Saturday, December 22, 2012

Interview: State Champs

>>  State Champs is a solid pop-punk band that's out making a name for themselves on the road.  They're currently finishing a tour with Hit The Lights, A Loss For Words, and With The Punches, and they're enjoying every minute of it.  I spoke with Derek after the band's show at Revolution (formerly Ollie's Point) about touring, Glamour Kills, writing, skateboards, and more.

Please state your name and role in the band.
I'm Derek and I sing in State Champs.

How has this tour with Hit The Lights been so far?
This tour has been sweet.  Probably one of the best tours we've been on just because Hit The Lights is one of the bands I grew up listening to and I can look up to in a sense because they've been around for that long but are still relevant enough to make this tour sweet. It's not even a let-down being the first band on the package because there's other bands we can also look up to and be friends with and overall it's just been an awesome time.

You've been touring a lot recently.
Yeah. We were busy over the summer with a couple of full US tours and it was overwhelming at first just because we've never been anywhere, like me personally, I'd never been anywhere outside of the New England area.  So being able to travel has been awesome.  Getting to the West coast for the first time was sweet, can't wait to go back already.  We've been getting used to it in a sense but we actually have some time off coming up which we can look forward to and then probably be ready to head right back out once we get home anyway.  It's kind of a big cycle.

Before that time off, you'll be involved with the Glamour Kills holiday shows, right?
We just got done with the Glamour Kills Holiday Festival in Boston yesterday [12/14/12] which was at the House of Blues and it was insane.  The stage alone was probably bigger than any venue we've played which was crazy when we first walked in. It was probably one if the biggest shows we've played and we were very excited to be a part of that. Tomorrow [12/15] is the holiday festival in Poughkeepsie with different headlining bands and our same tour package is involved, and a lot of different opening bands too so we're excited to see what round two will bring. Should be good.

So you have a lot to look forward to. Tell us a little about the 'Overslept' EP you put out before all of the touring.
Back in September we put that out.  It's our first release on Pure Noise Records, who we signed to last year. The response on it has been awesome so far, and we're still kind of touring off of that release which is good.  Seeing kids knowing the words and singing along more each time is cool.  Now we're merging over to getting ready to write and record our full length which we're going to be doing in the spring of next year. Like I said, we have some time off in January and February to get the writing process done for that and then really get to work on it in the new year, so we're really excited for that.

How has being signed with Pure Noise helped you guys?
It's been great. When we signed to Pure Noise, we said this was just the beginning of everything.  Most people think that when you sign to a record label it's the end of everything and that's where you've made it.  We took it as the start. Jake who owns Pure Noise is basically a one man show and he's the man. He's a normal guy who knows the deal and knows what's up and is basically like a dad to us in a sense and takes care of us. It's helped us to have that name behind us as well, just for backing and having kids who know about the label and want to check out more bands on it. It's great to have that backing but ultimately we're trying to prove ourselves with our music as well.  But overall it's been awesome.

In addition to touring and getting ready to write, you guys also just put out some skateboarding stuff.
Yes we did. A couple of days ago, we released a collaborative skateboard with a company called Real Talk.  They've done a few collaborative boards with some heavier bands, I think we're the first pop-punk band to do a board with them which is cool. A lot of us in the band skateboard on our free time anyway so we were stoked to find out we could do something like that. We haven't seen them yet, and I'm excited to see them when we get the chance.  The internet response on it seemed cool and we're really stoked on it.

It's a very cool and different idea.
Yeah, it's different. We've done some kinds of miscellaneous merch items before but this is definitely the coolest so far.

Other than touring and writing, is there anything else you'd like to highlight?
We've been busy, busy on the road non-stop and focusing on covering new ground and playing to new people which has been so cool these past 5 months or so.  We're focusing on playing to new people and enjoying what we're doing with writing new music and ultimately keeping the cycle going- writing more and playing more music. We'll see where it goes from here, but we're just having fun.

Is there anything else you'd like to say to the fans?
Everyone that supported us from the start is what keeps the fire going so that's what's cool for us.  Ultimately we're just having fun so anyone that hasn't seen us, come out to a show. Come hang and say what's up, we're all pretty normal people who like to hang out and play music. So hopefully we'll see y'all soon.  Thanks.

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