Starset, 2017 Loudwire Music Awards Performer
The tourism board has long professed that Ohio is the heart of America, and while Columbus-based Starset may have plenty of synthetic instruments in their toolbox, there’s no shortage of blood — or guts — in this progressive powerhouse.
You wouldn’t be faulted for simply enjoying the band’s hooky hard rock for what it is — only the occasional intergalactic war could make their stadium-ready choruses more powerful. But why skim the surface when frontman Dustin Bates has world-building skills that would make Christopher Nolan blush? The Ohio University grad has a Masters in electrical engineering, contributed research to the U.S. Air Force and taught at France’s renowned International Space University — all suitable qualifications to invent an elaborate backstory about the shadowy, technology-averse “Starset Society” that drives the band’s future-shock narratives. Oh yeah, he also has a self-published novel about “exo-planet discovery and colonization.” Don’t you just hate listless underachievers?
From their 2014 debut Transmissions to their recently released sophomore effort, Vessels, Starset use Hans Zimmer, Nine Inch Nails, Deftones and Radiohead as launch points for their boundary-pushing compositions. They’ve sharpened their interplanetary prowess sharing stages with Breaking Benjamin and In This Moment, but nothing compares to their 2015 laser-enhanced planetarium mini-tour (Pink Floyd, eat your hearts out). Breakout single “My Demons” spent a whopping 43 weeks haunting Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart, while the massive Vessels hit “Monster” throbs with tense strings and bass bulge before going full supernova on its pounding, humanist chorus (“You’re the pulse in my veins / You’re the war that I wage / Can you change me?”) As reality becomes more virtual by the day, you, for one, should (and will) welcome these new overlords.
This fall, Starset can be seen supporting fellow Loudwire Music Awards performers Halestorm. See the full list of dates here.