Dig Baton Rouge

Startisan: Powerful Songwriters

By Ty Simmons

Startisan, one of Baton Rouge’s eminent hard rock groups, is a local band with foreign roots. The keyboardist, Jon Scholl, and lead vocalist Mike Hogan, are from Rochester, New York, and have been playing together for 16 years.

Startisan @ The Varsity
Friday, May 2 8 p.m.
Tickets: $10 – $12
Click here for event info and to buy tickets

After being reformed from Hogan and Scholl’s previous project, Streamline, in October of 2010, they reached considerable success with their debut record, Decade Array Vol. 1. The lead single of the record, “Just,” was featured in the soundtrack of Never Back Down 2.

Since then, the band has released Decade Array Vol. 2 and a live acoustic album titled Live in Your Living Room. And things are still looking up. They’ve just signed an impressive management deal with a company out of Nashville. Hogan says me they’ve “been getting quite a bit of radio play on stations all along the Gulf Coast, including major Clear Channel stations.”

After their 8 p.m. show Friday at the Varsity, their next big performance will be at the Gulfport Music Festival on May 10. Other performers include Sublime, Kid Rock, Ludacris, 311, and Third Eye Blind.

“After that,” Hogan says, “we plan to be on the road for most of the summer and will probably be doing some more recordings in the fall.”

During their three and a half years as a band, Startisan has played at the Varsity quite a few times. It’s fair to say they’re fond of the venue.

“It’s a great room both in terms of sound and its layout,” Hogan claims. “And it’s ideal for putting on a more theatrical show that wouldn’t be possible in most other venues…The room is capable of so much theatrically, we really feel an obligation to plan out and put on the very best show possible every time we’re there.  It keeps us on our toes.”

It gives the band a chance to spread out their full sound. Hogan and Scholl are accompanied by Andrew Gualtier on lead guitar, Chris Jones on bass, and Buck Langston on drums. Together they produce a very loud, boisterous, and evocative sound. They like to describe it as “having the heart and soul of the singer/songwriter genre, but delivered with power and energy of a full on rock band.”



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