After spending the last few years building and developing their sound, California-based newcomers STARRY EYES are now ready to introduce themselves to the world as they deliver their vibrant debut single 'Jetlag'.
Lifted from their forthcoming debut album 'Ciao Bella', which is set to land later this year, 'Jetlag' makes for a wonderfully warm and inviting introduction to their sound. With its bright and shimmering textures, soaring atmosphere, and heartfelt vocals layered throughout, they are definitely ones to keep a firm eye on for the months ahead.
So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with them to find out more about their origins and what has been inspiring them most lately.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Kyle Tekiela: Got my first guitar at 10 and immediately started a 90’s grunge band with my friends called “Malice”. We played at the School assembly and my life was forever changed. I was terrified to sing even though I was the singer (supposedly) so we just jammed out some dirty 4 chord beauties for 15 minutes.
John Shippey: I played Trumpet in 5th grade and didn’t really dig it. I got my first guitar a couple years later... I plucked around a bit on this Squier duo sonic but it wasn’t until I got my first big-boy guitar, my 03 Gibson SG in Blue Teal Flip Flop that I realized I loved the instrument and how it felt to play along to songs and make my own sounds...
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
Kyle Tekiela: I remember playing my dad’s classic Beatles, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin albums on my shitty play-school record player at 5 years old. I still have those records! I remember my dad came home from work with the CD’s of Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magik and Nirvana Nevermind the day they both came out — September 24,1991. Isn’t that insane? Those two monumental records were released on the same day. The stuff of legends.
John Shippey: My sister introduced me to then-contemporary bands like RHCP, Alice in Chains, Rancid, Pennywise, Metallica all via CD. We also used to watch MTV and listen to KROQ. I was more drawn to the heavy, dark, and punk side of things. I also really dug classic rock but didn't really get into that side of things until later in high school. I loved Metallica, Pantera, Judas Priest, and anything else I could bang my head to and play guitar riffs along with.
What was the first album you remember owning?
Kyle Tekiela: Guess I just answered that one.
John Shippey: I think I stole Alice in Chains LIVE from my sister and took ownership of that! Ha. I remember the first CD I paid for with my own money was Deep Purple ‘Perfect Strangers'.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
Kyle Tekiela: The reason my favourite songs are my favourite songs is because of the unique qualities and talents of the writer that wrote/performed them… but gun to my head? — The Seinfeld theme song.
John Shippey: Not sure about THE ONE but I always wish I wrote “The Scientist” by Coldplay! Ha! Also for some reason, “The Grudge” By Tool.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
Kyle Tekiela: All I know is it comes when it comes or it doesn’t come at all. Just be present and in the moment and let everything else go but the song.
John Shippey: No matter how many times I try to “get in the zone” it usually happens when it happens. Playing more, even just noodling around, or playing in my living room with no particular interest in “coming up with something” , usually leads to something I think is cool sneaking through a veil.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
Kyle Tekiela: I always come back to the same well of music that has been with me my whole life. But I think it’s important for all artists to celebrate and promote the lesser known artists who are making an impact on them. Right now I want to lift up the beautiful music being made by Bendigo Fletcher, Softcult, Briston Maroney, Cade Johnson, Jade Heart, Sultan + Shepard, Fazerdaze, Pretty Sick, Chappaqua Wrestling, Cleopatrick, benches, backseat lovers, Floyd Zion, the moss, The Beths, Amyl and the Sniffers, FIDLAR, and Liily. There’s so many more but yea these are some of my go to’s at the moment.
John Shippey: There's this awesome duo from Canada called Softcult I've been listening to a lot lately. I always listen to Sing the Sorrow by AFI on plane rides... Blake Mills, Loupe from Netherlands, Zac Clark, and of course all my classic go-to's.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Kyle Tekiela: Probably The Killers although we aren’t exactly playing the same type of music. Brandon Flowers is unstoppable and completely unafraid to play exactly the kind of music he wants to play. You gotta respect that.
John Shippey: Oh man! Not sure! Coldplay, 21 Pilots, Killers would be cool….Perfume Genius, but also anyone who would wanna have a great time touring together...
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
Kyle Tekiela: Music is one of the few things in this world where you can wake up with nothing and end the day with something tangible that can last forever and make people feel deeply on every spectrum of emotion. It’s like magic.
John Shippey: I agree that it’s magical. There are times where songwriting/rehearsing can be so fun that it can make everyone in the room laugh like children. Sometimes it's accidentally hitting the wrong note with someone… Sometimes it's playing a part perfectly with a bandmate, and when it happens it's like the only thing happening in the world, all the negativity of the human condition is gone. Then being able to share those moments with people , who are seeking to experience that wonder, whether its live, or on a record is quite amazing.
And what is the most frustrating part?
Kyle Tekiela: I wouldn’t say it’s frustrating but like every art form, the worst part is playing the game to get it out into the world. You have to make yourself numb to the business and not take anything personally. I learned that the hard way while making movies so I’m fortunate to be able to apply that hard learned wisdom to music.
John Shippey: It's simply a lot of work haha! Writing, recording, revising, producing, scheduling, the mixing process, limiting yourself when every option is limitless….Ya know its not the most fun thing transferring files, and updating dropbox, and the silly mundane things that go along with making music…I wouldn’t trade doing these things for anything in the world, but it's a business and I have to remind myself that you gotta put in the work.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Kyle Tekiela: Honestly, no-one has tried to give me any advice yet so I look forward to receiving some at some point. Feel free to email our manager at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, concerns, or complaints.
John Shippey: I've been fortunate to be around a lot of great bands and musicians, working, teaching, engineering, recording…and I think the best advice I’ve learned is to just listen.
STARRY EYES' new single 'Jetlag' is available to stream now. Check out the new video for it in the player below.