Interview: State of Play
Published on April 19th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Rocksucker heartily approved of “Sequel to a Bad Movie” by State of Play while reviewing the other week’s singles, so we fired the band over some questions in the hope of finding out more…
Is there a full album in the works? If so, will the tracks from Welcome to the State feature on it? What else can you tell us about it at this stage?
There are no immediate plans for a full album but we are very much in the process of creating new material and we will be releasing two brand new tracks this summer, produced by James Routh (Sonic Boom Six). Although we can say it’s highly likely that there will be tracks from Welcome to the State featured on the album when that does happen.
I love that “Sequel to a Bad Movie” rails against the dumbed-down ‘culture’ we’ve been lumbered with (X-Factor, Big Brother, TOWIE etc). Do you think it’s important for artists to define themselves in opposition to this, and if so does this ever lead to friction with friends/family who might be into that stuff?
We absolutely feel it’s important for artists to be able to speak their minds and express their views on the society, culture and world that they live in as a whole. But obviously, not all artists have politics or cultural development as their focal point, so for them, defining themselves for or against this isn’t particularly relevant. Although the song pokes fun at the dumbed-down radio playlists and the mind-numbingly formulaic TV programming that pervade pop culture, the lyrics are aimed at asking people to becoming more conscious of the consumerism forced upon them and the political landscape that they are in.
With regards to friends and family, whether or not they like or dislike these kinds of programs hasn’t ever really lead to friction. I don’t think any one of us would let a friend or family member’s taste in TV or music cause animosity. Our music isn’t telling people what they can or can’t listen to, just about being more aware of what exposure to this particular strand of ‘culture’ can do.
Rock/rap hybrid is a notoriously hard thing to get right. Were there any pitfalls you were wary of avoiding, or conversely any shining examples you were keen to emulate in any way?
I think what makes a rock/rap hybrid (or any musical genre that’s perceived as somehow being a bit of a mongrel breed) hard to pull of is that it normally comes across as overly self-conscious. In trying to force genres together, you inevitably end up with something that sounds forced and you can easily lose the meaning or inspiration behind a song in the process.
We never set out to write a rock/rap track, the song came about in a very organic way. I think we managed to sidestep the common pitfalls precisely because we weren’t wary of them; we never got hung up on the novelty of being a seven-piece formed of individuals with wildly different musical tastes, we just get on with writing the best material we can.
What can we expect from a State of Play live show? Will you be playing at any festivals this summer?
Energy, energy and more energy! One of the things people always comment on is the atmosphere on and off stage; the fun the band have on stage is palpable and tends to always get the crowd going. If you come to a State of Play show expect to join the party revolution and be thoroughly entertained! A few festivals in the pipeline but it’s hush hush for now, watch this space!
What would you say have been the highlights so far of being in the band?
It has to be performing. We have such a great time on stage when we’re connecting with our audience. Its a buzz that’s unmatched by anything else. If we had to choose one performance highlight it’d have to be last year when we played at Festibelly. The crowd were absolutely electric.
What new music have you been enjoying and/or looking forward to in 2013?
Cat Power (Fando), Kat Dhalia (Missy), Frank Ocean (Missy) Jake Emlyn (Ahmar), Shakka (Ahmar), Locksmyth (A-Mens), Hiromi (Ben), Colleen Green (Will).
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your days with the entire works of just five different artists, musical or otherwise, whose would you choose?
Bob Marley (Missy)
Mark E Smith (Will)
Lauryn Hill (A-Mens)
Stevie Wonder (Ahmar)
State of Play, thank you.