Starkweather (band)

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Origin Philadelphia, United States
Genres Metalcore, avant-garde metal, hardcore punk
Years active 1989–present
Labels Candlelight, Deathwish, Inc.
Associated acts Dillinger Escape Plan, Believer
Members Rennie Resmini
Todd Forkin
Harry Rosa
Vincent Rosa
Sean Jacobs
Bill Molchanow
Past members Michelle Eddison
Sean Roberts
Jim Winters
Liam Wilson

Starkweather is an American metalcore band from Philadelphia, formed in 1989. Starkweather helped pioneer the hardcore punk/heavy metal crossover sound that would later be known as "metalcore".[1] They have influenced many of today's top selling hardcore/metal bands.[2][3]

The name Starkweather is taken from Charles Starkweather, a late-1950s spree killer.[4]


After recording a demo at Why Me? Recording (Turning Point, Edgewise, Brody), the band was quickly signed to Harvcore Records and released the Crossbearer LP in 1992. Starkweather made an impression with a succession of 7" single releases. These were followed by their first EP, Starkweather, for Inner Rage Records (1993); the Crossbearer re-issue, for Too Damn Hype (1994); their second full-length effort, Into the Wire, on Edison Recordings (1995); and the 1996 Bitter Frost / Bee Stings and Posion Eggs split with Season to Risk through Supermodel Records.

Starkweather released their third album, Croatoan, in late 2005. It was produced by Pierre Remillard, and was released only on vinyl through Hypertension Records. In that year, the band went on their first international European tour, visiting the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, England and France. 2006 saw the CD release of Croatoan on Candlelight Records.[5] Croatoan features guest performances from bass player Liam Wilson (The Dillinger Escape Plan and Burnside) and Jim Winters (Believer, Earth Crisis, Turmoil, and The Promise)[3] and the cover art was done by artist Paul Romano, who also worked with Mastodon, The Red Chord, Trivium, Earth, and Godflesh.

Style and influences[edit]

Starkweather songs don't follow traditional verse-chorus-verse structure. Songs tend to have "narrative or cinematic flow", the compositions tend to emphasize an ongoing development of themes and motifs. Alex Henderson of Allmusic has described their music as "dissonant, jagged, angular, and discordant as well as abrasive, noisy, violent, claustrophobic, and dense" and an "extreme sensory assault".[2] Singer Rennie Resmini is influenced by the vocalists of Sinéad O'Connor, Diamanda Galas, Björk, Swans, The Birthday Party (Nick Cave), Amebix, Killing Joke, and others. The primary musical influences on the band are Voivod, Celtic Frost, Gorguts, Articles of Faith, Watchtower, Atheist, Dream Theater, Confessor, Fates Warning and Iron Maiden.[4]

Starkweather is often credited as an early pioneer of modern metalcore.[6][7] In an interview with Noisecreep, guitarist Todd Forkin commented that although he was "flattered" to have been considered influence, he likened pioneering metalcore to spreading cancer. Forkin stated, "I've heard the tag on a number of occasions that we, along with a handful of other bands, are responsible for metalcore, but to me that's like being told you're responsible for spreading cancer. You just pray that it's not true."[8] Forkin continued in the interview that while he understands that being an influence means taking "the spirit" of Starkweather and performing it "through their own sensibilities", he doesn't hear "a direct take on what we've done" in modern metalcore bands.[8] In a review for Starkweather's This Sheltering Night, Cosmo Lee of Decibel wrote, "If one had to assign a context for Starkweather, it would be the late '80s/early '90s, where bands like Only Living Witness and Prong were smashing together metal and hardcore—but not quite making 'metalcore.' 'Metalcore' now implies the worst of both worlds. We're talking about the best of both worlds."[9]


Current members

  • Rennie Resmini – vocals
  • Todd Forkin – guitar
  • Harry Rosa – drums
  • Vincent Rosa – bass guitar
  • Bill Molchanow – lead guitar

Former members

  • Michelle Eddison – bass guitar (1990–1999)
  • Sean Roberts – guitar
  • Jim Winters – guitar
  • Dan McGinnis – guitar (1990)
  • Liam Wilson – bass guitar
  • Leonard Emerick – drums


  • Crossbearer (LP) (1992) Harvcore Records
  • Starkweather (7" EP) (1993) Inner Rage Records, France
  • Philly Dust Krew compilation cd (1993) Too Damn Hype Records
  • Crossbearer (studio album, 1994) re-issue of vinyl with bonus tracks on Too Damn Hype Records
  • A Food Not Bombs Benefit compilation LP (1994) Inchworm Records
  • Into The Wire (studio album, 1995) Edison Records
  • Bitter Frost/Bee Stings and Posion Eggs (split with Season to Risk, 1996)
  • Definitely Not the Majors compilation CD (1997) Bush League
  • Croatoan (studio, 2005) vinyl by Hypertension CD released by Candlelight Records in 2006
  • This Sheltering Night (studio, 2010) CD LP released by Deathwish Inc.
  • "Split" Starkweather & Overmars LP released by Deathwish Inc.


  1. ^ Hale, Trevor (December 3, 2008). "Just Like Coming Home: Starkweather finally make their way to Utah". Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  2. ^ a b Croatan review @ Allmusic "Mastodon, The Red Chord, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Killswitch Engage, Losa, The Black Dahlia Murder, Coalesce, Strapping Young Lad ... but it is important to know that Starkweather have been around longer than any of the abovementioned bands and have influenced some of them (either directly or indirectly)"
  3. ^ a b Biography @ The Gauntlet "they have been cited as influence to many of today's top selling metal/hardcore bands"
  4. ^ a b Rennie Resmini interview
  5. ^ Biography @ MusicMight[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Starkweather Bio". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  7. ^ Hale, Trevor (December 3, 2008). "Just Like Coming Home: Starkweather finally make their way to Utah". Salt Lake City Weekly. Copperfield Publishing. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Debenedictis, Matt (June 11, 2010). "Starkweather Guitarist: Pioneering Metalcore Is Like 'Spreading Cancer'". Noisecreep. AOL Music. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  9. ^ Lee, Cosmo (July 2010). "Energetic disassembly". Decibel. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Red Flag Media Inc. (69). ISSN 1550-6614. Retrieved August 29, 2010. [dead link]

External links[edit]