Above: Disassociate Me, courtesy of Tyler Smith
Disassociate Me, the solo project of ELHS graduate Samuel Starks, will end the night with an intimate set of original music.
Starks, 20, is a student at LCC where he studies psychology. He claims Disassociate Me is a project that’s been in the works only three years, although “I’ve been writing music since I was in eighth grade, but I sort of stopped in high school until I got in a band with Matias Brimmer called Cicadas.” (cicadas.bandcamp.com). The band became Starks’ main musical outlet and he backed away from the pursuit of writing solo, at least until his friends and bandmates egged him on to try his hand at writing his own music.
For the most part Disassociate Me has been kept under wraps, until recently. The vast majority of Starks’ past experiences performing live have been with a full band. In his high school years, Cicadas performed regularly in the Espresso Royale garage facing Grand River Avenue. In addition to his current band Immanuel Can’t, Starks also briefly played bass for Stickhausen Castle in 2014. He performed an acoustic set at Tape Hiss Music’s first annual Sad Valentine’s show in 2015, and most recently at The Record Lounge last December.
Gaywitch Records, a DIY cassette label based in Chicago, featured a Disassociate Me track on their 2016 spring sampler. “The song on the sampler is called ‘Son of a Cop’. For the recording of that I just did it on my Macbook, and had Matias Brimmer do some keyboard stuff that I think really helps out the track.”
Gaywitch is run by John Redden, who Starks met “in Kalamazoo at a house venue called Rey Mysterio’s. He was playing a set there and I talked to him about releasing a noise album on the label that I’m still in the process of recording.” Because he is planning on the genre differing greatly from what he’s done previously in his solo music endeavors, it will be released under a different moniker. “I’m just gonna have fun with it. I’m not gonna put a lot of thought into it, because I feel like that’s what ruins a lot of songs of Disassociate Me.”
Having played in local bands gives Starks the advantage of knowing other local musicians, which can make it much easier to get shows in the area. Blake Gibbs, a member of Squid, whom Starks befriended, booked Disassociate Me on the bill.
Starks appreciates the efforts of the local music community, noting that “most people strive to be a part of a bigger thing than themselves, and I think if I am, or if I may become part of a bigger thing than myself, I would have a lot of support. I would have really great people talking to me all the time and just being supportive and liking my music. I think that would give me a drive to make better music, and make it for something rather than just for myself. I do feel like part of a community in my band Immanuel Can’t, and that feels fantastic. If you’re just a solo act, it’s just you and you need to have faith in yourself. You need to have faith that your music is worth listening to and that it’s something good, and I don’t really have the sort of feedback in Disassociate Me that I get when playing in a band.”
Doors open at 8:30PM for tonight’s show.
Mac’s Bar is located at 2700 E Michigan Ave.