We never found a studio recording of Starsha Lee – the closest thing was a session filmed by John Clay – then out of the blue they record Love Is Superficial and sign to your label Syndicol. How did it all happen so quickly?
Charlie: I was already aware of Starsha Lee from underground mutterings, that John Clay’s video and my old buddy Lenny (Dumbjaw/You) was drumming for them so they were on my radar. One night I bumped into Crispin and co drinking at Big Red, I went over to say hi and we got to catch up. I’ve known Crispin for years and years and always loved his musical output, I trust anything he makes. He told me what they had been up to with Starsha Lee and I casually mentioned if he wanted any help from Syndicol then let me know. I didn’t actually think they’d be interested at the time as I’d come from a much more industrial rock background and figured that might be a bit off-putting, but a day or so later I got an email and it went from there.
Crispin: There is no time like the present. We met Charlie one day and said yes to signing to Syndicol because there seemed no reason not to. Simple as that.
Normally bands develop an image to match their sound but Starsha Lee seem to have done the opposite, developing their vision into a sound. How would you describe the relationship between the art of Sofia Martins and the sound of Starsha Lee?
Crispin: Starsha/Sofia was already a visual artist before getting up on a stage. Much of what we’ve used is actually material Starsha wrote and photographed throughout previous years. The still image is a moment caught in time that you prepare for the audience to look at and you know in advance what they will see. Performance is creating the work in front of an audience as it’s happening with the element of risk – you don’t know how it will come off. I don’t think she could resist the temptation of that kind of experience. Recording it, or creating the ‘sound’ of Starsha Lee, is the nearest you can come to creating an ‘image’ (also caught in time) of a performance (even if only the audio) and it seems the natural thing to do……..
Love Is Superficial is a blasting debut with mass appeal. Was it a calculated choice to release this first?
Crispin: No it certainly wasn’t calculated. We bunged that up on the internet before signing to Syndicol. Probably should’ve waited but unfortunately, we didn’t know the Syndicol thing was going to happen at that point – oh well.
What else can we expect from Syndicol in 2018?
Charlie: We’ve got 10 artists on the roster now, with at least two more confirmed for the new year. Nearly everyone on there has got something coming out next year, so it will be a solid year for musical output. We’re currently taking care of management duties for a few acts too so that will be developing more officially in 2018 and we’ll be branching out into live shows and promotions. Syndicol is an umbrella for everything I want to achieve for the music community, support from the ground up for artists and to gather all this wonderful music from splintered scenes into one place. A home for the homeless.
Starsha Lee also appears on Tapheadz compilation Renegade V1:
Find out more about Starsha Lee:
All photos by Chris Patmore