking of the record, he was very accommodating about recording a “skit” to introduce our “mall” song. I wanted him to play on the record, but touring can be arduous and busy. So, I got to sit in a car and record his part after the Dead Milkmen played at Slim’s in San Francisco, which was amazing. Joe is just about the nicest person that you could ever meet,” Sturgeon noted.
Fans won’t have to wait another 14 years for the fifth Leftöver Crack album.
“We’ve already got a good amount of music for our 4th full-length record. We also have about 5 songs that were really close to completion when we decided on what tracks we wanted to include on “Constructs of the State”. So, as soon as everybody has a few weeks set aside, we can start recording the new material and putting the finishing touches on the other songs. We expect to have a whole new record released between the fall of 2019 and the spring of 2020,” Sturgeon disclosed.
According to Scott Sturgeon, the current political climate makes songwriting more difficult. Topics such as racists marching in Charlottesville, school shootings, immigrant parents being separated from their children at the border, trillions in tax cuts for the rich, and re-opening Roe vs. Wade with the latest possible Supreme Court Justice pick are perhaps too obvious to write about.
“If anything, I find it more difficult to write in times like these where some of the opinions that I like to express are a bit too obvious. I don’t like to write about things that a lot of other musicians are writing about. I like to try to convey an alternative idea that is not usually being discussed. So, for that reason alone, it might take longer for us to have a new record out,” Sturgeon answered.
In regards to the music itself, the most challenging part is to write a vocal melody that adds to the music without being too wordy.
“The most difficult part for me personally is to write a vocal melody that adds to the music that we already have and then I like to make sure that I’m including everything that I want to say about the song subject without getting too “wordy” or writing choruses that are different every time we return to them. It’s hard for me to find the balance between saying nothing and saying too much,” Sturgeon replied.
In 2004, Leftöver Crack released an album titled “F-ck World Trade on Jello Biafra’s label Alternative Tentacles. Scott Sturgeon shares his views on Donald Trump. The President has started trade wars with allies and he has also threatened to withdraw the U.S. from the World Trade Organization.
“Honestly, I don’t know about any of this, but I believe that there are definitely positive reasons for wanting to withdraw support to the WTO. But I have no idea about the context and I’m suspicious of the motives when it comes to evil people and their concerns about stuffing their pockets at any expense. And I’m also quite suspicious if Trump and his cronies as well,” Sturgeon added.
Leftöver Crack conduct their business in an ethical way, for example, they use non-sweat shop labour to make their t-shirts. However, not all punk bands do this.
“Many people overlook it even though it goes directly against their personal and band politics. I find it disheartening that those with the best intentions can miss such an important statement because a lot of the time, it’s not the band or lyricists that are making the call on how their t-shirts are created and where the source material is from. I can see very clearly when a band has. Perhaps, too many people involved in their touring and merchandising and that’s where communication can get muddled and this type of thing can slip by, unnoticed by the people that care the most,” Sturgeon reflected.
Leftöver Crack is looking forward to their show in Ottawa on September 9th with Mudie and Cultural Treason. The show is presented by The Brass Monkey and SpectraSonic.
“I hope that everybody has fun. Thanks for supporting us and let’s hope that we make it across your national border without any problems,” Sturgeon concluded.
Doors are at 7pm, the show is 19+, and tickets can be purchased online for $25. Tickets are also available at Vertigo Records and both Compact Music locations.