“Hard and heavy punk, with a dash of rockabilly, classic rock and metal thrown in there for good measure,” exclaims Hellion, lead singer of Eden Star, to describe the music of the raw and energetic band. “We’re kind of spastic, really, when it comes to our songs. We’ll be grooving along to some slinky beat one minute, the next we’re straight-up fast punk.”
Hellion is joined by Hyde on lead guitar, Josh on bass, and Kat Kaos on drums. “Most of us have done various side projects and were a part of smaller bands, but Kat’s been a professional session player for some time now,” Hellion says. “She took us to another level, really, having played with Dr. Chud’s X-Ward, recorded with Product Recall and other groups with Romulus X Records. With two endorsements and more on the way, she’s upped our game considerably. We all got together through mutual friends. First it was Hyde and Hellion through our first drummer, then Kat came around and we found Josh at a Battle of the Bands. He was supporting one of his friend’s bands when he saw us. His initial impression of us was, ‘These clowns are insane!’”
The group has graced stages all over the area, including Maxwell’s in Hoboken, the Court Tavern in New Brunswick, the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, and Chubby’s in Red Bank. And in New York they’ve hit the Trash Bar, Arlene’s Grocery, Otto’s Shrunken Head, The Alphabet Lounge, Desmond’s Tavern and The Pussy Cat Lounge.
The in-your-face sound of the band, along with the high-energy stage show, are inspired by the halcyon days of rock and roll, with the members being avid fans of ‘80s punk, metal and glam.
“We’re a bit all over the place, really,” Hellion muses. “As far as active influences in our music go, there’s the Distillers, Motorhead, The Clash, Velvet Revolver, Mötley Crüe, Japanese bands like Kuroyume, SADS, and the Gazette. I am also a huge fan of rockabilly, so a bit of the Stray Cats and Sasquatch & the Sickabillys creep in there.” Kat’s the die hard punk rocker, drawing from the Descendents, the Misfits, the Toadies. “My absolute favorite group in the world,” she says. “And Josh picked up bass because of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, so he’s got some serious funk rock chops. Hyde’s into Incubus and has a deep appreciation for A Perfect Circle and Opeth.”
Musically, the songs are a product of collaboration from all the band members. “Hellion’s bathroom has been the birthplace of roughly 70 percent of our music,” laughs Kat. “Really, though, we do the whole skeleton track approach. Someone comes up with a basic idea, riff or a structure, then we all decide if it’s worth working on. If we all agree, that’s when it gets fleshed out, each member adding touches to their parts like an extra note here, a hit or two there, and maybe an entirely new section to change it up a bit..”
Songs such as “Night Out,” “Unsane,” and “White Rabbit” have become fan favorites. “’Unsane’ has got some crowd participation in there, so it’s always fun to play with a crowd,” relates Hellion. “’Night Out’ is our take on swing music, and it’s incredibly fun to play,” says Kat. “Sometimes we get people dancing with that one,” Hellion adds.
While the stage show the group puts on is highly energetic and crazy, the band actually has a clear, fresh outlook on their goals for the future. “Musically, to become better players, and hang out with other great players,” states Kat. “New Brunswick is full of them and it’s always encouraging to see them perform in town staples like the Court Tavern or Harvest Moon. It’s been proven time and time again that the more supportive we are of the scene, the more people support us, thank goodness.”
Eden Star will be appearing at the Clash Bar in Clifton on Friday, Jan. 22. You’ll also soon see the band playing all over New Jersey, perhaps even in your neighborhood. “We were born in the garages and basements of New Jersey, and they’ll always be home to us,” says Hellion. “Just give us lots of food and beer and you’ve got a band for your party,” adds Kat.