Born in Brisbane, but now based between London, LA and Brisbane, Starlight Theatre are a band bursting with ambition, having recently signed a global publishing deal with Imagem, and then picking up both Ed Sheeran’s agent, Jon Ollier at CAA for UK/Europe/Australasia, and Daft Punks’s agent, Jon Pleeter at ICM for the US & Canada.
Their influences are, inevitably, big name acts who exist as much in the present as they do in the past – U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles and Justin Timberlake among them. In twelve months, they had played almost 200 shows, supported Evermore in 1000-capacity venues up the east coast of Australia and released an EP made with ARIA Award winning producer Magoo that rewarded them with radio play and a flirtation with the iTunes Top 10.
More recent sessions in London saw them record tracks such as Ghost and Cavalier, bringing a more anthemic sound to their armoury.
Starlight Theatre’s story begins when singer Jason Tarau heard through a friend that three musicians were in search of a singer. Principal songwriter and guitarist Colin Moore and bassist Josh Belz (whose father wrote a song for the Sydney Olympics which became a cult hit in Australia) had played together since meeting in their teens at university in Rockhampton, Queensland. Their previous band had been signed and were set to record their debut album when the singer suddenly quit. The pair regrouped with drummer Josh Burnett, the son of classically-trained musicians, but decided only to continue if they could find a standout singer.
Meanwhile, Jason (the son of Romanian refugees, whose father escaped Ceausescu’s dictatorship by swimming across the Danube) was considering giving up music, having grown tired of the R&B he had been singing in clubs throughout his teens. He had tried out in other bands, but nothing stuck until he met the already-named Starlight Theatre. “I’d grown up with R&B and boy bands, but I wanted to make music with more substance that was still soulful,” recalls Jason. “I wasn’t sure what sort of music that might be until I met these guys. We clicked straight away.”
Jason’s emotive vocals suited Colin’s grand, spacious, textured rock songs. Hundreds of shows saw Jason evolve as a frontman and he began to contribute to the songwriting. ‘Ghost’ began straight after flying home from showcasing in Los Angeles. Colin says: ‘It‘s about feeling invisible, despite your best attempts to attract attention from someone. I think most people can relate to that at one point or another. I know I can.”