STAR & DAGGER, the blues-rock/metal group made up of good friends Sean Yseult (WHITE ZOMBIE), Dava She Wolf (CYCLE SLUTS FROM HELL), Dave Catching (EAGLES OF DEATH METAL), Gene Trautmann (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE), and the sublime vocalist Von Hesseling, will release a full-length album, "Tomorrowland Blues", on July 23 via Cauldron 333, distributed by MRI. The CD was recorded at Rancho de la Luna, produced by Ethan Allen and Dave Catching, and mastered by Jay Yuenger (WHITE ZOMBIE).
STAR & DAGGER will make a rare U.S. appearance on Sunday, April 14 at Mercury Lounge in New York City before flying overseas for an extensive European tour.
STAR & DAGGER was formed with auspicious beginnings: Sean and Dava were drinking late one night with the legendary Lenny Kaye (noted rock journalist and founder member of the PATTI SMITH group) and he declared: "You two must start a band, I see it!" They took his word and set to it. The band layers dense guitars onto a heavy groove, strung together by Von's towering vocals, which have the soul and presence of Tina Turner crossed with Cherie Currie.
STAR & DAGGER recently attracted much attention, selling out its first show in Los Angeles and opening for HIGH ON FIRE, HELMET, EAGLES OF DEATH METAL, DOWN and SAINT VITUS. They performed at the 2012 Voodoo festival and have plans for more shows on the West Coast.
STAR & DAGGER's first recording emerged a few months ago, a 12-inch vinyl titled "In My Blood".
In a recent interview with New Noise Magazine, Dava She Wolf stated about how STAR & DAGGER came together: "STAR & DAGGER emanated from friendship and kept growing from there. I knew Sean back in the day. She was my neighbor, in fact, and she was always the nicest, friendliest, and coolest person. To be playing guitar with her is, needless to say, a great honor. It raises the bar considerably for me, as does playing with the awesome Dave Catching, our magnificent drummer Gene Trautmann and another talented great friend, our vocalist Von Hesseling.
"The band has come together in a very organic way and we all are enjoying ourselves while making music together. You can’t ask for much more than that.
"We all have unique histories with different backgrounds, which I guess helps make for an interesting story. Our fans have been welcoming and wonderful to us, as have been some of the bands that we've been privileged to open for, such as DOWN, SAINT VITUS, HELMET, HIGH ON FIRE, EAGLES OF DEATH METAL and others. We especially had a fun time filming our video for the song 'Your Mama Was A Grifter', which we recorded at Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree. It is a mashup of 'Faster Pussycat Kill Kill', 'Night Of The Hunter' with a little 'Cleopatra' thrown in, directed by visual master and bona fide daredevil Art Haynie. We had an absolute blast making it."
Speaking to ASCAP.com, Yseult stated about STAR & DAGGER's musical direction: "I'm sure the Joshua Tree vibe seeped into our recordings; it's inevitable. But the riffs were all written in New Orleans and New York — it's a big reason I wanted to work with Donna, because her riffs and guitar style were so heavy but more in a '70s blues way than heavy metal, which is what I really like. I've always been influenced by BLACK SABBATH as far as my riffs and songwriting, and have been friends and fans of bands like KYUSS and MONSTER MAGNET since touring together back when I was in WHITE ZOMBIE. Donna's sound reminds me of Ace Frehley (KISS) at times, and early AEROSMITH at others — I just feel like we have a definite '70s heavy blues thing going, and we're happy to keep company with our friends in the desert who also appreciate that sound."
Asked if she feels any pressure, whether from herself or from the outside, to reach the same heights as that of WHITE ZOMBIE, Yseult said: "For me, I don't think it's possible for rock bands to reach the heights WHITE ZOMBIE reached back in the day. Not many rock bands are selling out arenas and traveling with five tour buses and three or four semis anymore, so it would be pretty unrealistic for me to think in those terms. I find it hilarious that both WHITE ZOMBIE and CYCLE SLUTS' greatest fame were both due to Beavis and Butthead — maybe now that they are back together, Donna and I should go and court them — at least we are still making music they would like!"