Lizzy Borden - Starwood

October 7, 2004

What led you guys to start Starwood?

What made me want to do it? In the '90s I had a band called Diamond Dogs. If you know anything about KISS, this is our Wicked Lester. Starwood was kind of based on that and we use the same guitar player, Joe Steals. It's something I wanted to do. My whole CD collection is nothing but Aerosmith, KISS, AC/DC, and I've always been a predominantly metal band so I wanted to do something that was more reflective of what was in my CD collection so really I've always wanted to do this.

I have a bootleg of Wicked Lester.

You can see where they were heading and they just needed the right chemistry. That's the same thing with our situation. If you hear some of those Diamond Dog demos, it was a hint of what was going to come when we created Starwood.

When did you guys start the band?

This last year. I don't know, I guess we really confirmed it about November of last year. We were in the studio in December. It took a little while to get things hammered out. We just started bashing it out but then I really wanted to have some dimension in the songs so we worked on that. That was really the only time consuming thing. Other than that, everything flowed together really good.

How did you decide on who all you wanted in the band?

It was easy. The people that I've been playing with were perfect. We were all in the same frame of mind and that's really what it was about. Just trying to find people that wanted to do what I wanted to do and everybody was on board. It was great. It wasn't really hard. When I knew I needed the right guitar player, I just went back to Joe Steals who was in Diamond Dogs. He was the right guy for this and I called him up and I knew he would be right into it.

And Joey is your brother.

Joey Scott is on board and he knows exactly what's going on. Marten Andersson is our bass player. Like I said before, we all have the same CD collections so it wasn't hard to try and figure out what we wanted to do. There are so many different directions any musician can go in. This one is an odd direction to go to but it's the kind of music that we all love doing. Whether it's hip in this day and age or not, I don't know but we don't care. We're having a great time.

People are coming to the shows.

We've only done two shows so far and it's great. People have been actually singing along to the songs and they never even heard the songs before. This is right when the album came out. The first show was even before the album came out so we're getting people singing along to songs they never heard before. Which is like the ultimate compliment I think. It's pretty cool to be able to get people involved in a band that they had never seen before or heard before and all in the same night. It was great.

It doesn't matter if it's hip as long as people like it.

That's right. That's what it's all about. We're out there just for the fun. We want to have as much fun as we can and hopefully it will be contagious.

Is Lizzy Borden on hiatus?

Yeah, it is. Actually we just got offered a big tour of Europe for Lizzy Borden which we're considering. Really, our main focus is on Starwood right now. This is what's really taking up most of our time and we're having a great time doing it. We're starting some videos very soon but we're doing a Lizzy Borden record in the near future. Just I don't know if we're going to do it anytime soon. We're actually working on another Starwood record as well. Like I said, you never know. We might end up doing a European tour next year.

The last time I talked to you was when you guys were in Dallas touring for Deal With The Devil. I was sorry to hear about Alex's passing.

Yeah, that was pretty tragic. We're just now getting over it all. Yeah, it was a bum deal.

That's terrible because he was such a nice guy.

Yeah, I know. I don't know. It's just unreal.

When did you guys start working on the CD?

We started recording, I think it was, December. Right around that time. I think it was starting to gel and then we did some re-recording. In a week we thought we had it and then we wanted to do just a little bit more. Then we took a while to mix it because there were so many different directions. We had piano, we had organ, we had acoustic guitar. We could have mixed this album a million different ways and we did mix it a million different ways. In the end we realized this is a guitar rock album so we just turned up the guitars and let it rip. Other than that, we could have put this out three weeks after we recorded it but we had to go full circle to find out what kind of band we were and what direction was really doing it for us. I don't know what's going to come in the future. We're writing a whole bunch of new songs right now that are different than what's on this album. You never know what's going to happen in the end. You just never know and we found that out on the making of this record.

I listened to the CD and I think one of the things I liked about it was that it was actually a fun CD.

That was the whole thing for me. I wanted to make the songs short and sweet. I put out records before where you're at a party and someone puts it on. They only make it about halfway through and then they turn on somebody else's tune and I'm like hey, I wonder why that happened. There's obviously a reason why people take off records halfway through and I didn't want that. I wanted everyone to be able to sit through this whole record in one sitting without a problem and just have a great time the whole time through. That was our thing. We wanted to be able to go into a group of people, put on this record, and be able to play it through the whole thing without someone wanting to put on something else. That was our whole goal with this thing. Make all the songs short and sweet and rock.

Sometimes people are like "I did this song and it was four minutes and 58 seconds" You want somebody to sit through five minutes of the same song?

Yeah, really. The United States is definitely a short attention span place. I'm really hip to that because I'm part of it and I know. You have to grab them in the first couple of minutes. If you don't have them, you're never going to get them. That's what our goal with this thing was. Everything was designed that way. It's just entertainment all the way.

Tell us a little about the CD.

Lyrically, I could have gone the route of just tootie frutti oh rootie but I decided I wanted a little...there are some darker elements. There are some questions and a whole bunch of different types of...the music doesn't necessarily reflect the lyrics. It's not happy, happy, happy. There are some darker tones in there. I could write a whole script for this thing because I designed it around one character. One theme. It's a rebellious type of character who's involved in the subculture and he's a bad machine. You didn't go down the list and you really just go through all the songs and they all connect. I wanted them to connect musically but I really wanted them to connect lyrically. That's kind of what it is. You can really see similar themes throughout all of the lyrics if you really dig down deep. Most people don't dig down deep and they just think it's a good time rock and roll record which is great to me. I'm glad that they don't have to dig down deep. There are no hidden meanings in the lyrics that they have to really search for. If they did want to search, there are. It is there.

Like you said, a lot of people have a short attention span.

Some people really get into it. Really are into the whole finding out what it's all about. It's there for them if they want it which is great. If they don't care and they just want to put the pedal to the metal and just turn it up loud, then that's there too. We wanted to cover all our bases because that's really what we want. We wanted what we wanted and if we don't want it, we don't want it. We want to just rock.

You guys are kind of in the same vein as bands like Brides Of Destruction, The Darkness, Velvet Revolver, and The Vines. Do you think a lot of folks are getting tired of the music that's out there and just want to go retro a bit?

I think everything goes in phases and you get to the point where everyone jumps on certain bandwagons and then they flood the market. Then people get bored of it and then it has to move in a different direction. That's why '80s metal died because it had to. There had to be something to replace it. A band like AC/DC never dies for some reason. All these fads come and go and they just keep on going strong playing bigger and bigger and bigger. It's pretty amazing. They don't need radio. They don't need anything. I think that's the common thread between us and some of those other bands you mentioned. Okay, let's just rock. We don't have to do this or that or change up anything. I think it is kind of going in that direction. When we started working on this record, I never heard about Brides Of Destruction. We were mixing the record before I heard of The Darkness. Coincidentally, a lot of people had the same idea at the same time and I think there is a reason for that. Because everyone was getting bored with what was out there.

I was at Ozzfest in August and it was so cool to have this young kid standing next to me when Judas Priest hit the stage and just asked me all these questions about Priest and then about Sabbath. These guys are so huge that they last through generations.

I think that's where it's at. Like I said, it's in the CD collection and that CD collection does not lie. That whole thing and then from the '70s to the '80s, that whole element of people one upping each other and trying to get better and better and better, the hunger was huge then. You're going to come up with some great original music and then it took a different twist. Since the "I don't care" music came out, I guess that was all right for a change, but then you've got to go right back into that CD collection because it's there for you.

KISS, Aerosmith, and Black Sabbath take up a whole lot of room in mine.

That's who I always listen to. If I listen to this music, why don't I play it? It just didn't make sense to me and I finally started talking about this to my band. They said they all thought the same way so why don't we try and emulate the people that we actually love listening to.

How long has the CD been out?

It's been out here since late July. I think it was July 28th or 29th and it just got released in Japan and Europe on the 6th of this month.

You're already working on new stuff.

I worked on new stuff the day that it was mixed. I just started working on new stuff because I knew where I wanted to go for the next one and the band, Joe Steals and Marten are starting to write a lot of stuff too which is really like Aerosmith kind of stuff. I'm loving it. I go into rehearsal every night just going oh yes. We're heading in some cool stuff that we just love doing. It's such a blast. I don't know when the next record is going to come out. We're going to write a whole hell of a lot of songs before we even think about getting down to pre-production. There's a lot of touring and stuff happening for this record. We're not getting ahead of ourselves. We're just trying to make sure that we don't have to rush anything when it comes time to do the next record.

Where are you guys touring?

Right now we have one confirmed date which is with UFO at the Hollywood House of Blues on November 15th. We have a tour of Europe possibly going to happen. I'm waiting for confirmation on that. I was supposed to get it this morning but I just don't have it yet. If it's confirmed, it's going to be a really big deal and a real great thing for us. Then there's a few other ventures that like I said are not confirmed, but they're on the table. I've got managers and agents working together trying to make it all happen and it's no easy task, I'll tell you that. It's an unknown band. We're coming out of nowhere and we're trying to get on these major bills and it's pretty difficult. I guess so because Brides Of Destruction didn't even tour the U.S. They couldn't. I guess not enough money or whatever. Not enough interest. I have no idea. I know how hard it is. We're having a tough time but things are just starting to come in.

Actually, if I remember correctly, Brides Of Destruction I think was the band that was invited to go on tour with KISS. Nikki Sixx kind of stuck his nose up at that because Poison was on the bill. I thought to myself well damn, KISS is giving you a chance to get some notoriety, to break out there, and you want to act like an asshole because you don't like Bret Michaels? What the fuck? That was stupid.

I think that was probably a big mistake. Who cares who else is on the bill? Just go out there and do your thing. I guess he has his reasons. I know there are bands that I would never tour again with unless, if it were KISS offering me to tour, I guess I would. If it was a position where I didn't have to, I would never with some of these bands out there. You have your own little feuds with them.

I understand that. I just thought it would be a great opportunity for Brides and more people would have known about it if he had gotten past that.

Yeah, I really think he should have done that. I would have loved to have gone to that show.

That would have been something else. There's a Lizzy Borden tribute album coming out.

I heard that. That's pretty cool. I've heard a couple of bands do Lizzy Borden songs before and record them. It's cool. I'd like to hear what they're going to come up with.

How do you feel about people wanting to pay tribute to you?

I think it's great. I don't know. It's never happened before but I think it's cool. Like I said, I can't wait to hear what they come up with and how they interpret what we've done years ago so it's going to be interesting.

Any other comments or thoughts?

We've started filming our videos. We're doing our first video for "Subculture". This weekend we actually start. We hope to have that one out pretty quick and then we're going to go right back in and do another video for "All My Girlfriends" so look for those things. I think they'll be up on our site too. That's It's a cool site. We're really working hard on the site trying to update it. If not every day, every other day. There's always something new going on there which is something we've never done before. We try to get people aware of Starwood as much as we can because it's an unknown band. The album just got released and we're coming out of nowhere.

I think it'll be successful.

I hope so. I've never had so much fun from doing any projects. So far the reviews and everything have been so positive. I was expecting a mixed bag. Give and take and whatever. I'm hearing nothing but positive responses which is way more than I expected and it's just awesome. To get this out and on the road, our live show is so cool, it really takes the record a step further and I can't wait for people to see that.