All Star United File:
by Tracy Darlington
All Star United/Ian Eskelin Interview
"I'm blessed to get to wake up and be creative for a living." --Ian Eskelin
Fronted by acclaimed producer/songwriter Ian Eskelin (Krystal Meyers, Stellar Kart), All Star United is legendary on the Christian music scene with a career spanning ten years, 20 countries and 1000 live shows. Boasting four previous projects, All Star United has achieved phenomenal radio success across a number of genres with its tongue-in-cheek musings and instantly accessible hooks.
TRACY: When did you first realize you wanted to be a musician?
IAN ESKELIN: 13 years old. Springfield, MO. Playing air guitar in the mirror to The Cure.
Was music a big part of your life growing up? If so, what music would you say influenced you most as a child?
My mom’s from England, and when we would spend summers there, I would collect random brit-pop cassettes from petrol stations across the country (Adam And The Ants, The Police, The Kinks, Depeche Mode, The Clash, etc...)
What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you first started in music?
It’s easy to get a record deal, but hard to keep it.
What prompted All Star United to record a new album after so many years?
Good friends can’t break up. We felt there where 11 songs that needed the ASU treatment, and voila!
Tell us about your partnership with 7 Spin Music.
7 Spin is exactly what a band like ASU needs. There’s ultimate freedom being on an indie label because when we have stupid ideas we want to try, there’s a lot less red tape.
You’ve done a lot of producing over the years. What’s your favorite part?
I’m blessed to get to wake up and be creative for a living. And I love the fact that at the end of the day there’s a new creation that wasn’t alive the day before.
Musically, what’s the difference between Love and Radiation and the band’’s earlier projects?
After 10 years of ASU, you kind of figure out what works and what doesn’t. We just tried to make recording L&R as much fun as our first endeavor. And I think you can feel that in the tracks.
You’ve been quoted as saying that this album is your best endeavor to date. Why do you think that?
Because our publicist said so . . . kidding! Records are babies---a lot of work, exciting and new. They make you proud, but not more proud than the last.
What do you hope people will come away with when they listen to Love and Radiation?
If you have God’s love in your heart, let it radiate and shine like diamonds shot with light.
Out of all your albums which is your favorite? Why?
Most bands find it difficult to best their first outing. But there are songs across all ASU records that would make a good summer iTunes burn.
Where’s the most memorable place All Star United has performed and why?
Threw out my back in a 15-foot stage dive in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ate a fish eye after a gig in Singapore. Played “Johnny Be Good” by request in front of 20,000 Kiwis. Escorted off the stage in Istanbul, once in Constantinople.
Ever had any unusual or embarrassing moments while you were performing on stage?
Accidental public nudity is always embarrassing.
Who are some authors you enjoy reading?
What most inspires your imagination?
My wife, Aiden (3 year old son), the media.
You’re at the checkout counter in Barnes & Noble and are purchasing something from the book, music & movie sections. What are you buying?
Q Magazine. 442 Magazine.
What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
Soccer fanatic. Go USA! Gluten-free.
When you’re not singing, what do you enjoy doing?
Going to the pool with my son Aiden. Go USA!!!
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Yogurt (with fruit on the bottom).
Three things always found in your refrigerator:
Gerolsteiner, Gatorade (green), Huy Fong Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce with Garlic (The one with the rooster).
You’re next in line at Starbucks. What are you ordering?
Coffee for someone else (I produce records).
What’s left unchecked in your “goals for life” list?
USA World Cup title. Oh...and world peace.
What’s currently in your CD player/iPod?
Broke my iPod, but lately I like The Motorhomes, and The Bluetones (“My Neighbor’s House”) cool song.
When was the last time you cried?
The last time I laughed.
In three words how would you describe yourself?
Work In Progress
Anything else you’d like to share with TitleTrakk.com readers?
Stop looking at your computer. Go outside. :)
Tracy Darlington is a freelance writer, and her work has appeared in Brio, Breakaway, YS, CCM Magazine, Insight, Susie Magazine, and other publications. She has interviewed countless Christian musicians including Rebecca St. James, Delirious, Newsboys, Leigh Nash, Barlowgirl, Krystal Meyers, Joy Williams, Pillar, Michelle Tumes, and many others. In her spare time she can be found riding horses or listening to music and sipping a Venti 3-shot sugar-free vanilla latte. Visit her online at her blog where she talks about Music, God, dogs and coffee. You can also look her up at Twitter and Facebook.