This is the first studio album with drumming provided by Nick Oshiro, and the second and last album that guitarist Tripp Eisen wrote and performed on. The album marks the return of former guitarist Koichi Fukuda, who helped with the programming, and according to Static-X's online forums, Fukuda completed additional guitar parts in three songs left unfinished by Eisen. The album continues the change in sound found on Shadow Zone but many of the songs featured on Start a War are heavier and feature a lot more screaming and aggressive lyrics. Songs that best show this[according to whom?] are "I Want to Fucking Break It", "The Enemy", and "Start a War".
The whole tone of the album is more aggressive than Shadow Zone.[according to whom?] The song "Pieces" features a guitar solo, a feature not found in earlier albums, but playing a larger role in the following album, Cannibal. Start a War is also the last album to feature one the band's unique Otsego songs. When asked about the album, Wayne Static said "We wanted to try to recreate the fun spirit of Wisconsin Death Trip; having Koichi back, with his flavor, helped."[attribution needed]
Most of the DVD was filmed whilst guitarist Tripp Eisen was in the band. When he left the band, he had to be 'edited' out of the DVD, though he can still be seen in some shots. New live footage was filmed with Koichi Fukuda. Consequently, this means that most of the DVD has footage only of Tony, Nick and Wayne.