Dublin, Ireland based pop punk band Starters are one of the more interesting bands emerging from the genre at the moment. The band released their debut EP "Reasons To Stay" through City Of Gold Records at the end of last year, and toured the UK and Europe with Such Gold and Koji not long after. We caught up with the band’s bassist Ian to discuss their upcoming split with Citizen and the progress on their debut album among other things.
Start off by stating your name, your role in Starters, and your favourite restaurant?
Hey. My name is Ian. I play bass and I sing sometimes. Favourite restaurant is a tough one. Nandos is incredible but I don’t get to go often enough.
Things have been going pretty quickly for you guys since you released your demo, what has been the most memorable part of the band so far?
Yeah for sure. It’s been such a great first year. I loved recording but the most memorable part of the band so far has been our tour with Such Gold and Koji. Best times.
For those who are unfamiliar with the band, can you give us a quick run down of the band’s history?
For sure. We are a 4 piece band from Ireland. We started in early 2010. We had been in a bunch of other bands but this was the first time any of us had been in a band together. We played our first show in March 2010 with Title Fight and Basement in Dublin. I have known the Basement dudes for a few years so it was cool to play our first show with them. We put out a 4 song demo a couple of months after that. Thats when we hooked up with City of Gold. Since then we have put out a 7” and an acoustic tape.
You released your debut EP late last year through City Of Gold/Hurry Up Records, what was the writing and recording process like for that record?
It was pretty rushed to be honest. We had a deadline to stick to and we ended up having a crazy scramble to get everything done on time. We record everything ourselves so we got lucky in that regard. We didn’t have to stick to a studios time table.
For the new songs on that record, did you approach the writing process any differently than you did with the songs on the demo?
Yeah for sure. The demo was a lot more relaxed. We just kept practicing until the songs were done. With the 7” we didn’t really leave ourselves enough time writing it. We ended up finishing all the music and recording it. We wrote the vocal parts after that. Well not all of them. We had the bones of what we wanted to do but we had lots of stuff to fill in. It turned out OK I think but I wouldn’t like to do it again.
City Of Gold released the EP on vinyl, what made you decide to release the record on vinyl? Do you feel that vinyl records are the most relevant way to release records at the moment?
Vinyl is awesome. I barely buy CD’s anymore, unless it’s a demo or something but I will always pick up a record. We never even thought about doing a CD at first. When we got talking to Adrian @ City of Gold the plan from the start was to do a 7”. I think he has only ever release vinyl actually. Yeah I think vinyl is for sure the best way to release stuff these days. CD’s are cool and all but do people listen to CD’s anymore?? I’m always sticking records on.
Hurry Up handled the CD release of the record, which had the songs from the demo stacked on it as a bonus, what made you decide to put those songs on it as well?
We hadn’t planned on putting it out on CD at all but kids in Ireland are a bit weird and will be CD’s before they buy vinyl. So I talked to Matteo about doing it. We have been good friends for a while and he was happy to help us out. We decided to put the demo on as an incentive for people to pick it up I guess.
What has the overall reception been like to the record?
It seems to have gone down really well. Which we are stoked about. All the reviews and stuff have been really great.
About a month ago you wrapped up your UK/Euro tour with Such Gold, what was that tour like for the band?
It was incredible. We got to play to so many people that might not have ever heard of us. I was actually surprised at the reaction we did get. We had people singing along most night, which was so weird for us considering how new our band is. We didn’t expect that at all. It was just so great to meet so many nice people and hangout in different cities every night.
Such Gold were killing it when they were here in Australia earlier in the year, what was it like touring with those guys?
It was the best. We love those dudes so much. Genuinely 5 of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. We had such a great time every night. There is something special about getting to see one of your favourite bands kill it every single night. They said Australia was incredible! Hopefully we can make it out there.
You also released your acoustic EP around the same time of the tour, what made you decide to record and release that EP?
We basically just decided it would be cool to have something new out in time for the tour. So we ended up doing it just before we left for tour. We love doing stuff last minute haha. We have actually recorded another 6 acoustic songs since then and you can get all 12 songs on a tape.
When can we expect to see the band release a full-length?
We are writing it at the moment. The plan is to have it out by the end of the year. We are not rushing it this time but it’s going well so we should have it out on time for sure.
You have also announced plans to release a split with Citizen later in the year as a split release between City Of Gold and Either/Or Records, who came up with the idea for that release?
Adrian talked to us about it ages ago. We were stoked to do it. Citizen are killing it at the moment. It will be cool to work with Rob from Either/Or also. He is a cool dude. City of Gold and Either/Or has a couple of co releases coming up and we are so happy to be a part of that.
What can we expect from the songs on your side of the split?
I’m not sure which songs we are putting on it yet. But some of the new stuff is pretty fast but we also have a couple of really slow songs so we will have to wait and see.
From what I can see, you guys are fairly active with other bands besides Starters, what other bands are you guys playing in at the moment?
Yeah we all have a bunch of other stuff going on. Here’s a list:
You’ve played some pretty impressive shows already during your time as a band, what would be your most memorable one so far?
There have been a few really memorable ones. Our first show outside of Ireland was in Kingston with Man Overboard, Transit, All Or Nothing and Basement. That ruled for sure. The London show on the Such Gold tour was crazy though. So many people.
Does the band have any plans to make it to Australia at this stage?
We would love to make it out to Australia. If you know anyone that wants to bring us over let us know haha.
Do you have any goals that you would like to achieve with this band?
I just want to continue having a good time with my friends and anything else that happens will be an awesome bonus.
What does the rest of 2011 hold for Starters besides the aforementioned split?
We will get a full length out for sure and we will do a bunch of touring.
Thanks for doing the interview, any last words or shout outs?
Shout out to my boy Tim Forrester who lives in Newcastle, Australia. Such Gold, Basement, Citizen, Stay Home, Turnover, Wolves at Heart, Driveway, City of Gold, Either/Or and everyone at Kill Your Stereo.