Starcrawler share new single ‘Stranded’ and tell us about their riotous new album

Frontwoman Arrow De Wilde told NME about evolution and touring with My Chemical Romance

Starcrawler have released their new single ‘Stranded’. Check it out below, along with our interview with frontwoman Arrow De Wilde.

Announced last month alongside its title track, ‘She Said’ is the Los Angeles band’s third album but their first for a major label. ‘Stranded’ follows the title track and the release of the album’s first single ‘Roadkill’ in May.

“It’s not just a hard rock, banger type of song like we normally make,” De Wilde told NME of ‘Stranded’. “I really like that song and I’m excited for it to come out but I’m also curious what people will say.”

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The video, directed by actor Danny Trejo’s son and De Wilde’s partner Gilbert Trejo, sees the band play weary employees in a shop and fast food restaurant, undertaking unglamorous routine jobs. A glowing pink door then appears, as the band and other characters decide to step into the unknown where an otherworldly party awaits them.

“That video was so much fun to make,” De Wilde said. “It was kind of thrown together and a bit of scramble but we just got all our friends and basically had a party and filmed it. Then did these little vignette scenes around it and made a story. Normally I do think of a story and figure out how to make it work with the budget that we have.

She continued: “For this one, all I knew is that I wanted it to feel like a summer night. But also a fantasy, or like a movie. Or the feeling that you get when you’re out with your friends and it’s hot out and you’re in the car. In the video, these people are in these shitty situations, or feel like they’re stranded and then they step into this fantasy party and all come together. Gilbert thought of that story – I just knew the vibe and the feelings I wanted it to emit.”

The five-piece – comprising De Wilde, guitarists Henri Cash and Bill Cash, drummer Seth Carolina and bassist Tim Franco – released their self-titled debut album in 2018, following it up the next year with ‘Devour You’.

“The first album was the first one we ever wrote as a band and that record is almost like a live album, there’s barely any overdubs,” said De Wilde. “I re-did my vocals, but everything is live and pretty much sounds like what we sounded like live at that time.

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“Since then, we’ve played so much and we did another album. All the members of the band have grown exponentially but for me, I think my voice and writing ability has improved a lot. I’m not shading the first album, I love all those songs still and we perform a lot of them still. But I kind of do sound like a baby on that record, so I feel like you can hear the progression between the three albums. Even though this one is a little bit glossier I guess, it still sounds like us.”

The album’s thrilling first single ‘Roadkill’ felt like the perfect song to announce the band’s return, though there are “slower songs and dreamier songs on the album”.

“I was scared that if we started off with a slower or a more poppy song that people would be like, ‘Oh, shit, they’re a whole different band now’,” De Wilde explained. “But we’re still Starcrawler; we are here, we are back. And you’ll get to see more of a variety of our music as the singles come out and as the album comes out.”

‘She Said’ was recorded over an extended period during the pandemic, which De Wilde admitted was difficult at first. “The recording process was so drawn out,” she said. “We’d go in for a couple days here, and then a month later, do some more stuff because it was still a weird time. We did record at Sunset Sound in LA for a few days, but COVID was still a concern. So it was a longer process than usual.”

Naturally, the pandemic did have an impact on their songwriting, with the various emotions and feelings of that time popping up in the music. But as a band, they came out of it tighter and more refined.

“The band were pretty much the only people I saw for a really long time,” De Wilde said. “We worked on songs and we did a couple of little band quarantines where we got a house in the desert and wrote for the album. And we did one in Oregon too, in the forest. So it ended up being cool and I think we needed a break.

“We’ve been on the road since we were 16, so though lockdown was really hard at first and I hated it, I think it did help us in the end because we had been so worn out right before that. It gave us time to think about the next era of the band and how we wanted to emerge after everything.”

Starcrawler recently opened for My Chemical Romance across the band’s UK tour and will play alongside Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at their huge All Points East show in London later this summer.

Speaking of playing with My Chemical Romance, De Wilde told NME: “That tour really changed things for us. We’ve toured with a lot of bands before, but I’ve never really experienced a whole new onslaught of fans that are just from that tour. When we were out with them, we played some headlining shows in random UK and European cities. And people that saw us at MCR came to our headline shows, which is kind of unusual. You do gain fans on tours, but it’s rare when it feels like they’re devoted. So I was really grateful for that.”

Starcrawler
Starcrawler, 2022. CREDIT: Cameron McCool

Aside from upcoming dates in Australia, the US and the UK, De Wilde said that Starcrawler were firmly looking ahead to the release of ‘She Said’ and are hopeful that it will “speak to different types of people”.

“It doesn’t feel like this record is just for one type of person,” De Wilde said. “It’s not just for people that like only rock and roll. It’s for people that like rock and roll. But it’s also for people that like any other type of music. I think there’s a song that can speak to anyone, and I hope that it does.”

She continued: “I hope that people interpret their own meanings to the songs because as much as I like talking about the meanings, I think there’s something cool about there being a mythology. I personally think it’s cool when you create a story in your head and create some meaning. Sometimes, when you do find out what songs are actually about, it’s not as exciting as you built it up to be in your head. So I’d like for everyone to create their own stories.”

Starcrawler release ‘She Said’ on September 16. 

The band’s upcoming tour dates are below. Visit here for tickets and more information.

AUGUST
10 – Albuquerque, NM – Inside Out
12 – Kansas City, MO – recordBar
13 – Minneapolis, MN (with Jack White) – Armory
14 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway
16 – Colorado Springs, CO – Black Sheep
18 – Las Vegas, NV – Psycho Swim
28 – London, UK (with Nick Cave) – All Points East, Victoria Park

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