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Benj and Stew From Dear Superstar Interviewed At Hard Rock Hell (3/12/11)

This is Lee Walker from www.PlanetMosh.com conducting an interview with Benj and Stew from Dear Superstar

LW – For those people out there who are just discovering Dear Superstar as a result of this festival appearance how did the band come into being?

Benj – We’ve been together since 2004. A few of us were in an old band together we sort of knew others through who played the circuit etc, and at first we wanted to be a straight rock band and bit of glam thrown in and stuff. We’ve changed massively over the years we’ve recently added a new bass player, and we think we’ve found our pivotal sound now.

LW – Where did you come up with the name for the band ?

Benj – Well we were sat around a table and we were throwing all sorts of stuff out there,

Stew – There were some really shit names

Benj – Yeah there was some bad names, Examples – Silverbullet

Stew – I think it was me as well who thought of Termination Overdrive possibly one of the worst band names ever. If anyone wants to use it feel free.

Benj – I’m not entirely sure where dear superstar came from, I could make something up now (laughs)

Stew – Theres is a story, but I don’t know how much is true, the idea is writing your own destiny.

Benj – But after too much drink and too much partying we forgot.

LW – You have supported quite a lot of established acts ranging from Saxon and Duff McKagan’s Loaded through to Soil as well as playing Download and Sonisphere. What has been your most memorable performance to date ?

Stew – That’s a really hard question, obviously we’ve played the big festivals like Download Sonisphere, Graspop and all the festivals in Europe, they are always going to be memorable experiences fantastic. We’ve had a great few tours with Papa Roach, Buckcherry, Soil and Puddle Of Mudd, its really hard to pinpoint.

(Laughter starts from Benj)

Stew– Just for the record we’ve got Nick here outside.

Benj – Naked almost

Stew – Topless, our guitar tech Scott is getting an early Christmas present

Benj – Dry Humped (more laughter)

Stew – No its really hard to pinpoint a favourite performance, but we have had quite a few fantastic performances. A lot of good memories aren’t there.

LW – You managed to play both Download and Sonisphere in the same year. That’s some achievement. How did you pull it off ?

Benj – We got a great agent and hopefully we write good songs (laughs)

LW – Do you have any plans to play any festivals next year ?

Stew – All of them

Benj – Yes, we have had some confirmed but we’re sort of pencilled in, so until they are etched in glass with a laser cut etcher , we can’t really say anything but we will be at a lot of festivals, hopefully either Download or Sonisphere.

LW – You have a new album coming out (“Damned Religion”). What can we expect from it ?

Stew – Probably the best album you will hear in 2012, and when I say probably I mean defiantly. We’ve got a good mature sound I feel, its very different to what we have played. Its sort of a natural progression from us, we spent a long time recording the album we recorded it almost three times sorta scrapped a lot of the old songs, so for us it was very natural, but for other people it might seem like we’ve changed quite a bit, but I think we’ve got a more mature sound, we’re very happy with the songs none of it was forced because we spent so long recording it.

Benj –Literally the five of us didn’t agree on didn’t make the album.

Lee – What are you favourite tracks on it ?

Benj – For me “ Change Yesterday” is my favourite it’s a very personal track to me, sort of my lyrics so that’s my favourite track. I think for the band…

Stew – …I don’t know, I know there was a track on there that we’ve not done live yet called “Crystalize” which musically I think is one of the most impressive songs we’ve ever written.

Benj – Its very different to the other tracks on the album, and also was the last song we wrote, so maybe that is again another progression that we might…

Stew – …Yeah from starting the album to finishing it. I think in the 18 months we’ve progressed wildly.

Lee – How do you think the album compares with your previous releases ?

Stew – We have had previous releases ?

Benj – Its incomparable. We had a great producer. We had a great time together. We had a long time.

Stew – I think one thing with this album is that we have recorded at our own studio Superstar Studeos in Bury. But to have a space that is our own we can there when we want if you know you are not needed and are bit sick of the four walls you are near to your own home you can go home and see your family I think that helps us a lot didn’t it ?

Benj – I think that comes through in the album the fact that we were comfortable. We are massively happy with the album and hopefully the general public will take the excitement that we find from it on board and enjoy it themselves.

LW – In terms of the bands playing Hard Rock Hell this weekend what ones are you looking forward to watching the most ?

Benj – Yea theres a…

Stew – …Reckless Love. Cant wait to see that Olli highkick.

Benj – I know Stews really looking forward to seeing Reckless Love and Crash Diet. I was kinda gutted we didn’t make it last night coz I wanted to watch Therapy? They are on the same label as us, and wrote some amazing songs back in the day and still do to this day. So I would say that they stand out on the bill. For me its Therapy? For Stew its Crash Diet.

Stew – Black Stone Cherry. Really looking forward to seeing those guys again. Played the same days as them at Download this year we managed to catch them before we played.

Benj – Also 2009.

Stew – Michael Monroe I guess too. We toured with Hanoi a few years ago and hope to see him again.

LW – Are there any bands from the rock/metal scene do you recommend keeping any eye on right now ?

Benj – Our touring buddies Heavens Basement. They have got a new album or new material coming out next year. Its going to be fantastic coz they are all great musicians great guys. We are going out and doing Invade the stage European tour with Glamour of the Kill and Yashin who are both friends of ours and both fantastic bands. Amazingly tight. I would suggest to anyone to check them out.

LW – Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans ?

Benj – Get the album or come and see us at a live show and you know try and let us enlighten you. We have changed a bit and hopefully we can, if you didn’t like us change your mind, if you did like us you know improve your views of us.

Stew – I like what you said (Benj) yes I will leave it at what he said (laughter)

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About lee

Freelance Journalist/Photographer. Covers Liverpool/North West of England.