By Andrew Catania
I’ve been hoping for a reunion of the original living members of Vicious Rumors for a long time. It doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen. That’s because Dave Starr has something special with his wife London Wilde in WildeStarr. London has a voice similar to Rob Halford and Geoff Tate in his prime. I spoke with them regarding their upcoming release, Beyond The Rain.
The songs on Beyond The Rain are based on your Brothers suicide?
London: Gary has a lot of the same issues all musicians have about their identities and their success. When I started writing for the next record I wanted to tell a story from his point of view and also from my point of view. The pitfalls that you face the emotional challenges. It’s my way of including him because he never did complete anything that was put out to the public even though he was a talented musician. It’s my way of including him. It’s the story of his emotional journey and a little bit of mine in regards your dreams and desires to be a successful musician.
Are the songs and arrangements similar to the previous albums?
Dave: When I started writing the music, working on guitar parts going back five years I think I had already started on this stuff. Before the second album even came out which was 2012, I’m always working ahead. I try and construct great music for London to work with but when this family tragedy took place London took it in that direction of the conceptual thing regarding her brother. The songwriting didn’t change much. It did change lyrically a lot from London that it ended up becoming a conceptual type album which wasn’t our original intention.
London: Dave started using my brother’s guitar to write and construct solos. It was magical because I could hear some of my brothers’ tastes and styles sneaking in there. Dave wasn’t even familiar with my brother’s style. He’s never heard my brother play and I said this is really sounding kind of like my brother. He said well I don’t know if there’s DNA on that guitar. It just seemed like there was a very subtle influence on the music that was being created.
Beyond The Rain is self-produced?
London: I do the recording and mixing. Josh does the mastering and he does the guitar production, and I use the final mix. I do the production on of the overall sound. It’s a group effort between Josh and I. So, and of course, Dave gave his input but Josh and I are sort of like the gear nerds.
Dave, when did you decide to play guitar?
I’ve always played guitar but never not to the ability when I got clean and sober in 2005. I just went back to Vicious Rumors to do the Warball CD and finished the Chastain CD a couple of years before that. London and I started kicking around some songwriting ideas and it’s just that everything sort of changes in my life after I got clean and sober in 2005. That’s when I became serious on the guitar in terms of really wanting to write music with London.
I originally started as a guitar player around 1980 or so switched over to bass because It seemed like nobody wanted to play bass, so I ended up becoming a bass player. I didn’t really look back at it because it opened up a lot of doors for me. it wasn’t until 2005 that I said you know what I want to change gears and I want to do this. So by the time, we ended up going into the studio recording the Arrival CD which was 2009. On Arrival, I’ve only been seriously playing guitar for a couple of years. Before that, it was just banging chords. I’ve only been playing guitar seriously for 12 years, and I’m 56 so do the math.
London, do you have any formal vocal training?
London: I’m self-taught. I never took lessons. I had one vocal lesson in the 80s my brother paid for me. I just used my ears to tell me what I’m doing right and wrong. I’ve always recorded myself rehearsing. That’s how I learned as I just recorded and listened back and say OK didn’t do that. I also practiced a lot. I practice hours and hours every day for a long time, but I couldn’t get anywhere because I’d audition for bands and at the time in the 80s you everybody’s self-identity was you have a male-fronted front person that was male, and people were pretty dead set on that.
A lot of times people would hear my voice, and they want me to audition. But when it came down to it they just wanted the image of a male. After a while, I got fed up, so I started doing studio work. I got more into the recording side of things, and it wasn’t until David came along and he said you know I have these ideas and I’m going to be looking for a vocalist and I said Well do you mind just by Give it a go. And he had never heard me sing and he said sure.
I think he was pretty shocked the first time. You know I laid down my idea for a song and he can come in while I was singing and eat. He didn’t even know who the hell was singing. I think it surprised them, but I got the job.
What are your plans for 2018?
Dave: I’m writing music. I’m always writing music, and we had plans to do a little side project we don’t want to give away too much on it right now. It involves other musicians as opposed to doing another WildeStarr album.
You can order Beyond The Rain here
You can follow Wildstarr @ http://wildestarr.com/