Star One (also referred to as Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One) is a Dutch progressive metal supergroup/side-project of Arjen Anthony Lucassen of Ayreon fame.
Unlike Ayreon, albums don't follow one storyline; instead, each song is a different story with a sci-fi concept, most of the tracks based on existing movies and series. The band takes its name from the second season finale of Blake's 7. The band includes four singers alternating in all the songs, not including Lucassen, who sings occasionally, plays all guitars and keyboards and is writing and composing all the songs.
Origins and first album (2002-2003):
Star One was born out of the remnants of an abandoned collaboration between Lucassen and Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson. Dickinson proposed the idea and the two exchanged ideas and put together four songs, Lucassen writing the music and Dickinson writing the lyrics. The project was abandoned however after Lucassen mentioned the project on the internet and Dickinson's manager called off negotiations. Instead of completely abandoning the material that had already been produced, Lucassen decided to put his own lyrics to the music and created Star One.
When asked on the "Ask Arjen Anything" channel of communication if there would be another Star One album, Lucassen simply stated "Probably". However, he later declared:
"Space Metal was really magic. I am afraid that I will fail to capture the same atmosphere and actually ruin it! I am actually against sequels; you cannot repeat the same atmosphere and feeling like you had with the first album."
Second album (2009-2010):
In an interview conducted by Ragnarok Radio in October 2009 Arjen stated Star One is "definitely not dead."
In October 2009 in another interview, with Lebmetal.com, Arjen said he was working on what might become another Star One album: "In the meantime I will be working on a new, heavier album. Possible a new Star One album, but then again things never work out the way I plan them", and in a November 2009 interview with Lagrossradio.com, Arjen stated that he was definitely working on a new Star One album and that he had already written and recorded a song.
In March 2010, a "demo listening party" was held where several members of the arjenlucassen.com messageboard were allowed to listen to the first (only instrumental) demos for the new Star One album. In August of the same year, Arjen revealed the title of this second album, Victims of the Modern Age, and announced that it was ready. The album was released in October 2010.
The music of Star One is heavier than that of Lucassen's progressive rock/metal opera project Ayreon, drawing influences from 1970s space rock and blending them with modern progressive metal. Lucassen explained that the songwriting was different in that Star One songs are built on guitar riffs whereas Ayreon songs stem primarily off chord arrangements. However, similarities still exist mainly in the song arrangements, the multi-layered vocals, and the use of synthesizers and Hammond organs as part of the main instrumentation.
Russell Allen (Symphony X) - vocals (2002-present),
Damian Wilson (Threshold, Headspace) - vocals (2002-present),
Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale) - vocals (2002-present),
Floor Jansen (After Forever, ReVamp, Nightwish) - vocals (2002-present),
Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon, Ambeon, Guilt Machine, ex-Vengeance, ex-Stream of Passion) - guitars, keyboards, mellotron, Hammond, solina strings, various others, occasional vocals (2002-present),
Peter Vink (HDK, ex-Q65) - bass (2002-present),
Ed Warby (Gorefest, Ayreon) - drums (2002-present),
Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery) - guitar solos (2002-present),
Joost van den Broek (After Forever, ReVamp) - keyboards solos (2010-present; also live keyboards in 2003),
Former live members
The band toured in 2003 only. The only members of the studio line-up who weren't presents were Dan Swanö and Gary Wehrkamp.
Robert Soeterboek (ex-Erik Norlander) - vocals (Dan Swanö vocal parts),
Irene Jansen - backing vocals (only sang her sister Floor's backing vocals parts along her),
Ewa Smarzyńska (ex-Quidam) - flute