Starblind will be one of the four bands playing live at the indie/pop fest this Friday, November 10th, at Death Disco. The release of ‘A Sparkle From The Past’ compilation from Make Me Happy, lit the flame, and the lucky ones attending this event, should live a night to remember of! Since we have had a “crush on them” for ages(!), Starblind were kind enough to answer Last Day Deaf’s questions.
Long live indie…
Hi Starblind, and welcome to Last Day Deaf. Open up your hearts, and talk about the band! How did you form? Please provide us with your bio…
Starblind formed in Athens during 1998 by three bass players, George Otemperis (previously of Kissamatic Lovebubbles), Nick Drivas (of Distorted Image) and Yannis Massouras. The lineup crystalized when Marily Kitsiona (vocals) and Katerina Kastana (keyboards) joined. Leaving George on guitar, Yannis on bass and Nick taking over the drums. We had an indie pop direction in mind and were influenced by Sarah Records, The Smiths, Lush all the way through to Suede, Strangelove and Mogwai.
Correct me if I am wrong; Up to today you have only released a 4-track demo (‘Killing A Day’, 1999) and one track from the aforementioned demo, the indie pop gem ‘Crush On You’ featured on two compilations by once upon a time excellent Pop Art Records and later by American Shelflife Records, in 2001. We would like some more from you! Which were the main difficulties on recording/releasing music?
Yes, in December 1999 we recorded our four track demo ‘Killing A Day‘. From this demo the track ‘Crush On You‘ was featured on two compilations, ‘Try A Little Sunshine‘ by Pop Art Records in 1999 and ‘Picnic Basket‘ by the American label Shelflife Records in 2001. The song for those compilations was actually remixed at a better studio.
We were a short lived band. So we were lucky that we made it to the studio and record a demo. I wouldn’t say that we met any difficulties. Some of us had previous experiences. We didn’t even record in a luxury studio. But at that time, we didn’t have any major requirements, we just wanted to make a demo. We chose 4 out of our 12 songs and just entered the studio.
Back to ‘Crush On You’. What’s the story behind this indie pop gem?
George: Well, as all great pop songs it was written easily, quickly and spontaneously inspired by Sarah Rec 7 inch pop gems (45’s).
High Fidelity question: 3 albums, 3 films and 3 tracks that made you start the band…
Nick: They say once a Goth always a Goth, so my pics are a bit darker. Albums: Bauhaus – ‘In The Flat Field‘, The Cure – ‘Pornography‘, Cocteau Twins – ‘Garlands‘.
Films: “The Man Who Fell To Earth“, “Pretty In Pink“, “Wings Of Desire“.
Tracks: Bauhaus – ‘Dark Entries‘, and to pick something more indie to coincide with the Starblind era, The Sundays – ‘Can’t Be Sure‘, Suede – ‘Animal Nitrate‘.
George: Albums: The Smiths – ‘The Queen Is Dead‘ / Adorable– ‘Against Perfection‘ / The Radio Dept.– ‘Pet Grief‘.
Films: “Amelie” / “Cinema Paradiso” / “Wings Of Desire“.
Songs: ‘Sunshine Smile‘, Adorable / ‘Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others‘, The Smiths / ‘Sensitive‘, The Field Mice.
What made you reform in 2017? Missing the 90’s? Artistic expression need? Please explain….
As musicians and music lovers there is always a need for artistic expression. Marily and I have a current band at the moment, The Moon In June, an ethereal wave project. The release of the compilation ‘A Sparkle From The Past‘ is what really conjured up the Starblind reunion. The Make Me Happy team that made the compilation had contacted us earlier to reform so as to attend a live party of theirs but it wasn’t up to now with the release of the compilation that we actually decided to go ahead and just do it.
In what way do you believe than music has changed since 90’s? What do you think about the 90’s revival with all these shoegaze/indie acts reforming and releasing albums again?
Nick: The main thing that has changed in my opinion is that nowadays there is no genres that are at the forefront. Then in the 90s we had the Manchester scene, rave, Britpop. Now one can hear anything. About the revival and reforming of the shoegaze/indie acts I think its all good. It all depends on the music, if its good, its worth it. I saw Slowdive recently and their live was great, as was their new album.
Marily: I got the chance to see Lush at the Roundhouse in London, it was a dream come true! They played so well, many said they were better than back in the days.
George: Well revivals are nice indeed, It was a big surprise for me to see a lot of young people having a big interest in shoegaze which was a short live music stream in the 90’s.
November 10th marks a date of a very special event! The ‘A Sparkle From The Past’ Release party at Death Disco with you performing live along with three important Greek bands of the same era, Next Time Passions, Pillow, & The Jaywalkers. What are you going to perform that “great” night?
We didn’t have much time to prepare so were not playing many songs. It took a while just to remember them. We will obviously play our most know track “Crush On You” and “Killing A Day” that is featured on the compilation. Also some covers, But where keeping it secrete until the gig. Something of a surprise.
Which are Starblind’s plans for 2018?
At the moment the focus is to prepare for this gig. Future plans might involve remixing the other songs from the demo for a future release and recording a new track.
Finishing this in a tricky way! Why should the unaware audience listen to Starblind?
Music has no age. But, then again I think we belong to this family, of Greek indie bands, one that’s portrayed on the compilation album being released. It was a small scene, but it has left its mark and probably influenced a young generation to continue our dream.
Photo credits: George Geranios (1st one), Nick Drivas (2nd one)