Written by John Guarnieri
The acclaimed heavy metal and jazz guitarist, Jack Starr, of Virgin Steele and Burning Starr fame, took some time to answers these questions for us here at Fallen Blue. He discussed everything to his new album, Land Of The Dead, to a song he wrote and dedicated for a fallen police officer. It is an honor to have Jack join our army of supporters.
1. What are your goals as a musician in 2012 and beyond? Will there be a Burning Starr U.S. tour in the near future?
I would like to keep making great music for as long as I can.
2. 'Land Of The Dead' is a remarkable album, and with that being said, was it difficult to create such a work that hearkens back to the glory days of metal, all while sounding fresh and still kick-ass?
Land of the Dead is just a composit of everything I have ever listened to, blended with the influences of Ned Todd and Rhino. It sounds fresh because we don't all have the usual influences, and I, myself, having been born in France listened to different music till I was ten years old before my family moved to the U.S.
3. Ken Kelly has once again created a killer album cover for Burning Starr's Land Of The Dead. What is the process that leads to the final image? Does he take the themes from the songs and create something, or do you work with him through the whole design?
Ken Kelly works in mysterious ways and never reveals his influences or what prompts him to paint a certain image. I think a lot of it is sublimninal, but one thing is sure, he hit it on the head with Land of the Dead
4. How would you sum up the transition from the first Burning Starr album, 'Rock The American Way', to the new album? What is the biggest difference you have noticed?
The first Burning Starr album was really tied into the whole eighties metal scene and even had a bit of California influence. Now, however, that is no longer a part of our sound. You will never hear anything on our new album that sounds remotely like Motley Crue.
5. What is the history of the song, "Blues For The Man In Blue"?
'Blues for the Man in Blue' came to me, when I was living on Long Island and I read the tragic story of a cop who was killed in the line of duty. They had pictures of the funeral and his son who must have been 4 or 5 at the time; it was hard to not feel for the family of this brave man, so I wanted to write a song to appreciate my thanks to that man in blue and since I play blues , I thought 'Blues For The Man In Blue' would be the perfect title.
6. If you are about to go on stage with your Blues Band, do you prepare the same way as you would for a metal show?
It is all pretty much the same music; the only diference is that it is a lot easier to put on a blues show because there is a lot less equiptment.
7. The latest incarnation of Burning Starr has some great musicians; does working with talented people push you harder, especially when playing live?
Its alsways better to play with great people because then you have to rise to their level and they make you sound better.
8. If you could pick one song in your illustrious career to define you, what would that song be and why?
I would have to say it is the song 'No Turning Back' because that is how I feel , I am committed to playing my music and I will never give up.
9. What do you think of the current metal scene? Are there any new bands out there that interest you?
The current metal scene is cool, and there are a lot of great bands out there. I think it is great that young people still want to play this type of music. Hammer Fall for instance is great, and so is Domain.
10. What is the inspiration for the title track of your new album, 'Land Of The Dead'?
I just wanted to make a statement that we need to be more creative and less conformist, so we can break out of the Land of the Dead and live a happy life, full of meaning and joy.
For more information on Jack Starr and his projects: http://jackstarr.com/starr.html