In the beginning, I wanted this piece to focus on Arrow De Wilde, and her band Starcrawler, as a raucous young artist who basically moved through adolescence and into adulthood via rock and roll (and a lot of fake blood). The beauty of interviewing her was that all those preconceived ideas and notions of who she was flew out the door as we started our hour long chat. She’s 21, she’s 6’2, LA kid from a family of artists, started in bands young, and has received accolades from major rock revolutionaries like Shirley Manson, Dave Grohl, even Elton John. She’s a badass with a heart of gold, making her the modern incarnation of a classic rock star. Come pull back the curtain and see for yourself….
How would you define beauty in one word?
Beauty is fake because everyone has their own definition of what beautiful is. It doesn’t really exist. If half of the people think I’m hot because I’m skinny, the other half think I’m disgusting looking because I’m skinny, you know. It just doesn’t exist, everyone has their own perception of what beauty is so therefore it’s not a real thing.
It seems like you strive to challenge the typical standard of conventional beauty through your videos and live shows. When and why did that become important to you as an individual and an artist?
Half of me wants to say I never really thought about challenging any standard, which is true since I’ve always just done what I wanted . I’ve always dressed or made myself look exactly how I wanted to look, but, at the same time, I did think about those things when thinking about show looks and videos. I know I’m not Seventeen Magazine pretty or whatever, and that’s fine, that’s boring. I definitely have thought about different ways that I wanted to challenge people. For a while I’ve been really into freaking people out. In the ‘Bet My Brains’ video, I wear a codpiece. I was thinking about what could be shocking in an atypical way and I’d never seen a chick wear a dick onstage before. That was one of the first things that came into my head when I was trying to think of stage costumes.
Would you say you’re trying to redefine stereotypes of femininity?
Yeah and kind of stereotypes of feminists too. I feel like a lot of people have this really messed up idea of what it is… I want to skew the idea of the typical stereotypes found in feminism. It’s not about whether or not you shave, that’s not the point, and you can still be a feminist and have fake tits and lip injections.
You make Starcrawler shows not just a great rock show, but also performance art……I’ve seen these amazing moments when you’re rolling on the ground and there’s blood dripping from your mouth and you give the audience this amazing demonic grin and your eyes kind of roll back in your head…when that happens, where do you go?
When I first started performing my whole consciousness would just go out the window and I wouldn’t remember a lot of the shit I did onstage for so long. Once we were touring all the time, I got used to performing and I learned to be at least half present half on stage so I at least kind of know what I’m doing. There were a couple instances where I went a little too crazy so I feel that I have to be able to be present enough to see what I’m doing in the moment.
What’s too crazy?
People in the audience were getting mad because I would throw stuff. Someone would set their beer on the stage and I’d take it and douse them with it and most of the time they would cheer but sometimes they would get pissed. Some people will get mad because they don’t know who we are, but then there are fans in the audience who are excited to get fucked with. I want to be present enough to be able to pinpoint who those people are so if I am going to go up to an audience member, I can tell who is a fan and who won’t get upset. I don’t want it to ever seem like I’m angry at the people in the audience.
I know you were born and raised in LA and you love LA. You even wrote a whole song about it. What are some of your favorite places in LA?
It’s really sad because a lot of the spots that are my favorites are closing. ‘The Kibitz Room’ at Canters is one of my favorite bars just because it’s always kind of empty and everyone that works there is super grumpy. I also love The Rainbow, which is legendary and just super trashy. I don’t know, I just love all things trashy. It’s just super old school dive bar vibes and then once you get hungry, Canters is right there. I also like going to bars where I won’t really see anyone I know and I’ll see random people I know I likely won’t ever see again. I find inspiration from weird characters in LA so I like going to those kinds of places.
I know you’re a huge Ozzy fan, have you met him yet? If so, what did you talk about?
I have. My boyfriend Gilbert got us tickets to Ozzfest New Years Eve 2018 and we managed to meet him backstage. I was so starstruck that I didn’t say anything. I had a record with me for him to sign, and when he asked me my name, I literally forgot my name and my boyfriend had to spell my name for him and I was standing there in silence. It was great, but I had been thinking about what I would say to him if I met him for so long and I literally could not speak.
It’s kind of the ultimate compliment! Wouldn’t you like to have a fan so overwhelmed they are speechless when meeting you?
There was this one girl, I don’t know if it was because of me or just immaculate timing, but I went to shake her hand after a show and she literally fainted. She literally in a second went down, BAM! There was no time to catch her! I felt bad if it was because of me, or she could have just been dehydrated.
Any other memorable rock star meetings?
Anytime I see someone I’m a fan of I just go for it. The worst that can happen is that they are kind of a dick and that’s fine, that’s chill. But the times I haven’t gone up to someone that I think is cool I’ve always really regretted it so much. Most of the time people are really nice. I went up to Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top at a restaurant and I was nervous, not “Ozzy” nervous, but I was nervous. He was in line for the bathroom but I didn’t give a fuck and just did it. I went up to him and he was so nice, he said he liked my jacket and then later he came and sat at our table and chilled and talked. Ever since then I’m always going up to those people for the odd chance that that happens, it’s so worth it.
I’m sure you must miss performing, and not performing must leave a creative void. When it’s safe for live concerts to resume, where would your dream post quarantine first live show be?
I just want to play out. I’ve been joking about this, but I don’t give a fuck. I’ll play on a fucking cruise ship, I don’t even care, I just want to play! I would love to just play the fucking Echo or the Echoplex and just have it be all ages and free or cheap. I know it’s not just going to snap back to what it was, but when it’s safe to, I just want it to be packed and see everyone again. There’s a lot of LA kids that have been fans since the start, especially at the Echo. That was our home venue, I know all the security guards, It just feels like home. I’m really just excited for when we can actually live life again.
You mentioned doing a lot of tv and movie watching during quarantine. What movie can you watch over and over again and never tire of?
It’s kind of a basic movie, but Dazed and Confused is one of those films that I will always put on in the background, or if i’m sad. There’s no big plot, it’s just vibes, so it almost feels like you’re just hanging out with friends in a way.
If anyone reading this wanted to make a donation to a cause of your choice, who would you want them to donate to and why? We will add a link to that cause/organization
I would say Border Angels. There’s been a lot of crazy shit happening and I feel like their cause has been a bit forgotten while kids are still being torn apart from their families.
EDITOR NOTE: Border Angels a non profit who defends the rights of migrants and refugees and advocates for human rights with a focus on the US/ Mexico border
What would you like to see happen in 2021 for you personally, for your band?
Just to be able to play shows again and be able to properly release a record and actually have a record release party. I’m grateful as a lot of people are in a much worse situation than I am. I’m not trying to be that annoying white bitch that’s complaining about a life that’s actually pretty good. I just miss playing so much. When I’m not, I feel like a worthless piece of flesh. I just want to perform for people again.
What do you hope your audiences take away from the experience of a live Starcrawler show.
I would just hope that they remember. It doesn’t have to be the best show of their life or anything, that would be kind of cocky to say, but my worst fear is just being forgotten about. I want a show to feel like, even if you hate us, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life.