Interview: Starcrawler @ Deaf Institute
The home of Hollywood, of glamour and the high-life, LA is the embodiment of the Californian dream. Across the Atlantic, we know little of the underground, alternative scenes unearthed in the Los Angeles sun. That is, until you soon hear of the frivolity oozing from the youthful, punk rock quartet: Starcrawler. With a flash of red hair, jaunty limbs and satirical smiles, statuesque lead singer Arrow De Wilde swooned the Deaf Institute‘s dance hall and an audience looming from the over-consumption that the festive period entailed. Provocative twists and flexes, resulted in a cohesive, climatic performance of blood drooling, awe-collecting proportions.
The heightened Courtney Love-esque poise creeps from the corners of the stage and tests any crowd member to dare look away from the spectacle we see before us. The finale resulted in guitarist Henri Cash chasing his lead off stage as De Wilde leaps off platform, absconding the bar and thrusting herself on to the shoulders of one eager unsuspecting bystander.
Prior to this manic performance, the foursome were lurking in the Deaf Institute’s green room. Having travelled the breadth of an ocean and the length of two countries to be here, it’s hardly surprising that they were whipped into a travel-frenzied daze. But this didn’t, for any second dint the first night of their UK tour and the performance they are so well-known for reached euphoric proportions. Arrow’s performance fathoms a 1970’s inspiration and an almost ‘Runaways’ style glam rock theme on stage, for which the eighteen-year-old says comes from a culmination of different inspirations that she’s twisted inside out and truly “made it my own.”
Although glam rock is a clear motif amongst their work, other influences are present and Black Sabbath is commented as being a transparent common ground for which they all hold a great deal of admiration towards. But beyond this, drummer Austin Smith mentions that they are easily intrigued by new inspirations: “Each and every day we’re listening to new music, changing and growing. What we started with brought us together but we’re always listening and evolving our tastes. Ever-evolving.”
This statement is echoed through their Spotify playlist,( put together exclusively for MCR Live). The list contains a collection of tracks they admire, are influenced by and continually listen to. Besides this, guitarist Henri Cash, recommends Oklahoma’s Skating Polly as a particularly new artist they’re fans of amongst the new-coming American scene. Their own rise through the ranks began when, through mutual friends, Austin and Arrow began working on music together, then after spotting Henri at school Arrow began to build their talented collective, with the addition of bassist Tim Franco, Starcrawler was born.
Their very first published track ‘Ants’ was picked up by Elton John and featured internationally on his radio station, which was an unexpected bluebird that none of them expected. Henri sums up how cataclysmic this was for them: “An email, saying ‘Elton John will be playing your song at this time’. We were still relatively new, before we’d even signed with Rough Trade!”
Having now been with Rough Trade for around about a year, the band have added another famous contender to their roster of talented cohorts, Ryan Adams. He went on to then produce the bands’ debut album which was released on January 19th 2018. The album itself is unlike the teen scene we have become so often used to. There are no whining indie vocals or pop quips but instead a forthright, hedonistic experience that engages the listener through punk rifes, pacing drums and treacle-thick West Coast voices. Tracks such as ‘Love’s Gone Again’ and ‘Let Her Be’ are sure to soon be splashed across nightclubs and festivals with their floor-filler like ease. Anthems are many on this debut album from such a young band, including the tub-thumping, feet-racing echoes of ‘Chicken Woman’.
If the option was to expand their catalogue of celebrity fans – which features Gerard Way as well as the aforementioned Adams and Elton – the four young artists would ideally like to work with our homegrown Ozzy Osburne. A dream which is close to being met when they play at Download festival this Summer, at which Ozzy is a headliner. “We’ll be back in June.” With this, Starcrawler swept into the preparations for their first night of touring in 2018. June can’t come quick enough.