Sin City Presents Magazine December 2018 Volume 5 Issue 11 - Page 25

Metal Babe: Thank you for not flipping it around on me this time! (LAUGHS) Can you tell us a brief history of Staren Black? How long have you been together, who is currently in the band, and how did you all come together?

Frank: I began writing the music for the band at the end of 2009. I had four songs that I began working on, and when they developed to the point that I needed other musicians, I reached out to my friend David Schad, a drummer I’ve known for many years. We started working out all the drum rhythms for the songs, and then I contacted a bass player and a singer to play their parts.

At the time, the bass and vocals were from other bands, I just needed someone to lay down the tracks for a recording to help me attract other musicians that would want to be here to make music with me. We recorded a four-song demo called The Cause of the Effect and I used this to get the musicians for the first generation of Staren Black.

Each of the new musicians that have come into the band had taken quite a bit of time to learn the material. And new material was being written on a regular basis by me, which was causing things to take even longer. There are only a couple songs that are standard, the rest are orchestrated. This requires musicians that can count, play to a metronome, and be able to play/perform.

After a while I was introduced to Ralph Patlan, of The Bunker recording studio. He’s one of the best producers I’ve ever worked with. He really knows his craft and he worked his magic producing ‘City of the Dead.’

The musicians in the band are Dorian Storm (vocals) Bruce Menchen (bass), David Schad (drums), and Frank Black (guitars)

Metal Babe: Dorian Storm is a different singer than you had on the first album ‘City of the Dead.’ Why did you decide to make this change and how has it affected the band’s sound?

Frank: I really needed to have a more versatile and talented person singing for the band. Someone that could travel multiple directions vocally, and not be locked walking down a narrow path. Listening to City of the Dead, which I love very much, I realized that the music needed much more on vocals than what was done. Dorian Storm is the direction and the multi-voice that Staren Black needed.

Metal Babe: It’s great you found Dorian! Speaking of ‘City of the Dead,’ your video for “Phallic Symbolic” has gotten a TON of views and is such a great video. Can you tell me more about this song and video?

Frank: We recorded this video with Industrialism Films in Southern California. Great group of guys that really know their stuff. I gave creative license to these guys to create a video based on their interpretation of what they heard, and the video came out amazing.

In the world of today meeting people is electronic. There are some that view this as their only way, and others still that just can’t go out and socialize. Their entire existence is digital including their personal relationships. The video explores that avenue to its logical conclusion. This is the video interpretation.

I wrote the song entirely about the absolute visual assault of sexualized advertising. The all-encompassing marketing approach of using tits and ass, as well as, the psychological, physical, and behavioral to sell things is annoying. This is used almost non-stop for an almost endless variety of everything, with the end result of consume.

Metal Babe: Great you were able to get that message across through the video interpretation. I love concept albums and the fact that ‘City of the Dead is a concept album. What can you tell us about the story behind the album?

Frank: I agree completely. Each of the songs expresses a version of a “day in the life” in humanity, doing certain things. While there is no specific city in regards to the album title, ‘City of the Dead,’ it’s representative of any city. Each of these songs expresses something that I’m hoping people who read the lyrics and listen to the songs can tie them together and gain an understanding for themselves as to what each of the songs mean to them.