Posts Tagged ‘Starcrawler’

Starcrawler’s remarkable sophomore album “Devour You” is a record that dynamically captures the essence and aggression of their gloriously unhinged live shows. Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, L7) at Sunset Studios, “Devour You” takes the feral intensity of their 2018 self-titled debut and twists it into something grander and more gracefully composed. With its more elaborate and nuanced yet harder-hitting sonic palette, the result is a selection of songs radiating both raw sensitivity and untamable power, and a record that the band’s Arrow de Wilde says, “encapsulates all the blood, sweat, bruised knees, and broken fingers of a Starcrawler show.”

Born on the streets of Los Angeles, Starcrawler is a band possessed by the spirit of its own hometown, every movement charged with a manic electricity. Since forming in 2015, vocalist Arrow de Wilde, guitarist/vocalist Henri Cash, bassist Tim Franco, and drummer Austin Smith have gone from bashing out classic-punk covers in the garage to winning the love of such legendary artists as Shirley Manson and Elton John. They’ve also opened for the likes of Beck, Foo Fighters, Spoon, The Distillers, and MC5, bringing their unhinged energy to an already-fabled live show—a spectacle that’s simultaneously lurid and glorious and elegant as ballet. On their sophomore full-length Devour You, Starcrawler captures that dynamic with a whole new precision, revealing their rare ability to find a fragile beauty in even the greatest chaos.

Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, L7), Devour You takes the feral intensity of their 2018 self-titled debut and twists it into something grander and more gracefully composed. With its more elaborate and nuanced yet harder-hitting sonic palette, the album came to life at the famed Sunset Sound, where the band spent their downtime playing H-O-R-S-E at the basketball hoop and drinking lots of Mexican Cokes. Adorned with so many unexpected flourishes—choir-like backing vocals from a local Girl Scouts troop, tuba and trombone riffs courtesy of Cash (the band’s 18-year-old musical polymath)—the result is a selection of songs radiating both raw sensitivity and untamable power.

Heavy and swinging and brutally catchy, “Bet My Brains” shows the psychic kinship at the heart of Starcrawler’s songwriting. “That song came from thinking about the mole people in New York and Vegas and the Catacombs in France, and the underground village of people who live in the sewers of the L.A. River,” says de Wilde. “I was fascinated with the fact that there’s whole other world happening right under our feet.” Cash adds: “Arrow and I hadn’t even talked about it yet, but I’d already written something about the same thing—about how these people’s eyes adapt to pitch-blackness, and they end up going crazy from never seeing the sunlight.”

Elsewhere on Devour You, Starcrawler drifts from the dreamy piano lilt of “No More Pennies” to the rock-and-roll disco of “You Dig Yours” to the pure punk vitriol of “Toy Teenager” (a song about de Wilde’s refusal to be abused the fashion industry, and about how “people look at my body and just want to put me on a platter”). And on “Born Asleep” the band lets their love for country music shine, slipping into a modern-day murder ballad spiked with pieces of hazy poetry (sample lyric: “I remember when you cut your lip, sippin’ on a soda can/And the time when you fell and tripped, screaming at the ice cream man”).

All throughout the album, Starcrawler taps into the kinetic chemistry they discovered soon after forming—a process Smith describes as a “slow-burning candle of finding the right people to play with.” In assembling the band, de Wilde first contacted Smith after seeing a Facebook photo of him playing drums (“I hit him up and he came to my birthday party, and then he turned out to be a really good drummer,” she recalls. “Right away it was like, ‘Jackpot!’”) In searching for a guitarist, de Wilde next approached Cash, a fellow student at her performing-arts high school in downtown L.A. “I saw him one day and thought, ‘That guy looks cool,’” she says. “‘He’s carrying a tuba, he’s got long hair, I’ve seen him wearing Cramps T-shirts: he’s gotta know at least something on guitar.’” But while Cash has since emerged as a monster guitarist, her instincts were only partly right. “When I was younger I didn’t want to play guitar, I wanted to play the drums because my dad played guitar—although sometimes I’d take a broomstick and jam along to AC/DC live footage,” says Cash. “It wasn’t until Arrow hit me up that I realized it was meant to be.”

Starcrawler then finalized their lineup with the addition of Franco—an old friend whom de Wilde reached out to after a moment of strange serendipity (“I was in the car with my mom and stressing out about finding the right bass player, and then Tim and his brother turned out to be on their bikes right in front of us,” she says). With their early band practices mostly consisting of Runaways covers, the band quickly bonded over a shared love for L.A.’s most unglamorous spaces. “I’ve been obsessed with Hollywood Boulevard ever since I was little,” notes de Wilde. “People travel so far and spend so much money to see it ’cause it makes them think of Marilyn Monroe—when in reality it’s so disgusting, which is why I love it. But really a lot of the L.A. that I grew up with and reminisce about is kind of fading now.”

As an antidote to the toxic mildness overtaking so much of the city, Starcrawler’s live show has only become more outrageous over the years, an element strengthened by their increasingly telepathic connection. “We all know each other in a much deeper way now,” says Smith. “Like, Arrow knows exactly when I’m going to hit the crash cymbals, so she moves to match up with that. It’s completely changed how we play together.” Prone to spitting fake blood and slapping phones from the hands of crowd members, de Wilde has proven to be a once-in-a-lifetime performer, captivating enough to command a room with just the widening of her eyes. “We want to put on a real show and give people some kind of escape from all the shit going on in the world,” she says. “And with the album, I want people to put it on and feel excited, and hopefully get goosebumps. I always want there to be a dramatic response.”

‘Bet My Brains’ is taken from Starcrawler’s second album “Devour You”, out now on Rough Trade.

We have a live single coming out on Third Man Records on October 30th, Last year on Halloween, we played TMR in Nashville and our set was recorded straight to vinyl. you can now hear it for yourself & feel like You were there. (Side A- Lizzy / Side B- Bet my Brains)⁣ features two tracks from “Devour You”. Our first ever live recording. on a cold, cold night last Halloween, Los Angeles’s Angel baby rocker phenoms Starcrawler blasted off in the Blue Room at Third Man Nashville, igniting the stage and pumping the lifeblood back into the room. Formed in 2015 not yet out of high school, the group has released two full-length albums, both to critical acclaim, and toured extensively across the globe. Starcrawler dressed the part for this special night in the Blue Room, fully and appropriately costumed up for maximum spookiness. this live 7” single captures the group ripping through two songs from their most recent album “Devour You”.

First is their vicious, nearly double-time version of “Lizzy,” tumbling through swells of mic feedback, fills and riffy distortion as vocalist Arrow De Wilde shouts into the ruckus. on the flipside, “Bet My Brains” (whose 7” label prominently features a rare appearance from one of the more sheepish members of the band) is head-banging, chugging R’n’R fun incarnate. A must listen!, We are also extremely excited to say that we’re playing a special livestream show October 30th at @theroxy,

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Here are a couple tracks we recorded when we first formed as a band. When we recorded these, we hadn’t played a show yet, and we hadn’t even found a bass player. My grandma would pick me and Henri up from school every day and we’d practice and write songs in their garage. Once we got enough songs, we wanted to record them immediately. So we made some demos and sent them to Steven McDonald in hopes that he’d be interested in producing us. Steven played in the band Redd Kross and now plays with the Melvins, and we were huge fans so we were really nervous about if he would be down to record us or not. Turns out he was, and we got to record in his studio using Melvins gear. It was probably the greatest first experience we could have asked for. Since we hadn’t found Tim to be our bass player yet, Steven played bass on these tracks. In the end, we only released 2 of the songs for our first single with Rough Trade, and saved the rest for our first album. I’m so glad to finally release these versions of the songs, they fully encapsulate that magical feeling you get when you know you’ve created something so special. Something that only you could create and no one else.
released March 23rd, 2020

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Here are some demos of our songs off our latest album, “Devour You”. I made them in one of the bedrooms of my two bedroom apartment, while my mom and brother (and the landlord who’s room is directly under my room) were sleeping. I would get home from my girlfriends house at about 11pm and start recording, waking everyone up. I get most of my ideas for songs late at night for some reason, and if I record something that I think is really good, I drive to Tim’s house and force him to wake up and get tacos with me so he can hear it. Some demos I spend more time on then others. ‘I Dont Need You’ was pretty much one take for everything, ‘No More Pennies’ I spent more time on because I really wanted to capture the whole idea. Usually the next morning I wake up and record the drums and sometimes lyrics, and then I send the songs to the band. Its always really nerve-wracking showing people songs at this stage because you don’t know what they’re gonna think of them, but it feels really good when everyone immediately likes it. That was the case for ‘No More Pennies’ and ‘I Dont Need You’. When everyone agreed they liked them, Arrow came over and sang on them and the band started learning the songs. We changed some things here and there and turned them into real Starcrawler songs.


I always like listening to demos of songs I really like and hearing the creative process of how things go from bedroom recordings to records. – Henri

Starcrawler (who released their second album about a month ago) are all under 25, but they make bands twice their age look like frosted cupcakes. They also, in a way, resemble the early incarnation of Alice Cooper, and a lot of other stuff that sounds like rock.

There’s the bass player, Tim, who is what a bass player should be: unassuming, solid, off to the side, and a pit bull enthusiast. Austin, on drums, is the oldest at 24, and is super friendly to people, but very hard on his drums. Besides his guitar, Henri is really into t-shirts, until he gets onstage dressed in a cowboy get up, like a mutated combo of Gram Parsons and Jimmy Page with huge slime beast riffs and demented circus ringleader face. Then there’s Arrow who, when she’s not sitting on the floor, levitates five feet above the stage covered in blood.

Unlike most twenty-somethings, no one in this group really gets hammered on booze or does too much crazy shit. All of that goes into the performance. Not that it’s all pretend. Arrow has on more than one occasion been fucked up by dangerous stage antics. Over the course of the show, a plot unfolds which imagines several inventive ways for a person to destroy themselves. I won’t give away the ending, but there is a lot of blood. Things start with Arrow as a sort of badass demented glam queen until, rapidly and without warning, it all goes downhill in the best possible way. It’s glamour plus destruction, over and over, returning every night like a phoenix from the ashes. Or maybe a chicken.

Starcrawler in a soundtrack?? Now that’s a good sign :0 I love this band, saving rock n roll

Starcrawler’s cover of “Pet Sematary” by Ramones is out now on Rough Trade Records and also features on the ‘Pet Sematary’ film soundtrack.

Devour You

We’ve made a video for No More Pennies from our album Devour You (due out October 11th)! Check it out here

For the video, we started with an archive of 16mm film that Gilbert Trejo shot with us on tour and at home over the last year. I (Arrow) was editing it together with Jonathan (King) and we were both drawn to a lot of the shots of us around Los Angeles. So we jumped in a car, and shot the video performances around town trying to capture the feeling we get when we’re all together back in the city. We had our friends with us – Gilbert, Annie Hardy (Giant Drag), Mary James, my uncle Jimmy and Jonathan’s chihuahua Earth Angel. It’s got a feeling that captures the dreaminess of the song.

The first single, Bet My Brains, was consistent with their debut. On the latest, No More Pennies, it kicks off an early 70s Stones vibe. Arguably my favorite track I’ve heard from them.

While much of the forthcoming Devour You dynamically captures the aggression of Starcrawler’s gloriously unhinged live shows, today’s sneak peek, “No More Pennies,” acts as the record’s country-tinged centerpiece, showcasing a more nuanced, and more grown up Starcrawler for the first time. The video was directed by singer Arrow de Wilde and Jonathan King.

Starcrawler - Devour You

Los Angeles punk outfit  Starcrawler’s remarkable sophomore albumDevour You” is a record that dynamically captures the essence and aggression of their gloriously unhinged live shows. Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, L7) at Sunset StudiosDevour You takes the feral intensity of their 2018 self-titled debut and twists it into something grander and more gracefully composed.

‘Bet My Brains’ is the lead single from Starcrawler’s forthcoming album Devour You, released on Oct 11th on Rough Trade Records. Blood, sweat and bruises, indeed—when Starcrawler first stepped out of Echo Park obscurity in 2017, the band quickly gained notoriety for their batshit and dynamic stage presence, which often involved frontwoman Arrow de Wilde spitting blood and snot-rocketing into the audience.

The band’s bizarro magnetism is carried over to the album’s newly debuted first single “Bet My Brains,” an anthemic cut with scuzzy, stadium-rock guitars, deadpan vocals and a riff reminiscent of a college football fight song.

“That song came from thinking about the tunnel people in New York and Vegas and the Catacombs in France, and the underground village of people who live in the sewers of the L.A. River,” frontwoman de Wilde said in a statement. “I was fascinated with the fact that there is a whole other world happening right under our feet.”

With its more elaborate and nuanced yet harder-hitting sonic palette, the result is a selection of songs radiating both raw sensitivity and untamable power, and a record that the band’s Arrow de Wilde says, “encapsulates all the blood, sweat, bruised knees, and broken fingers of a Starcrawler show.”

Release Date: 11th October 2019

‘She Gets Around’ is the latest single from Starcrawler, out now on Rough Trade Records.

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‘Bet My Brains’ is the lead single from Starcrawler’s forthcoming album “Devour You”, to be released on October 11th on Rough Trade Records. Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, YYYs, Arctic Monkeys), ‘Bet My Brains’ distills Starcrawler down to its essence with a massive guitar riffs, rollicking drums and a wide screen performance by Singer Arrow de Wilde that illustrates just how ready this band is to explode into the mainstream.

Devour You drops October 11th!! Limited edition version on blood marbled vinyl with a scratch + sniff sleeve available from the Rough Trade Records webstore and indie record shops!

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Arrow de Wilde has come here to bleed. She’s standing tall and slim in shiny white satin on an outdoor stage in Hollywood, stumbling behind the mic, grabbing her forehead, her crotch, eyeballs bulging. “I got a problem with you in my world,” she snarls on the song “Let Her Be,” as her band Starcrawler rips up the night air with a fuzzy, modern take on Seventies glam rock and punk.

“Come on, turn up your fucking hearing aids!” de Wilde challenges her audience of the moment, which is bold talk considering that Starcrawler is here opening for an all-star tribute to the MC5. The headlining act includes half of Soundgarden, with members of Guns N’ Roses, Fugazi, Faith No More and the original Motor City 5. But de Wilde will come as close to blowing that firepower off the stage as a wild-eyed 19-year-old can.

She leaps into the front rows, grabs a fan’s cell phone and tosses it into the crowd, and then takes someone’s 35mm camera before crawling back onstage to smash it on the floor. The band hardly seems to notice. Guitarist Henri Cash slashes a raw, hypnotic rhythm from a song called “Chicken Woman,” and de Wilde begins drooling fake blood and looking like a woman possessed.

“Walked in the house/Slaughter written on the wall,” she warns, eyes rolled back. “They’re just counting seconds/Before the eye starts to fall.”

For de Wilde and the Los Angeles band, rock & roll is meant to be loud, physical and messy. The songs are tough and tuneful, with echoes of Black Sabbath, Kiss, Alice Cooper and T.Rex, soaked in loads of reverb and bad attitude. Starcrawler formed only three years ago and just dropped their self-titled debut in early 2018, but people are quickly taking notice, thanks to their infectiously scuzzy hard-rock tunes and unhinged live shows, which have already earned them praise from Garbage’s Shirley Manson and a spot opening for the Foo Fighters.

“I try to control it, but sometimes I can’t,” de Wilde says of her onstage abandon, over breakfast in Los Angeles, now mostly soft-spoken as she eats a bowl of granola and yogurt. Her hair is bleached to a frazzled blonde. “I just let it happen. Sometimes it happens in my favor, sometimes it doesn’t. I forget that people’s senses of humor aren’t the same as mine.”

There was that night at the desert roadhouse Pappy & Harriet’s near Joshua Tree, California, when she spit up water on a table full of people eating ribs. The band, which also includes drummer Austin Smith and bassist Tim Franco, sometimes gets mad over the confrontations. “We did have to pay for a guy’s broken phone because I knocked it out of his hand at a Foo Fighters concert at London Stadium. Those fans also hated us,” she says with a laugh. “They did not like us at all.”

The band’s 10-song debut, Starcrawler, was produced in L.A. by singer-rocker (and not-so-secret metalhead) Ryan Adams, whose private Pax-Am Studio was decorated with Danzig and 45 Grave posters. De Wilde and Cash write most of the songs together, and Adams advised them to strip things to their essence, including the psycho-twang of “Train,” which opens the album at under 90 seconds. De Wilde’s blues lyrics were inspired by ancient train hoppers and prison escapees.

“He’s a songwriter, so his producing has to do with the song itself — like, stop doing that craziness: ‘Don’t bore us, get to the chorus,'” de Wilde says of Adams. “I’ve always liked songs that have good hooks and don’t have a bunch of bullshit.”

Twice as long as “Train” is the hard-rocking “I Love LA,” a churning tribute to her hometown that presents a portrait of the city beyond its Hollywood clichés. “There’s so many people you see walking down the street, like a ranchero walking next to an old Jewish lady handing out rainbow cookies,” says de Wilde. “There’s flowers everywhere and there’s different smells: tacos and weed and piss and whatever. At any part of the day you can get two-dollar tacos that are amazing.

The band is rehearsing today, but they’re working without de Wilde, since she plans to be busy painting her new apartment a variety of “fun colors” with her boyfriend, filmmaker Gilbert Trejo (son of Machete star Danny Trejo). He directed a horror music video for the manic “Chicken Woman,” opening with a scene of a panicked de Wilde covered in blood and limping down an empty desert road.

The album’s lone ballad, “Tears,” is about de Wilde’s only experience with heartbreak. “I dated another musician. Me and Henri started writing it before I broke up with that guy, but then it became a way better song after we broke up,” she says happily. They haven’t figured out yet how to fit “Tears” into their otherwise hard-rock set, and no one ever asks for it, but the singer already knows how she wants it to unfold: “I’ve started crying during shows, which is hard, because it strains my eyes. It would be cool to cry during that song — like really bawling.”

The singer was born in 1999, the daughter of rock and fashion photographer Autumn de Wilde, who has referred to young Arrow as “my alien baby.” Arrow was sometimes photographed with some of her mom’s favorite subjects while growing up. Her father is rock drummer Aaron Sperske (Beachwood Sparks, Father John Misty, Blondes, etc.) who gave Arrow her first blast of Blizzard of Ozz at 13 and changed her life. She was on the crazy train for good.

On some school nights, her dad would sneak Arrow into a club to sing the Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb” with his cover band. She eventually started a fanzine and wanted to learn more about punk rock and glam, and turned to former Germs drummer Don Bolles for an interview. “I became obsessed with glam,” she says. “He came over to my dad’s place in Hollywood, and he showed me all these glam records and everything I need to know. Uncle Don, he taught me a lot.

De Wilde started dabbling in short-lived teen bands. There was one called Honey Creeper that lasted three performances before breaking apart. “They thought I was bossy and didn’t really believe that I could do anything,” she remembers. “They ended up starting another band without me in secret.” She put Starcrawler together while still at an arts magnet high school in downtown L.A. Smith was a Facebook friend she barely knew who played drums. She then approached Cash, a longhaired kid who carried a tuba around school but also played guitar. With Franco on bass, de Wilde’s dream band was complete.

“It took me a long time trying to find people. They were the only people I knew that could play music that were cool,” de Wilde says. “I just picked the right people that were determined. It meshed together.”

The sound that came out was close to what she already heard in her head. And the live sets were confrontational from the beginning, some squeezed into a tiny space for 50 friends right off of Sunset Boulevard.

With Starcrawler, de Wilde also discovered a side to herself she didn’t realize existed. The crazed banshee that hard-rock fans see onstage now is a long way from how she once saw herself. “I’m a pretty chill person,” de Wilde says with a laugh. But being in the spotlight has unleashed something dangerous and explosive. “I’m pretty low energy most of the time. My energy is used up in this one thing. Most of the time I’m sleepy.”

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For its new video, the Los Angeles band Starcrawler strung together shots from their adventures during a recent sold out tour of Japan, and the result might help explain why rock ‘n’ roll fans have been giddy about their rise.

Directed by lead singer Arrow de Wilde, the clip focuses on two particularly raucous shows. De Wilde, whose gangly frame recalls the Cramps’ Lux Interior in his prime, is a whirlwind of energy onstage, so much so that her dancing can sometimes seem like a physical reaction to the sound waves crashing through her body.

The video also features bandmates guitarist Henri Cash, drummer Austin Smith, bassist Tim Franco and what seem like a whole lot of bruised arms and legs. But as with any visual Starcrawler endeavor, de Wilde steals the show. She shakes and shimmies, bangs and stomps as head-banging fans rock along.

The song is taken from Starcrawler’s self-titled debut album, which seems hellbent on earning fans on every continent. As with the rest of its songs, “Love’s Gone Again” has little time for pleasantries or self-absorbed naval gazing. Instead, de Wilde sings about “a boy, a little boy/ He was created to destroy.”

Just don’t call them a nostalgia band!  Arrow De WIlde and the boys from LA buzz band, ‘Starcrawler’ to talk about the young group’s musical influences, putting out an analog recorded album with producer Ryan Adams, their crazy fans and much more!