State Champs On Tour With The Maine, Hot Milk & Paperweight Starts Tonight…

Australia, we hope you are ready for what promises to be the biggest pop-punk tour of the year with an ultimate line-up. That’s right folks, New York pop-rockers STATE CHAMPS are returning to Australia this September with very special guests THE MAINE, HOT MILK & PAPERWEIGHT.

Starting in bedrooms and basements in 2010, STATE CHAMPS quickly ascended as leaders of a new scene owing as much to early Fall Out Boy and Green Day as latter-day Warped Tour bands. Over the course of their career, STATE CHAMPS delivered their music and heartfelt message on extensive tours with bands like Fall Out Boy, 5 Seconds Of Summer, A Day To Remember, and Simple Plan; three different Warped Tours; and a co-headliner with Neck Deep. Hi Fi Way speaks to Ryan Scott Graham about the tour.

Congratulations on your relatively new album Kings Of The New Age, you must be stoked with the reaction from fans to it?
Absolutely, it has been a long time coming, the process was comparatively slow to the other records we have worked on. I think it was intentional as we wanted the songs to be the best they could be and now we are out here playing them. The reaction has been awesome, couldn’t be happier!

Four albums in now, does it get any easier making a new album?
Aspects of it for sure, we came in to this record feeling a lot more confident as song writers , musicians and as people I guess. I don’t think it necessarily takes the pressure off if anything. Four albums in I think it’s added pressure. It is pretty nerve wracking putting stuff out when there is any sort of expectation. We said let’s do what we do best and go in there and write songs that we are really proud of. Whatever comes out, comes out and that’s exactly what we did.

Did you start the album before the pandemic hit?
We started the demos before the pandemic, we started on the skeletons of five or six songs. Of those songs a handful of them made it to the final record. We didn’t get in to the album writing mode until the pandemic which gave us a lot more time to be intentional about the songs we wanted to make, the feelings we wanted to create, the emotions we wanted to convey… it was a blessing and a curse.

Was the vision for how you wanted the album to take shape clear at the beginning?
We sat down before this record and chatted about it as band saying what worked on the last album, what has been working in the past and what do we want to do differently. I think we may have taken ourselves a bit to seriously and one of the things we wanted to accomplish on this record was just having fun. Making upbeat, windows down songs that we are good at and take ourselves a lot less serious having a good time. I think that was a conversation we had and that was our mindset going in to making this record.

The energy on this record really does stand out. Was it hard getting the track list down to the final eleven?
I think we wrote twenty five to thirty ideas and when it came down to the songs we really wanted to be on there it was unanimous with the ones with the energy and ones we all gravitated towards. I think we are good at writing an upbeat and energetic song and they were the ones we all loved as well as being fun to play live. If we are going to be doing new albums we need to think about the live show and what will make sense for us. Those are the ones we enjoy and ended up being an easy process to eliminate the ones not full of energy.

Did you listen to the final version as a band and what did you think?
It was a journey and quite emotional as it was happening during the pandemic. It was a very uncertain time when we didn’t know if live music was going to return or if it did return would it be the same beforehand. For us, it was a therapeutic part of that chapter of that past one and a half to two years. When we listened to it front to back I think about the good times we had and the dark scary uncertain times. It makes me even more prouder of the record.

Will you go back and revisit the songs that didn’t make the final cut?
I don’t know, a handful of them have some substance to them and maybe we will revisit them at some point. Personally, that isn’t something I go back and listen to the demos. Some of the other guys might revisit the Drop Box and come back with the parts that are good. When I am in writing mode I like to start fresh. I can’t say for sure you’ll ever hear any of these tunes but who knows!

The collaborations are really cool, do you have people in mind that you want to work with?
For us, it was that the song called for somebody else. When we listened to the song back we thought it would be call if there was a different voice or different emotion. It wasn’t when we were writing thinking that this would be a collaboration song. All the collabs happened after the fact. When we finished the song we would send it to somebody and then they would track their part. The one that made the most sense as we were writing it was Sundress with Four Year Strong because we haven’t written a break down part in a song in a long while. When we wrote that we knew it felt like a Four Year Strong part. We said why don’t we reach out to them to see if they would be down to sing on it. It all happened serendipitously I guess.

The Australian tour you must be really excited about especially with The Maine, Milk and Paperweight?
We haven’t been back to Australia in what feels like forever. It feels totally fresh and really exciting. Being on the road and touring non-stop as a band as we have you can fall out of love with the feeling. This, when we found out about this tour I thought this was such an exciting line up and exciting place to be. We are pumped to be back in Australia especially with The Maine. We have a relationship with them and it will be fun to do a proper tour with them. We’ve been on the road with Hot Milk and I absolutely adore those guys. We’re so very excited for the tour.

Interview by Rob Lyon

Catch State Champs with The Maine, Hot Milk and Paperweight on the following dates. Tickets from Destroy All Lines

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