Keeping free-spiritedness in rock-n-roll, Arrow de Wilde, lead singer of Starcrawler, heads out on a summer tour with Rival Sons. Born and raised in the LA music scene, the Starcrawler quintet already has three studio albums to their name and continues to reimagine rock for new audiences.
There are highs and lows to being a roadie, de Wilde mentions moments of homesickness in the transience. “I definitely miss LA as well as my friends & family while I’m on tour, but I’ve also grown to really fall in love with being on tour. I still get tired and worn out like everyone else, but once I’m home for a few days I just wanna get back out again,” said de Wilde.
Jumping stories de Wilde recounts one core memory that led her to fall in love with touring. Last year, Starcrawler was the opening act for My Chemical Romance during their Euro/UK leg of the tour. “Every show had such insane energy coming off from the audience, I had never experienced anything quite like it before,” enthused de Wilde. Still, de Wilde favors playing LA venues because it feels like a big homecoming to her. Growing up as an only child de Wilde calls her bandmates the closest things she has to siblings. “Like family,” shared de Wilde. On the road, the band comes up with obscure ways of passing time. “Lots of staring contests and stupid games we make up. The only thing close to a “pre-show ritual” we have though is right before we go on stage everyone jumps up and down and dances. Bill (Bill Cash Starcrawlers steel pedal/guitarist that is) does this bark that sounds exactly like a chihuahua and he’ll do it a couple times usually before every show,” said de Wilde. “It’s honestly impressive and terrifying.”
de Wilde is transparent about the realities and costs of touring. Rockers like Bruce Springsteen and the likes of Aerosmith made touring seem like a sweet ride and not the money pit it is now. “[Touring] it’s the epitome of the rock and roll lifestyle at least nowadays because it’s the only way to really get your name out there as a rock band. And the hopes that someday you make money doing it,” confirmed de Wilde.
Starcrawler has previously written music for film and television giving the band a unique edge plus alternative funds for touring. In some ways this is what is defining the music industry now; an in-your-face aesthetic sidelined with an adjacent on-brand film. For Starcrawler fans, that means listening to their cover of the Ramones’ Pet Cemetary for the 2019 film adaptation while buying new combat boots and going to smash pumpkins over our dead rabbits’ grave.
Rock gives de Wilde confidence because it’s the music she gravitates towards the most. “I also think Rock was definitely created because people didn’t have many ways of expressing themselves, and they were angry and fed up with taking the world’s shit,” declared de Wilde.
Despite the pressures to conform, Starcrawler creates what they want. “I know the 2010s are back in style but the Burger Records sound does not need to make a comeback with it,” said de Wilde when asked if they want to innovate or add new surf rock influences. “Haha no but in all seriousness, we just make what feels natural to us and what inspires us at the moment.”
In their most recent release, She Said Starcrawler pushes out true punk production with all the catchiness of pop lyrics and even some nods of shoegaze sounds. Most of the songwriting for Starcrawler is the birth child between guitarist Henri Cash and de Wilde. “Some songs we start and finish together, others one of us starts and brings to the other, we don’t really have one solid method which I think is good because then it doesn’t feel like it’s a task, or unnatural. A song that first comes to my mind as being from his perspective would definitely be “Stranded”. The style it’s written in is so him, as well as the story behind it. He got in a fender bender during lockdown with someone who happened to also be a musician, and it turned out they had mutual friends and it was this sort of funny awkward experience that for some reason inspired him to write that song during a period of time when it was really hard to find inspiration. There are other songs too but that one feels weirdly like one of the most significant for some reason. I’d say a song that’s more from my perspective, would probably be Runaway or Roadkill. They both were inspired by kind of intense personal events in my life with people that I cared about, so those two definitely mean a lot to me,” explained de Wilde.
Starcrawler isn’t alone in the fight to make sure rock doesn’t die. de Wilde shares that her friend Sabrina’s band Pretty Sick and artist Dagger Polyester are other Gen Z rockers she’s excited to follow.
From Joshua Tree concerts to opening for some of the industry’s most established names in rock, Starcrawler isn’t necessarily crawling to the charts but clashing and banging to stardom.
‘I’m always striving for the next best thing, but I’m also super grateful for everything we’ve accomplished so far. I just want to be able to keep it going!”
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