Legends Of Hardcore #5 Mark Starr -Insight- Part #2.

By Ed

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DR: What were some of the first tours like? And what bands were you playing with? Would love to hear some great tour stories and like.

Well we were young. I believe most of our tours 3/4 of the band was still in high school. Remember there wasn’t internet nor cell phones. I remember our first tour I charged $500 on my parents phone bill booking our tour. Everything was writing people and bands. Calling people and clubs on pay phones. We were goof balls on tour. Always trying to make each other laugh but at the same time having to be serious because you need to make it to the gig. Getting really bad demos. Sorry but not every band is great. We toured with YOT, Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, Chain of Strength, Insted bands we toured with. We played with a lot bands. Almost too many to name. We toured the states twice. And west coast a few times as well. Tour stories. We toured with Chain and at one point we had 11 people in our van. We broke down on the Jersey Turnpike. We call a tow truck but by the time tow truck came we got it started. He still wanted to be paid. We were arguing with him and he then went to go get a crow bar I think. I told everyone get in the van. We took off and we got a few miles and blew the engine. We had to get towed to a shop and rent a huge uhaul. I think it was a relative of a kid that was with us but I’m not sure. Anyway it was really funny and very “mob” like renting that uhaul. So we have this huge uhaul with our van towing behind it and most of us and chain in the back of this uhaul. The guys built a wood wall so we could be in the back of uhaul while driving. It was so illegal but so punk rock!!

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We tried continuing the tour but it was so ridiculous that we cancelled the rest of the tour. We drove back around 2,000 miles like that. It was just crazy but fun. We also got surrounded by 40 plus nazi skinheads and had to flee the scene and having a car chase with skinheads trying to catch us. That was pretty fucking scary. I guess we pissed off Supertouch because we had to leave the show early at ABC No Rio because we were parked illegally while playing our show. They said we were stuck up or something like that. We had Rob Haworth (Hard Stance, Farside) fill in on bass which was great!! Super sweet dude! Same tour had Chuck Treece (Mc Rad, Underdog, Urge Overkill) nice guy and not so nice guy. That didn’t work so well and pretty much Insight was done after that. We had a hard tour that year. Doug couldn’t go but we decided to go out anyway We had stuff stolen and weird shit just kept happening. It just wasn’t Insight on that tour. So much stuff happened on tour. Jeremy is better at remembering things. We used to have a picture of Choke (Negative F/X, Slap Shot) hanging in our van and Jeremy could do the best impression of him. We would laugh for days. Like I said we were just goof balls and young on the road just trying to make the best of things. Oh eating canned vegetarian beans a lot. Oh the road life!!

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DR: Did a lot of the strong lyrics come from only you or did everyone add to the writing?

Most of the lyrics I wrote. Jeremy wrote some as well. Our friend Rob Mathis wrote identity Crisis lyrics. I really like the lyrics in our later songs. I think as a band we were maturing and trying to become our own. So I feel the music got darker and so did the lyrics. I feel we didn’t want to be be known as just an “edge” band. Like I said for me animal rights were a big deal for me as well as personal relationships. If we could’ve released our later stuff! It really bums me out because I’m really proud of that music.

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DR: How did you end up hooking with Victory Records? And what was the vibe there early on?

Well our EP was originally on Soul Force records. I think Tony wrote us and wanted us on his label. It was a brand new label so the deal was he would reissue it but we decided to make it look like a new release. We did that because the Soul Force one was so limited and pretty DIY. We hand glued and stuffed those EP’s on Soul Force. Jeff is a great dude FYI!! Well as you may know Victory ran out of Tony’s house in Chicago. They had shows in the basement there which was a lot of fun. Tony was a cool guy as well as that whole Chicago scene.

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The sad thing is you didn’t sign contracts back then or if we did I can’t find it. I confronted Tony years ago when his band came to California. We hung out and had good times. I talked to him about how bummed I was at all the money he was making off us and other bands and not seeing a damn thing. He apologised and said lets talk about this. I called him and never heard back from him. I liked Victory and I’m glad we got on it. I just hate that Victory made money off of merch that we never saw or got anything for!! That to me is wrong!! As far as I know they still have all that and are still releasing things. Victory is huge and really there is nothing you can do.

DR: What Will Take is probably Victory’s best Release in my opinion.

How did Victory (Tony) treat you guys, I’ve heard a lot of ppl had problems with him in the past.

First off thanks for that!! Well we knew Tony very little other then phone calls and seeing him on tour. I feel as soon as Insight split up I sort of separated myself from all things Insight. Which probably was a mistake because Victory kept releasing stuff without us knowing or at least us not getting anything for it. It seems Victory became pretty big pretty fast. Anyway like I said above I feel there was some shady things they did to a lot of bands. I’m bummed because we we’re friends with him and he decided to become corporate and that was more important. I just feel the bands who were first on Victory should be recognised by Victory because without us he would have nothing.

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DR: Tell us a bit about Insights break up and when you moved etc.

Well Insight was more than a band. We were brothers. We did everything together. We had great success for being a bunch of young hardcore kids. We had a lot of personal stuff going on during that last US tour we did. There’s a lot I would’ve done differently. Anyway breaking up was really hard on me. I’m sure it was hard on everyone. I just couldn’t believe that we broke up because I felt we were finding our sound. Things happen for a reason but I wish it didn’t happen for the reasons it did. So we came back from the east coast and did a west coast tour. After that we had our farewell show and that was it. I moved to Huntington Beach and moved on. Though I did move back a few years later. Of course we all made up and still are very close friends. Though I live in LA we still keep in touch.

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DR: What was it like to play again with Insight? Do you think you will do anymore shows in the future?

It was so fun!! It was like we hadn’t stop playing. Funny to sing some of those songs. Especially to everyone who was there that are all grown up. Singing along and stage diving. I would do anything with those guys. I guess they all have families so it’s harder for us to do it. We’ve been offered a lot throughout the years. I would love to do at least one more show. Also wish we could release the songs that many people haven’t heard.

DR: So Whats your main focus now?

I have a band called LEAF. I play guitar and sing. It’s in the vein of Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, Kyuss.  Fuzzgaze is what I call it. We just got a new guitarist Andrew from Crystal Antlers and new drummer Brandon from The Orphans. Super stoked on this lineup. Check us out on Facebook under LEAF. It’s the Los Angeles band. Also look us up on bandcamp at leaflosangeles.bandcamp.com

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DR: And the rest of the guys?

Jeremy does his solo thing. He had Jets To Brazil, Cub Country and works with kids developing them with starting a band. From picking out instruments, song structure to recording. It’s a great program!

Jamie plays with Iceburn still when they get together. He also has a band called Los Rojos that’s really great.

Chubba plays in Iceburn still.

Doug I think still plays in The Dirty Pearls

Jeremy, Jamie, and Chubba still live in SLC. Doug lives in Minnesota I think

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DR: Do you have much interest in any current HC, and who were some of your personal favourite bands to listen to and play shows with?

I like The Obliterations, Give and Coke Bust. I like the Poison Idea and Battalion of Saints that recently came out. I dig that Negative Approach is playing. I dig seeing Chain of Strength still. I had a thing going with Alex and Frosty from Chain, Shaun from Excel and Andy fro Against The Wall. I thought it was great!! Cool fast hardcore!!

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Who I listen to today? Swervedriver, Dinosaur Jr, My Bloody Valentine, Dead Meadow, La Hell Gang, Spiritualized, Kyuss to name a few. I’ve done a few bands after Insight and have played so many shows all over this planet. Very hard to narrow that down. As far as Insight goes always our friends in the scene. Youth of Today, Cro Mags, Crumbsuckers, Judge, Chain of Strength, Insted. Damn so many bands!!! I’m sure I left out better ones.

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DR: Thanks for your time dude it’s been a pleasure.

No THANK YOU Ed!!! I’m honoured to be on this!! Of also thanks to the kids and everyone who still keep Insight alive!!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Legends Of Hardcore #5 Mark Starr -Insight- Part #2.

  1. skervrokaskervpma

    this interview was sooo informative, and it shows what I’m sure EVERYONE has heard! VICTORY SUCKS!!! you can read the interview with DWID and he basically mirrors what mark had said. they hoped build that label. But NO LOVE? i do know that INSIGHT will! be getting some residuals Soon! may not be from VICTORY! but from a old friend who knows Mark, Jeremy, Chubba,Jamie & Doug DESERVE some of the love and money they were screwed out of! such a inspirational band. And still TODAY could STAND STRONG! with these HxC bands. ED this was awesome. and insightful! and yes! INSIGHT is a LEGENDARY HxC band! i was blessed to have seen them sooo many times. and never disappointed! the spirit of INSIGHT carries on!

  2. skervrokaskervpma

    P.S. that show was amazing!! day before my birthday! what a birthday! jumping around in a red and yellow Powerhouse new age hoodie… really miss that hoodie ha

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