It is said that there is no substitute for experience and only those who have been playing guitar for as long as Jack Starr has can attest to that fact. “I am a living connection to the music that is influencing artists of today,” Starr said. True that. After all, Starr is one of the pioneers of power metal. Beginning his career in 1982 with the band, Virgin Steele, his metal odyssey has left a trail of devout fans, musicians aspiring to replicate his signature style and a yearning to keep the fire burning.
After many ventures into the realm of metal autonomy, Starr sought kindred spirits to assist with his next project. Striving to keep his edge, but improve the quality of his work, he reformed the band, Burning Starr, with bassist, Ned Meloni and vocal sensation, Todd Michael Hall, then signed with Manowar’s label, Magic Circle Music. Quality is the key word that Starr uses when describing his latest venture. “Working with Joey DeMaio and Magic Circle has allowed me to raise the bar when it comes to production and recording. It has also forced me to become more focused on a powerful and refined sound. I am really striving for quality now and the support I have received from the label has given me the confidence to be the best I can possibly be,” Starr said.
His first album release on the Magic Circle label, “Defiance” is set to drop in 2009 and takes its name from the title track, a song that expresses all of Starr’s beliefs and is one of his favorites. “I love this song. It is about having the courage to believe in yourself and not worry about what others say. It is about travelling on a lonely road and not giving up, about following your heart and not fashionable trends. It’s funny, but I wrote this song with Manowar in mind. They embody the spirit of defiance more than any other band in the world. It’s prophetic that I am working with them at this point in my career,” said Starr.
Ancient Ones is a song about tradition, honor and having respect for those who came before you. It could be interpreted as talking about musicians who paved the way for the ones who are performing today. For example, if there was no Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix, rock and metal would be very different. Led Zeppelin was a band that played big concerts and combined many types of music, just as Burning Starr does today.
Once and Future King is a song that showcases the voice of Todd Hall. His talent for singing and layering vocals mirrors Freddy Mercury. Hall has wonderful pitch and diction. His abilities shine in this song.
Day of the Reaper has a great riff that sounds almost like Russian folk music. The joyous quality of this song is not inconsistent with its content as death is viewed as a door to something else. As Blue Oyster Cult said, “Seasons don’t fear the reaper.” The song was inspired by a fan who produced a horror movie of the same title.
Indian Nation is lyrically a song about racism and prejudice. It is inspired by the bravery of Native Americans and the way they were mistreated by the settlers who were stealing their land. Starr’s love for their culture and the love and respect they have for the land is something modern society should learn before it is too late.
The King Must Die is a song about royal politics and intrigue that is as pertinent today as it ever was. The king is a metaphor for a leader who does not rule with the interests of his people in mind, but instead for his own benefit. Starr believes it’s time for all countries to be governed by leaders who care about the suffering of their people and try to make their lives better.
Inquisitor has one of the best riffs in metal, almost reminiscent of “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” The song is about the Spanish Inquisition, but it could also be interpreted to be about any time period when people are not tolerant of others. As Jim Morrison of The Doors once said, “Once you accept authority, you become an authority.”
The Beast Inside is a song about the war we wage within ourselves. There are always conflicting forces, a struggle between good and evil. Starr says, “The Dark Side is always with us, but I believe that the Power of Light is stronger.”
Jack Starr’s Burning Starr is scheduled to appear at Magic Circle Festival III on July 18, 2009 at the Loreley on the Rhine River in Germany. For information on the band’s appearance and the new release, log onto www.magiccirclemusic.com or www.magiccirclefestival.com.
For fans of the past and those in the future, it will be clear that Jack’s star is not burning out…it is just beginning to shine.
The critics are raving about Jack Starr’s Burning Starr! Remarks given about their performance at the Magic Circle Festival in 2008:
“Great band really, Jack had this great classical feeling with his guitar and the new
singer had that amazingly high voice! I hope they'll remain in the Magic Circle
Record roster for a long time!”
“I was fully aware of Jack Starr’s skills as a guitar player and I absolutely expected some high quality metal from him. But I wasn’t at all prepared to be blown away!
“Great band that I liked very much. Very kind during the autograph session and they
gave a nice performance with a lot of energy. I have nothing to complain about
these guys as they are and acted with experience and could keep the audience
1. The Ancient Ones
2. Once and Future King
4. Day of the Reaper
5. Indian Nation
7. Black Clouds of Thanos
8. The King Must Die
10. Catch the Rainbow
11. The Beast Inside
12. Evil Never Sleeps (Live at MCF2008)
© 2009 Magic Circle Music