By Noe Gutierrez
Get used to the blended terms Starcrawler. If you don’t already know, they’re a blossoming and bludgeoning rock band from Los Angeles. Their self-titled Ryan Adams-produced full album was released in 2018. Henri Cash (guitar), Austin Smith (drums), Arrow de Wilde (vocals) and Tim Franco (bass) have a sound that reminds me of Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath and The Ramones with a stage presence that is reminiscent of Alice Cooper’s theatrics.
Recently revealing their 2019 tour plans with Beck and Cage The Elephant on ‘The Night Running Tour’ and also joining The Distillers on their U.S. tour, this foursome will be performing at the first KIND Music Festival on Saturday February 23, 2019. Also on the bill are Miguel, A$AP Ferg, Reese LaFlare, Yonee, D.I.E. and All My Friends Hate Me. In addition to the musical line-up, motivational speaker and author of Manifest Now, Idil Ahmed, will be raising awareness on global consciousness and the power of positive thinking.
KMF is a one-day “pop-up” micro-festival event at the future site of the Tyson Ranch Resort, a 412-acre entertainment complex, luxury glamping resort and cannabis research and design facility in Desert Hot Springs. Tickets are still available at kindmusicfestival.com.
KMF will transform the desert into a pop-up concert experience complete with food trucks, a ‘Chillville” with 100 specialty bean bags; a fun zone featuring massive inflatable rides, obstacle courses and mazes, bar area, vendor village and limited edition hoodies…a truly unique music festival experience where all ages are welcome!
KMF salutes California’s progressive stance on cannabis and its updated recreational/medical laws that went into effect on January 1, 2019. However, there will be no sales or giveaways of cannabis products at the festival. KMF looks forward to making that a reality in the near future.
Coachella Valley Weekly recently spoke with guitarist Henri Cash after a late night (he got home at 5 a.m.) in the studio.
On Starcrawler’s beginnings
“I met Arrow at a performing arts school. She came up to me and she already knew Austin and Tim was her best friend’s ex-boyfriend. So we just thought of who plays music. She met Austin through mutual friends on Facebook and she just came up to me because I was always wearing The Cramps shirts so she assumed I played guitar.
I’m glad her assumptions worked out.”
“It’s three going on four years together now. For the first year, we didn’t even play any shows. We just got our shit together and woodshedded. Which was kind of a cool thing to do because by the time we hit our first show we were pretty good and pretty set on what we wanted to do.”
On KIND Music Festival and Arrow’s shock-rock
“I’m excited! It’s a pretty crazy line-up. I think it will be interesting. I don’t know whether we will be liked or hated but it will be fun. They have us pretty high on the line-up which is pretty crazy. The thing about these festivals is sometimes when people don’t really expect it they just stand in sort of shock because the whole performance thing that Arrow’s doing is pretty crazy if you don’t know it’s coming. Some people stand in awe. Some people stand in disgust. And just the sea of faces is pretty interesting but I dig it, its’ cool.”
On the Desert and Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
“We always love coming out to the desert. We even come out not to play. Just to hang out. Arrow’s grandmother lives out in Palm Desert, so we go stay out there sometimes. I’ve been coming out there since I was a kid to go to the Living Desert and just hang out during Spring Break. The weather is actually nice.”
“I’m not sure about Coachella these days. It’s all line-up based but when I went to Coachella it was fun. It would be fun to perform. Maybe next year.”
On their producer Ryan Adams
“Arrow’s mom is a photographer, and she knew Ryan in the early 2000’s but hadn’t really been talking to him at all. He was on Instagram and he saw she posted a video of us playing. He saw it and really liked it. So he came out to our next show and came and talked to us and basically told us to come record at his place and he’s really stoked about it because it’s all to tape. Within a week we were at his place recording a full album. It happened really fast and it was amazing! I actually grew up listening to Ryan Adams. He reached out to us and asked us if we wanted to record at a time when we didn’t really have the funds at all to record so we went to his place and recorded it all for free to tape, which was a really cool experience because now I realize how expensive recording to tape is. It was a great way to first record. Especially doing your first recording with such an amazing songwriter and just learning about music was a beneficial thing and I use things he’s taught me today. It’s about simplicity. Not wanting to choke a track. I forget which song it was on, but I actually blew my amp up on one of the songs and you can kinda hear it at the end. I wanna say it was Pussy Tower.”
On their anthem ‘I Love L.A.’ and what’s next for Starcrawler
“We’ve been trying to get it out there. I want to hear it at Dodger games and shit. It’ll happen.”
“We should be coming out with some more music soon too, and hopefully a new record by the middle of the year. We just had a single come out for our new song Hollywood Ending that we did with Ryan as well. We did a music video for that and that was really fun too. We’ll be playing that at KMF.”
On the length and speed of their songs
“I’ve always been a huge Ramones, Minutemen and Black Flag fan. I’ve always loved how short their songs were. It just made sense to me, it gets to the point, it doesn’t stay there for too long and I feel like if you’re gonna have a song that’s kinda punk and simple you don’t want to carry it out for too long. Get the energy and get there. Live everything is five times faster. 30 minutes of an hour’s worth of shit. I think it sounds cooler live faster. If it’s a good audience we’ll probably play faster and for longer. We’re working on this new album right now. There’s some songs that are longer and there are still some short songs and really short songs too. I just think its different attitudes different things that you talk about different things you want to convey. I don’t want to stray away from those cool short fast songs, I think it’s also cool to evolve into making more ‘song’ songs. We just write about how we feel. We just write about people we don’t like. It’s seemed to work so far. Fuckin’ dicks! We write about things we love too. You gotta balance it out.”
On Pappy and Harriet’s
“We’re coming back to Pappy and Harriet’s soon too sometime around May. We’ve played at Pappy’s so many times. We came out there before we were even touring just for fun. Our first show there we opened for Nick Valensi from The Strokes. We did some stuff there with Black Lips. It’s just a fun place. I like getting to come out, eat BBQ, and stay in the desert. There’s some cool shows there and there’s always good people.”
On meeting Mike Tyson
“We’re definitely gonna ask for a picture. And we’re drawing straws to see who has to get punched by Mike Tyson. We’re gonna ask him for a favor to punch one of us. Hopefully it’s not going to be me. I’m hoping it’s Tim.”
So far, Starcrawler is knocking out 2019 and is lining up to become ‘The Baddest Band on the Planet’! Don’t miss them at KMF or at any one of their tour stops.
A portion of all proceeds from KMF will be donated to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, STANDING UNITED, which aids those struggling with drug addiction and homelessness, a cause that KMF holds dear as several employees, including a number of executives, are in recovery.
Standing United Mission Statement: Standing United is a non-profit organization helping people suffering from addiction and homelessness reintegrate into society and become upstanding citizens in their communities. Standing United is made up of professionals and numerous volunteers who work tirelessly to guide people out of their darkest moments and into the light of a new day and a new life.
For tickets and more information visit:
KIND Music Festival
Location: 65555 Varner Road
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Time: 2 to 11 p.m.