El Diablo - How you doing KJ? I've been doing a little bit of research since receiving your debut album and according to your website you've all been paying their dues in different bands prior to the formation of Stars of the Silverscreen.
So do you want to fill us in on what everyone was doing and how you all finally got to the point of forming the band?
Kj - Yeah, We've all played in different bands before Stars of the Silverscreen with varying successes. Our original bass guitarist, Manny, and myself were in an Irish influenced punk band and our former drummer, now guitar player played in Refused & Abhinanda.
Originally we got together when Eppy, the band Manny and myself were in split.
I called an old friend Matt and asked if he wanted to start another project, and as we had a lot of musical common ground he agreed and brought Fret from Abhinanda along.
I wrote a few songs and we started rehearsing.
That was the real beginning, but shortly after that Matt had to move to Stockhom and we had to find another guitarist.
We quickly picked up a mutual friend, Peter, who Manny had previously played with in several bands and as he's the greatest guitarist we know it all fell into place quite easily. Especially as he was moving to Umea at the time.
It was a sort of right place right time opportunity.
In hindsight it was a match made in heaven. Like the missing piece of a puzzle had been found.
Peters licks and guitar solos gave us a whole new dimension in sound and that inspired me to write even more and we ended up recording two demos.
Sadly, shortly after that, Manny decided to put his bass on the shelf and we were left looking for another member and we asked Freddy to join, and he jumped right in and got down to learning all the material for our debut album.
ElD - There's been a few people that have come and gone for different reasons then. Is the line up settled now and ready to take the band to the next stage?
Kj - Well yeah that's true, it'has been a bumpy ride, and it didn't stop there with the line up changes. When we got back from supporting the US Bombs in Germany Peter dropped the bomb that he wanted to focus on his career as a metal guitarists and we were all in shock, but luckily Fret is a great guitarist and always missed playing guitar so he stepped up to the plate with flying colours.
He has a more shitty garage feel to his playing which in a way suits the sound of the band better
And after finding Joey Nova on drums we're now ready for world domination.
ElD - You've had a couple of higher profile supports in Europe. US Bombs and The Bones to name a couple. How did that help the band?
Kj - It's always good to get out there and play. Apart from being fun it does raise the profile of the band. I've known The Bones for many years now and have gotten great support from them. They're great guys. The tour we did with them were amazing. It's really cool that we picked up new fans, and even had both promoters & fans came up to us after the shows saying how rare it is that the support act gets such a welcome as we did. It's cool when people say that our set was the show of the century. You really feel that you are connecting with an audience when that's the reaction. I Can't wait to get back on the road. It's been too long!
ElD - Now that you have the promoters onside and these supports tucked under your belt are you hoping for a label to come along? Or do you think the way ahead is to go independent and do it all yourself?
Artists like Ginger Wildheart and bands from Fishbone to The Dollyrots seem to be doing well cutting out the labels as middle men and dealing directly with their fan base.
Kj - The thought has cross my mind from time to time. The new demo songs are really really good and I have complete faith in them, and if I had the time and finances to support a independent release I would, but I don't have the time or finances. So we are at the point where we feel that any help froma fully supportive label that would put in as much effort as we would is what we need to act as the catalyst to push us forward. It would be great to hit the studio for real and concentrate on making music without distractions I work 24/7 for this band all ready, and releasing the album ourselves,,,,,,hmm well I just don't think I have enough time to do it right. We could also do with some contacts for a good promotion job, but yes, I think the releasing of material directly to the fans can be the right way to go once you established. It makes sense.
At the moment though we need a label to get behind us. So is there anyone out there that wants to come along for the ride then get in touch as we are seriously ready to work our asses off.
ElD - It's been a couple of years since you released your debut album.
How is the follow up coming along?
Kj - We're writing new songs at the moment.
The ideas are coming fast and I'm hoping that the rest of the guys will get involved in the song-writing process with me and maybe even present me with some kick ass songs.
The plan is to record it during the winter, and if that works out we will get Boner from The Bones as producer this time as well.
ElD - Here in the UK rock music has to an extent faded into the background, but in Mainland Europe the fire still appears to burn bright. Why do you think this is?
Kj - Yeah it's a shame. I watch MTV2 from time to time trying to see what's happening over there. Some cool stuff, but it seem the UK pop thing is still the most you'll see on that channel.
Bands like The Yo Yo's etc just seem gone? Disappeared into the mists of time.
We'd love to come to the UK to try and restore the brits with some kick ass punk r'n'r. We always have a great time in Germany & Spain. But even there it's starting to be more of a struggle getting gigs. So maybe we are just a few years behind you on the same downward slide. I don't know. Right now the economy sucks so everything is turned upside down...I notice a big change just in the past two years. It's sad really.
ElD - What do you think the answer is? Some people I know have been pushing for bands to become a bit more organized and creative. Advocating working out-with the boundaries of the music business by releasing their own albums and booking their own tours with like minded people. It's not a new idea, but it does seem to be gathering a bit of momentum. Do you think that maybe we all have to go back to square one and build up something different rather than trying to breathe some live into a system that seems to be failing?
I think new ways to reach out is a must. I also think it's a bit of a catch22 at the moment. You can't get a tour if you don't have an album, you won't get signed unless you tour 250 days a year, you know...a little bit exaggerated...but you know what I mean?
Something needs to be done...just not sure what. Being organized is a must. Having the attitude to go into it for the long haul.
Maybe it's time for a new punk movement to shake things up?
I mean, we're not doing this for the money...if that was the case then we'd have given up a long time ago. But that doesn't mean a band can keep doing stuff for free either.
The reality is that a tour costs, making an album cost. And the money received mostly cover expenses if you're lucky.
So it's hard touring all year around without some money left over. 'Cause it's nice to have a home to come home to after a tour you know haha...
Also the fact that bands keep playing in front of their own crew more or less doesn't help. You can become over exposed without gaining ground.
Why people stopped showing up for gigs? I don't know. Maybe it's because bands doesn't sell albums any more so they have to be on tour all the time, and then after a few years people have seen so many bands of the same bands playing again and again that they just don't bother showing up any more. Or do they think it's easier watching the show on Youtube instead?
I have no idea?
Don't get me wrong, I´m not against online media...Just wondering where it all went wrong?
I sometimes think it shouldn't be that complicated. I just wanna play R'n'R!
ElD - ….and that's it KJ. In one little sentence you've echoed what virtually everyone in a band at one time says. You just want to play Rock'n'Roll, and with that I would like to say thanks for taking the time out to jaw a while, and for those reading you gotta check out the band, and if someone somewhere who is looking to invest in a band, whether that be releasing something or offering gigs or promotions then here's one right under your nose that I will highly recommend.