Rock just doesn’t feel dangerous anymore. What was once the genre of drugs, outcasts, and rebellion has been processed and commodified to the point where traditionalists would rather call it dead. Thank God, then, for Starcrawler – a rising band of outrageous LA punks not just here to “save” rock ‘n roll, but to remind us why we love it in the first place. Their rock is theatrical and unabashed, glamorous and mad. Watching frontwoman Arrow de Wilde perform her set is one of the greatest spectacles in modern music – and it’s not unlike seeing Gene Simmons or Alice Cooper in their heydays. In fact, it’s even better. Onstage, you will find Arrow bewitched by a perverse mental break, clawing her way out of a straitjacket and spitting blood into the crowd, her eyes animal-like and body fighting desperately to exorcise itself. With a debut album on the horizon, Starcrawler are poised to become the beating heart of modern rock. Arrow de Wilde is leading the way.
One of our favorite ladies, Megan-Magdalena Bourne, had the chance to chat with and photograph the most dangerous woman in music today – Starcrawler frontwoman (and high schooler!) Arrow de Wilde.
MEGAN-MAGDALENA BOURNE: What do you do with your time when you’re not in school or playing a show?
ARROW DE WILDE: I have a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Haha. So I have to always be doing something every day if I can, which is usually going to shows and events, or even just driving around hollywood with my friends and eat taco bell. And my band practices 3 times a week, which is fun too. If I stay home for more than 2 hours while I could be out doing something or hanging out with someone I get depressed. Which I think is a good thing? Haha.
MMB: I read that you went to an all-girls catholic middle school… can you talk a bit about that?
ADW: Haha yes, what an adventure that was. I actually wanted to go because I went to a public elementary school and everyone there was so mean, especially the boys, so I thought “Hey! All girls! Uniforms! Swimming pool! Sounds fun!” Well, it wasn’t that fun, because I didn’t quite realize what Catholicism was or what it meant to like be religious. Haha. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Also, the uniforms were super expensive because you had to get them from this special uniform store that was like in the valley or something. And believe me, you could not get away with wearing bootleg uniforms. I tried. They would also give out detentions if your skirt was too short, all the girls loved to roll up their skirts to make them look sexier or whatever, even though there weren’t any boys there. I guess maybe they were just trying to express themselves any way they could. We could only afford one uniform at the time, and one day my dad made the mistake of washing my white polo and knee-high socks with his reds, and they all turned pink. It looked cool but I actually got in trouble for it. There are tons of stories from that place, but I can’t tell them all now.
MMB: Watching Starcrawler live is such an experience… how did you develop your on-stage confidence and antics?
ADW: I used to actually be really shy. Like, extremely shy. When I was little I didn’t like other kids, I thought they were gross and annoying and I didn’t want to talk to them. The only kids I liked were like the few friends I had. I think going to catholic school actually really helped me to break out of my shell, because it forced me to be different than everyone else in any possible way I could. Then when I got to high school, which is a public art school, everyone was weird so there was nothing to really be shy about. I went through a period of time in sophomore year where I was really angry and frustrated, I wanted to start a band so badly because the band I had with my friends [before Starcrawler] had fallen apart. So I started watching live videos of The Runaways and studying Cherie Currie’s moves as well as Iggy Pop and Kiss. I slowly started to create this character, this alter-ego maniac. To really try to perfect it, I started watching videos of people diagnosed with Schizophrenia, and people having mental break-downs. It was a very dark Youtube hole, but it helped me understand who my character was that I was trying to create.
MMB: You’re wearing a kimono in some of the photos we took… can you re-tell the story of where it came from?
ADW: Haha. I had a feeling you’d ask about that. Austin [drummer of Starcrawler] is family friends with Steven Seagal’s ex-wife, and we went up to her house in northern California one weekend and she gave it to me because nobody ever wears it. So yes, that is Steven Seagal’s kimono. Hahah.
MMB: Favorite song/album at the moment?
ADW: Hmm… I mean Blizzard of Ozz by Ozzy Osbourne is always a favorite, but I have also been listening to Here Come The Warm Jets by Eno. Weird mix I know, but I like things to be mixed.
MMB: Current obsession?
ADW: I’ve started collecting old occult books, mainly because of the cover art but also because I find all that stuff so fascinating. Most of the ones I have are from the 60s/70s, but I really wanna find some really old ones if possible.
MMB: Biggest music inspiration?
ADW: The first band I ever got into and was obsessed with was The Beatles, so definitely them. I used to make my preschool teacher play them in class, which I think both impressed and annoyed him. Hahah. And then definitely Ozzy Osbourne. In junior high was when I heard Blizzard of Ozz and also got into Sabbath, and I knew I had to make music or at least some sort of impact on this planet. If that makes any sense.
MMB: Biggest style inspiration?
ADW: My style inspirations vary. I love the 60s/70s recreation of the Art-deco era, and I also like weird Victorian shit. Like how all the groupies and glam bands at the time would dress. And then I also love Nudie Suits, and the shit Motley Crüe and Guns would wear. So yeah, very mixed, haha.
MMB: What was your Highlight of 2016?
ADW: When Matt Wilkinson and Elton John played our song on Beats 1. Tons of great opportunities have come out of both of those things happening. Also, like…Elton John likes our song!
MMB: …and lowlight of 2016?
ADW: When David Bowie died, and when Trump got elected.
MMB: Most prized possession?
ADW: My collection of old costumes and clothing, as well as my record collection.
MMB: Dogs or cats?
ADW: Dogs. Cats are scary and useless, they never do anything.
INTERVIEW & PHOTOS BY MEGAN-MAGDALENA BOURNE
INTRODUCTION BY MEGAN SCHALLER