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A Conversation With Stza and Ezra
by
Samuel Barker
October 2, 2001

Stza
Stza

Samuel Barker: To start with, what are your names and what do you do?

Stza: I'm Stza Crack. Actually, it's Osama Stz Laden, guitars and vocals.

Ezra: Tryla Crack, guitars and vocals.

Samuel: Well, the new album came out on September 11th, was it just dumb luck or do you think the crashes had anything to do with the album?

Stza: I think it was plotted that way by everyone who was involved with that whole thing that happened.

Samuel: A testament to the evil powers of rock n' roll?

Stza: Exactly. Rock n' Roll made it happen.

Samuel: Well, you guys are pretty much Choking Victim with a different drummer, what made you guys decide to change the name?

Stza: I like changing names of bands. I'm kinda sick of Leftover Crack at this point.

Ezra: Yeah, we might change the name of the band again.

Stza: Yeah, we'll be the Crack Rocksteady 7 or Osama Stz Laden and the Crack Rocksteady 7. That's my idea, but some people say it's too long.

Samuel: It's not a bad name. Anyway, how has the tour been going so far?

Stza: I think it's been going pretty damn well.

Samuel: Has it been nice, this being the first time you've been on the road?

Stza: Yeah, some of the shows have been really surprisingly good. There's consistently a crowd of 30-40 kids that are all singing along and dancing, anywhere we go.

Ezra: And some of them are starting to bring drugs, that's always good.

Samuel: Is it fun to have people actually sing back the songs and know the words?

Stza: As long as they don't push the mics into our teeth and take Ezra's mic altogether. Other than that it's all good. Especially on the sing along parts, not on our lines though.

Ezra: Yeah, a lot of times I can't sing because people take my mic.

Samuel: How was being on the road with the Two Man?

Stza: It was great.

Ezra: It was really awesome.

Ezra
Ezra

Samuel: Was it fun being on the road with people from home?

Stza: We didn't even really know them all that well when we went out, we knew that they were cool guys, but we had the best time.

Ezra: It was just really cool to be out on the road with people who know how to party and want to have a good time.

Stza: Yeah, they don't care if no one shows up to a show and they don't get paid. They're on vacation, basically, and if they get paid that's just extra. That's the way it should be.

Ezra: Yeah, that is the way it should be.

Samuel: You guys are heading over to Europe, when is that taking place?

Stza: I think our first show is on November 22nd in London. I just saw some dates, we're going to go around for about 30 days and our last shows are around the 20th of December or so.

Samuel: Do you guys have a good following over there?

Stza: We sold a lot of Choking Victim records over there. We sold maybe a third of our CV records over there. We're almost up to 20,000 which is pretty good for an american band that's never actually been over there. Hopefully it'll be better when we get out there, and people show up.

Ezra: We get a lot of e-mails from French kids.

Stza: We're big in France, us and Jerry Lewis.

Samuel: Do you guys do anything beside Leftover Crack?

Stza: We have a project called Morning Glory, which Ezra is the Godhead of.

Ezra: Yeah, Sturgeon plays bass. We have the guitar players from Old Skull.

Stza: Have you ever heard of Old Skull?

Ezra: Some people may have heard of them, they were like 8-year old kids in a punk band. They're 18 or 19 now, but we live with them a C-Squat. They were just a bunch of songs I did on my 8-track, so we're either going to play at Cracktoberfest this year or in strains.

Stza
Stza

Samuel: Is it along the same lines musically?

Ezra: Ummm...

Stza: It's good music, I call it Beatle-based punk.

Ezra: It's different. I would like to think it doesn't sound like a lot of the stuff that's out there now, but I would consider it punk rock.

Stza: It definitely doesn't sound like Choking Victim or Leftover Crack, but it's got the same catchy melodies and political minded lyrics.

Samuel: Speaking of political minded lyrics, do you ever find it strange that kids put some much stock into what bands have to say?

Stza: Well, a lot of the people who come see us are very young and they don't know what they want to do. Ezra keeps telling me I have this responsibility, and he's right. Stuff about things I say and that I should think them through a little better. It's probably true.

Ezra: I don't like bands that tell you how to think and how to vote and what to think about politics. We try to keep the humor in the music. We try to make people think for themselves instead of telling them what to think, how to act, or how to be. We want them to think for themselves and to make up their minds about their own shit. It's not our position to tell people what to do. If they want to listen to our music, they can take what they want. We're just trying to keep it funny. Like politics and rock n' roll don't always go together.

Stza: Funny on the serious tip.

Samuel: I know the new trend in the punk scene to day is to be anti-racist and to preach unity, but you guys did 'Gay Rude Boys Unite.' Have you gotten a weird reaction to that since people are still all unity in races but homophobic at the same time?

Stza: It's like there is all this talk about unity in all the music scenes, it's come to the point where everyone is talking about being anti-racist but no one talks about being anti-homophobic, you know? Especially anti-racist people. It's an issue I rarely see anyone talk about unless they're like homo-core bandso or something. I think we need to preach a little tolerance. That can't hurt anybody you know. Sometimes I feel like I want to tell everyone what to do. You know, some of these kids are 14 or so and could go either way so I might as well tell them to not be homophobic. I don't feel fucked up for 'brainwashing' people.

Samuel: Well, you can't have a selected unity idea. If you preach it, you need to live it.

Stza: Exactly.

Samuel: Anything you guys would like to add, say, or do?

Stza: There's so much, but I'm content with what we've said so far.

Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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