Jack Starr's Burning Starr - Jack Starr

Jack Starr's Burning Starr - Jack Starr

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JACK STARR'S BURNING STARR were one of the highlights of this year's 'Keep It True' festival meeting the traditional Heavy Metal standards from every aspect. METAL KAOZ got the chance to submit a series of questions to Jack who revealed the band's current plans for a new album, an upcoming tour and then some more. So, stop reading these lines and check his most interesting answers below.

Burning Starr - Interview

Welcome Jack to METAL KAOZ and allow me to congratulate you and your band for the amazing performance at ‘Keep It True’ festival. So, how was the show from your point of view? Did you face any kind of problems?
First of all, I would like to thank METAL KAOZ and its readers for giving me the opportunity for this interview. The reaction to the ‘Keep It True’ concert has been incredible and from my point of view it was a great show and everyone played great and the audience was very receptive which made it a pleasure for us. And no, there were no problems; the organizers were very professional and Bart Gabriel as well, who helped us with all the details to get us there and arrange for us to have a rehearsal place. If there were problems, we never knew about them (laughs).

Marta Gabriel seems like a good fit for the band, so can we consider her as a regular member to JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR?
Marta Gabriel played with us at the festival and was a true asset to the band; her playing was tight and she knew the songs very well, we all were honored that she joined us for this show and if her schedule permits, we would be very happy to do more shows with her. I think any Metal band would benefit greatly by her presence. If she ever did want to be a regular member of the band, we would all welcome her, because everyone thought she did a great job.

How did you decide to film the performance at ‘Keep It True’? Do you have a working title for the DVD or a release date? What about the bonus material for this?
Bart had the idea to film a DVD and we are glad this happened. We did about 15 shows in America before ‘Keep It True’ show and some of them were videoed so I am hoping that they will also be part of the bonus material. I am not sure if there is a title yet, but knowing the high standards of Limb Music and Bart Gabriel, I am sure it will be a very professional DVD.

Obviously this was a special show, but is there any chance to do this again in another country (maybe in the US)?
It would be great to do the same show again in some other countries in Europe like Greece and Italy and as far as America I think that we will do this next month in Florida in a very big venue in Melbourne, Florida which is the town that I live in, not Melbourne, Australia which is the town that DRAGONSCLAW is from.

As a follow up to the previous question, do you think festivals like ‘Keep It True’ would be equally successful here in the US?
Yes, I think that they could be, but they would have to be well-organized. I also think there are more people recently who are starting to like this music.

Let’s talk about JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR’s next step; it’s been almost two years since “Land Of The Dead”; so when can we expect the next album? Are you working on new music?
We have all the music written for the new album which will be called “Stand Your Ground”. Ned and I have written most of the songs but we will also be doing songs written by Rhino and Todd Micheal Hall, our singer. I know that every band believes that the new album will be great but this album will be very special because some of the riffs and ideas have existed for thirty years. In particular I have one song that was written by Ned Meloni, Rhett Forester and myself for the “Out Of The Darkness” album; this one, called “Stronger Than Steel”, will be on the new album and we are happy that it will be finally released.

When it’s time for JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR to write new material, all the members can equally contribute in writing music? I mean, what is Rhino’s and Todd’s input in the band’s writing process?
Everyone in the band has and will continue to give input and contribute and as you know, Rhino and Todd both have other projects where they write most of the songs, so for them it is not a problem to help in the songwriting.

And what about the playing live plans; have you set any live dates for the near future?
There are some shows that are already being talked about and they will be announced, but this is something that our manager will announce when it is 100% confirmed.

You have also announced a guest appearance in DRAGONSCLAW new album for the song “Battle Cry - A Tribute to Mark Reale”; how did you get involved in this?
The singer from DRAGONSCLAW emailed me and told me that he really loved all the past BURNING STARR and VIRGIN STEELE material and asked if I would play on their new album. I listened to DRAGONSCLAW and I instantly liked them and said yes. Of course, when I found out that the song I was to play on was a tribute to Mark Reale made it even more important as I knew Mark personally, and RIOT and BURNING STARR have shared members in the past. The singer from RIOT, Rhett Forester played with me and recorded the album “Out Of The Darkness” and the singer from BURNING STARR, Mike Tirelli joined RIOT for a few years also, so it has been a very special relationship with RIOT and Mark Reale.

In the last JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR album, Ross The Boss did a guest appearance; have you ever talked about working together in a project?
I love Ross The Boss' playing and it would be an honor to work with him again. I think that a tour with Ross would be great and a lot of his fans also like our band and vice versa.

Is there any other project that you are working on and would like to share it with us?
The only project I am working on is the new BURNING STARR album “Stand Your Ground”; sorry for shouting but I feel real good about this album and I want the world to know that it's coming.

In 2012 you re-released “No Turning Back!” so are there any re-issues on the way?
There is one more important reissue on the way; Limb Music will be reissuing “Out Of The Darkness” shortly and it will be a very complete and well made reissue with a thick booklet, lots of pictures and many bonus songs. I am very excited about this upcoming release.

What do you think has happened in the US and people have lost their interest in the traditional Heavy Metal sound?
I think that in the US trends come and go and people are not as loyal to the bands and the music they love like in Europe, but I do think that Metal is coming back in the US and I am happy about that.

You also have released an album under the name of JACK STARR BLUES BAND, so can we expect another album from there?
I think there probably will be one more JACK STARR BLUES BAND album, but if there is, it will be heavier and more like CREAM or MOUNTAIN and less bluesy.

And what about GUARDIANS OF THE FLAME; is there any activity going on or was it just a one-album project?
“Under A Savage Sky” was really a BURNING STARR album and there was no need to change the name to that. But it was not my idea to do this and if it ever gets reissued it should be called BURNING STARR (GUARDIANS OF THE FLAME). I would like to continue with one band name from now on and it will be BURNING STARR.

Looking back at your 30 years career, what do you think has changed in the way you’re writing music?
I think that the more comfortable you become on your instrument, the easier it is to write music and the more honest the music becomes. Someone was talking about the artist Prince once and he said “the music just flows out of him” and I think that I am reaching that point to where the music flows out of me.

Without thinking too much what is the first thing that comes to mind when you are looking back at your career?
The first thing that comes to mind is the wonderful fans that have stuck with me throughout all these years and also when I think back on my career I am amazed at the high quality of the albums that I have done. I am really proud of my recorded output.

Have you ever considered writing a book and talk about your music adventures? I bet you have some really cool/interesting stories to tell.
It’s too early to write a book but I will one day, and yes, I do have a lot of great stories to tell; I think it would be a cool book.

Have you ever felt regret about leaving VIRGIN STEELE and not keeping the name? After all and based on what I am reading it was a dispute between you and Dave so how did you decided to step out? Does this mean that you have given up all the rights to the name and music?
Sometimes, I do regret selling the name to Zoren Busic who was Dave's manager at that time, but now VIRGIN STEELE does not make the same kind of music as before and Dave is the only original member. So, it really is not the same band and in America most people do not think it still exists, or if they do, they know it as the band from Metal Massacre or Shrapnel Records and they think of me as I was the most known member. The truth is VIRGIN STEELE is not any bigger than they were thirty years ago when we were on compilation albums with METALLICA and MANOWAR, but the name itself VIRGIN STEELE which I created is a very cool name.

Well, Jack, thank you for taking the time to speak to METAL KAOZ and I hope we will also see JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR live in the US.
Thanks METAL KAOZ and we hope to play in our homeland soon too! Metal On!