Formed on the back of previous band endeavours, States came together to continue making the music that they love. Having shared the stage with Anberlin and Circa Survive, as well as the successful release of their latest album, ‘Room to Run’ – the band are continuing to find new fans across the country, and indeed the world. Meghan Player and Emma Dean chatted to John, Bryan, Mindy, Dean and Steven at SXSW about influences, the 90s music scene and touring.
What bought you guys together?
Mindy – We toured together in 2008, that’s how we essentially met and then when I quit my band and wanted to continue to do music I called these guys. They had also quit their bands as well. Steven and I both live in Nashville, so we kind of just messed around with songs. It wasn’t intentional, it just kind of started to become a band, I guess. Then all these guys came in…
Who are your main influences when it comes to the sound of the band?
Mindy – Gosh. There are a lot. We love The Cardigans – and everything that we grew up on. For me, lyrically, I listen to pop music a lot – that’s a big influence.
Bryan – Musically, I think a lot of us are inspired by the 90s. Bands like the Cranberries and stuff like that.
Mindy – We love the 90s. Bring it back! [laughs]
Being that you all started out in different bands before forming States, did you bring any elements of those past bands into this band? Or did you start a clean page?
Bryan – I think so. It was kind of a mixture. I mean, we knew..I knew that leaving the band that I was in previously, that whatever we did next was going to be a lot ‘popper’ than what we had come from. Just because that is more of the type of music we listen to. But I think we all take.. you know, ‘you’re a product of your past’ so I think we all came from our old bands as well.
You released ‘Room To Run’ last October, how has that been going?
Mindy – It’s been going great! It’s weird, because October feels like it was a long time ago, but it feels like we just put the album out. But no, it was great. We didn’t know what to expect – but we got a lot of good feedback and we did a tour on the back of it coming out. We made some new fans, like right when we put it out – who said that they loved it. I think it’s amazing – at least I didn’t expect that. I was kind of nervous about it..
So you’ve just been touring on the back of it’s release since then?
Mindy – Yeah.
Bryan -Yeah, right around the release of the record we were out on tour with a band called Circa Survive. Then we got off that and were on tour with Anberlin. We want to be out as much as possible, but we’re just doing supports at the moment – maybe a headliner here or there – but mostly as a support.
Did you learn anything from being on tour with bands like Anberlin and Circa Survive?
Mindy – Yeah, I mean – touring with anyone, I think you pick up little things here and there. Just being out there with them – they’re kind of friends of ours – so being with them was just really comfortable and it’s a good experience. If anything, I know that we were all kind of nervous about doing a tour with Circa Survive, because we didn’t know if their fans would like our music – boo us off the stage or whatever [laughs], but they were amazing and really embraced us.
Stephen – I think it’s really great to tour with bands that we kind of know, and that are amazing people. When you’re gone for five or six weeks with a band, you’re essentially a giant family and if there is a missing link in the band, and it’s not meshing, it can be pretty tough. So, we’ve been really blessed to be with a bunch of bands that we all really love and that are great people. We really enjoy it.
Bryan – John has known most of the guys in Anberlin for decades [laughs]. And our old band toured with them through like Asia and Australia, so we’re a bit of a family.
How has SXSW been for you guys?
Mindy – It’s great! We haven’t really had time to see anyone though because we’ve been so busy. We have four or five shows all together…
Bryan – We’ve had showcases, then we’ve had a couple of smaller shows.. but we’ve been keeping pretty busy since we got here.
A huge thank you to the band for taking the time to chat to us at SXSW.
For more information about the band, including tour dates, check out: http://www.statesmusic.com