Starflyer 59 is an alternative rock band from Riverside, California that was founded in 1993 by Jason Martin, brother of Ronnie Martin of Joy Electric. While Jason has written nearly all of Starflyer 59's songs, the band has included a number of different musicians over the years, including Jeff Cloud, Frank Lenz, and Richard Swift.
Starflyer 59 was signed to Tooth & Nail Records after Jason gave a demo to CEO Brandon Ebel when the two met at a music festival in 1993. By the end of the year, Starflyer 59's debut album, Silver, was recorded and released. In 1995, Starflyer 59 released their second full-length album, Gold. The sound was similar to their first release, while Jason continued to add layers of guitar riffs to each song. Sales of the album nearly tripled the sales of Silver.
The release of The Fashion Focus in 1998 signaled a significant change in the direction of the band's sound, largely due to the influence of producer Gene Eugene. Where previous albums had emphasized guitars and loud rock and roll, The Fashion Focus was a significantly softer album. This album featured the introduction of keyboards in the music, which replaced layered guitars. The new sound was more pop-friendly than earlier albums, while not abandoning the signature Starflyer sound. Everybody Makes Mistakes, released the next year, continued in the same direction as The Fashion Focus.
In 2000, Starflyer 59 released Easy Come Easy Go, a two-disc "best-of" set. The first disc consisted of the band's most popular songs from their first five LPs (three songs from each album), while the second disc was a collection of rarities, B-sides, and eight songs from a live performance. 2001 saw the release of Leave Here A Stranger, Starflyer's next full-length album. The band's sound continued to evolve, as Leave Here A Stranger would come to be lauded and praised by many music critics as Starflyer 59's best release to date. After the untimely death of Gene Eugene, Jason called on long-time musical hero Terry Scott Taylor to take over production of the new album. In a tribute to the Beach Boys' monumental album Pet Sounds, Leave Here a Stranger was recorded in mono.
From 2003 to 2006, Starflyer 59 released one full-length album a year; all of them self-produced. The first of these albums was Old. Old maintained a more pop-oriented sound that had begun with The Fashion Focus, but was also more guitar-oriented than Leave Here A Stranger. However, the music of Old was still significantly softer than the band's early work. In 2004, I Am The Portuguese Blues was released. With this album, Starflyer 59 returned to the heavy guitar format that was so prominent on their early albums Silver, Gold, and Americana, as well as to the monochromatic album covers that had characterized these albums.
2005's Talking Voice Vs. Singing Voice saw the band change their sound yet again, to a style that seemed a more natural follow-up to Old than I Am the Portuguese Blues had been. For this album, Starflyer 59 was cut down to two members: Jason Martin and drummer Frank Lenz. Despite having only two band members, the songs on Talking Voice Vs. Singing Voice have a full sound.
The band released their follow-up to Talking Voice Vs. Singing Voice, titled My Island, in 2006. Their eleventh full-length album, Dial M, was released in 2008. The album was significantly influenced by the passing of Jason's father, affectionately referred to in the song Mr. Martin.
The band released The Changing Of The Guard in 2010. After the passing of his father, Jason took over the day-to-day operations of his father's trucking business in Riverside, California. Because of this responsibility, Starflyer 59 no longer actively tours as of 2010.
The band's 2013 album, IAMACEO, was released after being crowdfunded through Kickstarter. When the fund-raising campaign began, all the funds necessary for the project were raised within just a few hours. In 2015, the single "Like A Baby" was released.