Midnite Mixtape Massacre - Matt Starr - Ace Frehley Band Print E-mail
Written by Matt Starr   
Sunday, 27 January 2013 03:00



Matt Starr began playing drums at the age of 12 when he joined & then promptly quit his school band after learning that the teacher spent most of the class working on the other instruments & saved drums for the last 5 minutes of class.  Next came a couple months of private drum lessons, however, ”All my teacher showed me was jazz beats & I wanted to play rock.  Over the summer I taught myself how to play 'Shout At The Devil'.  That was the end of my lessons.”


The hours of Motley Crue obviously paid off because Matt has since toured the U.S. & overseas with Ace Frehley, Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot), Beautiful Creatures, Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses), Zoliband (feat members of Ignite), Bang Tango, The Automatic Music Explosion, The Flames to name but a few.


In March and April of this year Matt steps behind the drum kit for a series of fifteen dates with an all star line up of Love/Hate that also includes an extensive set of shows here in the UK.


We rather cheekily asked what Matt might be listening to keep himself sane on the tour bus that will also feature Keri Kelli, Robbie Crane and of course Mr Jizzy Pearl, and this is what he came back with.


Matt Starr by Chris Spano


“Well, here it is. It’s quite a fucked up assortment of tunes for your Midnite Mixtape Massacre feature. I'm not sure that this mixtape would have any sort of flow to it, but every song on here is exceptional and gives me the same rush every time.”


1.) ‘Number Of The Beast’ - Iron Maiden (from the album ‘The Number Of The Beast’)


It's Bruce Dickinson's debut & he kills it. I love the lyrics and the bass playing especially at the end of the solo is amazing. This album scared the shit out of so many parents. Plus Vincent Price?....too cool.


2.) ‘Sugar Sugar’ - The Archies (from the album ‘Everything's Archie’)


The perfect pop song. This just feels like teenage lust. You get the feeling they're having sex in between takes.


3.) ‘All Day & All Of The Night’ - The Kinks (from the ‘All Day & All Of The Night’ EP )


Perhaps the greatest riff of all times. Shel Talmy's production is more violent than on ‘You Really Got Me’. This track is out of control from start to finish. Primal & WAY ahead of it’s time. So many bands have made a career of trying to copy this song. The Kinks just did it and moved on.


4.) ‘Moonlight Mile’ - The Rolling Stones (from the album ‘Sticky Fingers’)


One of my favorite Stones songs. Sounds like it was written in the back of a tour bus. A perfect end to a perfect record.


5.) ‘Get Free’ - The Vines (from the album ‘Highly Evolved’)


This song makes me wanna smash stuff every time I hear it. It's one of the best rock tunes in the past 20 years. Close to being on par with ‘All Day & All Of The Night’. Wall to wall power. Quite a bitch slap to have U2 steal the riff & create the #1 charting ‘Veritgo’.....The Edge knows a great riff when he hears it.


Matt Starr Dio close6.) ‘L.A. Woman’ - The Doors (from the album of the same name)


The band is on fire on this track and Morrison's vocals are salty as hell. The way he works the song is masterful and "Mr Mojo Rising" is classic burnout word play. Musically, the transition to the bridge, "I see your hair is burnin’", is a left turn that few bands could handle. A perfect track for late night highway driving, or late night drinking.


7.) ‘Parasite’ - KISS (from the album ‘Kiss Alive!”)


KISS at their best. Wild, raw, very primal & a little punk sounding. The middle section with the guitar & drums sounds suspiciously like the middle to ‘Sweet F.A.’ by The Sweet. They both came out in '74 so maybe it was in the air. We play this every night with Ace & it's one of my favourite moments.


8.) ‘A Man Needs A Maid’ - Neil Young (from the album ‘Harvest’)


This song kills me every time I hear it. If I'm not in the mood I won't even go near it. Like John Lennon's ‘Plastic Ono Band’ LP, this song is not for casual listening. Jack Nitzsche's string score is a huge factor in the drama of the song. This song would not make sense to me as a teenager, though it does now.


9.) ‘Heavy Liquid’ - Thee Hypnotics (from the album ‘Very Crystal Speed Machine’)


This Brit 90's rock band had a Stooges thing mixed with some Hendrix & a ton of drugs. The guitars in this make me wanna play guitar. I saw them play once at CBGB's & they were great. The drummer gave a 4 count for the last hit of each song. That is the musical equivalent of a pre-school teacher standing before a class yelling "class, class, everybody settle down & focus". Good luck finding this track, there is a video version that is 4:53 long, but that is edited & is not the full deal. There are some CD copies on eBay. This was their 3rd full-length record & it was produced by Chris Robinson (Black Crowes), good for him.


10.) ‘I Want You Right Now’ - MC5 (from the album ‘Kick Out The Jams’)


This song is so primal and scary in it's sonic assault. The middle section is mind blowing, way ahead of its time. It's like their version of ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’, although The MC5 did not write this tune.


11.) ‘Feels Like A Woman’ - The Troggs (originally found on the B-Side to ‘Everything's Funny’)


This song is ferocious. When I first heard this I thought my speakers were malfunctioning. The vocals are so sleazy & awesome, as with all Troggs songs, and the explosion into the chorus is awesome. It was produced by Roger Bain so it's got some Sabbath in the tone. There are a couple versions of this as they re-recorded the song, but the original B-side is the one. Holy shit.


12.) ‘Rosalyn’ - David Bowie (from the album ‘Pin Ups’)


The opening track of this all covers record, ‘Pin Ups’. Bowie's exquisite taste is evident in every track of this record. It’s so sassy and rocking especially with Aynsley Dunbar raging on the drums. And Ken Scott's punchy production makes this track slamming. This is an attitude and feel that I don't think any band has really captured, not sure where it comes from. This Pretty Things cover is punky & British, but there's something more going on.


13.) ‘Love, Reign O'er Me’ - The Who (from the album ‘Quadrophenia’)


The lyrics of this song are the bottom line. Townshend was man enough to write them & Roger sings the hell out of this song. This is probably the only Who song that when I hear it I just picture Roger. Which says a lot for the writing of it and also of his performance.


”And there you have it my Midnite Mixtape Massacre. I'm actually coming to the UK, playing drums for Love/Hate in late March early April so I look forward to meeting you all.”





[Photographs courtesy of Chris Spano and Carsten Steinhausen]