Interview with Children of the State

by Chelsea Ness

This week, we caught up with English Indie Alternative band, Children of the State where we discuss their most memorable gig (one of my favourite answers to an interview ever!), local bands they recommend checking out and the influence behind their latest single, ‘Big Sur’ which will be released on all major platforms on the 10th April…

How would you describe your music for first-time listeners?

Nathan: Apocalyptic retro-rock, inspired by the fuzz of Hendrix, doo-wap melodies and the groove of T-Rex.

Who were your musical influences growing up?

John: Bob Dylan would be the big one for me, after hearing that snare crack in Like A Rolling Stone everything changed. I was also heavily into Sabbath + ACDC when I was growing up in Australia too.

Nathan: Probably Arctic Monkeys for me, people from the nearby area making a racket that went on to be the biggest album of all time – madness.

What was the main inspirations and influences from your latest single, ‘Big Sur’?

Nathan: Listening to A LOT of the Beach Boys, so much so we recorded our own cover of ‘All I Wanna Do’ you can listen here. When we got in the studio we wanted something that had the classic 60s sound of records like Pet Sounds and SGT Peppers but with a modern, more urgent feel. Ian, the producer helped us achieve that by adding weird things here and there like a hi-hat recorded through a harmonica microphone.

Is there a particular place you go to write or is it just something that comes naturally to?

John: Our writing method is pretty sporadic, we never really all sit down in a room with the objective of writing a song, we usually just bring ideas in and allow the rest of the band to almost produce the track.

Nathan: Ideas usually come after eating junk food and refusing to exercise, you have the free the chakras

What local bands would your recommend for us to check out?

Nathan: Julia Bardo, Joey Mojito, Goa Express

My favourite song of yours is ‘How Right You Are’ – what was the influence behind the lyrics?

John: Thanks, we end the set with this one it always seems to go down well. The lyrics are quite simply about unrequited love. Sometimes you have to be sincere.

You guys are based in Bolsover and Doncaster – how would you describe their music scenes?

Nathan: Bolsover is a small village there isn’t really a huge music scene here. I’m pretty sure Rod Stewart’s drummer is from here though. John: Doncaster has some cool bands to say it’s only a town; Blinders, Guest Singer etc

What’s been the most memorable gig you’ve played and why?

John: Our first gig in London was accidentally at an Irish bar in Croydon to an audience that were expecting easy-listening pop covers on a Saturday night. We were anxious about meeting the set length requirement imposed by the venue (2 hours) so ripped into a psych-prog interlude for about 20 mins to make up the time, and we inevitably got cut off. The sound man ran to the stage in disgust and said: “Who do you think you are, The Velvet f***** Underground?! F*** off back to Sheffield.” Safe to say we’ve always been apprehensive about playing London since.

Nathan: I was gonna say our Sheffield headline show but it seems pale in comparison now.

Have you ever played Scotland? And if not, do you have plans to play here in the future? (when the pandemic is over)

Nathan: We played Glasgow once at the 13th Note, it was a great gig and cool venue. We’d love to play Scotland again and we definitely will. As long as everybody stays inside and washes their hands.

Speaking of the COVID 19 pandemic – what can fans do to support the music industry during this time?

Nathan: I think first and foremost we need to support the frontline NHS Staff who our future depends on. After this, supporting artists through merchandise, venues through vouchers, pre-ordering tickets etc. It’s a tough time but luckily it’s a creative industry, so we need to find creative ways to support one another and come together.



Twitter: @ChildrenofState

Instagram: @ChildrenofState

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