With the Tulsa State Fair set to kick off today patrons will get a special treat at 8 pm when Tulsa-based Stars Go Dim takes the Oklahoma Stage. Formed in 2007, Stars Go Dim has made waves in the last few years and looks to take things to the next level starting with their homecoming show. Guitarist Joey Avalos recently spoke to Tulsa Today about the band, their upcoming show and soon-to-be released album “Between Here and Now.”
If you aren’t familiar with Stars Go Dim, chances are you soon will be. According to Avalos, the band formed as a side project between he and bassist Michael Wittig while they were in the Christian rock band Pillar. He describes their style as pop-soul-rock. “When we decided to do a side project, completely different style,“ said Avalos. They soon added lead singer Chris Cleveland and went on to release their debut self-titled EP in October, 2008. “People started listening and it seemed like it was taking its own form naturally and progressed naturally,“ he added.
Even though Avalos is the only member of the group not from Tulsa, he still regards Tulsa as his home away from home. “When I come to Tulsa, it feels more like home than Phoenix does because just the way the community supports music,” he said, adding that Tulsa is a big city with small town charm. Avalos said that the band enjoys playing shows in Tulsa, and they are especially looking forward to tonight’s show.
“To all of us it’s always nice to play in front of friends and family and a community that’s supported us through the years,” Avalos said. “We’re really ready to launch this new record and showcase some of the new songs that we haven’t played live before. It’s going to be a treat for Tulsa fans to come out and hear some new stuff from our new record,” he said.
If the band’s fans share the same thoughts of Stars Go Dim that the band does of it’s fans, it will be a full house at the show. “They mean the world to us, they’re the only reason we’re a band. That’s the reason I switched from doing this as a side project to doing it full-time,” Avalos said. He added that the fans have been supportive of the group from the beginning, even before they released any music. Avalos said that videos of the band putting together their music quickly gained a following.
He said that social media has helped connect the band with it’s fans while ending the days of mystery surrounding rock bands. It’s clear that the band genuinely cares about their fans. “The way we live in a social media world, people want to be connected. Honestly it’s the way we are, it’s not some forced thing like we feel like we have to, we enjoy people,” Avalos said.
It is clear that Stars Go Dim has no intentions of shying away from their fan base. The band recently invited fans to send them pictures to be included as artwork on the “Between Here and Now” album. The end result is a collage of fan-submitted photos. “Just to define the whole album, what it means to us is without you guys we’re nothing,” Avalos said.
Behind the scene with “Between Here and Now”
“It’s been a fun project to work on, it really showcases where we’re at as a band and kind of blends into where we’re going,” Avalos said of the new album set to release on October 4. According to Avalos, he and Wittig had the chance to work with some talented songwriters while co-writing songs for the album. Avalos co-wrote “Life Without You” with Richard Marx. They also went to Los Angeles and wrote with songwriters that helped pen major hits for pop stars Beyonce and Rihanna. “We’re really proud of it and we’re really excited about it, I think it’s really capturing where we are at right now in that moment and that’s kind of what “Between Here and Now” means us,” Avalos said.
The title-track “Between Here and Now” has also spawned a partnership between the band and International, non-profit organization Convoy of Hope. The charity has adopted the song as a theme song. Avalos said the band set out to help residents of Joplin after a devastating tornado and the charity instead pitched the idea of using the song on a bigger scale. “They were like, let’s try to make this song for the world,” he said. “We said that’s a great idea, we never really thought about that,” Avalos said. “The one thing we love about convoy of hope is that a lot of these organizations that we won’t name after the cameras and press is gone, they’ll leave too. Convoy of Hope, to this day, is still in Joplin and still trying to help them,” Avalos said.
The new album is definitely worth a listen, and fans attending the show at the Tulsa State Fair will have the chance to purchase it before it’s release on October 4. What better way is there to support local music, and perhaps more importantly, genuinely great people?
Tulsa State Fair – Oklahoma Stage, 8pm Thursday, September 29
“Between Here and Now” – Available Tuesday, October 4