INTERVIEW: Stephen Star, Dublin’s Boy Star Fantastique

Stephen Star is a Dublin based musician who has just released his sophomore record “Europa Radio” via Little L Records. “Europa Radio” has amazing scope and vision, it flows like a concept album, with a varied plethora of tracks to chose from with everything from synth heavy weird-pop tracks to sombre piano ballads. It has a vintage glam rock feel with lo-fi aesthetics which is a real mould breaker in today’s over-saturated music scene. Oh and did we mention he’s still in high school?

Without further ado, here’s a chat with Stephen Star.

Hey Stephen, thanks for taking the time to chat to us!

UC: “Europa Radio” is your sophomore release which has just come out. How are you feeling about everything?

Stephen Star: Thanks ‘United Cassettes’! Yeah, Europa Radio is the second release I’ve done with Little L – I feel fine about it because I did what I wanted to with the album more or less so I wasn’t nervous or anything.

UC: “Europa Radio” is your sophomore release, following the release of “Gold” your debut record. What age were you when you recorded “Gold”?

SS: I recorded Gold between the ages 15 and 16 so listening back to it it seems a bit goofy to me, I like that it exists but I think as a whole I was uncertain of what I wanted to do with music at the time.

UC: What’s the progression been like between the two records?

SS: I think I became more outgoing between the two records, you can tell too I suppose just by the sounds of them. Gold is more muffled and introverted, this one is louder and dumber.

UC: You record mainly on 4-tracks, with analog domestic tape. When did your love of cassettes begin?

SS: I was allowed borrow a Walkman and a Yamaha MT50 4 track when I moved house when I was probably 14. I kept picking up tapes just because I liked the covers and they were so cheap. So I ended up with tapes like Dusk by The The and Minute by Minute by the Doobie Brothers and loads of other tapes, some that I wasn’t even sure I liked. I had recorded music on GarageBand when I was younger but then I started using that 4 track and I got really into it. I love recording with that 4 track, I used it to record this album.

UC: In addition to being signed to Little L Records, you’re also heavily involved with Herzog TV, Dublin’s premier lo-fi collective. Tell us a little about that!

SS: Well, me and Isaac Clarke (Mr Rosso, I- boy) had been making silly music and putting it on Soundcloud ages ago, I couldn’t tell ye when – and we met Henry ‘Dr.Duloc‘ Connolly, who also listened to whatever we considered was cool music at the time. He hopped on the soundcloud thing under the pseudonym King Beach and created an account under a label name Butthole TV. Us and all our friends ended up uploading songs on it of varying quality and it’s just carried on from that point. It’s a bit of a joke but it’s getting better all the time.

UC: What’s Dublin like for music at the moment? Do cassette releases get much of a look in?

SS: I’m really not the person to ask that at all, Dublin is fairly dead with music as far as I can tell but I’m not looking very far outside my immediate circle. I love all my friends music and the Irish artists on Little L. I think aside from Cassette Store Day, cassette releases don’t get much attention here but I suppose it’s getting more popular.

UC: Thanks again for chatting to us Stephen! What can we expect from you next and do you have any parting words?”

SS: Thanks 🙂 I won’t know what I’m doing next for a good while now, I’m taking it easy. See Ya!

“Europa Radio” is out right now on cassette and CD on Little L Records. You can keep in touch with what Stephen’s up to via his Facebook page.

Written by:

Label owner / vintage guitar aficionado / often found playing Earthbound.