Season In Hell: An Interview With Liza Thorn of Starred

I first learned of the band Starred after visiting Yves Saint Laurent’s website. After Hedi Slimane took over the iconic brand he did a top to bottom makeover of YSL’s entire image. This included a new website and in its place, up until yesterday, the day of Slimane’s first runway show for YSL during Paris Fashion Week, there was simply a splash page with some imagery of leopard print fabric and a song sung in a haunting melodic echo accompanied by an equally melancholic guitar. It’s the kind of song you hear and don’t know if it’s old or new. It’s the kind of song you endure tireless research to find out who its by. The guitar turned out to be Matthew Koshack’s and the voice Liza Thorn who together makes up the band Starred. Everyone who knows of Hedi Slimane (progenitor of the skinny jean look for men when he was at the helm of Dior Homme) knows of his romance with youth and rock n’ roll. It all started to come together. I remember seeing photographs of Thorn on Slimane’s website – a photographic diary which in itself is a hard edged, black and white love story to youth and rock n’ roll. Slimane also shot Christopher Owens of the band Girls and who was briefly a collaborator and friend to Thorn. Previous to the band Girls (which recently broke up), when Thorn was based in San Francisco, she had a band with Owens called Curls. Owens is now the face of Yves Saint Laurent’s new marketing campaign – all shot in Slimane’s signature monochromatic and tonal broodiness. From San Francisco, Thorn moved to Los Angeles where she met Slimane and where she met Matthew Koshak and started the band Starred – they are now based in New York City. The song I heard on the website was Call From Paris, from their first album (named after Arthur Rimbauds poem) entitled Season In Hell; the song will also be featured on their upcoming full-length album, entitled Prison to Prison via Pendu Sound, which is due out this Halloween on Itunes. You could liken Thorn’s voice to a whole host of references from Mazzy Star to Marianne Faithfull, but together with Koshak’s ruminating guitar riffs there is something entirely unique and refreshing. Immediately after I learned whom the song was by I tracked down Liza Thorn to ask her a few questions. Read the following interview below and see video for Call From Paris directed by Grant Singer....

PAS UN AUTRE: Who is Starred – how did the band come together?

LIZA THORN: Starred began in Los Angeles, California . I moved to LA from San Francisco to go to the Cass McCombs school of song writing. After graduating I  found Matthew Koshak and Starred was formed....born.

AUTRE: Where are you currently based?

THORN: New York City, baby...

AUTRE: As of right now, your song Call From Paris is currently playing on Yves Saint Laurent's splash page. Did you have a previous connection to Hedi Slimane?

THORN: I met Hedi because he shot me for a magazine - he came over to where I was living in LA and we became friends.

AUTRE: Can you describe that song Call From Paris?

THORN: Some one I loved was gone for too long and traveling the world and I couldn't reach him and it was written out of that frustration of trying to reach someone and not being able to when you love them so much.

AUTRE: What or who are some your major inspirations?

THORN: Leonard cohen, Neil Young, Jennifer Herrema, Lou Reed, Genesis P Orridge, George Harrison, The Doors (I just went and laid in Jim Morrison's grave.)

AUTRE: Whats next?

THORN: Our EP Prison to Prison comes out on Pendu Sound, two 7inches, and more videos, and a world tour.

Starred'sPrison to Prison is due out October 31st on Itunes and everywhere else on November 20, via Pendu Sound. Text by Oliver Maxwell Kupper. photography by Hedi Slimane