Aimee Echo gets it STARTed

Matt Peters

Aimee Echo (center) was very impressed with Kent State’s bookstore. “They have nice clothes for Kent State. It’s so fashionable.”

Credit: Matt Peters

If Aimee Echo looks familiar, it might be because you’ve seen her dorking it up around Kent State previously.

Echo, lead singer of theSTART, came to Kent State in 2001 when her band opened up for Incubus at the M.A.C. Center. And what would a day of rock ‘n’ roll hijinks be without a trip to the bookstore hanging out with Incubus?

“I bought a French textbook at the bookstore,” Echo said. “We dorked out in the bookstore.”

And as if the reading selection wasn’t enough, Echo found herself enthralled with the clothing options.

“They have nice clothes for Kent State,” Echo said. “Their sweatshirts and what not, they have all that fancy merchandise. It’s so fashionable.”

The day also included a stop at the May 4 memorial.

TheSTART’s will be opening up for Goldfinger on its current tour. The band plays the House of Blues in Cleveland 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

TheSTART has a special history with Goldfinger. Having both grown up around the Los Angeles area, both bands had played shows previously together in various bands. The tour came about because of Echo’s and Goldfinger guitarist/singer John Feldmann’s choices in eating habits.

“We have this really common bond because we are both into not eating animals,” Echo said. “(Feldmann) called me up and said, ‘Do you want to go on tour and talk about animal rights?’ and I said, ‘Why yes, that would be fantastic.’”

TheSTART released its second full-length album, Initiation, in August and have been on the road since. For the rest of 2005, theSTART has plans to tour, write for its next record, possibly get to the United Kingdom and realize its ultimate dream — tour in Japan.

Echo is not one to be afraid of speaking her mind on a number of issues. On her band’s albums, she’s called out 24-hour cable networks and professed it is time to rise up. TheSTART’s present-day blend of heavy riffs mixed with atmospheric new wave tendencies has always been privvy to political mindedness.

In interviews, nothing seems to be off limits.

Echo commented to fans after the Dimebag Darrell shooting:

“I think if you are living your life in fear that way — I really have a problem with the level of fear consciousness we have in our country. I think it’s used as a tool by our government and corporations so they can keep a degree of control.

“If I thought about that kind of thing while I was stepping on stage and actually let it affect me, that would be horrible and I should quit music.”

Despite playing a slot on the Vans Warped Tour in 2002, Echo calls the current state of punk rock a “costume party” in the band’s bio.

“It’s a fact, and I wasn’t the only one thinking that,” Echo said. “There’s 83 bands (on the Warped tour), and out of those 83, you’re going to have 10 good ones. The other 73 are exactly the same mindless dribble that’s churned out every five minutes in attempts to make loads of money.”

With all her opinions on the music industry, you would think Echo isn’t into talking politics.

“Who me? On a cell phone? Never. Talk about politics, are you kidding?” Echo said with a laugh.

Contact pop arts correspondent Matt Peters [email protected].