These days people call bands like My Chemical Romance and Story of the Year Rock bands. That kind of shit makes me want to drink bleach. There's more to Rock and Roll than a scream and some distortion. There's a lifestyle, there's the sound and most importantly … heart and soul.
For the past five years the hills of Malibu have been under attack by the Luv Machine that is Whitestarr. Parties that last for days littered with women ripped from the pages of magazines. And, sold out shows from the Malibu Inn to the Strip packed with crowds begging for more.
So what makes this band any different from bands like Jet or the Vines? It goes back to having heart. These guys were raised on Rock and Roll more so than anyone out there. They do their best to play their parents names down (Roy Orbinson and Lou Adler), but this band's members were brought up on Rock and Roll and thank God they've let it influence their music.
The Luv Machine CD opens with the sound of a lighter being ignited and then a guitar riff that begs to be blasted out of a stereo at the start of a perfect summer night. Guitarist Rainbow Jeramy has been blessed with some serious skills when it comes to accompanying the songs. His fills hit right where you want them and I find myself actually lip-synching the solo on a few of these tracks like “Vampire” and “Use Me.”
The raw sound Jeramy creates can't come from anything other than pure love for music and fits seamlessly into the airtight rhythm created by Damon Webb (bass) and Alex Orbison (drums). Mix all that together with Cisco Adler's classic sounding voice and honest lyrics, and you've got a band to be reckoned with.
Good songs and amazing musicians aren't the only things that make Whitestarr one of the hot bands to watch this summer, there's one more thing – s man known as Tony Potato, the backup dancer. He won't say a word, but he will move like there's no tomorrow.
“He's our mascot,” says Adler. “He's the fifth member of the band and just as important as any of us.” Words really can't describe Tony Potato, but if you've ever seen Animal House and remember John Belushi's character, well, that's a pretty good start.
When people say the group sounds like past classic rock bands Adler perks up and smiles, “That's the best compliment ever. When people tell me we're like the Stones or Steve Miller it makes my day. Those guys are the best ever . People need to understand that Rock and Roll didn't die – they just forgot about it and got caught up with all this manufactured crap. It's been here all along.”
What is Adler singing about, people ask. According to him: women. “I've been around women my whole life and they are just a part of everything. This album is kind of a break-up and moving-on look at things.” He's referring to the end of his last relationship with Kim Stewart at the start of the recording and his current love, Mischa Barton. The summertime track “Sunshine Girl ” is a direct reflection of that.
Being a band with connections it could have jumped right into the game, but the guys knew it wasn't the right move. “We've been through a lot and I'm really grateful things didn't take off when we first came out. We would have been a flash in the pan, but we wanted to do this our way,” remarks Adler.
And that kind of thinking has paid off big time. Not only has its fan base grown exponentially, but its live shows have become legendary. It's like nothing I have ever seen. Just imagine being in the happiest place on earth, completely letting go and partying with 500 of your closest friends.
I've never seen a venue go from mellow to mayhem in the time it takes for the curtain to rise like at a Whitestarr show. Girls rush the front of the stage and hair starts to fly, guys grab beers and hold them to the sky, and that's just during the first song.
When asked what someone can expect at a Whitestarr show, Adler gives a boyish smirk and simply replies, “One hell of a party.”
Luv Machine will be available May 16. Whitestarr will perform May 16 at the Roxy, in West Hollywood. For more information, visit www.whitestarr.com.