How does it feel that 30 years later people are still talking about an album you released in 1988?
Dave: Its great! Hard to believe it was that long ago. So much has happened since then, in my life, in the world… I just turned 57…its crazy! But there is an old saying, and that is “Great music is Timeless”. I think Digital Dictator is a perfect example of that philosophy. Most of the music I love, and listen to, and was influenced by…. is older then Digital Dictator. 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. So, great music has no expiration date!
When you are in the now you can’t really tell which way things will go. But what was the feeling when you had finished the recording of “Digital Dictator”?
Dave: When I found Mark and Carl, and brought them into the band, I knew I had hit on the right combination of guys for VR. And as we started to write music together for the new album, things just got better and better every day. The 5 of us were on fire, just unstoppable. The chemistry we had was amazing. I honestly felt we were as good or better then any great band out there. When we finished the recording, I knew we had a monster on our hands. Was it perfect? No, but what is? The production could have been better, some of the drums and bass get lost in the mix here and there. But we did the best we could with the money and time that shrapnel records gave us. I’d still give it a 90 out of 100… then and now! Now, were any of us thinking we would be talking about Digital Dictator 30 years later in 2018? No, but we never thought to far ahead back then. It was the next show, the next photo shoot, the next interview, the new songs, etc. We were just 5 guys living day to day chasing our dreams.
I have always wondered about the album title. How did you come up with it and what does it mean?
Dave: Geoff and Carl were the primary lyric writers. I think its a sign of the future coming, and its here now. One of the great things about VR was that we had great, meaningful, thought provoking lyrics. War, History, Politics, The Future, Science Fiction, .etc. If you want deep lyrics, we had them.
How will this anniversary be celebrated?
Dave: I have been sitting on hours and hours of classic VR video footage, that has never been seen before. I started filming our shows, and other things, back stage, in the studio, hanging out… etc. It all started around 1987 when I got my first VHS cam corder. So, I figured the 30th anniversary of the Digital Dictator was a great excuse for me to start going through these old tapes and transferring them to DVD. I put a Facebook page together: www.facebook.com/groups/DaveStarrVRDD30 , and so far I have posted 4 classic VR videos from the Digital Dictator era 87/88. Its amazing seeing this stuff after 30 years, and the response from the fans has been great. I have hours and hours of video thats never been seen, I will post new videos when I have the time, maybe once a week. So, this is basically how I am celebrating, by sharing all these classic videos with the VR fans and friends.
Let’s talk a bit about the latest WILDESTARR recording. What kind of feelings do you have for it?
Dave: I think its a great album, it was definitely a very difficult record to make. For those who don’t know, “BEYOND THE RAIN” its basically a concept album about the difficult life and tragic suicide of my brother in law Gary Thomas (my wife & WildeStarr singer London Wilde’s brother). So, this was extremely personal on so many levels, especially for London. She writes all the lyrics in the band, so she had to really take her time to get this story right. It ended up taking us over 4 years to write, record & finish. Its a very complex and emotional story, but I think we did justice to Gary’s memory and came up with some very powerful music.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on WILDESTARR and what does it mean to you?
Dave: London and I did not really think about it to much, its a combination of our last names. I don’t think there has ever been another band with the same name! So, its original, and its who we are. Thats all there is to it. I don’t even think we considered anything else.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to a new WILDESTARR album?
Dave: Its a great feeling. Ive been at this for over 35 years, and I’ve made some amazing music. But, the best music I have made in my career, is the music I’m making now with WildeStarr. We have released 3 albums over the last 8 years, and the response has been awesome. We are not super famous or anything like that, but we have fans out there who love what we do. Its very rewarding! Lots of guys I know, are riding on glory from 30 years ago, but not me. My best days are today and tomorrow. I think fans really respect and appreciate that.
How important is image to a band? Is it something necessary?
Dave: It is, but maybe not as important as it was 30 years ago. People still need to look good, nobody wants to watch a bunch of slobs. The 90’s Seattle thing, of dressing down and looking like guys who were going to cut your lawn, that lasted all of about 5 years.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
Dave: Its very important. Usually, its the first impression you get of a new band, the artwork, and/or band photo. The artwork we have on the new WildeStarr “Beyond the Rain” CD is amazing. Jonas DeRo did it for us (www.jonasdero.com). Many people have commented positively on it.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
Dave: The internet has certainly changed this in the music biz, alot of it for the worse. Social media though, I don’t really think its a problem. Its great to be able to reach out to fans all over the world, right away. Sometimes I talk to fans on Facebook, and they are shocked that I am talking to them! Hey, I am just a regular guy!!
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
Dave: Interesting question! Yeah, I guess you can say its a massive community that we all belong to. I love to make music, and I have been at this for all of my adult life. I play guitar & write music every day. Its a big part of who I am, and its my legacy that I will leave behind. I have other interests, but music is obviously the one thing around the world that I am known for.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
Dave: To be honest, I try not to pay attention to the music scene. I never go to clubs anymore, I rarely go to concerts, I don’t drink anymore. I stopped touring years ago, I got sick of it. London and I pretty much live the quiet domestic life here in Texas. Our recording studio is here at home. I have pretty much everything I need right here. These days, I live the life of a studio musician, and London and I own several businesses that we run from home.
What will the future bring?
Dave: I just want to keep making great music, as long as I can. I play guitar and write new music every day. We probably have enough music now for at least another two WildeStarr albums. I’m in my mid 50’s now, so obviously there are fewer days in front of me then there are behind me. As you get older, it really impresses on you to make each day count and to be grateful for the good life and blessings that you have. London and I started to invest in real estate over the last year, so this is new for us. We just bought our 3rd investment property, so its interesting to be doing something outside of music! I also own STARR GUITAR SYSTEMS, a company I started in 2015 that builds custom made electronic upgrade components for guitar & bass. Life is great, lots going on! BUSY – BUSY – BUSY!!!