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Greater Tulsa Reporter

Tulsa Band ‘Stars Go Dim’ Releasing New CD

Associate Editor

CREATIVE GROUP: Tulsa based Stars Go Dim is playing at the Marquee, 222 N. Main St., Nov. 24. The new self-titled EP will be available at the show. From left is bassist Michael Wittig, drummer Lester Estelle, lead vocalist Chris Cleveland and guitarist Joey Avalos.

Stars Go Dim will give fans a hint of what’s to come when they play songs from their debut CD “Love Gone Mad” at their EP release party Nov. 24 at the Marquee, 222 N. Main St., with Josiah Leming. The CD is due out in March.

Stars Go Dim is working on making the full length more than something to download: A short story about a box of letters from two lovers in the 1800s will complement the songs.

“It’s a concept album based on a relationship between a guy and girl. It’s about being crazy in love, at wits end and falling in and out of love,” says lead vocalist Chris Cleveland, 23 “It’s things we all have dealt with. We take a lot of inspiration from life as we live it. It’s been very interesting how this album has mimicked my life personally.”

“Almost all of the songs are mirroring his life,” says bassist Michael Wittig, 32. “You can really hear the meaning of the lyrics coming from him. He has such an amazing voice. He makes you feel these lyrics.”

Cleveland’s voice is so amazing that it garnered him Best Vocalist of the Month from SingerUniverse for the song, “Love Gone Mad.”
Guitarist Joey Avalos, 27, wrote most of the songs and Cleveland co-wrote three.

“Joey is a genius,” says Wittig. “He writes melodies and everything.”

Avalos is a diverse musician; he was a back-up guitarist for the Christian metal band Pillar for two years, and he also writes country songs and pop love songs.

“I like writing scenarios and we have a theme of love songs. Something that people can sing along to and enjoy,” says Avalos.

“People love to lose themselves in something,” says Cleveland. “And that’s what we’re trying to do here.”

“The core is good music, but we’re trying to give fans a lot more,” says Wittig. “ A whole new world they can be a part of.”

Stars Go Dim drummer, Lester Estelle, 27, is producing the full length CD.

“My role is to make sure it’s rockin’ before sending it off to mix,” he says.

Fan’s will get a little extra content from Stars Go Dim when they order the full length CD: exclusive shirts and the short story.
The Tulsa based band has earned their success without going the commercial record label route. Through online social networking the unsigned band, Stars Go Dim, has built a fan base from Internet video blogs and songs from their new self-titled EP, therefore are un- signed and completely independent.

“It’s the beauty of it all,” says Cleveland.

“We have a totally different mentality by doing it ourselves,” says Wittig. “We put a label together on our own and are really involved in everything. With internet and the marketplace the way it is now, we can do it this way.”

The band was scheduled to play the pre-show for Celine Dion, but due to an illness she postponed the show to February.

“We have a lot of local support and key industry people in Oklahoma are excited about our music,” says Wittig. “We’re glad that we’re based out of Tulsa, Okla. It’s our home base.”

“I love Tulsa,” says Cleveland. “It’s absolute home for me. This will always be home. I’ve been to a lot of places that are cool but this is home.”

Wittig says the band’s name Stars Go Dim just sort of came to him one day.

“I like stars. They’ve been up there so long and have seen the whole human existence. It puts things in perspective. If you get dumped you can always see the same star and when the sun rises it’s so bright that it outshines the star. It’s a new day. A new hope.”

So if they weren’t working on becoming rock stars what would they be doing instead?

“I would be a pro-wrestler,” says Wittig.

“I’d be a pro-wake boarder, getting a degree in psychology. My biggest goal in life is to not waste it,” says Cleveland.

Avalos would still be a rock star. “I would do what I’m doing now. Producing records, writing for artists. I like doing everything,” he says.

“Music is all I know,” says Estelle.

He’s been playing since he was 2-years-old and his father is a jazz musician in Kansas City.

Since Avalos lives in Phoenix Ariz., Estelle in Kansas City, Mo., and Cleveland and Wittig in Oklahoma, the recording process has been interesting.

“It’s crazy trying to schedule because of the distance. We have to plan strategically to make it happen,” says Wittig.

“It’s tough, but thank God for Southwest,” says Avalos.

Their self-titled EP is currently available online at or iTunes.

Updated 11-25-2008

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