I always love bands that come from non-english speaking countries - especially ones that release records in english. For me, there's always a draw to artists that step out of their comfort zone to create something that can reach a larger audience - and I thank them, because with my limited knowledge of the world's many languages and my own unending need for new music - they give me something new to whet my appetite with.
This week's Fresh from the Post artist comes from a little Belgian town called Huy. They've been around for a while, supporting acts such as The Rakes, Maximo Park and The Charlatans and (according to their bio) have a long standing quest to find 'that perfect pop song to appeal to housewives and students, CEOs and motorists stuck in traffic jam for days'. That's a pretty specific target audience if you ask me - whether or not they've achieved it is up to the housewives, students, CEOs and motorists in question. For today though, they take a short break from that long standing quest as Showstar's Chris, Tony, Dave, Dannny and Bruce talk to us about their band and their newly released album 'Think Ringo' -
I know this is a common question, but I always ask this since nobody ever puts in how they started in band bios anymore. How did Showstar get started?
We started as a band more than ten years ago. Different times, different people. We all wanted to be in a band and we were living in a small belgian town where nothing really exciting ever happened. So, we decided to write cool pop songs and travel the country. Members have changed since then but the spirit remains the same.
How did you choose the name Showstar?
By a sheer fluke. It was the name of one of our guitar amp ... a Klemt Echolette Showstar ! We liked it cause it was so tongue in cheek ...
You've got a new album is entitled Think Ringo, can you let us know what your fans can expect from it?
It's just ten indie pop songs. But there's a lot of ourselves in it ! Three years of writing, more than 30 songs. Hopes, doubts, hesitations ... we experimented a lot. We recorded the demos at home and then, we had to choose ten or eleven songs to get into the studio ... We received at great help from the producer, Gareth Parton. He's such a nice guy. We already worked with him on our previous album ("Dot") and he did a great job again !
Think Ringo – is that a homage to Ringo Starr? Some tracks sound a bit Beatle-esque…or is it just me drawing references to the Beatles because of your album’s title?
Both. Ringo is the guy behind the "other guys". Not so important at first sight but so essential.
For us, THINK RINGO also means : keep it simple. Play it simple, to the basics ("think Ringo", always said Gareth to our drummer). While writing the album, we tried to experiment, to find new directions. But it was way too complicated for us ! We decided to stick to what we probably do best : pop songs.
Actually, a lot of people do draw reference to Beatles when they hear really great music – I guess the Beatles have become some sort of a measuring stick to determine what’s popularly known as good.
Above all, it's a band we all really like (some of us more than others : they even bought the Beatles Rock Band !). They are like a lightouse for us ...
We've got two tracks here from Think Ringo. Can you let us know a little bit more about these tracks?
Residents of the lost Club : the story and the making of Think Ringo, very personal lyrics, nobody will ever understand the words. We think it's a lovely introduction to the band and the way we're making music.
(Love) : this is not a love song ! We really enjoy playing it live, pure pop music with a lot of energy and cynism. It will be the second song taken from THINK RINGO here in Belgium, perfect for Valentine Day ...
And for our last question, a question that I always ask everyone - what is your definition of ‘indie music’?
Music that goes straight to your heart.
Behind the Beatles references and that little bit of Sgt. Pepper's atmosphere that you get when listening to Think Ringo, Showstar's music is music that can most likely go straight to your heart. They're definitely one of those bands that can make you say - yes, this is why I love indie music.
You can check out more tracks from Showstar's new album, 'Think Ringo' at their official website: www.showstar.be