Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4th, 2013 - An Interview with drummer Matt Starr!!

Matt Starr is a singer, drummer, and music producer.  He has played with the late Kevin DuBrow, Bang Tango, and is now Ace Frehley's drummer.  Mr. Starr has also formed his own band Automatic Music Explosion and has been working with guitarist Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake) in their band Burning Rain.  Influenced by drummer John Bonham to the works of Stravinsky, Mr. Starr is an amazing drummer, talented musician, and a very down-to-earth and open guy.

Brews and Tunes recently interviewed Mr. Starr about his work work with DuBrow, Bang Tango, and Ace as well as his views on music, his past work and future plans, and beer! 

1. I guess the big question would be how'd you get the gig? :) How'd you get started in music and specifically drumming?
 I heard about it from a mutual drummer friend & then made some calls to see who knew any of the guys in Ace’s band & I found a couple guys & they connected me with the band & we talked and a week later I was NY auditioning. I started playing drums begrudgingly when in 6th grade I asked for a guitar for Christmas but got a bike instead. Not bad it was Redline & it kicked ass but I wanted a guitar. So my folks felt bad & bought me some sticks. I joined the school band. Got kicked out for screwing around & taught myself to play from there.

2. What is the story behind you joining Ace Frehley's band this year? How has it been touring with Ace? Any favorite moments/events?
Ace wants to do a new record this year. This will be the first record he has recorded the majority of the record with a drummer other than Anton Fig, from Letterman, so that means a lot to me. My experience with Ace, the band & his crew has been awesome. It’s a great organization & it’s always cool to play with someone who you used to have posters of on your wall. The sound he makes is like no other. Fave moment would be first night playing in New York City, Ace’s hometown & mine too. Had my family there & lots of friends too. A killer night.

3. Who are your biggest influences, both in terms of music and more specifically in terms of drummers?
Musically I love lots of stuff from Zeppelin to ABBA to The Ramones to The Hives to The Beach Boys to Stravinsky. Drumming-wise it’s Bonham, Tommy Lee & Vinnie Appice.

4. What is your favorite song to perform live and why?
Deuce. It’s the heaviest KISS song & I get to scream “do it!” right before the chorus.

5. What is your view of the current metal/rock scene in general?
Well I like that Metal is going strong especially overseas. I have lots of records of bands I love & I’m always open to hearing new stuff as well. So the Rock scene in my house is alive & well!

6. Who are your favorite live acts (either that you've played with or seen as of late)?
The greatest ever would be KISS. I saw them in ’79. Queens of The Stone Age are epic. Mute Math would be a newer act that I like a lot.

7. You toured with the late Kevin DuBrow during his "In For The Kill" tour back in 2004. What can you tell us of that experience? What was it like working with Mr. DuBrow?
Kevin was awesome. Kicked ass every night on the mic & was super supportive & cool to me and Alex Grossi(now QR guitarist). I found him to be a very sweet guy. We had a blast & lots of music tastes in common especially Humble Pie & Free. He was actually the guy who told me I should be playing more drums, because at that time I was also doing a lot of singing with my own band The Automatic Music Explosion. Kevin had killer stories & it was a pleasure to play with him. I learned to play listening to Frankie Banali’s drumming on Metal Health.

8. You also drummed for Bang Tango on the very underrated album "Ready To Go" back in 2005. Did you also tour on that album?
Yes I did. That was also with Alex Grossi & one the first records produced by Anthony Focx. Lots of booze & silly shit went down on that tour. We did the record in a rehearsal room & it was done very quickly, not rushed but it just came out fast. As it should.

9. Back in 2007 you stepped away from your kit to do some singing in a band you formed, the Automatic Music Explosion. So when can we expect to see the Automatic Music Explosion album released? What can you tell us about that project? Who are the other musicians involved? Is it all original material and if so, were you the primary song writer? What is your song writing process like?
No idea if/when it will be released but we made a killer record with legendary producer Mike Chapman (The Sweet, Blondie, The Knack). It was basically a modern real-life version of the Archies. We had a lot of fun & I’m really proud of what we did together. Chris Price has gone on to a solo project & producing, Jodie Schell sings for the Shakers, Jeff Covey plays in Vayden & Max Mazursky is living Vegas & playing lots of drums. I did write the music for The AME. When I’m in the mode of writing everything is a title, every moment is a lyric so I would just have my ears open for words & rhythms that caught my attention & I was always writing things down or talking into my mini tape recorder, now called an iPhone. That was a very specific thing we were doing & ultimately it got too confining but it was awesome when it worked.

10. What does the future (both short-term and long-term) look like for Matt Starr?
Touring the world & recording with legendary artists like Ace. More & more, bigger & bigger.

11. My blog (Brews and Tunes) pairs craft beer with music (mostly metal). So Matt Starr gets home from an evening of rocking... what beer does he grab and what album does he spin?
Guinness & Led Zeppelin “Physical Graffiti”
Stella & Humble Pie “Live At The Fillmore”
Heineken & Rainbow “On Stage”
New Castle & Black Sabbath anything from the debut up to “Born Again”
Wildcard* Jager & Motorhead
Iron Maiden anything up to “Piece of Mind” goes with any of the above

12. Anything else you would like to convey?
Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to talk to all your readers! More Beer & More Metal!
Check out Mr. Starr at or or and we all will be looking forward to that upcoming Ace album with Starr on drums!!!  \m/  \m/

No comments:

Post a Comment