Jack Starr’s Burning Starr: Heroic Heavy Metal For These Perilous Times
The mighty Jack Starr’s Burning Starr has returned with Stand Your Ground, their most powerful, hard hitting magnum opus to date. Featuring the massive talents of former Virgin Steele guitarist Jack Starr and the mesmerizing vocals of Todd Michael Hall, the dynamic Ned Meloni on bass, and former Manowar member Rhino on drums, Stand Your Ground by Jack Starr’s Burning Starr is destined to enrapture metal fanatics all around the world! With an album as thunderously captivating as Stand Your Ground, Jack Starr’s Burning Starr truly present inspiring heavy metal for these crazed and turbulent times. Highwire Daze Online recently caught up with the one and only Jack Starr to discuss the brand new Stand Your Ground masterwork, now available on High Roller Records! Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Jack Starr’s Burning Starr and how long the band has been together.
Our band Jack Starr’s Burning Starr has been together since 1984, I play guitar in the band and I am the main songwriter as well ,though lately our bass player Ned Meloni is writing more and more so he may end up being the main songwriter soon.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
We are based in central Florida ,all of us live in the Melbourne, Palm Bay area except the singer Todd Micheal Hall who lives in Michigan.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Stand Your Ground title?
The concept is that these our perilous times for our world and the fragile experiment we call society, In Europe we are seeing a clash of civilizations and it is not sure that our culture as we know it will survive, our album’s lyrics speak of this and our love and respect for all cultures.
Select two songs from Stand Your Ground and what inspired the lyrics.
The first song would be The Secrets We Hide, for me this is an important subject and in the lyrics that Ned wrote I can relate to the importance of keeping our secrets and having the right to remain who we are and not being forced to reveal what we don’t want to reveal. For instance, I once went to a Scientology meeting and one of the questions they asked me to fill out on a questionaire was “Name five things that you are most ashamed that you did and give the reasons why.” Needless to say I did not comply and refused to give them any personal information, The Secrets We Hide speaks of this and our freedom to say or not say what we want. The other song is Stand Your Ground and this song is a rallying cry to all who feel attacked and persecuted for your beliefs whatever they may be and we say to those people “stand your ground” and don’t give up.
What do you think has made you and Todd Michael Hall work so well together. I believe Stand Your Ground marks your third collaboration together…
Todd Micheal Hall is one in a million, yes he sings heavy metal but unlike many of this contemporaries, he could sing any style of music. He could easily sing for Boston or Styx or REO or any melodic rock band . Todd’s singing fits our melodic style of writing. He was the perfect fit when we first got him and he has only gotten better.
Who did the cover art for Stand Your Ground and how much input did you have on it?
The Cover Art was done by the great fantasy artist Ken Kelly who is also responsible for album covers by Kiss and Rainbow and many more. We had total input and picked this cover out of over a hundred fully completed paintings.
When you look back on the Jack Starr’s Burning Starr albums from the 80’s, what do you think of them now? Any chance for re-releases?
Many of the old releases are being reissued and some for the 2nd time. Blaze of Glory our 1988 release is coming out again in 2017 on the Greek record label Cult Metal Classics. And some others ones like Rock the American Way were reissued on Minotauro Records of Italy , My opinion which may be a little less objective than others is that these recordings hold up very well and do not sound dated. If I were not part of this band I would be a fan lol!
What could one expect from a live Jack Starr’s Burning Star show?
A live show is full of sound and fury and passion and lots of great singing and cool guitar solos as well as the great drumming of Rhino the former drummer of Manowar! And our shows feature the world class bass playing of Ned Meloni who has greatly improved his already top shelve playing.
Has Jack Starr’s Burning Star ever played here in the LA/OC area or plan to tour the States in future days?
No we have never played in the LA area and that of course would be a great dream for us ,the furthest Burning Starr has played was Chicago and we all enjoyed that a lot. But fans of melodic heavy metal exist everywhere in the United States and they are pretty much everywhere in the world also.
When you look back on time spent with Virgin Steele. What do you think of that time and the music you created?
It was a wonderful time because this music we were creating was really in its infancy and there were no rules, we were creating the rules and giving birth to this genre of metal we call POWER METAL and many have given me credit for being one of the pioneers of this style.
Do you still keep in touch with any Virgin Steele members?
I at this point do not keep up with the original members of Virgin Steele, but I am hoping as we are all getting older that we can put aside what ever differences we once had and be able to meet and have fellowship as we did experience one of the greatest moments in our life together and this is something that cannot be forgotten.
Are you currently involved with any other band outside of Jack Starr’s Burning Star?
I am not in any other bands except a blues classic rock band that I do local shows with and which helps me to stay in musical shape and keep up my chops.
What’s up next for Jack Starr’s Burning Starr?
Next for Burning Starr is to keep doing what we are doing and get better and better at it and get more fans and tour in more countries and bring our musical vision to more people, so I am thinking there will be a tour of Europe in 2017.
Any final words of wisdom?
The only wisdom I can offer is that life goes by quick, so live it and don’t be stressed by things you can’t control. Don’t worry about the little things or the big things because compared to the big scope of things, they are all little things. Live, Laugh, make others happy and don’t hurt anyone because it all comes back.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
Thank you and thanks for listening, Jack Starr, Florida 2017.
Jack Starr’s Burning Starr is:
Jack Starr – lead and rhythm guitars
Todd Michael Hall – vocals
Ned Meloni – bass guitar
Rhino – drums
Marta Gabriel – rhythm guitar (live)
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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