With support from the likes of Guitar Player Magazine who call their music “synth-heavy with lead singer’s Kimi Shelter’s witchy voice dripping with 80’s glam”, Atlanta-based quartet StarBenders have had a rather good year, thanks in large part to the release of their album Heavy Petting. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Kimi to find out more about the background to the band, their dream show line-up and their ultimate career ambition.

TITL: How do the four of you know each other/how did you come together?

Kimi Shelter: Katie and I met when we were in middle school at a camp that was somewhere between Alabama and Georgia. We didn’t get an opportunity to play music together until StarBenders, but stayed on each other’s radar until the conception of the band. Aaron and I have played in other bands together and knew one another from the local scene. We caught Kriss playing at a house party in the middle of nowhere one night and the rest is history.

TITL: What would you say each of you brings to the band?

KS: Musically, we’re pretty traditional when it comes to being a 4 piece rock band. We rely on one another’s strengths and weaknesses intuitively. I build the skeleton of the song and the band puts on the meat. Everyone plays and writes their parts, respective to their instrument. We don’t do the ‘musical chairs’ thing where everyone switches instruments, we just play.

All of us sit more on the ‘shy’ end of the spectrum personality wise, with myself being the most outgoing. Aaron is really amazing with talking to other people and getting them excited and interested in things. Kriss is very caring, he likes to make sure everyone is taken care of. Katie is really funny and has a goofy side to her that you get to see if you’re lucky.

TITL: Can you recall the moment/time when you knew you wanted to make music a career?

KS: I think we all knew from inception.

TITL: Which band or artist would you say most similar to?

KS: We have a pretty healthy mix of influences ranging from Blondie to Fleetwood Mac to The Rolling Stones…the list goes on and on and on.

TITL: How would you sum up your album Heavy Petting? Could you each pick your favourite track from it?

KS: The album was a really exciting milestone for the band, seeing as how it was our first full length. We really got to shine and push the boundaries of what “rock” music is. My favourite track is “Blood.”

Aaron – “Powder.”

Katie – “Public Transit.”

Kriss – “U Like Me Now?”

TITL: Who or what are you most influenced/inspired by when it comes to song-writing?

KS: Life in general, love is my moving emotion.

TITL: Which four songs (or one, if you happen to all agree!) would you say are the greatest ever written and why?

KS: How about we all pick one? Mine would be “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys.

Kriss: The Beatles – “Across the Universe.”

Katie: The Band – “Atlantic City.”

Aaron: Black Sabbath – “Symptom of the Universe.”

TITL: If you could, which venue, anywhere in the world, would you most like to play?

KS: It would be a dream come true to play at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

TITL: Please put together your dream show-line up for me. It can feature four bands or artists, who can be living or dead.

KS: That’s a doozy, but off the top of my head… The Beatles, David Bowie, Elvis and The Rolling Stones

TITL: How do you feel about social media? Do you believe it’s had an entirely positive impact on bands and artists/the industry or like most things, do you believe it to have a darker side?

KS: Social media can be frustrating at times because you can feel like you’re shouting into the wind. But, it’s really incredible that you have the ability to reach people from all over the world. Just last week a fan came all the way from Belgium to see us play in Charlotte, NC. It’s pretty incredible.

TITL: Finally then, which band’s career would you most like to emulate and what would you like your legacy to be?

KS: I mean, The Rolling Stones have had an incredible career. A run like the one they’ve had certainly wouldn’t be too shabby!

For more information on StarBenders, visit their website, give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Their album Heavy Petting is available now. Header photo credit: Ian Vegas-Giovanni Benboe.

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We are so pleased to announce the 2017 winner of the BRITs Critics’ Choice and British Breakthrough awards Rag’n’Bone Man will be performing live at this year’s award ceremony on 21 February. He will join an already exceptional line-up which so far includes Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Sam Smith and Stormzy.

In the last year, Rag’n’Bone Man has broken the record for fastest-selling UK male debut of the decade with his 3x Platinum No. 1 album  ‘Human’ which has sold 2.5 million copies worldwide.

Rag’n’Bone Man said: “Jheez! 2017 has flown by super quick. Its pretty mental to think that I bagged two awards at The BRITs last year and now I’m heading back to perform. I’m looking forward to being a part of the celebration with everyone. It’s going to be a good one for sure!”

BRITs Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Sony Music UK & Ireland Jason Iley said: “Rory epitomises how dreams can come true. He has had the most amazing 12 months and I’m so delighted to see him back where it all started.”

The 38th BRIT Awards will be hosted by Jack Whitehall at The O2, London and broadcast live on ITV. We can’t wait for Rag’n’Bone Man to bring his talent to the stage.

The nominations for the 2018 BRIT Awards will be revealed at ‘The BRITs Are Coming’ on Saturday 13 January. The show broadcast live on ITV will be hosted by Emma Willis and includes live performances from Clean Bandit, J Hus, Jorja Smith, Liam Payne and Paloma Faith.


We are so delighted to announce that four-time BRIT winners and one of the world’s most successful bands Foo Fighters will perform on The BRITs stage for the first time on 21 February.

The international superstars will deliver one of their legendary live performances alongside performances from Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Stormzy and Dua Lipa.

Foo Fighters have sold more than 25 million records and sold out countless world tours. The band’s acclaimed ninth studio album ‘Concrete and Gold’ was their fourth to hit No.1 in the UK charts on release in September, topping the charts in more than a dozen countries.

BRITs Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Sony Music UK & Ireland Jason Iley said: “Anyone who was lucky enough to witness one of their shows on the recent sold out UK tour, or their set at Glastonbury – which was undoubtedly one of the best performances the festival has ever seen and a night that will be talked about forever – will know why Foo Fighters are the biggest and most exciting rock band in the world. Quite remarkably they have never performed at The BRITs, so I am over the moon to confirm a massive BRITs exclusive to have them grace our stage.”

With four BRIT Awards under their belt winning International Album in 2008 and International Group in 2008, 2012 and 2015 we can’t wait for Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee to bring the incredible Foo Fighters energy to The BRITs stage.

The nominations for the 2018 BRIT Awards will be revealed at ‘The BRITs Are Coming’ on Saturday 13 January. The show broadcast live on ITV will be hosted by Emma Willis and include live performances from Clean Bandit, J Hus, Jorja Smith, Liam Payne and Paloma Faith.