State are a new three-piece band from Bristol comprised of Ben Wilson (guitars, keys, programming), Viv Paton (bass, keys, programming) and Sa Andrieu (vocals). They recently released their debut single ‘Fist Bump’. Despite being a new band the members aren’t new to music.
“We all met at school in Newbury. Ben and Viv started a band when they were 15 and have been playing together ever since. In the early 2000s we moved to Bristol and the three of us were in the band Screen. Sa left after 5 years to go travelling, with Ben and Viv playing in the band All Live Dynamics.”
“There was a period where we were pursuing other interests but Ben and Viv started playing together again about 5 years ago. Sa joined them in August 2020 and State was born.”
“We take many diverse influences, stick them in a blender and pull out something unique and original.”
What would you say is your greatest strength as a band?
“Passion and our ability to pull different styles together. We take many diverse influences, stick them in a blender and pull out something unique and original.”
How would you describe your music?
“Driving, vocal led music utilising sounds from electronica and more traditional rock music.”
What can you tell me about your debut single ‘Fist Bump’?
“For a while, while Sa lived abroad, Ben would send Sa tracks to add vocals to but it never seemed to work as well as it should have. ‘Fist Bump’ came about from a live jam after experimenting for about 4 months to finding our new sound. We are proud of the way it takes a 4 on the floor groove, adds layers and builds on it and really takes the listener on a journey.”
Was there a particular reason to release ‘Fist Bump’ as a first single?
“It was the first one we finished but we felt it was definitely the right choice to introduce us.”
You also released an official music video. What can you tell me about the making of the video for ‘Fist Bump’?
“The basic shooting for the video for ‘Fist Bump’ was filmed by us in our studio, in Bristol, and further developed/edited by the hugely talented Sam Wisternof. The process was daunting for us, as we hadn’t done anything like that before, and hadn’t any ‘proper’ equipment. The lighting was an old builder’s floodlight and it was shot on mobile phones clipped to mic stands.”
When and what can we expect from the next single?
“The next single, ‘Unbroken’ will be out imminently as we are just finishing the vocals. It’s less industrial than ‘Fist Bump’ with a dark sentiment. It’s very dynamic with driving guitars still and, as with ‘Fist Bump’ , there’s some interesting soundscape. Live instrumentalists delivering good performances and layering up electronica. You’ll find this with all our songs.”
Can you describe your creative process when writing new music?
“Go up the shop, get beer – Always! We jam, something clicks and you get that moment when everything fits into place. That’s when it’s important to capture that moment and develop the idea further. Being in that moment, totally focussed and even the lyrics start flowing – it’s magical.”
You’re based in Bristol. We’ve noticed a lot of cool bands are from Bristol. What are some of your favourite bands/artists from the area?
“Big love for our mates Shoun Shoun, The Flag Fen Project, Gluehorse and one of my latest discoveries is Scalping. We are indeed standing on the shoulder of giants. So much history of such great music here and it just inspires you.”
If you could organize a festival, which 5 acts would we see on the line-up?
“John Hopkins, Skunk Anansie, RAGM, Slayer and Run the Jewels.”
Viv: ” I might not make it to the bar with this line up!”
“…could you imagine a world without a music?”
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands these days?
“For us, it’s time. Back in our 20’s, we had loads of time but not as much drive as we do now. Ah, we were young and thought those days would last forever!”
“With the way music is these days, it’s very easy for people to create and release music but it’s very difficult for anyone to make a living at it. There are so many new songs coming out all the time that bands find it hard to get their music into people’s ears and even if they have some success at this, they struggle to make it a full time gig. A lot of money is being made by a few companies and very little trickles down to the creators. It’s a huge shame because could you imagine a world without a music?”
Tell me something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
“Sa speaks French, German and Italian and just about enough Czech to be understood in a bar!”
What can we expect from State in 2022?
“Finish enough tunes so we can book some shows. Top priority! Build some momentum and hopefully do some festivals next year.”
What’s your favourite song from the Cool Top 20 and why?
“Favourite song has to be ‘Did I play Games’ by Shoun Shoun. It’s a fantastic sound with superb lyrics. The heavy guitars have a real Nirvana sound while Annette and Boris’ vocals completely compliment each other.”
What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?
“I absolutely love the Signal Committee. They are a 4 piece indietronica band from Bury and are in charge of the Eclectic Mixes on the Fresh On the Net. I adore this song ‘Shadow’. Must watch with video!”
(All photos by State)