If you’re into the 8-Bit/Chiptune genre, then chances are, you’re familiar with Starscream. The band consists of George Stroud on drums, Nathan Ritholz on guitar, and Damon Hardjowirogo who controls a few devices, including a couple of Nintendo Game Boys and a Commodore 64 with a Music Maker overlay. Their sound ranges from the ethereal to the downright destructive.
Thanks to some unfortunate legal circumstances, the band has been forced to shed their moniker for a new name. So, on May 12th in East Williamsburg NY, the band performed their final show as Starscream.
As it turns out, it’s not Hasbro breathing down their necks. It’s a metal band from Philadelphia called, ‘StarSkream’. StarSkeam successfully forced Starscream to either change their name to ‘Starscream NYC’ (which sounds like a franchise) or drop the name altogether. How this affects DJ Starscream, is uncertain, but the whole thing seems silly, considering that the band from Philly is essentially bullying another band over a character name from The Transformers. Furthermore, they use a Decepticon logo in their flyers and press materials. Sure, you could argue that Starskream is spelled differently. But then again, 2 Live Crew’s Luke Skyywalker is spelled differently, but Lucasfilm successfully sued forced a name change. So, make that happen, Hasbro!
But enough about that. As a last hurrah, Starscream decided to have one last blowout at a DIY space in Brooklyn called Shea Stadium. Tons of crowdsurfing and moshing Even members of fellow chiptuners Anamanaguchi got in on the action. It was a celebration of their past and future. But, it was also the release party of their new EP under the band’s new name, Infinity Shred.
Infinity Shred’s newest recording “EP 001 (Gnar Dream)” is available today on Bandcamp and iTunes. It’s well worth checking out. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll trust Bryan Lee O’Malley’s opinion.
Starscream is dead. Long live Infinity Shred.