All Star United
Interviewed by Andy Argyrakis
All Star United had a busy year. They've seen their International Anthems of the Human Race CD produce numerous singles, and they've toured the nation, including several month's on the Supertones' "Chase the Sun" tour. Freelancer Andy Argyrakis went behind the music for a look at lead singer Ian Eskelin and his take on being an "All Star."
Tollbooth: How long have you guys been touring?
Eskelin: We've been on the road forever. We've continually been touring for years and years.
Tollbooth: What makes up a set list for you guys each night?
Eskelin: We like variations. When we play the songs enough, we learn what people thrive on.
Tollbooth: What was the best thing about touring with the Supertones, Plankeye, and Flight 180?
Eskelin: There were about 30 different people on the road. You really get to know people when traveling together for so long! I already knew most of the people so we all got closer. The whole tour was sort of a no-brainer. Everybody gets along so why not throw us together?
Tollbooth: Don't you guys get tired of traveling so much?
Eskelin: When you put an album out you usually go a year or a year and a half. That's just the way it's done. There are a lot more places than just the US. We go overseas for a European tour and we actually do better there than [in the states]. We've been fortunate enough to have number one mainstream songs in places like Singapore, Asia, and the Orient. We spend half of our year in foreign countries.
Tollbooth: How do you rise above the pressure of being away from home for such a long time?
Eskelin: I love traveling but you do get burned out sometimes. I'd say that we overcome that pressure when we're on stage and the lights come up. That's when you start playing and the crowd feeds off your music. That makes it all worth it.
Tollbooth: What is your favorite track on the current album?
Eskelin: Having an album is like having children. There are 10 or 11 kids on an album and I love them all. Certain songs have more impact. For me that would be our song "Thank You Goodnight."
Tollbooth: Is there any song in particular from that album that you think your fans have really identified with?
Eskelin: Probably "If We Were Lovers." That one was a big song for us overseas. People sing it at top of their lungs when we play it. In the states, that one is not as big. We love playing it live, but don't always because it's not a crowd-pleaser. We really have to do "Welcome to the Big Rock Show," and "Smash Hit."
Tollbooth: After you guys wrap up the Anthems album and tour, what direction do you plan to go?
Eskelin: Keep touring and keep writing songs that connect with people. If God has a different plan for us, then we will walk through those doors. We'll just have to wait and see.