Rock Hard Place- Torch
KILL STAR Brings Out Best Of Last 30 Years Of Rock
You’ll hear elements from the late 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and modern rock from these guys.
Perhaps Kill Star describe themselves best from their list of influences on their Facebook page; Pearl Jam, Motorhead, Tool, Crue, Alice In Chains, Anthrax, Kiss, Our Lady Peace, Circus Of Power, Deftones and so on. Yeah, you’ll hear elements of all those bands, I actually hear some STP as well, but I think you get the point. Ironically you can’t say they sound exactly like ONE band either, they have their own style.
What I appreciate is the grittiness to the music, when you break it down it’s dirty Hard Rock. Purple’s vocals are like a melodic growl, the perfect sound for Derek D’s guitar tones. Purple’s got a little bit Stephan Pearcy in his voice with more modern production. Derek D must come from a more Classic Rock background as he’s not afraid to tear it up on solos, “Torn Apart” is a good example of him stealing the show with some blistering work. Having said that, he’s got modern grungy tones that fit today’s styles.
The writing is most impressive too, they have great hooks, like “LSM”, “Within/Without” and numerous others. It’s hard to listen to a lot of the modern rock bands because there is little diversity, Kill Star mix it up and write some nice choruses without getting too pop-oriented.
Bottom line, these guys are just a damn good hard-working Rock band that anyone who likes “Rock” will get into. It’s rare to find a band that 80’s and 90’s fans with like but these guys do exactly that. I guess maybe they’re on the forefront of the new modern sound that is bringing in the best of all the era’s of heavy Rock. Certainly worth a listen, production is solid but not overproduced and they know what they’re doing. If they come to a town near you, get out and see this band!
*Derek D- Bass, Guitars, Keys, Vocals
*Josh Gray- Drums
Heavy-Metal Mag (Italy)
Translated... Directly from Winnipeg, Canada comes the cyclone of metal branded Kill Star, with the album "Threshold" self-produced by bassist Derek Dufresne, formerly known as skilled tattoo artist.
From the first notes of "Until I Die" brings to mind the sound raw and direct Motorhead mixed with the Zakk Wylde guitar parts with a hoarse voice less than Lemmy's scratchy but at any rate, in many places strengthened by harmonization . The riffs are relentless, the structure of the songs is not particularly complicated, but the goal of the music of Kill Star is precisely to be coming direct to the point.
Tracks such as "Rat Trap Baby" and "Supposed To Be" contain parts more sedate and arpeggiated, interspersed with other more expeditious, while tracks like "Of You Of Me" and "Quicksand" the concept is always to strike hard. In "Off My Back" intro a battery a short question and answer, which then gives the guitar riffs on the carrier, should mention the good "See You", containing a solo full of energy.
Having supported different bands on tour as Quiet Riot, I Mother Earth and Sass Jordan among others, the group leads to the inclusion in the online radio song "See You", "Supposed To Be", "Rat Trap Baby" and the 'seemingly quiet "Only Love Remains". With this debut, Kill Star fans ensure compact and powerful sound of a good hard-toned and captivating melodic at the same time, as demonstrated perfectly the closing track "The Pain That Made You".
It will not be an absolute masterpiece, but it is undoubtedly a good record, catchy and full of energy.
Pure Rock Radio- Rich Embury (CEO)
"Kill Star is straight ahead, kick you in the ass, rock 'n' roll at its best. In the style of legendary Motorhead, "Rat Trap Baby" is dark, gritty and proof positive that rock ain't dead, it's alive and well in Kill Star!"
Selkirk Record- Shane Gibson
Distance makes the rock get harder
Kill Star releases debut album
by Shane Gibson
The fact that all three of the band's song-writing core hail from three seperate Canadian cities has not held metal band Kill Star back in the least bit, in fact the hard rockers have just began selling their freshly pressed debut album.
Two members of the band- lead and rhythm guitarist Brent Andres of Selkirk and lead singer Purple- sat down with The Record in Purple's Winnipeg home last week to discuss their new disc 'Threshold' and how it came together.
The band's bass player Derek Dufresne couldn't make it on short notice- he lives in Vancouver, BC.
"None of us lives in the same city so we actually email the tracks to eachother," explains Andres, adding the process isn't too difficult because the three band mates have known each other for the past 20 years and used to play together in different bands when they all lived in winnipeg.
"We were all really good friends and we've really clicked as a band."
Kill Star, which is rounded off by drummer Josh Gray and guitarist Jay Coates, formed about a year and a half ago when the three old friends met on Facebook. The trio quickly began sending audio files back and forth and before he knew it, Purple says the band had been formed and booked for their first live show.
"We wrote three songs right off the cuff, like boom, boom, boom, and then all of a sudden it was like "we booked a show," he laughs. "We wrote six more songs in the next week or two and for that first show we were actually practicing together for the first time in the hotel room right before we went on."
At that first show- a Battle of the Bands in Winnipeg- Kill Star walked away with first place, and since then the band has played together three more times live.
Last February, after they had written and recorded more than an album's worth of material, Dufresne flew in from Vancouver and the band recorded "Threshold" live together at Winnipeg' Platinum/Gold Studios.
It took four days for the band to record the album's 12 tracks and Andres says he was so moved by the experience of playing all together he decided to compose three of his solos right on the spot in the studio.
"When I was in the studio I wanted to give to the audience, through the cd, the emotion of us being there and all connecting," he says. "I wanted to bring that intensity to the listening audience."
After finishing the recording process, the band was thrilled to have the final product mixed and mastered by Eric Mosher who has worked with huge names in the industry like Metallica, Nine Inch Nails and Tool.
"There are a certain criteria you have to meet to be able to work with him because his name's on that too... and after he heard our stuff he really liked it," says Andres of working with Mosher. "It was really cool to have him first of all like our stuff, and then decide to work on it with us."
Kill Star hopes to hold a concert to officially release their new album and thank all those that helped make it happen sometime in December.
The album is currently available at Blaine's Records and Tapes and Shoppers Home Furniture in Selkirk and can be downloaded at iTunes etc.. Find out more about the band online at their website killstar.org or check out their Facebook Page.
Google translator German to English....
What does the average middle European metalhead connects Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba province in Canada? The majority of respondents will likely keep the classic Canadian stereotypes - a friendly folk, that there hanging out comfortably in log cabins in the deepest forest, so in between is a bit of logging and hunting, anything edible mercilessly dippt in maple syrup and as compensation in the winter the frozen lakes and their national sport Hockey indulges. More educated our species then think rather of a modern North American city that has only recently appeared in our media landscape, as a few months ago, the NHL team out of Atlanta has moved to Winnipeg to henceforth "our" Thomas Vanek regularly a few goals poured out to get. But for what Winnipeg is famous not sure that is a vibrant rock scene ...
... Wipe out and about this saddle their hometown, have three gentlemen of the region under the name Kill Star teamed up on their own and their debut album "Threshold" was added to place even this piece of land on the metal map prominently.
And already the first bars of opener "Until I Die" to make one thing very clear. Kill Star try definitely not any trends to follow, as do many other North American troops happy, but stand for earth, honest manual labor and raw, powerful metal fare in an intersection of Alice in Chains and Motorhead, with the three maple leaves on the rather focus on minor-sounding sentiment of the old Seattle stalwarts try and embed these vibes quite evident in the rather simple song structures of the world-famous warts man from the Rainbow in Los Angeles.
This project can certainly be described as successful, the 12 tracks groove on "Threshold" but some of them quite pleasant. Technically absolutely driving songs in the green region of the brand "Baby Rat Trap", or "Off You And Me" added melodious ear lining. With the ballad, with acoustic guitars bearing 'Supposed To Be " Kill Star a pleasant songwriting counterpoint are at half-time on the album that this needed at this time even bitter. Even with the previously expressed praise for my part, is perhaps the only great weakness of the band also revealed very soon ... namely the rather one-dimensional songwriting that just after a period with very good songs because of the lack of dynamism of the album not sound quite as strong be deserved. Should bring in at this point a bit more variety definitely be the biggest priority in the Kill Star Camp for further career.
The production fits perfectly with the sound offered, but failed so bone dry without any frills, but that a direct comparison of the step might seem even a 100 year old well-lubricated.
"Threshold" can collectively be described, without doubt, as a successful debut album, although I am convinced that Kill Star go off live certainly more than on record. For bikers, tattoo conventions and meeting the band was predestined.
Available is "Threshold" on all major download sites, but can also be purchased directly from the band. For details, can be found on www.killstar.org!
Twisted Rose Magazine
Kill Star is a hard rock band that is based in both Winnipeg, Manitoba and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It’s members all have extensive previous live, studio, road, and video experience. They are currently working on their debut album that is scheduled to be released in Summer 2011. The members of the band are Derek Dufresne (bass, guitar, vocals, & programming), Purple (vocals), Brent Andres (lead guitar & vocals), Josh Gray (live-drums & vocals), and Jay Coates (live- second guitar). Twisted Rose Magazine recently conducted an interview with Derek Dufresne.
Conducted by Suzy.
TRM: In 20 words or less, describe Kill Star to someone who has never heard of your band.
Derek: Heavy driving rhythms, powerful vocals, ripping guitar solos, straight up rock n roll that will kick your ass.
TRM: So tell me, how did Kill Star come together as a band?
DD: In a nutshell. FaceBook! Haha We've all known each other for years. Brent and I have played in a few bands together in the past and Purple was in a band that used to play a lot of shows with another project I was in for a few years. We all kinda lost touch with each other a few years ago. I moved across the country, and didn't really reconnect with them until last year sometime on FaceBook. I had been writing and recording in my home studio during this time, and so had Brent, so we started emailing tracks back and forth, collaborating on a lot of them and new stuff as well. We had a bunch of songs which musically were good, but no singer. So I put out a post on fb saying we were looking for a singer to write with. Purple emails me, says "send me some tracks, lets see what happens." He sent the first track back with vocals on it and we knew right away he was the guy! We had 3 or 4 songs completed and we started a fan page on fb, just to post em for friends to check out. Well, we got a lot of really good feedback on them and a lot of people "liked" the page. People were really diggin' what we were doing. A bunch of internet and college radio stations picked up a couple of our demos, so that brought us a bunch of new fans as well. So it started as a writing project, then kinda took on a life of its own.
TRM: There is usually an interesting story behind band names, how did you guys come up with the name Kill Star?
DD: When we started posting music online, we needed a band name, tossed around a few ideas and Kill Star came out of that.
TRM: Another interesting thing I learned about Kill Star is that you guys played your first show together as a band without any rehearsal. Was that intentional? I understand that additionally that show was a battle of the bands and that Kill Star won. Can you tell me about that show?
DD: We hadn't been in the same room together, or spoken except for emails, for 10 years, so we thought why not get together and hang out, jam a bit, catch up. So for the hell of it, I booked us a show in Winnipeg a month away! Why not?! What better way to reconnect then onstage!? I told the guys, and they were all into it. Only a couple problems! A) we only had 3 songs complete b) we had never rehearsed c) no drummer or rhythm guitar player! So I emailed a couple key players we know and there, band problem solved! Purple buckled down and wrote lyrics to 6 more tracks.
I was planning to fly in to Winnipeg 3 days before the show so we could have at least a couple rehearsals, but a last minute emergency made it impossible to fly out until the day of the show! I arrived 3 hours before showtime. Had a quick photo shoot and we went up on stage. Everyone knew their shit. And we fucking won! I won’t lie to you and say everything went off perfect, but I guess we were all right! It was really hard and a lot of fun at the same time. I don’t recommend it, but I would do it again in a second! We’ve done shows since then and actually had some rehearsals too! But that’s how the first one went down.
TRM: I understand that you are currently working on your debut album, tell me what to expect. Is it an EP or a full length? Does it have a title yet? Release date?
DD: The album is called "Threshold." Its full length, 12 songs. We recorded it at Platinum/Gold Studios with Shane Ward engineering over 2 weeks in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and finished it up at Big River Studio in Victoria, BC. Mixed in Vancouver by Eric Mosher (The Warehouse Studio). We don't have an actual street date yet, but are hoping for mid-late June.
TRM: What is the band's process for writing songs? Where do you find your inspiration for your songs?
DD: None of us live in the same city, so we write via email. Brent and I will email songs back and forth until we've got a good solid song structure together. Then its sent to Purple to write the lyrics and lay down his vocal part. It all comes back to me and I edit and mix it in my home studio. Being that we can't get together often, we write a lot. So we've got a ton of material!
TRM: In listening to your album promo, parts of it reminded me of Lemmy and Motorhead. Who are your influences?
DD: Our influences vary from blues, jazz, some classical, punk, 70's, 80’s rock to some great stuff being put out today. Bands like Alice Cooper, Ramones, Motley, Kiss, Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Tool, Pearl Jam, etc.. and of course the mighty Motorhead! We all have a lot of different influences and I think that makes the music we write that much more interesting.
TRM: Like many of our readers, I’ve never been to a Kill Star show. What should we expect from a Kill Star live performance?
DD: A loud slap in the face from the first chord right up till the end. We will get your adrenaline pumping and leave you wanting more. High energy stage show with killer riffs and powerful vocals. Then we will come down and drink with you afterward.
TRM: One last question. Out of all the unsigned bands out there, why should people give Kill Star a listen or buy your album?
DD: "Threshold" is full of great heavy kick ass rock n roll. The way it should be played. No computer tricks, straight up what you hear on the CD is what you hear live. I could tell you how great the album is til I'm blue in the face, but don’t take my word for it, go check it out for yourself. We've got samples on our website www.KillStar.org and on our FaceBook page. If you like it, buy the CD off our website or at a show. Or head over to iTunes or wherever you buy your digital music, and get it there. It should be all those places this summer.
RockStar Weekly- April Savoie
For those who haven’t heard of you yet, can you please tell us about yourselves?
A sound that slaps you in the face and drives it home from the first listen. Heavy and melodic guitar driven hard rock. The band was originally conceived as a writing project. We started demoing material and posted some of the songs online. We were just writing music we love. We had no idea where we were headed or what we would do with it at first. Then people really started to dig what we were doing so it pushed us to do more! Unexpectedly, we also got a lot of exposure on a bunch of Internet and college radio which brought us some new fans as well. It just sort of snowballed from there!
How the band formed?
Brent and Derek reconnected after a few years, over the spring of 2010, and began writing again. Then a post on facebook saying we needed a vocalist brought Purple to the table. Derek and Brent had played together in a couple bands previous and had done a lot of shows with Purples old band, so we’ve all known each other for years. After a few months we decided to try some of the songs out live so we called up a couple guys we knew (Josh Gray-Drums, Jay Coates-rhythm Guitar) to fill out the band.
How did you come up with the Name Kill Star?
When we started posting tunes online, we needed a project name and without a great story, Kill Star was born! We tossed around a few other ideas, but Kill Star just seemed to fit with the music we were writing best.
What makes you different/unique?
None of us live in the same city, we do our writing via email. Derek Dufresne lives in Victoria, BC. Purple-Winnipeg, MB. Brent Andres- Selkirk, MB. We email tracks back and forth and Derek mixes them in Victoria, BC in his home studio. So this is how we write and demo tracks!
I’ve read that your first live show together, you did without a single rehearsal? How was that?
Our first show was in Winnipeg in November. Due to flight delays and other complications, we didn’t get together as a band until little more than a few hours before the show. We had a quick photo shoot with Dave Swiecicki and then on to the show, where he also photographed us live also. We went up and kicked ass. We won first place out of 12 bands and proceeded to the city finals. It was hard, but everyone knew their parts and we just did it. This was the first time we had even been in the same room together in years! It was a great experience and a lot of fun!
Your debut album comes out spring 2011. That must be exciting?
It’s very exciting! We did most of the recording in Winnipeg at Platinum/Gold Studios with Shane Ward at the controls and some in Victoria, BC at Derek’s home studio, and it will be mixed in Vancouver.
Can you tell us about the album? What inspired it? Is there a Theme to the album?
It all came together very quickly. What inspired it is just a want to get our music out there for people to hear and fans pushing us to do it! We are very happy with the way its turning out and cant wait for it to hit the street! There are 12 songs on it . The only theme really to it is kick ass rock n roll!!
Will you be touring to support the album?
We will be doing some touring this summer to promote the album.
Who is your inspiration?
Derek - The guys in this band inspire me everyday to become a better musician and songwriter
Purple - Eddie Vedder ,Raine Maida, Maynard James Keenan, Layne Staley, Scott Weiland.
Brent - Inspiration, for me comes from everywhere. The guy who cuts me of in traffic to the unconditional love i receive from my spouse. It all inspires me.
What was the band or concert that made you decide to be in a band?
Derek- I remember seeing bands like Aerosmith, Motley, Guns n Roses, Anthrax… etc when I was a kid. These were all big influences and pushed me to want to play great music.
Purple - W.A.S.P,in my early years I really liked the way they dressed up and at the time they're music was killer, the first time I saw Devon Townsend play in Vancouver with a band called "Grey Skies",I knew I really wanted to pursue this strongly. Saw Pearl Jam at the plaza of nations in Vancouver along with Tool at the same venue. Tool really blew me away as a musician, so aggressive and so fascinating musically and visually. Pearl Jam was really cool cause he sings and writes such great material, and is one of my favorite bands live. They're are so many more but I have been singing and writing for such a long time, I love to get new music and edge my way around it and come up with something cool and that hopefully delivers as far music goes!!
Brent - The very first day I met Derek D, he wanted to throw me down an escalator right then and there I knew I wanted to work with this guy!! Lol
Kill Star band members
Purple - Vocals
Derek Dufresne - Bass, Guitars, Programming, Vocals
Brent Andres - Guitars, Vocals
Josh Gray - Drums
These guys rock. Plain and simple. As their photographer, I shot them for their upcoming album. Only hearing the demos, I was instantly drawn in by the hooks within their songwriting. But it was when I shot/saw them live that I fully experienced the full power and potential of this band.
Kill Star are a unique musical phenomenon. Despite the dark overtones of some of the imagery, their sound is very warm and welcoming.
Kill Star shows that they have a lot of potential and creativity flowing through them. They demonstrate their ability to control their instruments with their player of voice versus guitar in several of their songs.
Kill Star is a band to be reckoned with!
Dave Swiecicki, Jet Set Satellite/ Photographer