Interview - Henri Cash of Starcrawler
Updated: Jul 1
Photo by Gilbert Trejo Henri Cash is the guitarist of LA rock band Starcrawler. He has a strange fascination with lambs and has the coolest clothes ever. THIS IS HIS STORY
The Mood 51: Your guitar style is interesting; rhythmic, high-energy, and brilliantly catchy. I’m curious to know—who are your favorite guitarists?
Henri Cash: I love so many guitar players like Johnny Ramone, Billy Zoom, Poison Ivy, Jack White, Angus Young, Chuck Berry, Brian Setzer, and Wayne Kramer...the list just goes on and on. One of my favorite guitar players who inspired me growing up was my uncle, Brad Rice, who I'd always watch playing guitar. He made me want to play when I grew up. M51: That explains a lot. I really see the Jack White influence especially. And since your uncle Brad Rice inspired you, were you playing guitar since childhood? When did you start, and what else do you play? I heard through the grapevine something about tuba?
HC: Yeah, my dad plays guitar too, and my whole family has always been really into music so it wasn't something I even really thought about. Jack White's great; I think he's one of the only guys who puts on a true rock show still in the recent years. I play drums, bass, tuba...I can play really bad piano and if ya give me a hour I can work my way around trombone and trumpet euphonium. I can pretty much figure out how to make some good noises outta whatever you put in front of me. But I studied tuba for a long time and really love it. Still think my favorite instrument to play is drums though.
"One of my favorite guitar players who inspired me growing up was my uncle, Brad Rice, who I'd always watch playing guitar. He made me want to play when I grew up."
M51: Obviously you like The Ramones, The Cramps, and such. But who do you listen to that no one would guess?
HC: Well, I listen to a lot of country music like Buck Owens, Porter Wagnoner, and Hank Williams. I think the guitar playing and the lryics are some of the best out there. Also really love Warren Zevon's songs and Jackson Browne; I just think they're some of my favorite songwriters. M51: When I think of Warren Zevon I think of “Werewolves of London,” so what else by him should I listen to?
HC: There's so much good stuff. "Carmelita" is a good one. "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" is also good..."Lawyers Guns and Money"...all so good! His book is really good too if you're into him. He had a crazy life.
M51: You’ve been in a lot of odd situations in Starcrawler videos. You’ve been a bloody butcher in a makeshift meat locker (“Chicken Woman”), playing guitar on the roof of a moving car (“Hollywood Ending”), and playing with flour as a disenchanted donut boy (“I Love LA”), just to name a few. What was the weirdest thing you’ve ever had to do for a music video?
HC: For the "Chicken Woman" video I had to put my hair in this net full of grease that was so uncomfortable for like a hour and a half or so and I kept complaining the whole time but it turned out looking great. I think my favorite was from the "Hollywood Ending" video directed by Gilbert Trejo also and I was dressed as Lolita. That was pretty fun. M51: Why on earth did that take an hour and a half? And yes, I was wondering if you could walk in high heels too.
HC: Because my hair wasn’t greasy enough. They needed me to look terrible! Hahaha. I've never really worn heals because I've never found a pair that fit my feet so I cant say.
M51: You don’t just play guitar—you sing too. What’s your fav song to sing? (“Pussy Tower” I’m assuming).
HC: I think "Love's Gone Again" or "Let Her Be" are my favorite to sing on and also the end of "No More Pennies." "Pussy Tower" is fun too. I just like singing. M51: Oh yeah, I love that part in “No More Pennies.” What do you like to sing as far as non-Starcrawler songs go?
HC: I like singing like Hank Williams songs, Ramones songs, Tom Petty, Elvis. I like singing everything I can. In the car me and Arrow always sing "Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani and we love dancing as a band to the song "Ocean Man" by Ween.
"I think 'Love's Gone Again' or 'Let Her Be' are my favorite to sing on and also the end of 'No More Pennies.' 'Pussy Tower' is fun too. I just like singing."
M51: You’ve spoken about wanting to bring aesthetic sensibilities back to rock ‘n’ roll, and you definitely do that—your silky, tasseled, intricately-detailed, brightly-colored suits have become a trademark. What’s the inspiration behind your signature style? And where did you get that button-down shirt with the swans (“I Love LA”)? I need that.
HC: I got the swan shirt from Shirley Kurata. She showed me a lot of the western clothes I wore early on. Unfortunately the swan one got so ripped on the shoot that I haven't worn it since. I always loved the way all the old country stars looked in the embroidered suits. Just looked so cool and stood out, something to draw attention. So I started finding vintage stuff and getting it tailored and embroidered. The woman who embroidered my suits and makes most of Arrow's costumes' name is Jessica Owens and she's great. She's located in LA. M51: It’s good to know exactly who’s behind all those beautiful, eye-catching designs! Is there anything you like to get customized aside from clothing?
HC: I like custom guitars too! I don't know, man, if I could I'd have custom everything but I don't have the funds for all that yet. Not even close hahaha.
M51: You often represent yourself with a particular depiction of a (really cute) little lamb. It’s your Instagram profile picture, and I’ve also noticed it hiding on top of your amp and on some of your clothes. What’s the symbolism behind the lamb?
HC: It's whatever you want it to mean. M51: Mysterious. So there’s no particular intended meaning, or nothing in particular it means to you?
HC: I never said that. I just think some things are better kept mysteries.
M51: You guys seem so theatrical live and in videos, but in interviews, you’re the picture of calm—so it’s kinda hard to tell what you all are like in real life. Who’s the calmest in real life, and who’s the craziest?
HC: Well, I definitely have the most energy and everyone else is pretty chill, but we're all super nice and stuff. M51: Yeah, I can definitely see you having the most energy. It’s weird to think Arrow is calm in real life but that’s what I’ve heard.
HC: Well, she saves up all that energy for the stage.
M51: I know you guys often talk about particularly liking Japan. What’s your craziest Japan story from tour?
HC: At Fugi Rock Festival I brought a couple up on stage and the girl was so excited and it was like 105 degrees and she fainted. M51: What? What happened after she fainted…? Hopefully there were doctors around and she was okay? You must’ve been pretty hot too in 105 degrees, hopefully you weren’t wearing a suit jacket and boots!
HC: I think there's footage on YouTube somewhere. She turned out fine. I've done a suit in 108 before, full suit the whole time! Pretty terrible. The hottest show we ever played was this little club outside of London and it got so hot in there that we had to take a break or we woulda passed out.
M51: What does fake blood taste like?
HC: Terrible, I don't know how she [Arrow] does it. M51: You did it though, in “Chicken Woman”! But I guess that’s different from doing it all the time. You have a lot of other things you contribute as far as the performance aspect though. You dance like crazy and play guitar at the same time—was that hard to perfect?
HC: I never thought about it, I'm such a spaz that it just came naturally.
M51: What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
HC: Chocolate or green mint chip. I'm very indecisive. M51: With what toppings?
HC: Sometimes sprinkles and I like those candy cherry things. Follow Henri Cash on social media: Personal Instagram Starcrawler Instagram Starcrawler official web site Starcrawler Facebook Starcrawler Twitter Starcrawler YouTube Starcrawler Spotify