Like most of his peers, the members of American punk rock band Starcrawler were homebound for the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic. Not an easy phase for the five young Los Angeles musicians who had actually been touring continuously since their high school days.
But after the first setback, he not only let the months pass, but used them to immediately record his third album. After “Starcrawler” from 2017 and “Devote You” from 2019, “She Said” is hitting stores now. In an interview, frontwoman Arrow de Wilde and guitarist Henry Cash reported on the freedom of the time and the bad habits they picked up from it.
After the forced break due to Corona, you are finally on the live road. how does that feel?
Arrow de Wilde: It’s just brilliant. Traveling before Corona was kind of a thing for us. It wasn’t until the opportunity was suddenly gone that I realized how much I needed it. I didn’t realize at first how fundamental travel was to my life.
“She Said” is already your third album. How would you describe your development from 2017 to today?
Ero de Wilde: When we started the band, we were about 15 or 16 years old. Each of our records shows where we are in our development. Nothing in this band occurs out of reckoning or calculation. “Devote You” turned out to be a lot more mature than our debut. So much time has passed since the release of our last album. On “She Said” we show how we have evolved since then. Musicians as well as people.
The new songs are catchy and sometimes pop energy. A development that Dave Grohl is said to have been involved in…
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Henry Cash: Before the lockdown, he interviewed us for his “What Drives Us” documentary. He had come to Arrow’s house to interview us there. We continued the interview while driving around LA in the van. He nearly crashes the van trying to buy Aro coconuts. But overall it is a great experience to talk to someone like him on an equal footing. It gives you the feeling that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. I think this new energy is also due to our new drummer Seth Carolina and my brother Bill on guitar. The recording was a lot of fun. More fun than any album before!
Arrow, how did you grow as a singer? You seem to be more different today than on the first album.
Ero de Wilde: I’ve definitely evolved from our first album to the last album, Eat You. In terms of both my singing and songwriting. While this is not something that was planned, it is directly related to the fact that I am older and now I probably listen to more catchy music than before. Back when we started, I could only sing punk style. After that we toured for a long time, which definitely gave me a lot of singing practice. I also started taking singing lessons. I am always trying to improve and expand the range of songs. Don’t get me wrong: I love my aggressive singing style, but only aggressive would be one-dimensional for me today.
Henry Cash: As a young person you are automatically more aggressive. A lot of anger and aggression builds up in high school. Not everyone likes punk rock or rock ‘n’ roll. It felt really good to make aggressive music and release that suppressed energy. And it’s still a lot of fun, even though we’ve developed our own style and just want to write good songs.
Work on She Said began during the lockdown. How did you feel this time?
Ero de Wilde: It was really difficult to be creative, especially in the beginning. There was nothing that inspired me to write new songs. I’ve also racked my brain asking if I’ll ever play a show again and whether it’s even worth writing new songs. But at some point you got used to this new life…
Henry Cash: We’ve been touring pretty much all the time since we were 15. Two weeks on the road, one at home, then two weeks on the road and so on. We weren’t at home for a long time. Suddenly I had to learn to be an adult and take care of myself. Staying at home was kind of a crazy experience. Before that I was a real adrenaline junkie who loved the thrill of being on stage every night and then driving to the next gig in the next city. Suddenly not being able to do so was a real shock. So every day I got in the car and drove around aimlessly. Just to feel like I’m busy. But eventually I got used to it.
And what is adult life like?
Henry Cash: Hey! No, seriously: it’s great.
Have you developed any new talent or bad habit during the lockdown?
Ero de Wilde: I’m Addicted to Reality TV! And I discovered my passion for gardening – and I’m really talented! In front of our house there were a few strips of sand that I planted and turned into a small garden. It was definitely a positive effect of the lockdown and saved me from going completely insane. I realized that there is a way to be creative and not have this pressure to create.
Isn’t that also a good time to write new songs?
Arrow de Wilde: I tried. I sat there and nothing happened. Then I started cooking, baking, and gardening – and suddenly my creative juices started flowing again. Taking care of things and taking care of them is somehow a creative process. It helped a lot. And I have learned to be comfortable at home too. Before the pandemic, I hated being alone or at home. I wasn’t there for more than two hours, but I always had to be outside and meet people. I literally climbed walls during the first two weeks of quarantine.
The album ends with the punk rock song “Runaway”. Arrow, did you ever run away from home in your childhood?
Arrow de Wilde: Not really. My girlfriend and I only flew once to scare our moms. We grabbed our sleeping bag and drove across Hollywood – and back again because we were terrified. I loved joking with my mom and hiding to drive her crazy. We ran away from my girlfriend’s neighborhood, who was far better than me. If we had run away from our neighbourhood, I might have been kidnapped or something. We used to live in Echo Park then, which was not really a safe and nice place for little girls.
Starcrawler’s Album “She Said” Is Out Now