Exclusive Interview: State Of You Talk self titled debut EP!

A couple of weeks ago a self titled debut EP from a Hardcore Punk act called State Of You landed and caught our attention like the sound of a grand piano falling from the 30th floor and landing on a passing Taxi. Preceded by a couple of music videos including one directed and edited by Aaran McKenzie (of While She Sleeps fame) having been recorded with producer Oz Craggs (of Feed The Rhino fame) at his Hidden Track Studios in Folkestone and inspired by the likes of Every Time I Die, The Bronx and Beartooth it’s one that you need to hear. So once we’d picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off, we spoke to vocalist Steve Sitkowski and the conversation went something like this…

As a band comprised of former members of Polar, Tessa Jones, Hildamay, Seasonal and Outcry Collective, do you consider yourselves a supergroup? “Hello! I’ve heard that phrase a few times recently but honestly I just think of State of You as a band that I love being in. The guys are all awesome people and musicians. A supergroup sounds like a bunch of super heroes to me and I feel like we are more like a group of mercenaries getting together like the one in Predator, all still hanging around and sharing war stories. We all have a lot of experience touring and writing and are really enjoying ourselves. It’s a very exciting time. Speaking of supergroups – there is an Audioslave song I’ve been listening to a lot recently called Techno Ted. I can only find a live version but the main riff is jaw dropping – classic Tom Morello”

When you got together in those first few practices did you have any idea of what the music you created might sound like? “The only thing I knew was that Nick is a fantastic drummer so whatever it was, it would be tight and in time. I figured that I’d be doing my thing, whatever that is but I was doing a lot more clean singing. Our sound has definitely got heavier. At the first practice, our friend Tom was on guitar and Ollie was playing bass. Tom stopped coming to practice after I got annihilated and sent everyone a text message essay on how much the first practice meant to me at like… 6 AM. He stopped taking my calls and I haven’t spoken to him since… so technically I guess he’s still in the band – I have nothing but love for him and it all worked out in the end”

The battle cry of “This is British Rock ‘n Roll!” on “The Perfect Storm” is a real moment that is going to go down a storm at live shows! The question is, why “British” and not “This is F***ing Rock ‘n Roll!” or something? “Oh man – “This is F***ing Rock ‘n’ Roll!” would have been awesome! That song is incredibly personal to me and I think it’s like a ‘Eureka!’ moment. It’s actually quite out of place. It’s just the realisation that I’m completely opening up over heavy guitars and the drop. I’m very proud to be British and yeah – it is putting our flag in the battlefield but it’s meant to be a fun line. There’s quite a few of them scattered throughout the EP and I hope they are all screamed back at me as soon as we start playing live”

…so if we are the product of our genes and influences, what’s in your Jeans and who would you consider your influences? “At the moment I’ve had the original Jungle Book on a lot as my son just turned one. I think Baloo is inspirational – I love his attitude . Musically, it’s always the greats – Zack de la Rocha, Liam Gallagher, Josh Scogin, Keith Buckley, Brandon Boyd… I just went to Reading and Oli Sykes was phenomenal. I’m still buzzing from that set. I love Arctic Monkeys and planned on leaving before the encore to see them start but I couldn’t drag myself out of the pit. It was very inspiring. I saw them when they got bottled at their first time playing there. Now they are headlining. That’s British rock ‘n’ roll … there’s nothing like it.”

If you had the opportunity to work with a guest the next time around, who would you like to bring into the studio to work on a cut with you and why? “We were actually meant to have a big name guest on this EP and he seemed really into it but it didn’t happen in time. It’s probably a stronger statement we came out of the gates just us. We all have some very accomplished musicians as friends so it might happen on the album . Personally – I’m loving Johnny Booth and I think their vocalist Andrew Herman is incredible. That guy is not fucking around. I mean Keith Buckley is a hero of mine and someone I’ve always looked up to and he’s always been super cool to me. His Twitch channel is great by the way. Or maybe it would be really cool to have a female vocalist on it. I wrote a song a few years back about a break up sung from both sides. Aimee Interrupter would be perfect for something like that…”

What’s next for State Of You? “Practice, practice, practice … We have our EP release show, which is also our first show, on November 4th at Boston Music Rooms in London. It’s a Friday night so that is going to be one hell of a party.  We are writing the album and are being offered various shows and supports . There’s a lot in the pipeline. I can’t stop thinking about “This is F***ing Rock ‘n’ Roll!” Might have to be the album name now … can we have that please ?”

Self Titled” by State Of You is out 2nd September 2022 via Silent Cult Recordings

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