Whirlwind Online Fanzine - April 1996
Interview with Jake Starr done via e-mail by Fil
1. Why the name Adam West and who thought of it?
When I first started this band with my friend Bill, we wanted a mod/garage band circa 1965 Kinks, dig? So we were going through all the cartoons and shows we grew up watching like Marine Boy and Ultraman and shit to try to think of a good name that reflected that era. Anyway, when I was 8 years old, I met Adam West at a car show where the Batmobile was on tour. He signed a picture to me: "To Jake, from one crime fighter to another." This picture was (and still is) hanging on my living room wall. Bill looked up, said "Adam West," and the rest is history. Even though Bill isn't in the band anymore and our sound has changed, I decided to keep the name because people know it and it's a great fucking name!
2. Do you tour much and where have you toured?
We've done quite a few out-of-town shows in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York City, but they weren't tours per se; just one off shows. We all have jobs, so until somebody wants to put some major green behind us, we can't go off for more than a week. Our CD should be out this summer, so we'll probably do mini-tours to promote that.
3. How would you best describe your sound?
Right now, we sound like the Stooges mixed with early Soundgarden. Remember when Soundgarden took Black Sabbath riffs and made them mega? Well, we do that but with more melody. I'm a major Iggy fan and I try to incorporate the "Fun House" thing into it too. We dig the Misfits too, so there's a bit of that in there . . . mainly my voice. I think Iggy, Jim Morrison, Glenn Danzig and I all went to the same school of singing!
4. Who's in the band and what do you do?
I'm Jake Starr and I do the singing and on-stage wiggling; James Marlowe is the new guy and he plays guitar; Steve has been in the band one-and-a-half years and plays bass; and Tom Barrick has been with me since the beginning on the skins.
5. Who writes the songs?
We all do. This was a bone of contention with some past members. Usually, Steve or James comes into rehearsal with a riff or maybe a couple riffs strung together. Tom joins in and adds his thing and they leave the vocals to me. I write all the melodies and lyrics, but if Tom doesn't like something I'm singing, he'll tell me. Or if I have a guitar or drum idea, I tell them. So we all write and arrange the tunes.
6. Do politics play a part in your songs?
Not politics like Bosnia or Clinton vs. Dole. More like politics of relationships between people. Some of my lyrics are just "Rock-N-Roll" lyrics that sound good over a killer riff, but I've taken the time to write some meaningful stuff, too. I've published two volumes of my poetry that include some lyrics as well as notes and observations that don't make it into our songs.
7. If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have a record player and any three albums of your choice, what would they be?
My favorite album of all time is "Quadrophenia" by the Who. I heard Eddie Vedder just said the same thing recently. That's probably the only reason why I wouldn't outright slay him! Another is "Fun House" by the Stooges. There's just too much shit in there to ignore, it was so ahead of it's time. And the last one would be "Walk Among Us" by the Misfits by far the best punk album ever. The new Misfits box set has the complete "Static Age" album they were supposed to release in 1978; that's awesome too.
8. What's the scene like in your area?
In some ways, the scene is good cuz DC has always been a thriving punk mecca. Unfortunately, Dischord bands and their fringe kinda have a stranglehold on the city and if you're not into that vibe, you have a hard time going anywhere. I grew up with the first two waves of Dischord, which were cool, but the stuff in the past 5-8 years fucking blows. I'm sorry, Shudder to Think can suck my dick! And they're signed!
9. Any closing comments?
First, I'd like to say thanks for the opportunity to speak. Next I'd like to say to anybody who reads this that we have a cool website and an even cooler fan club with t-shirts and limited singles. Get in touch. My E-mail is always open and I respond to every message, our new 7" will be out by the time you read this, so go get one! Later!
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