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BottleRock 2023: Rocking With Starcrawler

BottleRock 2023: Rocking With Starcrawler

Coming out of BottleRock 2023 with one of the festival's most exciting performances, Starcrawler chats about how California influenced them. Team


4 min read

June 02, 2023

Forged in the glamour and grime of the L.A. music scene, Starcrawler took a brief break from their tour with Rival Sons to perform at BottleRock 2023, Napa Valley’s biggest music festival. They left with one of the weekend’s highlights; a dynamic performance that captured the band’s 80s rock essence to a tee.

The five-piece group features guitarists Henri and Bill Cash, bassist Tim Franco, drummer Seth Carolina, and singer Arrow de Wilde.

The striking thing about Starcrawler is their energetic live show. With pulsing beats and crunchy guitars, de Wilde commands the stage like many of the great rock band singers of the 80s. Her performance is a distinct mix of glam-rock elegance and punk-rock chaos, fueling a unique and memorable style for the band on full display on BottleRock’s Truly Stage.

Photo courtesy of BottleRock Napa Valley/Latitude 38.

Starcrawler has contented themselves with some fairly high-profile opportunities landing a cover of the Ramones song “Pet Sematary” on the remake’s soundtrack. They also lent their talents to Jackass 4.5’s soundtrack with a cover of “If You’re Gonna Be Dumb, You Gotta Be Tough,” both of which were performed during their electric BottleRock set. sat down with Starcrawler to talk about their new Acoustic Sessions EP, how California has influenced their music, and what food places they have to hit up while on the road.

The interview has been edited for clarity.

I want to start off by asking about your new acoustic album. It was an interesting sound, I noticed a lot of twang in it. Was that something that you intended? How did that album come about?

Henri: It just happened naturally. I mean, with that EP, some of the songs started out like that. So we made them into the songs that were on the record. But we still wanted to capture what they originally started as. And so that was the original thought we didn't even know we were ever gonna release it. We just kind of wanted to document it

Seth: Yeah, naturally, punk rock is loud, so what would be the slow, soft version of that? It would be country music. It’s not going to be singer-songwriter (laughs)

When you’re writing these acoustic versions and performing them, do you surprise yourself with what comes out? It’s such a different sound.

Henri: A lot of times, it’s harder to listen to. I could listen to the fast stuff all day, and I’m like, it’s great. But the acoustic stuff, I’m like, ‘eh, I don’t know.’ It’s just more vulnerable. When you’re playing fast, it’s all your energy. Once you stip it down, it’s just you naked.

Arrow: Yeah, for me, it’s like for so long I just sang shouty punk style. So when I do the quieter stuff, I like it, but it feels weird.

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When listening to your music, I can really hear your influences, but one thing I like is that it doesn’t feel like a pastiche of old bands. You have your own style. Was this something you had to consider when forming the band?

Arrow: I definitely have strong influences, but I don’t want to take what they’re doing and replicate it. I want to create my own identity with Starcrawler.

Henri: Yeah, it needs to feel honest. When we’re playing live and having that energy, it comes from a real place. If we were trying to mimic a style, we’d lose that deep connection with the music. Also, whether it's positive or negative, people hear with their eyes whether they’re realizing it. Even going back to TV when they’re setting up a scene and how certain colors work. You pick up on things that you don’t notice. We wanted to set an image by being flashy. 

How has California influenced your music?

Arrow: I think it definitely has. A lot of the bands we grew up on, like The Gun Club and X, I think all of it, even places we grew up going to have influenced our songwriting. I grew up all over the place, so I have a nostalgia for all these weird little spots in Los Angeles that give me inspiration.

Henri: It just feels so much better than New York, you know (laughs). We’ve been on tour out there for a week now, and even though San Francisco isn’t L.A, it’s still like, “Oh man,” to be back.

Seth: Being not from California, the radio will play music that you have to dig for in the south; that you wouldn’t be exposed to growing up. Listening to the radio in Southern California, you get exposed to so much. When I moved to California, I learned so much more music that I would have missed, and a lot of it is California music.

What are some of the best places in California you have to stop at when at home or on the road?

Arrow: There’s so much. In L.A. my favorite venue is The Echo. I grew up going there and when we started out, we played there a lot. It feels like home.

Seth: If we’re overseas, In-N-Out as soon as we get back.

Henri: There’s a cool place on the way up to San Francisco from L.A. called Casa De Fruta (in Hollister). They have a bunch of fruit and dried fruit candy. 

Starcrawler is on tour with Rival Sons throughout the East Coast, so if you end up on that side of the Mississippi River, check out one of their show. Be sure to stay up to date on all things Starcrawler by going to the band’s website where you can be the first to hear new music, cop some sweet merch, or view one of their astounding music videos.

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