Children of the State present a blend of smooth and anthemic vintage rock which is equidistant between the glam rock of the 70s and sunny nostalgia of the 60s, with a bit of electronica added in for good measure.
They seem more concerned with infiltrating the mind through a series of decadent, well-informed morsels that bury in the brain before you realise what’s happening.
See our exclusive interview with them below:
John: Bob Dylan for me, my dad brought me up on a steady diet of Sabbath, Dylan, Beatles and Oasis. I remember seeing a video of Dylan during the rolling thunder tour and wanting to be that guy, that enigma.
Nathan: Funnily enough my first memory of really appreciating something musical was listening to mad punk music I’d found on the internet and trying to replicate that on a cheap bass guitar I got for Christmas one year. Sex Pistols, Stiff Little Fingers, NOFX etc. Really fuelled a lot of teenage angst for me.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
John: I and Nathan usually get together with lyrics/melodies and after they’ve evolved into something that resembles a song we take it to the others and they add their interpretations and ideas, that’s how we’ve worked from day one and it’s been a painless and productive process. A lot of our tracks are quite different sonically but we like that, I don’t think a band should ever be limited to one sound, all the greats have constantly evolved.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
John: Working into the small hours.
As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?
Nathan: It’s definitely got its flaws but I think business as a whole is pretty damn corrupt. If I were to change one thing about the music scene it would be the amount of funding that is injected into it by the government. Especially in times like these where we’re all stuck inside it’s become increasingly apparent just how important the arts are to our sanity and wellbeing – yet they’re horrifically underfunded.
John: It’d also be good to see more mental health support for touring musicians across the industry, there are great causes already doing this, such as YANA Festival but I think we all need to work harder together to help beat the stigma.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
John: I used to prefer playing live but since starting this band I think it’s got to be the studio for me.
Nathan: Me too, every time we’ve been in the studio with this project it’s been like training for a boxing match and winning it. During the Gideon’s Bible sessions the process got so intense that at one point we summoned a ghost and everybody saw it, even the producer. God knows what happened there but if you listen hard enough to the Gideon’s Bible track you can hear the point this happens.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
Nathan: Our first gig in London was accidentally at an Irish bar in Croydon to an audience that was expecting easy-listening pop covers on a Saturday night. We were anxious about meeting the set length requirement imposed by the venue (2 hours) so ripped into a psych-prog interlude for about 20 mins to make up the time, and we inevitably got cut off. The sound man ran to the stage in disgust and said: “Who do you think you are, The Velvet f***** Underground?! F*** off back to Sheffield.” And that was our first trip to the big smoke.
Corey: Yeah, that was a weird evening.
What’s on your current playlist?
John: Weyes Blood, Gram Parson, Lee Hazlewood, Brittany Howard. We’ve compiled one here for people to listen to https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1sEefYuMfI6qM0IgqI8sX6?si=PA6uTRyJRieLpGxHi_dc0w
Nathan: Don’t forget Glen Campbell and Julia Bardo.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?
Nathan: Our next single Big Sur out on the 10th of April! We’re really excited about getting this one out there.
Famous last words?
John: Listen to fools, the mob rules
Nathan: I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
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