Dante’s Inferno of Starlite Desperation

On a piercingly hot day in Manchester four quite recently reunited Californian’s who make up The Starlite Desperation rattled through a sound check with The International Noise Conspiracy (TINC)sound guy, with whom they are currently on tour with, like they are in hurry to get the preliminaries out of the way and get their sound across. The friendly singer/guitarist Dante Adrian a Matt Davies look-alike (Funeral For A Friend Front man) then led the way outside to loll student like on the university steps, as the three others naturally followed. I was keen to find out how they were enjoying being on tour with the political entertainment machine that is TINC? Dante looked pensive and a little jaded before replying;

“Paris was a highlight there was a big crowd. On our website www.starlitedesperation.com we have a guestbook and people have inserted enthusiastic messages from places in Germany and Italy and all around.”

The topic arose of their fuzzy, frantic and frivolous recent EP Violate A Sundae (out now on Sweet Cargo records) that is their first studio offering since ‘Go Kill Mice’ four years ago arose, so was it hard to make and what is their highlight track on it?

“Not harder than the others” seeing guitarist Dana’s first contribution, before Dante retook the lead; “Conga Line stands out for me. Songs just sit around for a while.” He looked a little bemused; “We thought the EP would come out a lot sooner. Had we known it would take this long we would have made an album”. A collective ironic chortle ensued. The band members were relaxed and comfortable right from the start, it was difficult to tell that they broke up in 2001 after their ‘Go Kill Mice’ album. Was it hard for them to start again after the reformation or was the chemistry always there and how had they occupied their time in the interim period? Dante was the first to retort;

“The chemistry was always there.” Cue drummer Jeff Ehrenberg’s first contribution: “We all played in other bands and we were dissatisfied. We missed the chemistry.” Drummer Jeff showed his heavier side “I was in Easy Action a really loud band”. Dana announced with a wry smile; “I was in an artsy band”. I just couldn’t resist; “aaahhhh, so you were the John Lennon of the group??”. The simultaneous burst of laughter from all members said more than words ever could. This lead us nicely into a discussion about the intriguing and graphic artwork contained on the cover and inside the cover of ‘Violate A Sundae’;

“That was done by a friend of ours; Ernest Gibson the third.” Dante proudly exclaimed before adding; “He is from LA and draws a lot. The artwork on ‘Go Kill Mice’ was flat I think, this portrays a lot more depth. He read the lyrics and brought us his work that he thought reflected our lyrics.”
“Apart from the one on the inside cover of us on the couch. He did that on his own”.
Clarified the bass player Casey Giessen.

The band, I sensed were warming to the occasion, so I decided to delve deeper into their personalities by enquiring who or what makes them angry? With Dante and Dana exclaiming;

“We fly off the handle way too much”

Sensing I might have hit a nerve I was about to move on, when Casey and Jeff opened up like criminals who could stand the guilt no more reeling of quite a list of names;

“P Diddy, 50 Cent, traffic, George W Bush, People who hate George W Bush, People who like George W Bush, Shaquille O'neill, everybody from LA hates Shaquille O'neill.

After that cathartic exercise I was intrigued to know how they plan to spend the rest of the year. Dante again took up the mantle;

“We are going to tour the States and early fall make a full length album. A good chunk of the songs will go along the lines of the EP then the rest will be completely divorced from it.”

It was time for the coup de grace. What song, film, book or poem sums you up? Initially the rest of the band felt that this was an aesthetic question and should be left for Dante to run with. However, Jeff felt they should chip in with one for each other and it went something like this I think;

“Casey; Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Jeff; Bill Cosby himself, Dana; Hal.” (?)

There was one missing. Jeff was quick to redress the balance;

“Dante’s is Faces Of Death Three”

I thought there was only one? Oh, my naïve childhood, Jeff soon put me right;

“No there are three. The third one is the camp version they have even managed to make that camp. “

That is a good place to end, except to say; welcome back guys you have been missed!

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