The Star Spangles

Before you read on we must make it clear: The Star Spangles are not just another hyped New York Sensation. Fuelled with the Spirit of the Clash "Which Of The Two Of Us Is Gonna Burn This House Down?" went down in history as one of the classic rock & roll debut's. Fronted by the enigmatic Ian Wilson who is a crossbreed between Nick Cave and Sid Vicious and backed by his band of rabble rousers Tommy Volume, Joey Valentino and Nick Price. We caught up with Valentino to find out how they transformed into the greatest living American Rock & Roll Band.

Q: This tour with Idlewild is the first chance UK fans will have experienced The Star Spangles. So by way of cultural exchange could you tell us the magical tale of the Spangles?
A: Tommy Volume (guitars) and Ian Wilson (Vocals) had a band together before the Star Spangles and they used to play around the city as a 2 piece because they couldn't find other people. They were doing kind of this electric Everley Brothers type of thing and when you saw them it was still very exciting without the rhythm section. So from that me and Nick Price (bass) joined, we became the Star Spangles and we've been giggling in New York ever since

Q: We've heard from a lot of the New York bands that come over that Guiliani changed the whole Punk Scene to the extent it barely exists. What's it like for a band like the Star Spangle over there?
A: There is no punk scene in New York. There's a lot of old skool punk rockers from the 70s that are still around and they're really cool because they support us and somehow we get respect from them. But other than that in the club scene there's no real punk scene or anything like that.

Some people might refer to other bands coming out of New York as punk, but they're not really. Maybe hardcore punk is, but we don't really fit into that kind. Over there we just kind of do our own thing and we don't play with any of the bands the Walkmen we haven't played with them before this tour.

Were not really into any of the bands that the press are hyping at the moment. I don't mean to sound negative, but they're just not our thing. There's a band called The Witnesses out there which we play with a lot and they sound like Sticky Fingers era Stones and they're excellent. And then there's another band called Some Action which are more garage punk. There's no doubt that these bands will be getting attention soon.

Q: New York has been this romantic rock & roll mecca for decades. If our readers wanted to go and visit for a few days and wanted to avoid the touristy spots where would you recommend?
A: The Mars Bar - that's a small dive bar on 2nd Avenue on 3rd Street. It's a shit hole but it's an excellent place to experience how New York used to be in that area before it came very gentrified and cleaned up.

The Manitoba on Avenue B on 6th Street and that's owned by Handsome Dick Manitobar of The Dictators (an old New York Punk Band). We played there a lot before we got signed and a lot of record companies came to see us play there so that was interesting. It's like a bar so you play on the floor.

Q: I guess you've got an album ready for us. For people who've heard the "Which Of The Two Of Us Is Gonna Burn The House Down" single what can they expect?
A: The albums in the can. We recorded the backing tracks a couple of years ago, but it took a while to finish up just because we were backing ourselves and we had nobody backing us. So we finally got the chance to mix and master it, but it's probably not going to be a while to it gets out - probably next spring.

We've been writing songs constantly over the past 2 years and we could play a brand new set every night if we wanted to. We could record most of the new record right now, but the songs are great so we don't mind playing them.

The Star Spangles Double A-Side Single is out now on Parlaphone
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