We were fortunate enough to catch up with the superb Toronto-based band Starr Blazerz for an interview. They have released their infectious electronic-pop single, ‘The Climb (Velvet Master) [feat. Makia]’, in May 2020. Check out our interview below!
Tell us about yourself?
Glen: I’ve Been writing and recording music since I was 15. Signed to 5 record deals since then with various indie labels.
Justin: I’ve been producing and songwriting for about ten years, but on a professional level, since about 2012. The most success that I’ve had has been with Starr Blazerz, as we’ve been signed to two UK record deals.
What is your songwriting process?
Glen: I can completely write a song, but in Starr Blazerz, Justin creates the soundtrack, and I create the lyrical/melodic concept to accompany it. I sing the record, produce and mix my vocals and send him the finals to do a final tweak on.
Justin: Yea, that’s pretty accurate. Sometimes, prior to the track even being sent, Glen and I will chat about ideas surrounding a vibe or concept. After the vocals are recorded, we go back and forth about the placement of certain vocal sections/melodies/etc. Often, whether or not a feature should be included is a major point of discussion as well. On one of our new records, Glen already sent the lead guitar melody and vocals, and I’m going to build an entire song around that.
Tell us about your latest release?
Glen: ‘The Climb’ is a hot track that didn’t get much love the first go around, and deserved more listens as we’ve built a fan base. It’s a track about fulfilling your destiny as a person, and about the hidden awesomeness that is in every human if they can channel it/find it.
Justin: That sums it up pretty damn well haha. I really wanted the production to sound like a cross between a Young Thug record and something you’d hear on the Tron remake. That might sound like an odd combination, but I can blend that sh*t pretty well.
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
Glen: Hopefully, it makes people smile- or- best case scenario- it gives them goosebumps. Really great music does that, so I think it’s every writer’s dream to get that connection with listeners.
Justin: Absolutely! Any time someone tells me something that they felt when listening to something that I’ve created, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s one of the reasons why I continue to create.
Who are your musical influences?
Glen: 80’s synthpop, Prince, PM Dawn, Phantogram, Chvrches, and Blur.
Justin: The Neptunes, Dr. Dre, Scott Storch, Timbaland, Danja, Quincy Jones, Max Martin, Murda Beats, Synth Pop, a bit of Punk, electro R&B…I could go on for days! Honestly, I think that my favourite producer of all time might be Danja though. He’s underrated and represents Virginia!
Who are your non-musical influences?
Glen: Dirk Nowitzki- he was a hard-working, dedicated, loyal athlete with a good sense of humour. Every person could learn from how he conducts himself.
Justin: Rafa Nadal, Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. They all personify “class” to me. As well as being completely unique and elite with their craft.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
Glen: New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, 2003 or 2004. Massive show with 311. Very rockstar night.
Justin: TBD haha…I haven’t played any gigs yet! Maybe in the very near future.
What is your funniest gig moment?
Glen: A girl once licked the sweat off my arm after a show to prove I wasn’t ‘too sweaty to give her a hug.’
Justin: Once again, TBD. Although once, at a bar, a dude acted like I was some kind of celebrity though haha.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
Glen: Fragmentation of the industry, COVID-19 post-pandemic events, finding mentors as the industry evaporates.
Justin: I’d completely agree. Also, finding an A&R that actually wants to connect with you and help you grow as opposed to one that is just looking for a product that is already out there and just wants the money. The industry needs more people like Clive Davis.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Glen: Make music because you love it, and try to find ways to work to make it easy for people who might love your music to get a hold of it.
Justin: Agreed. I’ve almost given up so many times, but my love for creating art keeps drawing me back in. What are your hopes for the next two years? Glen: Continue to grow Starr Blazerz, and continue to release music that makes people smile….and sometimes get goosebumps.
Justin: Same….and to become a rock star….
FVMusicBlog May 2020
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