It’s hard to put into words what you get when listening to a song from Double Star. Okay, maybe that sounds a little dramatic but every song I have heard from this band (including their two new tracks, “I know U Say” and “New Orleans) has a different vibe attached to it while spanning many genres in each track. The only common factor I’ve been able to find with this group is the talent and passion that reigns supreme with every track that I listen to. Long story short, I had to know what makes this band, well, this band so I asked them a bunch of questions that had very little to do with their music (as I typically do).
If you could compare yourself to a bird, what bird would it be and why?
DAVE: I would be a cardinal. They always look sharp and they like cool weather.
HAIDEE: What bird is myopic? I’d be that one. Or maybe an Ostrich because I have a long neck and I’m a fast, flightless creature.
LEAH: If I had to be a bird, I’d be a penguin – I’d never leave the ground!
Pineapple on pizza– yes or no?
DAVE: Sure! Make a good crust with a good cheese to sauce ratio and any topping can work.
HAIDEE: It wouldn’t stop me from eating the pizza, but I’d likely pick it off and eat it for dessert.
LEAH: Absolutely not.
Favorite lyrics of all time?
DAVE: I can tell the difference between margarine and butter
I can say “Saskatchewan” without starting to stutter
But I can’t understand why we let someone else rule our land, cap in hand
Cap in Hand – by the Proclaimers
HAIDEE: Oh wow, so many to choose from. Can I give you my least favorite? Almost any pop country song. They really are full of silly, corny, cliches. I was in Texas recently, listening to the radio, and song after song; nice beat, good melody, bad lyrics. I wrote a country song once, just to see if I could. Main themes: Rodeo, buckin’ broncos, pickup truck, boy loves girl, boy loses girl, heartbreak. I feel like I got off topic here. What was the question again?
LEAH: Oh good god. I think I’ll just say that Joni Mitchell’s lyrics are unparalleled and leave it at that.
We’re going to start off with a two-parter-
Pick between It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Office, or Parks & Rec
Now that you’ve picked, please assign each band member as a character from said show
DAVE: Ha! I am too pop-culture illiterate for those references. I can do Seinfeld. Haidee is Kramer. I’m also Kramer. Leah is Elaine. Bill is George. Matt is that pilot who shows up for one episode.
HAIDEE: I think Dave could be Jerry. I’m definitely Kramer. So I’ve only watched the Office out of those 3, so I’m Jim, Dave is probably also Jim, but he could be Ryan, Leah is Kelly Kapoor, Matt is Dwight, and Bill is Kevin (no one kill me, look what I had to work with).
LEAH: Parks and Rec! Haidee is Leslie Knope, I think. Bill is Ron for sure. Dave is Ben – nice and nerdy. Matt is April. And I guess I am also Leslie.
Everyone says that every crowd is their favorite but, what city has the best audience and why is it Minneapolis?
DAVE: We’re too provincial for this question! We only play Boston and the surrounding areas (so far)–although we hear great things about Minneapolis and even wrote a song called “Minnesota”.
HAIDEE: Why is that indeed?
LEAH: I got my nose pierced in Minneapolis. That was pretty sweet.
What’s your go-to purchase at a gas station (outside of gas) when on a road trip?
DAVE: Munchos – the chip I only crave while driving through Connecticut
HAIDEE: What the hell are Munchos? For me it’s Smartfood, all the way. Healthy, and delicious!
LEAH: Unsweetened ice tea and chex mix. I’m horribly boring.
What’s the worst concert you’ve ever been to and why?
DAVE: I have mostly fond memories from all my concert-going experiences. I mean, my friend’s car window got smashed and his CDs were stolen while we were inside watching Modest Mouse in Philly in 1999 or so… but it didn’t really ruin the night.
HAIDEE: I’m so jealous you saw Modest Mouse in 1999! One of my worst was probably Bob Dylan. He must not have been feeling well, cuz it was a while ago and he’s still not dead, so how close to death could he have been back then, and he only played for 45 minutes and sucked.
LEAH: I once saw Meatloaf – it was probably like 2004 and I was working at a performing arts center – and I have to be honest, he sounded… not great. But truly, I was just psyched to be getting paid to see concerts.
What’s your favorite menu item at Taco Bell?
DAVE: I have never been to a Taco Bell–too many great independent Mexican restaurants in the world (I know, what a snob!).
HAIDEE: I think the last time I went to Taco Bell was on a cross country road trip and I was a strict vegetarian, so probably only could eat a bean and cheese burrito. So that. I too prefer authentic, or at least good, Mexican food. I will snob with you Dave.
LEAH: As the resident non-snob who owns a taco bell t-shirt, how can you pick just one?! Just get whatever it is supreme and add some fire sauce and you’re golden.
If you were to rob a bank, what would be the song playing in the getaway car as you escape?
DAVE: The Bonanza theme song.
HAIDEE: Ok Kramer. How about Bonnie and Clyde by Jay-Z (and Bey), also Bonnie and Clyde, Luna version. Ooh, I just thought of another one that would be wicked fun to drive away to – Sabotage by Beastie Boys.
LEAH: I think I could make my escape to Green Day’s Espionage.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
DAVE: Blackalicious and Jurassic 5 at UMASS Amherst in maybe 2005? Really great show, great crowd–Gift of Gab invited the guy up from the local rap/metal band that opened to rap on a song–I thought that was a really gracious gesture. I think Lyrics Born showed up at one point, too.
HAIDEE: Liz Phair. One of my idols.
LEAH: I saw Mumford and Sons at a small venue right as they were blowing up in like 2009 and it was SUPER fun. I don’t know if that’s the best, but it was a hell of a lot of fun.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside?
LEAH: I am an indoor person.
Have you ever been able to finish a Rubik’s Cube?
DAVE: No, not even close. I don’t think I have ever even completed a jigsaw puzzle.
HAIDEE: Yes, by taking it apart. Take that stupid puzzle game for people without ADD.
LEAH: Yes! On a super long flight a friend taught me how to. I did it then and haven’t touched one since.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
DAVE: I think it was Carlos Santana at the NJ Arts Center–but that’s probably wrong. My parents took me to all sorts of events in New York City–but I don’t remember most of them.
HAIDEE: The Cure! ‘nuff said. Broadway shows don’t count, right?
LEAH: Honestly, I’m pretty sure it was Raffi when I was like 3. Gotta start ‘em early!
What’s your favorite method of listening to music?
DAVE: CD in car.
HAIDEE: Streaming through my Sonos speakers.
LEAH: Headphones laying on the floor
Okay, seriously though, let’s talk about your music. Your sound is so fun and such a blend of genres– why aren’t there more pig squeals in your music? Do you just hate metal?
DAVE: I love Black Sabbath but the lack of pig squeals needs to be taken up with the singers…
LEAH: As soon as Dave asks for pig squeals, he’ll get pig squeals.
But no, you have a super fun and funky sound that it’s hard for me to really place a comparison. Was there an artist (or artists) that you feel you really channeled when writing your newest tracks?
DAVE: I always look to the Clash–not trying to sound like them exactly but trying to approach things with a similar “anything goes” spirit and having a reverence for all these different music styles.
HAIDEE: Dave and I bonded early over a shared love of the Clash. So much of the music I love has male singers though (boo patriarchy) that I tend to look elsewhere for vocal inspiration. I’m a 90s chick so you’ll probably hear some Alanis, Ani, Liz, and even Indigo Girls in my melodies. I like jumping a fifth or even a whole octave on one word, or even syllable. In a couple songs I almost yodel, but just for a second. I blame the occasional high-pitched yip on being born in Texas. I get my doowop sensibilities from a love of 50s and 60s music.
I know it’s like choosing your favorite kid but which song do you like more? “I Know U Say” or “New Orleans”?
DAVE: I Know U Say
HAIDEE: New Orleans, but I’d save them both in a fire.
LEAH: I Know U Say
Spoiler alert– you have a brand new EP coming out in just days– how stoked are you on it?!
DAVE: I am honestly looking forward to our EP release show more. Creating and promoting an EP is a bunch of work–it’s ultimately satisfying–but I am kinda looking forward to just being a band that plays bar gigs for a while.
HAIDEE: I think it’ll be our best one overall yet. We have been together for years now and gel enough to move fluidly from genre-bending song to genre-bending song.
LEAH: I am so excited to get this EP out there! The thing about Double Star is that we always have like 10-20 songs in the wings ready to go, and it’s so hard to wait ‘til we have the funds and time to get each EP together. You want to do it right, you know? But I get impatient! Anyway, this has been a couple years in the making and we’re all really jazzed about it.
Personally, how many stars would you give the upcoming EP?
DAVE: I’ll leave the Double Star joke for someone else–but I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s my favorite EP we’ve done so far–but it’s hard to not be a little self-critical of your own work. There are things I would change if I had infinite time and money–but it’s done and ready to be out in the world. Next EP, I am hoping will be 5 out of 5.
HAIDEE: 2, duh!
LEAH: I think Dave has it right – there are a few tweaks I’d make with more time and money, but it’s a whole boatload of fun and if you want perfect polish and autotune you’ve certainly come to the wrong band.
If you had to pick a top-40 rapper from today to do an entire cover album of the EP, who would you want to do it?
DAVE: Cardi B–I think she’s great!
HAIDEE: OMG, please music deities, make this happen one day! Ok, Lizzo can direct and I want guest appearances by lil Nas X, Missy Elliot, the Fugees, Gorrillaz, and the Black Eyed Peas (or at least Fergie)
LEAH: I am woefully uninformed about top-40 rap, but everything Lil Nas X does is provocative and excellent. I’d be down with a Lil Nas X / Double Star collab.
What’s next for Double Star?
DAVE: More tunes, more gigs, another EP at some point. We are going to have a track on a Bandcamp and cassette-only compilation next year.
HAIDEE: More songs, maybe some new instrumentation (think ukuleles and harmonicas), hopefully some spreading of our parochial wings and doing a regional tour.
LEAH: You can always count on a fun live show with Double Star. I think that’s our signature. So count on more fun, more energy, more horns, more weird bridges, and catchy choruses to sing along to.
First off, I want to thank Dave (guitarist, composer/ arranger, business manager), Haidee (guitarist, composer/ arranger, lyricist, trumpet), and Leah (back-up vocals, keys, sax, social media maven, one-woman focus group for Haidee and Dave’s half-baked ideas) for entertaining my questions. I absolutely love how they play off of each others answers so perfectly. I feel like that chemistry is mirrored in their music which would explain the wide array of influences and feelings.
Long story short, although their answers left me with a lot of questions (Why are you such a snob about Taco Bell, Dave?! It’s God’s gift to humankind!), it also left me with a lot of love for all three of these amazing humans. I’m pretty sure Leah is my spirit animal but, really, all three of them had me laughing as I was sorting through answers while also realizing that these personalities that came out so strong in the answers are what makes Double Star such a great and dynamic band.
So, read their answers or don’t. Just make sure to check out their music and show them some love on their socials. This is a hardworking band with a sound that deserves to be heard!
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