Jack Starr Featuring Rhett Forrester, Out Of The Darkness

Born of a French mother and an American father, Jack Starr began its guitarist's career in Paris before forming, in New York, in the 80’s, the first version of Virgin Steele. In 1983, he started a solo career together with the singer Rhett Forrester (ex-Riot), with the drummer Carl Canedy and with the bass player Gary Bordonaro (The Rods). The quartet realized then the album "Out Of The Darkness", a major piece of the 80’s US heavy metal and one of the best sound testimonies of the dead singer. Interview with the virtuoso guitarist who pursues, today, a brilliant career with Burning Starr and the Jack Starr Blues Band.

The american guitarist, Jack Starr, was kind enought to answer to some of our questions. How goes your french. Does it continue to improve ? 
Jack Starr : My French is improving and I speak French everyday with my mother who is constantly correcting my grammar, she was a French teacher in America. 

What’s your most vivid memory of the recording process of "Out Of The Darkness" ?
My first memory was how big the studio was ,I had never seen such a big studio before and also I found it interesting how the producer Carl Canady had a metal briefcase and he kept a toothbrush in it, Later on I bought a metal briefcase too. 

It was your first solo album, comparing to Virgin Steele, has there been any difference in the writing/recording process for you ?
The major difference for me was that did not have to have to have another person give me their approval for a part of a song or an arrangement idea,it was strictly all coming from me and in the past I had been used to sharing decisions with Dave DeFeis or other members of my first band Virgin Steele this time I needed to decide what I thought sounded best. 

Do you remember your live performance at the Breaking Sound Festival, in Paris, in 1984 ?
I remember Breaking Sound very well, it was and always will be the worst show of my life. Something very very bad happened I plugged my guitar into the amp I was given to use and it turned out to be a Marshall bass amp which sounded like total garbage and is not made for the guitar so on my first show in Europe I sounded very bad and I disappointed a lot of people and myself ,This will never ever happen again, If the sound is not right I will not play. After that disasterous show I was very upset and when i got back to America I knew that I needed to prove to myself and the world that I am a great guitarist so when I was invited to Texas to be interivewed on ZROCK which was America's biggest all metal satellite radio station . I brought my guitar and amp and said "Now I am going to play live on the air" and it was great and I was the first one to do that in the coming weeks that followed my radio performance, many other musicians from Stryper to Metallica to Pantera also played live solo's but I was the first I did this to prove to myself that the Breaking Sound Festival nightmare was not my fault and with a good sound I can kick ass and deliver the goods on any stage anywhere in the world. 

Is the reissue of this album a tribute to Rhett Forrester ?
Yes the reissue is a tribute to Rhett who was a good friend and died much too young ,Rhett and I understood each other very well even though we were very very different , Rhett was a big guy who like to drink and fight and be with different women every night , I am a little guy who drinks very little and never fights and is happy with one woman at a time (unless they are beautiful lesbian sisters ,lol) but the main thing in common with Rhett was that he loved music and blues and recognized the greatness of gospel music like Elvis did and the importance of playing with feeling ,he once said to me "Jack I don't give a damn about all these guitarists that play a million notes, you have a great style because you play from the heart,like me" and that is why the reissue of Out of the Darkness is doing so well because thirty years later people still feel the sincerity and passion in Rhett's singing and in my playing and that will never go out of style.

What will be the next step for Burning Starr ? 
The next step for Burning Starr is to follow up the incredible album Land of the Dead that came out in 2011 with something even better and that is why we have started work on the new album Stand Your Ground and we are sure it will be a monster, as I have said in other interviews big bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden can make bad albums and it will not hurt them and will not stop them from playing huge arena's and making tons of money ,But it is different for us,we have to make great albums to be noticed and taken seriously and this leads to great shows like our appearance at the KIT festival in Germany in 2013 which was a big sucess for Burning Starr , What is next for Burning Starr is more incredible albums and killer live shows and to continue to get bigger and bigger. 

Edited by Laurent Gilot 
Photo : DR

Jack Starr Featuring Rhett Forrester, Out Of The Darkness (Passport Records/Limb Music)
Reissue november 8th 2013


Jack Starr Featuring Rhett Forrester, Eyes Of Fire, video audio

Jack Starr Featuring Rhett Forrester, Concrete Warrior, video audio