Starfire


Starfire’s music features catchy guitar work and ambient keyboards, which blend into a perfect combination for rock-pop, radio-ready tunes. With Dairenn Lombard as its driving force, Starfire has created one-of-a-kind a style for appealing to devotees of classic rock and pop.


They have adopted a fierce, independent approach to recording albums that is everything but predictable, emulating legendary nontraditional artists such as Hendrix, Prince and Vernon Reid of Living Colour. Not satisfied to adopt any specific method or formula to create their music, Starfire bucks the trends, allows complete artistic freedom in the studio.


Main guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist for Starfire, Lombard, has been playing since 1986, writing since 1995, and recording since 1997. Lombard took what his parents taught him in the 80s to the next level, elevating his technique by studying the work of Rush's Alex Lifeson, Edward Van Halen, Yngwie J. Malmsteen and Mr. Big’s Paul Gilbert as a teenager in the 1990s. In the last two years, he has been appearing locally in the Los Angeles area, performing solo acoustic sets.


In addition to arranging, composing and writing all the Starfire songs, Lombard engineered and mixed all five original albums. The production style that has worked best for the Starfire catalog takes from several influences by music producers including Vince DiCola, Ron Wasserman, Ron Nevison and Bob Rock.


Although Dairenn Lombard is the core of the band Starfire there are other members that support him in his efforts that carry as much importance.


Greg Pajer has been playing guitar for over 20 years. He graduated from the Musicians Institute in Hollywood with a Commercial Music Degree. Pajer has been playing professionally; performing, recording, music directing, and touring with numerous bands, singers, and songwriters.


Drummer Blake Paulson holds a BA in Professional Music from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Paulson was awarded Berklee’s distinguished Professional Music Achievement Award and has worked with artists from almost every major label and indie artists that have no desire to sign with a record label, artists who have sold 100 to 1,000,000 CDs and performers that have played small acoustic sets to jam packed arenas.


Andrew James has been playing bass professionally for the last 10 years, and during that time, he has appeared in countless live shows, performed in numerous studio sessions, recorded a number of albums, traveled to many states, and rocked thousands of people worldwide on numerous stages.


With the diverse talents of Dairenn Lombard and the strong experience of the other members when Starfire performs live, the future looks bright with many musical projects on the horizon.

How do you describe your music to people, Dairenn?
My elevator pitch is if Chicago had have explored a heavier guitar sound; we've been compared to Asia, Boston, Chicago, Foreigner, Genesis, Howard Jones, Huey Lewis and The News, Journey, Kansas, Lenny Kravitz, Night Ranger, Peter Cetera, and Styx. We focus on melody, instrumentation and lyrics about intimacy and affection, or finding it. We're not trying to give anybody goosebumps with amazing vocals; just something pleasant and inspiring with which to hum along.


Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
My mom wanted me to learn piano when I was six because of watching me abuse the furniture as I pretended to be a drummer a year earlier. She noticed I had good timing but wanted to put it to some use. I really wanted to be a guitarist since watching Jake E. Lee perform with Ozzy on a VHS tape we had of them in concert, and I learned that as well. What happened to really get me into writing songs was my obsession with recording; I would play with tapes and tape recorders for hours. I eventually gave up because it sounded terrible, but years later, I was lucky enough to meet with the music producer for a TV show which really helped me out with my quest to produce Radio-ready music, and put together my home studio.


What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Outside of spending time with my wife, play the guitar. As a toddler, I'm told I'd laugh at cartoons playing on a TV in a different room because the sound effects would make me laugh. For whatever reason, sound has always been the most important part of interfacing with the physical world around myself and what happens when I take my hands to a guitar, use my imagination to make certain sounds happen gives me a sense of satisfaction I've never been able to find doing anything else.


What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Not getting discouraged. When you're doing this on top of holding down a day job and whatever else, it's easy to get tired, to forget about things that you need to make sure are making progress. When it's like moving heaven and earth for each and every follower on Twitter or fan on Facebook, even seeing the number of those decrease even by just one individual can make you wince. You're constantly reminding yourself that in spite of all of the money spent and that everything seems to be at a stand-still that this is a process. What helps me out the most is remembering the old saying "easy come, easy go," and that it's a lot better for it to take time to drive CD and ticket sales but for it to last for years rather than to be an overnight sensation, just to be forgotten the following year.


When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be the host of a radio talk show because the concept of communications, whether in data or in voice, or sound, was insanely fascinating to me when I was just seven. I was well on my way, talking to people in the business, making friends, and even being offered a shot at interning. But the money just wasn't what I needed at the time, and so I made a sharp left turn into the world wide web, and became a Unix systems administrator.


In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
I'm glad I moved to North Hollywood because where I grew up, near USC just southwest of downtown Los Angeles, you hear predominantly hip-hop and R&B along with the occasional tejano or reggaeton from the radios of neighbors in the area. My late father was a professional session guitarist and was the reason my whole family was listening to rock... The kind of rock that tends to be called melodic rock or "classic rock" these days. In North Hollywood, though, naming the bands that I'm into, or have been into, you get welcome smiles on the faces of neighbors. It's an artistic and highly creative community with a powerful Dance, Visual Arts and Theater district at its core and it's helped me feel more at home as a recording artist.


What other artists out there do you love?
Elton John, Europe, Rush, Van Halen, David Benoit, Yngwie Malmsteen, Billy Squire, Mr. Big, Sting, Extreme, just to name a few.


What does your future hold?
I've recorded a tremendous amount of material over the years and so the next step is just to try and land additional gigs in the L.A. area before winding down production in preparation for releasing my next album. It promises to have more album-oriented rock, more guitar and continuing the STARFIRE mission of bringing back that stadium-shaking, arena rock sound that everybody, including myself, seems to miss so much from today's FM radio.