Dear Superstar have been around for quite a while, touring constantly and gaining a positive reputation, supporting the likes of Papa Roach and Buckcherry. Altsounds got the pleasure of interviewing Dear Superstar’s front man, Micky Satiar on their tour with Heaven’s Basement. Sitting in a small room at the top of The Cockpit, Altsounds and Micky talked about Dear Superstar’s career so far and some rather painful backstage antics involving Dirty Dancing…
Altsounds: How has the tour been so far?
Micky: Yeah wicked! It’s kind of refreshing for us really, because we have had four months off and also going out with such good friends like Heaven’s Basement, because we’ve done quite a few tours with them previously, yeah its dead good. You know, it’s like we can ease ourselves back into touring better really, and the crowds have been awesome every night. So yeah, loving it.
Altsounds: You played with Heaven’s Basement on the Buckcherry tour and you were above them on the bill. Is it weird to be supporting them now?
Micky: No, not at all, it’s all good from our point of view. We’re out on the road with people that we love and we are doing what we love. With the whole thing about things being flipped around I guess, you know Heaven’s Basement have been doing a hell of a lot. We kind of did the Papa Roach tour, then the Buckcherry/Papa Roach tour in Europe, then the Buckcherry tour, us and Heaven’s Basement did the Buckcherry tour, and then just after that they did the big Papa Roach tour, so it made sense for them to be in a headlining tour and there is no rivalry between us, there is no egos and I think that’s important. That’s probably why we get on so well, and you know, we’re coming out and it seems like were lower down on the bill, but we just don’t see it like that. We just like playing rock and roll and that’s what means the most to us.
Altsounds: Not only have you been on tour with Buckcherry, but Bullet For My Valentine and Papa Roach as well; do you have a favourite out of all these tours?
Micky: They were all awesome for their own reasons, and I think the Papa Roach one was a stand out one for us because they are a massive influence to the band, but also they are such great guys. We did the tour with them in the UK back in April and we hit it off really well, just like two different types of personalities hit it off straight away. Love those guys to death and they invited us out to do Europe with them, so we went all around Europe with them and then went to Crue Fest with Motley Crue and they really helped us out with Download obviously that year, and Sonisphere, so I guess the history and the friendship that we’ve got now with Papa Roach would definitely spell that as the most favourite tour this far, but obviously not taking anything away for the Bullet For My Valentine and the Buckcherry stuff because it’s all been awesome.
Altsounds: Buckcherry are known for partying quite well and Papa Roach used to be, so did you get to party a lot with both bands?
Micky: We partied more with Papa Roach though it’s go to be said…
Altsounds: Oh right!
Micky: Yeah, the Papa Roach tour was just like balls to the wall 24 hours a day. It was like party all day and rock all night. It was wicked, especially going round Europe and getting out to new places. With the Buckcherry tour though, I think we expected to go out there and be just more insane and more high octane and more of everything, and it was probably a bit more of a professional tour which was a good thing for us really because there was a lot of dates and the last date of the tour was Sonisphere. We wanted to make sure we could kill there and you know we did. So, yeah, that tour was definitely an enlightening tour for Dear Superstar!
Altsounds: You played Download and Sonisphere, which one did you prefer?
Micky: Ah man its too hard to cut. Download was like the first major festival that we’ve done and you know it’s Download, it’s Donnington, it’s the Mecca of rock and roll and we’ve always wanted to play it. We’re usually on the other side of the fence, but that said you know Sonisphere was at Knebworth and again another Mecca of rock and roll. It was Amadeus’s birthday at Knebworth as well and it was the last show of the big tour that we’d done. I think it was a good send off. I had a better time at Sonisphere, but I think the sense of achievement was higher for Download because we had chased it for so long; but like I said, they were both equally amazing.
Altsounds: This year’s Download was my first too.
Micky: Awesome. Did you see us?
Altsounds: No, I cant remember who I saw, but there was a day that I fell asleep and I woke up and I didn’t know where I was and I was just on the ground.
Micky: You know what, if you don’t do that at Download there is something wrong.
Altsounds: You were saying before you used to be on the other side of the fence at Download. I’m going to take it you went there a lot then?
Micky: Yeah, Download was the festival we went to. We used to camp up in a shitty tent or whatever, we used to take our van down there sometimes. We have always been there on the other side of the fence watching the bands we admire, and that inspired us to think that we could be doing that ourselves one day. To actually walk onto that stage and have kids looking back at us maybe thinking the same thing is just insane, very surreal and a dream come true genuinely. I can’t wait to do it next year.
Altsounds: So you are doing it next year?
Micky: Well who knows.
Altsounds: Have you ever thought about Leeds?
Micky: I’d love to do Leeds, especially like 2009 which was definitely a rock festival, not an indie festival.
Altsounds: I think 2008 was bit more of a rock festival. It was Metallica. Radiohead was this year.
Micky: Yeah maybe I’m thinking of 2008 then. Yeah, 2008 was definitely a year for rock, maybe they will bring it back next year; it seems like right now everyone is touring, all the bands want to be on the road, so I think that everyone in 2010 is going to be in for a treat for both Download and Sonisphere.
Altsounds: Are you going to do Sonisphere?
Micky: Yeah, I would like to think so, we have got no guaranteed slot there at the moment but I’d like to see us at one of the big festivals at least next year.
Altsounds: What’s the best live act that you have ever seen?
Micky: Well, I’ve seen so many! When I first watched Bullet For My Valentine they blew me away, and I think they’re like one of the modern great live bands; Papa Roach kills it every night, just so consistent. But I think the one band that I was genuinely in awe with was Avenged Sevenfold at Sonisphere. We were lucky to watch from the side of the stage and I’ve never seen a band so well connected with the fans. So tight, and just the way they move around the stage and the songs are epic. I think they are genuinely like modern classic musicians. I think they will be remembered in the times of rock history because from a live point of view and listening to their records that band just slays. They kill it every time.
Altsounds: Did you get to meet them?
Micky: Yeah, we had a few drinks with them. They have been on tour with Papa Roach as well, so we had a bit of common ground there. We had a good chat and they are just genuine sweethearts, really nice guys. And they rock like shit as well.
Altsounds: Sorry, you looked like shit?
Micky: No they rock like shit.
Altsounds: Ha right.
Micky: But no I looked like shit at Sonisphere. I broke two ribs at Sonisphere.
Altsounds: On stage or after?
Micky: Yeah I was drunk. I was trying to lift Amadeus, our bass player, above my head in the air like in the Dirty Dancing scene, where he lifts Baby above his head. I mean, I tried lifting Amadeus and he’s a bit heavier than me and I fell over and landed on a concrete block and cracked two ribs, and yeah it was nasty but the beer helped!
Altsounds: Ha sounds like fun though. I wouldn’t have expected you to be doing that backstage.
Micky: Ha no.
Altsounds: You played at the HMV forum as well. How was that?
Micky: We have done that a couple of times actually; the last time was with Buckcherry and 69 Eyes for the Kerrang week of rock and yeah that was cool. Since they have been doing the Kerrang week of rock we have always thought “oh that would be a great line-up to be on”, and they always seem to put great bands on and the whole Kerrang week of rock line-up this year was great. We are friends with 69 Eyes and it was cool to hook up with them again, and we love Finland which is where they are from and we have toured there a few times. So it was great to meet up with them and obviously Buckherry on that show as well and it was a massive party night that night, so yeah it was good.
Altsounds: Any Dirty Dancing again?
Micky: Ha No Dirty Dancing that night.
Altsounds: So, out of all the tours you have played, what’s the best venue you have played at?
Micky: Hands down I would say it was in Copenhagen but I cant remember what the venue was called. I’ll find out. But yeah, I would definitely say it was in Copenhagen. Again it was on the Papa Roach / Buckcherry tour, but also Tommy Lee from Motley Crue came down for that show, so we got to party with him. He watched from the side of the stage and I think the whole experience, the crowd, were just unbelievably insane. Without a doubt that is my most memorable show and most memorable venue as well. There is some video on Youtube of us where you can just tell that the sound that night was epic, and the crowd was epic. Looking forward to getting back there this year.
Altsounds: What would you say are the best and worst things about being on tour?
Micky: Erm…sorry there is the venue name. Vega, yeah definitely the best venue. But yeah, sorry: the best and worst things about touring. You know we get asked this a lot, and every time I always seem to come out with really shitty answers but you know what? There’s a lot of partying, the rock and roll is great, and meeting the fans is great, but the best thing about touring is clean socks! I know that sounds really shit and mundane, but there is nothing better than putting on a clean pair of socks when you’re on tour! You’re on your feet lifting gear and you wake up in the morning in some random hotel or wherever you manage to crash that night, and to wake up in the morning and get the chance to put clean socks on is epically amazing.
Altsounds: You take a lot of socks with you then?
Micky: Oh honestly I buy brand new socks every time I go on tour. I have brand new socks in my suitcase because I cant bear to put old socks on. They have to be brand new and got to be fresh.
Altsounds: Do you have a certain style of socks, like those ones with patterns on?
Micky: Honestly I’d wear socks with dicks on as long as they’re clean. The worst thing about touring…I’m trying to think about what is the worst thing about touring, because I find bands and meet bands all the time who complain about things and we have been slogging away, being in a band for over 10 years and to think that we would get to this point and start moaning about things is… I almost find it insulting when bands complain about things, because we are blessed to be here and if we get a few bottles of water and a couple of sandwiches before we go on stage I’m genuinely appreciative of that, because people have taken the time to book us on a show and pay us to play the show. People come and pay to watch us, so to complain about any aspect of anything when you are blessed with that kind of lifestyle I think is selfish.
Altsounds: Now out of your two albums “Confessions Of A Twisted mind” and “Heartless”, do you have a favourite album?
Micky: Yeah, obviously “Heartless”, we had a lot of time to sit down and decide what we wanted to write and what producer we wanted to produce it, but that being said with “Confessions Of a Twisted Mind” we were a young band, we just wanted to make as much noise out there and get as much of a reputation for ourselves as we could, be that a good one or a bad one. I don’t know, but we recorded that album on like a shoestring; we had £1000 to record the whole album, whereas with “Heartless” we had a bigger budget and more time. We had good people around us and every single song on “Heartless” I’m happy with and every single song means something to me. But the history of “Confession Of A Twisted Mind” means a lot to me because it’s where we came from and the album sucks. It’s not a great album, but if anyone wants to hear where Dear Superstar came from, which is honestly the gutters of Manchester; we never got a handout or anything like that, we just did it all ourselves. Listen to “Confessions Of A Twisted Mind” and it will show that we can go from that to this, so people can see our progression.
Altsounds: You’re on the same label as Twisted Sister and Therapy? Have you ever thought of going on tour with them or would you go on tour with them?
Micky: Yeah, we nearly went on tour with Therapy?, I think it was March this year, but because things just seem to have taken off really a little bit with our new agent getting us the different shows, it never really happened. I love Therapy? particularly back in the day ten, fifteen years ago, they were one of the first rock bands that I ever discovered along with Def Leppard, who were at one side of the spectrum and Therapy? were at the other. Therapy? were still around making rock and roll and I did listen to them. To be on the same label as them is awesome, but really to get the chance to go on tour with them is also wicked, its just unfortunate that we haven’t really made it happen, but that said Hanoi Rocks are signed to Demolition and we have been on tour with them. Wednesday 13 are signed to Demolition and we have been out on tour with them as well.
Altsounds: Aren’t you also on the same label as Slaves To Gravity?
Micky: Yeah Slaves To Gravity have just signed up. They’re good guys, we know them from back in the days when they were The GaGa’s, it’s cool to have them on the same label. Maybe we will hook up with them at some point in the future as well.
Altsounds: Your also on the same label as David Lee Roth. Have you ever got to meet him?
Micky: No. You know what, there are two people in rock and roll which I just think are gods, and they are David Lee Roth and Sebastian Bach, both of who are on our label which I think is just mind blowing. I haven’t met them yet, but I’m sure at some point in the future there must be some Demolition Records Christmas party, because that is definitely one I would like to go to.
Altsounds: Sounds like an awesome party! So what bands have inspired Dear Superstar?
Micky: Genuinely anything from Johnny Cash through to Motley Crue. Like I said before, Def Leppard are the first band that I ever actually discovered for myself and got me into rock and roll, and even bands like Therapy? and Warrant and a lot of the LA sleaze rock movement really does inspire us. I think a lot of that is down to the lifestyle more than the actual music. The backbone of Dear Superstar is 80s rock and roll, but we do fuse that with things like Papa Roach and Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, more like modern rock/metal; we don’t like to pigeonhole ourselves in the 80s because its not the 80s.
Altsounds: We know you’re from Manchester and Manchester has been quite a influential city when it comes to music. Would you say growing up there influenced Dear Superstar?
Micky: I wouldn’t say so too much musically because the Manchester scene is like Happy Mondays and Oasis, its not rock and roll by the term of what we play rock and roll. Obviously Oasis is rock and roll.
Altsounds: It is very different to what you do though.
Micky: Yeah exactly, its completely different. So musically no, it doesn’t inspire us, but what Manchester does inspire us… Well, not so much Manchester but definitely the suburbs where we are from… It can be depressing. A lot of it is closed off areas and closed off towns and a lot of the people don’t actually venture out to the major cities. To think that we have actually broken away from that to a certain extent is a massive influence to us, and the main influence that I think our home town has brought to us is the wish and the desire and the drive to get out.
Altsounds: Where about in Manchester are your from?
Micky: Rossendale. I love Rossendale and I still live there, my home’s there and my family is there and I’d never say anything against the place because I love it to death; but there are too many people, like in any small town, that never get out of that small town mentality. I’ve always felt that I’m not bigger than that but that I can do better than just staying in my hometown. Home is where your heart is and I’ll always go back there, but the world’s a hell of a big place and I want to see every single bit of it that I can.
Altsounds: Do you have a top 5 albums of 2009?
Micky: From 2009… Just one?
Altsounds: No you can give us 5 if you have them.
Micky: Well, I know this will sound gay because we went on tour with them, but Papa Roach’s “Metamorphosis” was a wicked album. Escape The Fate’s album was good, “Sonic Boom” by Kiss was wicked. I’m sure I’ve got excited about more albums than that this year. Oh yeah, Whitesnake’s was this year. Yeah will go with that. Whitesnake’s “Good to Be Bad”, “Sonic Boom” by Kiss, Escape the Fate “The War Is Ours”, Papa Roach “Metamorphosis” and Steel Panther’s “Feel The Steel”.
Original article first appeared on Altsounds website on 25/02/10