Starcrawler’s Arrow de Wilde: “Only aggressive would be too one-dimensional for me”

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Like most of their peers, the members of American punk rock band Starcrawler were housebound for the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic. Not an easy phase for the five young musicians from Los Angeles, who had actually been touring constantly since high school.

But after the initial shock, they didn’t just let the months pass, but used them to immediately record their third album. After “Starcrawler” from 2017 and “Devour You” from 2019, “She Said” is now in stores. In an interview, front woman Arrow de Wilde and guitarist Henri Cash talk about the freedoms that time gave them and what bad habits they picked up from it. You are finally back on the road live after the forced break due to Corona. How does that feel?

Arrow de Wilde: It’s just fantastic. Before Corona, touring was a bit self-evident for us. It was only when the opportunity suddenly passed that I realized how much I needed it. I didn’t realize before how fundamental touring is to my life.

“She Said” is already your third album. How would you describe your evolution from 2017 to today?

Arrow de Wilde: When we started the band, we were all around 15 or 16. Each of our records shows where we are in our development. Nothing in this band happens outside of the calculation or calculation. “Devour You” turned out to be much 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. As musicians, but also as people.

The new songs are catchier and sometimes pop energy. A development that Dave Grohl would have been involved in…

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Henri Cash: Before the lockdown he interviewed us for his documentary “What Drives Us”. He came home to Arrow to interview us there. We continued the interview as we drove through LA in the van. He nearly crashed the van while trying to buy Arrow a coconut. But all in all a great experience to talk to someone like him on an equal footing. It makes you feel like you can achieve anything you want. I think this new energy is also due to our new drummer Seth Carolina and my brother Bill on guitar. The recordings were very nice. More fun than any other album!

Arrow, how did you develop as a singer? You seem to vary more today than on the first album.

Arrow de Wilde: I definitely evolved from our first album to the last one, Devour You. Both in terms of vocals and songwriting. Though this wasn’t planned, it just has to do with the fact that I’ve gotten older and probably listen to more catchy music now than I used to. When we started then I could only sing in punk style. After that we toured for a long time, which of course gave me a lot of singing exercises. I also started taking singing lessons. I always try to improve and expand the range of songs. Don’t get me wrong: I like my aggressive singing style, but aggressive alone would be too one-dimensional for me today.

Henri Cash: As a youngster you are automatically much 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 pent-up energy. And it’s still a lot of fun, even though we’ve evolved our style and just want to write good songs.

Work on She Said started during the lockdown. How did you experience this time?

Arrow de Wilde: Especially in the beginning it was very difficult to be creative. There was just nothing that inspired me to write new songs. I’ve also racked my brains wondering if I’ll ever play a show again and if it’s even worth writing new songs. But at some point you got used to this new life…

Henri Cash: Since we were 15, we tour pretty much all the time. Two weeks on the road, one at home, then another two weeks on the road and so on. We were never home for a long time. Suddenly I had to learn to be an adult and take care of myself. Being 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 town for the next gig. It was a real shock that that was suddenly no longer possible. So every day I would get in the car and just drive around aimlessly. Just to feel like I’m busy. But eventually I got used to it.

And what does adult life feel like?

Henri Cash: Shit! No, seriously: it’s pretty cool.

Did you develop new talents or bad habits during the lockdown?

Arrow de Wilde: I’ve become addicted to reality TV! And I discovered my passion for gardening – and I’m really talented! In front of our house were a few strips of sand that I planted and turned into a small garden. This was definitely a positive effect of the lockdown and saved me from going completely insane. I realized there is a way to be creative and not have this pressure to create.

Wouldn’t that also have been a good time to write new songs?

Arrow de Wilde: I tried that. I sat there and nothing happened. Then I started cooking, baking and tending the garden – and suddenly my creative juices started flowing again. Taking care of and taking care of things is somehow a creative process. That has helped a lot. And I’ve learned to be comfortable at home too. Before the pandemic, I hated being alone or having to be at home. I was never there for more than two hours, but always had to go out and meet people. I literally climbed the 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 as a kid?

Arrow de Wilde: Not really. My girlfriend and I only left once to scare our mothers. We packed up our sleeping bags and walked through Hollywood – and back again because we were getting a little scared. I loved to fool my mother and hide to drive her crazy. We ran away from my girlfriend who was much better than mine. If we’d run away from my neighborhood, I’d probably have been kidnapped or something. We lived in Echo Park at the time, which wasn’t exactly a safe and fun place for little girls.

Starcrawler’s Album “She Said” Is Out Now

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