Glam-shock Los Angeles delin­quents find hope for rock’n’roll. MOJORISING

Mojo (UK) - - What Goes On! - Martin As­ton

It’s 9am in Los Angeles, and judg­ing by the half-asleep tones com­ing down the line, it’s clearly too early for 18-year-old Ar­row de Wilde to be out of bed, let alone give a lu­cid ac­count of Star­crawler, the hi-volt­age rock­ers she’s fronted for the past year. But she soon set­tles, and be­gins to fire up, es­pe­cially when asked about a fash­ion blog that named Ar­row “The In­die World’s Next ‘It’ Girl” back in 2014. “They said I was a style blog­ger, which I’ve never done, or writ­ten about fash­ion,” she seethes. “My only pro­fes­sional mod­el­ling was for my mum.” Mum is pho­tog­ra­pher/video di­rec­tor Au­tumn de Wilde, while dad is drum­mer Aaron Sperske, for­merly of Beach­wood Sparks; he un­wit­tingly kick­started her path to Star­crawler by play­ing her Ozzy Os­bourne’s Bl­iz­zard Of Ozz al­bum when Ar­row was 11. “It to­tally changed my life,” she declares. “Ozzy seemed like this tough prince of dark­ness, but vul­ner­a­ble, and funny too. By not try­ing to be cool, he was the coolest.” Ozzy led to Iggy and Alice, far from ‘in­die world girl’. But Ar­row’s prob­lem was that “The only peo­ple who liked the mu­sic I did were 50-year-old men! I loved The Bea­tles and old coun­try mu­sic too. I was at an all-girl Catholic school in ju­nior high, and I didn’t like any­one there, it was clas­sic angst. But I even­tu­ally made some friends, who


made me re­alise that I should make mu­sic my­self.” Later, when Ar­row ac­costed a tuba-tot­ing Henri Cash on the stair­way in high school, she wasn’t to know he was a Jack White in the mak­ing. The gui­tarist’s a year younger than Ar­row, while Star­crawler drum­mer Austin Smith and bassist Tim Franco aren’t much older. It’s all hap­pened fast; a tip-off led Rough Trade to snap them up and re­lease de­but 7-inch Ants in May, with an al­bum in the pipe­line, pro­duced by mum’s pal and Star­crawler con­vert Ryan Adams. As Ar­row ex­plains, “Henri wrote Ants about an in­fes­ta­tion. But it was a joke un­til he came up with the slow break­down part, and I was like, Now it’s a song. To me, the ants can be peo­ple con­form­ing, or the crowd at our shows, my en­emy but also my love. I go through dif­fer­ent moods with my on-stage persona.” Said persona is clas­sic ‘wild child’: Alice meets Iggy meets Ru­n­aways singer Cherie Cur­rie, an­other Ar­row favourite. Stage props in­clude a hos­pi­tal gown, a strait­jacket, (fake) blood and a rhine­stone-en­crusted jock­strap. Spit­ting wa­ter at the crowd is not un­com­mon. “No one acts like that any more,” she vouches. “I’m sur­prised peo­ple still get shocked or an­gry by it, which makes me want to do it more.” She laughs. “The fact they get mad shows there’s still hope for rock’n’roll.”

Creep trick: the many moods of Star­crawler (from left) Henri Cash, Ar­row de Wilde, Austin Smith and Tim Franco.

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