theSTART Interview

Can I scream the word EXCLUSIVE at you? No? Oh well, too late. And besides, this is. Though of course every interview in here is exclusive. All interviews done by whoever are. Itís a really cheap and nasty selling ploy to claim exlusive. I mean, what does everyone else do. This issue, interviews that weíve nicked from other people. Doesnít really work does it. But enough, I waffle.

So anyway, whatís the deal here. Well, as Iím sure many are aware, there used to be a band called Human Waste Project. For various reasons, they seeminlgy imploded straight after the Ozzfest appearance. But from the ashes two new bands emerged. One was former HWP bassist Jeff Schartoffís new band, Professional Muder Music. The other featured Aimee Echo and Scott Ellis from HWP and was called Hero. Things then went kind of quiet, as Hero started writing and recording new material, playing some showcase gigs in their home base of LA and eventually signing to the 143 Recordings label.

Towards the end of Ď99 it turned out that the band were going to have to change their name before they released an album, as it was deemed highly likely that post-album release, some band called Hero would come out of the woodwork and force a legal change. Hey, just ask Liberty 37 about that sort of stuff! I also sent off a bunch of questions by e-mail for an interview. Itís kind of unusal for me to have a lot of questions for a band, but this time I did. Probably too many, so I indicated to just answer whichever ones they were interested in or had time for. And then few days into the new year, answers to some of the questions arrived, along with an indicator of a possible part 2 to this interview for some of the unanswered questions. Also was the news from Aimee that they had finally settled on a new name, theSTART. And so this, is where we pick things up.

Okay here goes...

It has been a very long year and nearly a half since HWP imploded, what happened and has been happening?

I had a vision that told me if I remained in HWP we would all continue suffering but if I changed direction not only I but each of us would be far happier than we could ever be together ... and we are. Jeff and his band PROFESSIONAL MURDER MUSIC signed a fantastic record deal with Geffen and I have never seen him look or feel better. Mike joined POWERMAN 5000 and now has a platinum record under his belt! The boys and I are ever so pleased to have finished our first record together, feeling more inspired than we have felt in our lives! SO ... what I gather from this is I should listen to my gut more often!!

It was a heavy year in so many ways with so many people questioning my actions, so many losses (Lynn R.I.P.) a lot of criticism from some, a lot of praise from many. Scott and I had to go back to our day jobs temporarily and the four of us moved into the space which I affectionately have come to call the 2000 sq. foot immobile tour bus! That kind of intimacy either works wonders or doesn't work at all. For us it worked and keeps on working, the songs just keep coming. We already have three new songs for album two!

Around about ooh Iíd say May of last year, I actually managed to hear the Hero demo. If youíve not heard it and want to, then check out theSTARTs web site. Full Real Audio versions of the songs are available. Anyway, in YAZ 10 I did a review. The music is much more kind of obviously upbeat in tempo, poppier and full of melodies. Taken as music, to me itís completely different to either HWP or Snot, which of course provides the other half of Hero in the shape of former drummer Jamie Miller on bass and Mike Smith on guitars. So I asked what people expecting a combination of HWP and Snot's music would think about the different sound.

You asked why the music differs from our former bands. In Jamie's former band he was a drummer and not responsible for much songwriting as he joined just prior to their signing, mike only signed on with snot for their last few tours. So there you have it, different songwriters make for different songs, different players for different sounds. I think in this band I've tried to honor the craft of songwriting. I think I'm finally starting to understand songs in a way I never have before ... but ask me in two years and I'll probably say I didn't understand shit !! AAhh isn't evolution a lovely beast!!

As far as musical influences dominating the music we are creating I suppose you'd get a different answer from each of us...myself the good old standards THE CURE, SIOUXSIE, P.J. HARVEY, PETE SHELLEY, POLYSTYRENE, BAUHAUS, TRICKY, U2, INTERNATIONAL NOISE CONSPIRACY, BLUEBIRD, OCCUPANTS OF SIX ACROSS, BLONDIE, Jamie, lots of coffee, frequent bouts with insomnia, politics, god, my mom, my dog, love, revolution, lack of cash, VIVIENNE WESTWOOD, space travel, too many rap/metal hybrids ... oh shit most of those weren't musical! sooorryy....

We have had about four months off of gigging to make the record but prior to that we had brilliant luck at scoring some great shows with great bands. Our first few shows were packed a miracle as we were headlining as a brand new band. We played with PLEXI, CAMPFIRE GIRLS and of course PMM.the crowds were fantastically receptive.After a bit we settled into support slots for ORGY, MONSTER MAGNET. We just began rehearsing all of the new material and are eagerly awaiting the chance to tour and yes we will be heading your way!!!

Ah Plexi. A coupIe of years ago they released a great album on Sub Pop called Star Star. I wonder what theyíre doing now. Unfortunately when asked, Aimee returns the news that theyíve split up and are working on solo projects. Shame. Still if you find the album anywhere, itís well recommened.

Well, that's about all the time I have to answer for now but I'll try and get to the other questions as a part two ... Deal? Please e-mail me back when you get these ... for now love and many kisses

aimee echo



Yeah, not bad. And at the point in time I received the answers it was quite an exclusive. Not totally of course. And by the time you get round to read all this, then Iím sure the news will have been plastered all over the glossies.

So hopefully a part 2 will happen for next issue. If you like, this part is an introduction to the band and their music. Who knows what part 2 will answer, but some of the questions aim to try and find out exactly what Vampyre Pop with a Mayan Disco twist actually is (itís how they describe their music), some insight into the Pleidian beliefs and various other things. Time, even if it isnít linear, will tell.

Hopefully by the time that issue is ready, the album should be out and youíll get all the answers and more to everything in the mainstream press. If the initial demo is an indicator, then for those that only like to listen to the hard and heavier side of theSTARTís previous bands, then you may have a problem with it. But hopefully people will listen and appreciate the music for what it is and not for the past of the vision that they had. Just relax and enjoy it all.