Hailing from Dublin, Ireland pop-punk quartet Starters are the latest in a long of line bands to bring back the genre back to its DIY roots. Influenced by the likes of Title Fight and Tigers Jaw, the band got together late last year after several years playing in hardcore bands, as bassist/vocalist Ian Kelly recalls: "We had all been involved in the Dublin Hardcore scene for a long time. I think Ian (Fox - guitars/vocals) was talking about how he would love to do a band that sounds like Tigers Jaw and Ciarán (Parnell - guitars/vocals) and myself were both down so we took it from there."
With the addition of Anthony Kelly (no relation to Ian) on drums shortly after and the band quickly realised it was going to work. "We’d been involved in the scene a long time and been in various bands but never with each other. I really liked the idea of being in a band with these lads where we could all sing together and bring our various vocal styles to the table. After jamming together a couple of times I was so excited about this band. says Ciarán.
The bands instant connection led to the creation of their 4-track demo, which was recorded in the lead up to their first gig. Ian Kelly told us how the demo came together; "The demo basically came together in the weeks leading up to our first show which was in March this year. Ciarán and Ian both had a bunch of really cool ideas. We recorded the whole thing between our practice space and Ciarán’s bedroom." "We basically scrambled four songs together pretty quickly from various bits that Foxy and I had." Parnell remembers.
The resulting four songs is a superb slice of pop-punk, that is instantly enjoyable and leaves you with an exciting feeling for the band. In addition the bands influences can be heard throughout. These range from early Brand New and Saves The Day to more recent bands like Transit, Man Overboard, Tigers Jaw. It is a demo that has caught the attention of Ipswich's Basement and many others. Coincidently Starters very first show took alongside Basement and one of their influences, Title Fight.
"The first show with Title Fight was (a) pretty amazing thing. Some of the boys from Basement, and a lot of other people whose opinions we'd respect a lot being into our first gig was pretty cool too." says Ian Fox, whilst Parnell goes on to say; "The first show was huge. It just gave us momentum straight away. Like, we went in with a bunch of half-written songs, no name and no real plans and by the end of the day, we had lined up our next few shows and were trying to figure out how soon we could record. That first bunch of shows went well and the response was great, but we were still a new band with songs that people didn’t really know yet so atmosphere while we were playing was a bit subdued."
Whilst the band are still starting out, their experience and love for the style of pop-punk they play shines through. When asked if the genre is making somewhat of a resurgence, guitarist/vocalist Ian Fox responded with " I think those bands (Tiger Jaw, Transit, Title Fight and Man Overboard) are definitely part of a new wave of pop-punk that's pretty refreshing. There are a lot of bands springing up that seem to be pretty open to influence from other areas of music like indie, hardcore, and even some emo-ey stuff and it's making for some pretty original pop-punk. Along with bands closer to home like Find A Way and Basement, have definitely given me a fresh interest in pop-punk."
The group are set to keep up the momentum and have plans to release new material through City of Gold Records; home to Basement and Man Overboard and have plans to play more shows in their homeland and will be in the UK by the end of the year. "As much as I love Ireland, I’ve never been on tour. I need to finally go play some shows outside the country with this band. That’s my aim for the next year." says Parnell.
Starters on MySpace and Facebook.
Anthony Kelly - Drums
Ian Fox - Guitar/Vocals
Ciarán Parnell - Guitar/Vocals
Ian Kelly - Bass/Vocals
Words by Sean Reid