In 1997 Rock,Star came out of nowhere to blow away anyone who saw them. In a time and place full of angry political bands, this melodic and apolitical amalgam of local misfits drew its lineup from established wells of creativity. Zak Kaplan (Worthless United, The Ratchets, Miss TK and the Revenge) sang and played guitar along with guitarist Sue Werner (The Shemps, Stormshadow). The rhythm section they recruited was made up of bassist Ed Joyce and drummer Steve Asbury (Fast Times, River City Rebels, Worthless United). They played a few shows, and they were really good. In fact, people loved them. They just weren’t like, a “real” (read: working) band – especially by today’s standards. They played because it was fun, and because they were good at it.
Rock,Star had a habit of being added to shows on a last-minute basis. A hall with Converge, a living room with Nora, a basement with Rainer Maria, a dormitory lounge with The World/Inferno Friendship Society. Each performance left on-lookers unexpectedly breath taken. Drawing comparisons to Jawbreaker, Samiam, Husker Du and Lifetime, the word started to spread and people were talking about “this awesome band called Rock,Star.” Without fail, every show was a cascade of grit and heartbreak. When they played, it was impossible to pay attention to anything else; it was always a spectacle. A driving, melodic spectacle. Things were going so well that the band decided to break up.
Rock,Star never had a proper last show, and for the most part faded into obscurity. The band’s only recording – a full length called *Inamorato* – was never released, and Rock,Star soon became little more than the ghost of a band that never really got a chance in the first place. In the process, they became one of New Jersey’s best-kept musical secrets. And as the members of the band found success in their new endeavors, Rock,Star continued to grow more distant a memory.
Now it’s 2007 and Inamorato is finally out. Rock,Star have decided to play some shows again, even rocking the original Zak-Sue-Steve lineup, plus long-time friend Fid (The Measure [SA], The Scarlet Letter, Fanshen) taking over on bass. As all involved have long agreed that the world really should have a chance to hear this special band, it’s a welcome comeback for a band disappeared years ago leaving fans wanting more. Of course, who knows how long it will last this time? We can only wonder.
– Ronen Kauffman – June 5, 2007 – Jersey City NJback to artists