Friday, July 27, 2007

The Start in Lenexa: WTF!?!?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 9:00 AM

theSTART.jpg

No disrespect to the fine folks at Danny's Bar & Grill in Lenexa (13350 College Blvd), but who the fuck booked the Start there this Saturday? That's like booking Garbage at Governor Stumpy's in Waldo -- but at least that would be closer to Midtown, which is where most of the people who would go see the Start happen to live.

Somehow I fear that this will not help Kansas City's reputation as a music town.

In the meantime, our sister paper in St. Louis, The Riverfront Times, got an interview with Start singer Aimee Echo, who, after snacking on hotwings in Danny's tomorrow and laying down the electro-dancepop for a bunch of suburbanites, will head to the Creepy Crawl in St. L., a more appropriate venue. Read it here or after the jump.

Start Again and Again

Had the Start's keyboard-sparkling 2001 album Shakedown! been released just a few years later, the LA band would have been superstars of the neo-new-wave revival. Instead, rap-metal was still king of the hill, and the Start's label eventually folded — which was just the start of the challenges that band co-founders Aimee Echo and Jamie Miller faced in the next half-decade. (Hardships experienced include, but weren't limited to, an unstable band lineup — think Spinal Tap's drummer revolving-door — and further lack of labels/funding).

2005's Initiation came out on the punk-friendly Nitro Records, while the band's latest, Ciao, Baby! is on dance-friendly Metropolis Records. Feeling like the album theSTART have always wanted to make — and the one on which it sounds the most comfortable — Baby contains robotic electro-dance gems which give Goldfrapp, Ladytron and even Gwen Stefani a run for their money. B-Sides chatted with the ever-amiable Aimee Echo, a personable frontwoman who speaks with the comfortable demeanor of a trusted old friend.

B-Sides: What did you guys like about Metropolis Records?

Aimee Echo: They were fans of ours. Basically what was happening — we turned in our demos to Nitro, and they were kind of just sitting on them and didn't give us the go-ahead. It turned out there was going to be a bunch of changes. We found out because of those changes, we had an out, because they were not going to be able to fulfill their contract with us. We said, 'Can we go?' they said, 'Oh yeah, you can go. We're sorry if we fucked up your life in any way.' It was really amicable, we love them to death. It was nothing personal. Coincidentally, the same day that happened to go down, I got a call from the owner of Metropolis saying, 'I know you guys have a record deal right now, but if you ever need a new home, we're here.' I was like, 'That's really bizarre and oddly coincidental.'

One door closes, another opens....

But like, immediately! He called and left a message, I talked to Nitro, and checked the message, like, three hours later. That's how it went down. It was that close of a time frame. It was bizarre.

Metropolis is the perfect label for you guys, but for some reason it never crossed my mind ever that you guys should sign with them.

[In 2002] we had that EP we put out ourselves — we didn't have a manager, we weren't actively seeking to do anything. We were just trying to be a band, trying to recover from the letdown of the first record being destroyed. When the Nitro thing came along it was like, 'Sure! Oh, you want us? Cool!' It was kind of the same thing with Metropolis. We weren't looking to leave Nitro, but the whole thing went down in a 24-hour period. It was like, 'We have a place to go, awesome!'

Ciao, Baby! reminds me of Goldfrapp — and it seems natural for you guys to sound like that.

I'm a huge fan of Goldfrapp, especially the later albums. We have similar influences: I'm a huge T. Rex fan, I'm a huge dance-rock fan....I was into Portishead for a long time. It's weird when you make a record, what you get to put on it — and where you're at in your life, and what the recording allows you, and who's around you at the time, how that influences you. It was just so cool, for this album....Jamie and I made all the decisions on everything. There was no real input from label, management, nothing. It was really fun to be left alone.

You can make the record you want to make.

With Shakedown! there was all this fancy record-label talk about focus tracks, what we were going to do here. Some of the stuff got underappreciated during the recording process, because they were focusing on certain songs that they thought would be singles. [Whispers] I don't think that's fair! [Laughs]

— Annie Zaleski

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