5 Lbs. of ROCK
Interview by Sheila Dianne Jackson
It’s tough to get 5 minutes, let alone 5 questions with rock-guitarist Starr Cullars. A veteran of the P-Funk All-Stars, and the first female member of the 18-piece ‘boys’ club,’ she gets total street cred’ as one bad-ass bass player! Starr left to start her own brand of cosmic rock with an undeniable funk influence. The self-proclaimed “Rock Amazon” is currently featured in the Black Rock Coalition compilation, “What Are You Doing Here? The Liberation Sessions Vol 1.”, with her song “Diabolical Done.”
So for all of the people who have asked if this is a picture (left) of me, I’m happy introduce you to the gracious, beautiful, and all powerful poster-sista and embodiment of the spirit of “Nice & Rough” (drum roll) Starr Cullars!!
SHEILA: How would you describe your brand of rock?
STARR: I describe my brand as: Progressive-Hard-Rock music. I naturally have a pure Funk stream flowing through it, because of my pedigree and background.
SHEILA: What are the top 3 influences and experiences that led you to rock?
STARR: This is difficult to narrow dawn. My top 3 influences would be 1) Jimi Hendrix, 2) Black Sabbath/ and 3) Living Colour (my personal friends). I realized when I was a little child, playing acoustic-guitar at 7, that I was truly a real Rocker in my small being. By the time I received my 1st Bass-guitar, I was already listening to and learning music by Cream, Led Zepplin, Jimi Hendrix, etc. By the time I was in college, right before I was hired by George Clinton & P-Funk, I was completely immersed in being a Rock Musician.
SHEILA: How do you define the difference between rock and funk?
STARR: Excellent question, especially for Me. The difference between Rock and Funk music, since I am from the P-Funk. I learned Funk music from legends. I am the only Female-Musician member of the Parliament-Funkadelic legendary group! Playing the Bass-guitar in that group is the most important instrumentation of the music.
Funk music is the effected result of Classic-Soul, Country-Blues, and Early-Rock music. Where R&B is more refined, elegant and sophisticated; Funk is more syncopated, raw, wild and flowing with loud-rhythmic pronouncements. Rock music is the effected result of Classic-Blues and R&B, electrified loudly. Rock music is pure freedom, and is based on the aggressive, loud, powerful expression of musicians being inspiring, rebellious, and epic.
SHEILA: I was so psyched to see you included on VH1‘s Fantasy Rock Camp. Tell us about your experience.
STARR: My VH1 Rock Camp experience was awesome. I was chosen and featured by the Rock Counselors, Rock Guest Stars, and the Producers as the “star of the show”! I am fortunate to be a professional-musician from P-Funk, with recording and performing experience. When I arrived on the set, I was immediately recognized, and treated with the highest respect and admiration from the cast and crew. Each day was a challenging test of skill and experience. Everyday we had to learn multiple songs, rehearse and perform them with the surprise Rock Star Guests, perform live at Hollywood venues, and write and record original music! Each day, every moment, I continued to display my skill and experience. I was praised and championed everyday by the VIPs and the Crew. It was a fantastic experience for me!
SHEILA: What can fans expect to experience with your music?
STARR: My music is interlaced, and born from the Legendary Rockers; but it is alive and kicking with progression, thunderous-power and cosmic-electricity! Fans can expect to experience, a powerful-new-world in our 21st century…My mission is to powerfully flow forward, carrying out this most-special duty of ‘Rock Amazon’ of inspiration and light!
I will be touring my band, The Starr Cullars Crew. I am also doing Rock Counselor gigs with the Rock Camp (I am the only camper ever asked to become a Counselor!)
Listen to Starr Cullars’, “Diabolical Done” https://soundcloud.com/starrcullars/04-diabolical-done
Sheila is an award-winning author, biographer and CEO of Eve’s Lime Productions. She is Director-Producer of the upcoming documentary, “Nice & Rough: Black Women IN Rock.”