"STARK rises far above any female fronted punk rock band we've heard because Ford and company push the paper-cutting envelope so far that your tongue bleeds with the pleasure of honest raw rock and roll. The result is exaltation in the effort. So refreshing."--earbuzz.com
New York City-based hard rock trio STARK has evolved quite a bit since the inception of the band in 2003 by front-woman Lani Ford. The singer/songwriter/bassist still brings a pop sensibility to original songs that have now been metalized by the addition of Joe Hogan to the group in 2007. The guitarist has engineered and mixed all three STARK studio albums. On Race To The Floor, the sound is melodic and intriguing but much heavier. STARK represents the working class with hillbilly and punk rock overtones, solid vocals and shredding guitars. Straight ahead rock with a sawtooth edge—metal soul. Lani Ford likes to tell stories that tend to speak to the underdogs of the world with fierce, raw feminine power. She has an intense honesty and sense of humor that shows plight and redemption all at once.
Keeping their angst in tact, STARK has matured into a hard rock band that will remind you of a 70's radio station. However, STARK is edgy and modern enough to appeal to all kinds of people of all ages. STARK was formed by Lani Ford with Dylan Grewen on guitar and Greg Schiff on drums. The trio recorded and released the debut CD "The Curse" in 2004. In 2008, with Josette on guitar and Rob Endemann on drums, STARK recorded and released "Put It To Your Head" with guest backing vocalist Pam "The Metal Queen" Grande. Joe Hogan engineered and mixed both CD's and was the logical choice when STARK's first chance to tour England came up in early 2008. After filling in on guitar for the tour, Joe joined the band permanently on guitar and recently engineered and mixed the new CD by STARK called "Race To The Floor". Recorded analog like the others and definitely the heaviest CD yet, Race To The Floor was released March 13, 2010. A total DIY project, drummer Eric Robel did the artwork and Lani Ford did just about everything else. The band now has three full-length sudio CDs available on CDBaby and iTunes. STARK returned to England for a 3rd time in June 2010.
STARK is not your typical “girl-fronted” band. This is a band you do not want writing a song about you, unless you’re one of the two junkies arguing over who “Nothing’s Wrong” is written about. After three tours in the UK, three full-length studio CD’s, several high-profile gigs in the NYC metro area, appearances at CMJ and the GoGirls Invasion of SXSW, STARK’s founder and frontwoman Lani Ford has been busy with press and radio campaigns for Race To The Floor. She is also preparing an acoustic multi-instrument album and a solo project. She will return for her second solo acoustic tour in Southern California in November 2010. The band is busy working on new material as well as organizing tours for 2011.
STARK has appeared live on the Jim Breuer Raw Dog radio show on Sirius radio. Also on Sirius, STARK has been played numerous times on Genya Ravan’s show Chicks and Broads on the Little Steven Underground Garage channel. STARK recently played a Haiti benefit with WRXP in New York. All three STARK albums have had international radio, TV and internet airplay and sales. Lani Ford appeared with Gary Garver (formerly of Howard Stern’s show) in Los Angeles on Rockmetv.com. The band has played on the same bill as The Dollyrots, The Blackhearts (of Joan Jett &), Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group, Sami Yaffa and Syl Sylvain of the New York Dolls, Patti Rothberg, Gin Blossoms, 3 Kisses (known from Wife Swap on ABC) and many more. This hard-working band has had a lot of fun and a lot of bad luck. But they are more than survivors, they’re fighters and thrivers.
Lani did her stint as good girl for years on Fox 5 as Good Day New York’s traffic reporter and as a commercial and stage actress. When Lani moved from Texas to New York to pursue acting, the fact that she would form a band that would rise through the Lower East Side trenches to become the new classic rock was purely a fantasy. Thank someone (a lot of someones actually) Lani crossed paths with the mighty “Sonic” Joe Hogan on the first STARK album. Even luckier, after Joe engineered the second STARK CD, Hogan galvanized the band by touring to the UK then joining as the permanent guitar player. Together, Hogan and Ford have combined their love of real songs and widely diverse musical tastes to create the version of STARK that appears on album 3, Race To The Floor. If you loved 70’s FM radio or just have a taste for straight up rock and roll, STARK is right up your alley. The band has been metalized, heavier but with the fun and darkness that has remained consistent in the wild world of STARK. There have been crazy times when Lani told everyone off from the stage, poured beer on her head, or took her top off and there have also been times when she made the whole room cry or laugh (which is more common, actually) or take their tops off. The shows have an unpredictable quality even though they are tight and polished with new songs thrown in as much as possible plus a surprise “classic” or cover. The camaraderie of the trio spills over onto the stage and creates an energy like an orb around the band. Then they come at you like a freight train and a roller coaster all in one. STARK intermingles bluesy metal grooves, punk frolics, and classic hard rock riffs.
The sometimes actress, former TV personality, ex-peach picker from Texas has been assaulted on the streets of New York for over a decade now and has lived to tell the tale in two former albums, The Curse and Put It To Your Head. Now, after teaming up with long-time friend and engineer, Joe Hogan on guitar, Lani Ford has turned the tables for STARK and the songs are fighting back on Race To The Floor.
To read more about STARK’s crazy antics, go to the website at www.starknyc.com.
Lani Ford--vocals, bass
5 time Ascap Plus Award winner.
Eric Robel--drums, album artwork
Joe Hogan--guitar, backing vocals, engineer/mixing
"Race To The Floor", LP
Released March 9, 2010
Tracks with airplay--"On The Edge", "Get It", "What It Is", "Drunkaholic", "End Of The Line", "Nightmares", "Puttin' Out Your Fire"
"Put It To Your Head", Release January 26, 2008
Tracks with airplay: 18 Again, OH NO!, R-D-R, Disturbed, Nothing's Wrong, I Pay, Co-Dependent
"The Curse" LP, released May 15, 2004
Tracks with airplay: Cryin' In The Mornin', Somewhere, White Trash Rock & Roll Diva, Summer Girl, Look at Me, Beautiful Mistake, Slut, The One
"The Morgue The Merrier", LP, Poptown Records (2005)
Compilation CD of New York City Bands--featuring STARK song "Slut"
“Women of Rock”, LP, MJR Films and Audra Hardt (2008)
Compilation of female-fronted rock bands—featuring STARK’s song “OH NO!”
Samplers include: Under the Radar October 2008, Bubblegum Slut Zine (UK) Summer 2008, Danimal Promotions November 2008
“Surf Rock, Vol. 2”, LP, Versailles Records compilation, released with Guns ‘n Roses Tribute CD (2008)
"Live at CMJ", EP, limited release 2005
"Lani Ford Acoustic Live", EP, limited release 2006
Lani Ford sings backup vocals on the F.P.ToZ LP "Housebreaking Oui Oui Pads" (2005)
May 2004 New York Waste magazine:
STARK featuring Lani Ford has style. Lani has a wonderful deep, sexy voice. This is a knock out CD. Rich and heartfelt that reflects her cool Texas heritage. You can hear a wonderful twang in the painful lyrics. The Curse brings it all home. A definite must in any sound station.
STARK on Scrink.com
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Ford is one of the most wickedly talented women in the music world. She is an excellent voice and sh...Ford is one of the most wickedly talented women in the music world. She is an excellent voice and she tears up on a bass guitar. Patrick Pfeiffer is her bass instructor, “has given me so much encouragement. He’s brilliant, like Jaco brilliant… and he was Adam Clayton’s (from U2) teacher.”
It’s not often you see a female artist in such raw form. She’s not a diva, but she’d have every right to be. She’s not a pop star, but she could do it if she so chose to do. She’s just Lani Ford and she’s STARK.
Race To The Floor review by Mike SOS
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STARK: RACE TO THE FLOOR NYC female-fronted trio Stark unleashes a pretense-free slab of snarlin...STARK: RACE TO THE FLOOR
NYC female-fronted trio Stark unleashes a pretense-free slab of snarling yet simple rock directly from the gut on their latest nine-track excursion RACE TO THE FLOOR. Crammed with a gaggle of foundation-shaking riffs (“End of the Line”) and the gritty no nonsense Joan Jett meets Pat Benatar-esque vocal presence of Lani Ford leading the entire affair (“What It Is”), this release is anchored with an unabashed rock ‘n roll spirit (“Get It”) that so many modern bands lack today. Stark resurrects the punk rock attitude the Big Apple used to own with their own spin, injecting a slew of muscular hard rock elements (“Drunkaholic”) and a loud and proud DIY aesthetic that rounds out this unit’s punchy and infectious four on the floor stomp. www.starknyc.com -Mike SOS
Race To The Floor reviewed on Femme Metal
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New York City's Stark are a three piece band that play high energy, straight-forward, hard rock musi...New York City's Stark are a three piece band that play high energy, straight-forward, hard rock music with a bit of punk edge to them. Their newly released third album is titled "Race To The Floor" and it features 9-songs and 31-minutes worth of music that is completely and utterly dripping with attitude and swagger. It is all pretty much your basic rock and roll, yet it all feels new, thanks in large part to this trio's enthusiasm and energy that is quite evident on each and every song. The high adrenalin opener, "On The Edge" kicks things off in a huge, energetic way. "Get It" is next and is one the best the CD has to offer. Just a fast paced, catchy number that features a pretty cool groove running throughout the whole song. These songs rock hard as can be heard on: "Getting Along", "Wasting Air", "Drunkaholic", "What It Is" and "Nightmares". The closing number, "Puttin' Out Your Fire" ends things on a high note and leaves the listener wanting more. "Race To The Floor" is chock full of powerful riffs, cool solos and the underrated vocals of Lani Ford. Just great and passionate performances all the way around from this power trio."Race To The Floor" is a gritty, riff-heavy rock record that never gives the listener a chance to come up for air until the last note is played. A very good effort from this NYC based band and a CD that comes highly recommended. It can be ordered via CD Baby.
Street Voice UK review of Race To The Floor
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STARK - Race To The Floor: Stark has been one of my favourite rock acts to come of NYC in recent tim...STARK - Race To The Floor: Stark has been one of my favourite rock acts to come of NYC in recent times. I believe this is their third album to date and they carry on in that fine tradition of putting out some very cool rock tunes. Out of all the albums Lani Ford and Co have released this is my favourite one by far. There seems to more emphasis on adding kick ass catchy tunes. There's some great vocal delivery and bass playing from Lani Ford. I also dig the guitars from Joe Hogan. This man is a top guitarist. Just listen to how he drives them chords out of his instrument. Keeping it all in time is Eric Robel on drums and boy can this man beat them! Between the three of them they deliver some driving songs that even many 5 piece rock bands can't manage to do! Just listen to tracks such as 'On The Edge', 'Get It', 'What It Is' and 'End Of The Line and you'll realise you're listening to a very cool rock band. If you've not heard Stark before then this is a great place to start. 8.5/10
Race To The Floor Review on Scrink website
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STARK can pull off crazy without seeming insanely out of touch with their smashing pulses of music.....STARK can pull off crazy without seeming insanely out of touch with their smashing pulses of music...Lani has made her presence known everywhere she goes whether in the physical or the digital realm. I have heard her stage appeal is outstanding, but for me my knowledge of her is purely through her sites and social networks. To say I am utterly impressed from only knowing the digital entity of STARK should be a compliment all on its own.
What you’ll hear?
Lani Ford has a strong voice. This is something you’ll probably hear in all reviews about STARK. But I think it’s key to also know the band offers a wide variety of rhythms. Perhaps their album doesn’t flow perfectly, but hitting shuffle never hurt anybody either. There are some smooth tracks, some crunchy tracks and some more classic sounding songs which maybe means STARK is still finding their niche, or perhaps it means they want to show their multifaceted musical sweetness. This band is on fire, practically radiating with edgy gorgeous tunes…if one could radiate such things.
Race To The Floor Review in NY Waste
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STARK – Race To The Floor – takes the high road to hard rockin’ heaven. Stark’s gears are fully enga...STARK – Race To The Floor – takes the high road to hard rockin’ heaven. Stark’s gears are fully engaged on this fist pumpin’ trip. Joe Hogan and Eric Robel’s dynamite riffs & rhythm create a solid sound for Lani Ford to take on the world with new zest. Get it!
Stark Put It To Your Head
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2007 Kicking and Screaming Music What is a mild-mannered traffic reporter to do? A certain amou...2007 Kicking and Screaming Music
What is a mild-mannered traffic reporter to do? A certain amount of angst builds up delivering the same messages of gridlock day-in and day-out in a major metropolitan area such as New York. Stark leader Lani Ford takes out her frustrations on the New York City Indie scene with great effect. Stark’s 2nd studio release Put It To Your Head evokes Courtney Love at her finest as well as the finely tuned angst of Green Day. Ford is joined for this release by guitarist Josette and drummer “Sweet Rob” Endemann. The sound morphs from CBGB era Punk to straightforward rock without losing a single identity, which is quite an accomplishment.
“18 Again” is a fun romp that will get your feet moving and looking for the pit. “I Pay” is the track that most evokes Courtney Love, and is a highlight. Other highlights include “Nothing’s Wrong”, “This Day”, “Disturbed”, and the acoustic version of “Butterfly”. The secret if Stark is that if strip away the amplifiers and attitude, they can really play and sing. This is a very talented young power trio who with the right breaks are destined for big things. Check them out, and if you’re in the city go see a show!
Rating: Buy It Soon!
You can learn more about Stark at www.myspace.com/Stark or www.starknyc.com. You can purchase Put It To Your Head at www.cdbaby.com/laniford.
Put It To Your Head Review
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“Lani Ford, the nucleus, bassist and vocalist of STARK, has returned with a new album of introspecti...“Lani Ford, the nucleus, bassist and vocalist of STARK, has returned with a new album of introspective, personal songs about life in the urban soap opera of Manhattan. She has a new band, too…who only serve to improve the sound established on 2004’s ‘The Curse’. From the Ramones-style opener, ’18 Again’, through to the closing emotional catharsis of the acoustic ‘Butterfly’, Ford takes us on a journey of the world as she sees it, along with her dry cynical commentary on the day-to-day drama. ‘I Pay (Man in the Moon)’ pairs Arabic scales with mournful Delta blues lyrics. ‘Dreams Come True’ describes intertwined dysfunctional relationships with the insight of Lou Reed but without the contempt. Rock ‘n’ roll should be this good.”
Street Voice UK Review of Put It To Your Head
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“Three years on and STARK are back with a new album and this really does kick ass! Both lyrically a...“Three years on and STARK are back with a new album and this really does kick ass! Both lyrically and musically this is much tighter than their debut ‘The Curse’. That break has certainly given Lani Ford food for thought and with those life experiences and changes in the band will certainly guarantee this is one of the best albums I’m going to hear in 2008. Opening up with the potent ’18 Again’ this album steams into wicked songs such as ‘Dreams Come True’, ‘Nothing’s Wrong’, ‘Reliably Disappointing Relationship’ and ‘Disturbed’. Lani Ford doesn’t mess around here and for me has got to be one of the best artists to come out of NYC. Not only do you get a great album musically but the production is top notch and packaging is the tops too. It’s great to read Lani’s lyrics too—even if you don’t like the music I’m sure you’ll love how she writes. Yes, check this baby out.”
Soundcheck review of Put It To Your Head
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“Typical! I love New York City...I love the place, the food, the buildings, the people, the attitude...“Typical! I love New York City...I love the place, the food, the buildings, the people, the attitude, the vibe, but most of all, the music scene. Noo Yoik has, to me anyway, always produced the best bands, and STARK are no exception to that rule. Fronted by the very talented Lani Ford…'Put it to your head' is the brand new offering by the band…The subject matter of the songs is complex and deals with life issues, love, drug addictions, dreams and just about every emotion available to your average person…The lyrics aren't just your average 'throw-away-garden variety' too, they are well thought out, catchy Power Punk at its best…Well recommended listening!”
Starr Tucker's review of Put It To Your Head
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"STARK's new release 'Put It To Your Head' hits with a bang—sometimes hard, sometimes gentle, always..."STARK's new release 'Put It To Your Head' hits with a bang—sometimes hard, sometimes gentle, always rockin'. Streetwise tunes that will have you smiling, raunchy guitars and a kick ass bottom line. This one comes on strong and then goes for broke, the perfect soundtrack to your insane life. Listen up wasties…they've got what you need, when you need it!"
Stark, The Curse
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"Stark’s Lani Ford must be one of the most honest people walking the planet today. Her lyrics are p..."Stark’s Lani Ford must be one of the most honest people walking the planet today. Her lyrics are penned with the intimate abandon that is usually reserved for one’s diary. With Stark, she transforms these personal reveries into emotionally charged Rock’N’Roll. Alternating between the sneering confidence of Chrissie Hynde and the mournful soul of Patsy Cline, The Curse weaves a tale of loneliness, heartbreaks and one-night-stands like the jukebox Country in a desert highway dive. Somehow Lani has mustered the courage to reveal her innermost self, a rare trait within the egotistical realm of Rock’N’Roll. More power to her."
STARK at Salute in San Antonio
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"There's nothing subtle about STARK. Led by Texas-bred, New York-based singer, songwriter and bassi..."There's nothing subtle about STARK. Led by Texas-bred, New York-based singer, songwriter and bassist Lani Ford, who called S.A. home while working at KONO. The trio plays all-out brassy rock. STARK's "The Curse" includes songs such as "White Trash R & R Diva", "Wrong Guy" and "Slut" that won't get aired on commercial radio (or non-commercial radio, for that matter) but will fire up crowds."
GoGirlsMusic.com Review of The Curse, 2006
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Stark " The Curse " Genre: rock reviewed by Mel Goldsipe “Explicit lyrics” and “hard rock”...Stark
" The Curse "
reviewed by Mel Goldsipe
“Explicit lyrics” and “hard rock” don’t begin to cover Stark’s full-length CD. Scorching guitar licks, screaming yet melodic vocals, and driving bass lines make this an irresistible CD, but not one you’d want to play at work, especially during the simulated orgasm on “Slut.” The CD covers the gamut of feelings a sexually liberated woman feels over the course of a bad relationship from horny to angry to sad to glad-to-be-free. A couple of tracks show the band’s softer side and its wide range. Pick this one up if you want to let out your wild child and cruise around with the girls.
We have about 40 original songs that we rotate in 45 minute sets. Covers of Dead Boys, Blondie, Agnostic Front, Banana Fish Zero, Johnny Cash and blues...
Reliably Disappointing Relationship
Dreams Come True
There's No Point
Cryin' In The Mornin'
Look At Me
You Don't Matter
On The Edge
Puttin' Out Your Fire
What It Is
Again and Again
I'm Not Sweet
There are no upcoming dates at this time.