Like a rainbow in the dark, Nicole Starr is something of an anomaly. Barely 20-something-years-old, Starr was born after the prime years of her favorite guitar heroes, yet she raves about 1980s shredders the way a Kardashian prattles on about shoes. Jake E. Lee? Loves him. George Lynch? Wants to marry him. Yngwie Malmsteen? Can spell it backwards.
As guitarist for Dallas-based glam-metal band, The Valentine Failures, Starr has been described as Joan Jett with Dave Mustaine’s sneer. OK, I’ll buy that. She also has made two 2012 appearances in Guitar World magazine (including the recent issue with Slipknot on the cover) and landed an endorsement deal with Kona Guitars. All this is fine and good, of course, but Starr’s proudest moment is right here and now as 2Fast2Die’s featured “Ask” rocker. Ain’t that right, Nicole? Hello? Hello?
NICOLE STARR: Favorite album that changed my life? Kinda hard to pick seeing as there are soooo many great albums out there that have influenced me. When it comes to guitar playing and listening for godly tone, the album that changed my life is no doubt Judas Priest’s classic 1982 album, “Screaming for Vengeance.” I grew up on lots of Blue Oyster Cult, Ted Nugent and Black Sabbath, but there’s just no denying the first time I heard “Screaming for Vengeance” I craved any and everything Judas Priest.
I’m a huge guitar nerd, so hearing the guitar tone on songs like “Screaming for Vengeance” or “Riding on the Wind” was pretty much orgasmic. I also purchased my first Marshall halfstack and ‘67 Gibson Flying-V re-issue because of Priest. The guitar tone on “Screaming for Vengeance” is the classic heavy metal tone that nobody nowadays can seem to capture. All the lead work from Downing and Tipton was structured perfectly … every lick has its place and I dig that. Not to mention the in-your-face metal screams that Halford belts out on that album made me fall in love. Leather, studs and high-pitched screams … What more could you ask for in a heavy metal album?
2FAST2DIE Says: “Screaming for Vengeance” is not only my favorite Judas Priest album, but one of my favorite albums, period. The songs — “Electric Eye,” “Riding on the Wind,” “Devil’s Child,” etc. – along with the pacing, the album title and artwork make for a true metal masterpiece. “Bloodstone” and “Take These Chains,” are the kind of songs I can almost smell, because of how vividly they take me back to after-dark roaming during my high school years. A great choice, Nicole!
For more on The Valentine Failures, go here