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Dave Starr & London Wilde (WildeStarr)

Interview with Dave Starr & London Wilde from WildeStarr
by Jean-Francois Poulin at 30 May 2018, 3:23 AM

It's always a treat to have this renaissance of older bands that start new ones. They say long live rock and roll and that you are never too old for this. Well, it's a treat to see that some veterans still have fun and make music for themselves, for the love of the music. Metal Temple writer Jean-Francois Poulin was recently able to interview the members of WILDESTARR. They are formed by the very underrated Dave Starr, he has been in numerous bands like CHASTAIN, LAAZ ROCKIT and the acclaimed VICIOUS RUMORS. He is joined by his wife London Wilde to form this Melodic Power Metal outfit!

You guys recorded a demo in 2007, what made you want to make music together? Was it something you guys always wanted to do?

Dave: Its just something that needed to happen. I went back to VR in 2005 and recorded the WarBall CD, but I was not real happy with the experience. I had already started to write new music with London, and thats really what I wanted to do. I wanted to go forward with my life and career, and not backwards to the past. My future was with London and WildeStarr.

London: I was engineering the bass tracks for Dave and David Chastain, on the CHASTAIN “In an Outrage” album, and towards the end of the project, Dave asked me if I was interested in starting a band. I heard some of his song ideas, which were great, and it started from there.

You guys took 5 years to record this new album, ''Beyond the Rain'', did you want to take your time to make this album, to make this album the best that you guys could do?

London: I did want to take my time on this album, since the message was so personally important to me. Lyrically the album deals with the emotional roller coaster of a musician, and his life long struggle for validation as an artist. Its inspired by my brother’s suicide in 2011, and I felt compelled to tell his story. Dave finished his writing and recording years before I finished mine. We also had to re-build our studio after a move, which set our schedule back, and I had to replace 2 key pieces of vintage gear for my vocal chain which quit on me half way through the recording.

Dave: 5 years is an eternity in the music business, but we got it done, and its now part of our legacy. The album turned out great.  I did not sit around, I'm always writing new music non stop, so while London was working on vocals and lyrics, I always have a guitar in my hand working on new song ideas. Its a never ending process.

I've got a question for Dave, you have been in some pretty underrated bands, do you have any funny stories from the road in all that touring you have done throughout the years?

Dave: I have lots of them, but a few come to mind; I was standing on a stage monitor and slipped and fell into the crowd. It was pretty scary, but I did not get hurt that bad. This was on the 1991 VR tour with Savatage. Also, on that same tour…. our bus driver fell asleep and we crashed. Now that was scary! None of of got hurt, but it was damn frightening as all hell! Back in 1988, we did a show in Holland at the Dynamo club, my bass went out and I had no backup bass. So, I grabbed Geoff's backup guitar, plugged it in, and started to play my bass parts on it! Its only rock n Roll!!

Any bands you guys would like to tour with? Any plans on a a tour for the new album?

Dave: We don't tour, but if we did… I would say Judas Priest!

London: That would be my vote as well!

A question for London, what was your musical background and upbringing?

London: I had two older brothers, so I grew up listening to hard rock. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. It wasn’t until I discovered Dio, that I decided I wanted to be a singer. I am a self-taught musician. Both my parents were amateur musicians, but discouraged music as a career.

I wanted to talk about CHASTAIN, I guess it's a bit like the elephant in the room, how was your experience in the band? It seems to be a revolving door of members throughout the years. David Chastain has been the subject of a lot of criticism for the handling of the band but we never really knew the whole backstory nonetheless.

Dave: I am no expert on CHASTAIN. David hired me and Larry Howe (my drummer from VR) as session musicians to play bass & drums on the "In an Outrage" CD that came out in 2004. Overall, it was a great experience. As London said earlier, she did production work on the CD, recording & engineering the bass tracks for me at our home studio.  David is a really nice guy and very talented. Id like to work with him again some day. That was the only CD I did with CHASTAIN. He then let singer Kate French go and got LEATHER his original singer back. I was already busy with WildeStarr at this point, so I was no longer involved in the band. David got some of his old guys back from the original CHASTAIN, I had no problem with any of this. CHASTAIN is basically David & Leather.  I have no idea what Kate is doing. I know she put out one album with Vainglory, but that was over 10 years ago. She might be retired, I just don't know. I still stay in touch with David, we talk on facebook from time to time, and he has helped out London and I with WildeStarr, going over mixes and tones with us.

Do you guys finally have that musical freedom, being this is your project, after years of being in other bands. Is it a bit of emancipation to do your own thing nowadays?

Dave: I think WildeStarr is 100% freedom for London and I. We do what we want, and play everything ourselves aside from the drums done by Josh Foster. This is the best band I have ever been in. No drugs, booze, idiots, or bad attitudes in WildeStarr!

London: For me, it’s not just musical freedom, but acceptance. I can’t be fired from my own band!

Any countries that you have fond memories? You did a live album in 1992 in Japan with VICIOUS RUMOURS, that must have been one hell of a experience!

Dave: All my touring experience was with VR. Japan was amazing, though the LIVE in Tokyo album is not one of my favorites, we played great but the recording was low budget. All the show we ever did in Europe were great. USA was hit and miss. We never got the right promotion from Atlantic here in America, but we still played great shows even if not many people were there. Mexico City in 1988 was insane, I'll never forget those shows!

Any plans with other projects for 2018 and beyond?

Dave: I'm writing new songs as we speak!

London: We are working on a few things, stay tuned!


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Edited 15 August 2022

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