Interview: State Champs

Welcome to the UK State Champs! We met up with lead guitarist and lyricist Tyler, who we caught on a stop of their tour with The Wonder Years in Birmingham.

Musing about our fair isle, this is what a fresh-faced rockstar truly experiences..

“We’re finding it to be pretty great, its interesting, you know, we’re used to America obviously, like, I’ll watch our driver drive, cus you guys drive on the opposite side to us, and I’ll be like, so ready to yell ‘yo stop! You’re gonna hit that car’ it’s just weird.

I went to- what you call like ‘university’, but what we call college to study history for three years, so it’s cool to see the things I read about in the text books and see the cool cities over here. I’m hoping to do some tourists things in London- I want a selfie with Big Ben and to see some cool buildings, I don’t wanna go too touristy though, I’d like to see cool bars and stuff like that too.”

And on to the show, how’s the UK responding?

“It’s good, it was surprising, I mean like, people tweet, saying like ‘come to the UK’ and stuff, but I wasn’t expecting so many people to know us, or give a shit that we were playing.”

Did you know The Wonder Years, is that how you landed your support spot?

“We’ve been around them, but never had the time to get to know them, we met yesterday actually, for the first time, they’re nice and really genuine. It has a lot to do with agents and stuff like that, it’s not like ‘you’re my friends, wanna come on tour?’. They’d heard of us, and agreed to bring us out.”

You can catch State Champs at Slam Dunk Festival this year..

“I’m looking forward to that a lot, I used to get jealous of seeing all the flyers and stuff, when I’d be home, “it’s so sick this year, All Time Low are playing, why am I not there” I was so far away, it was so unfair. So that should be great. Now we’re actually gonna be there, and play, its like a bucket list type of thing, I’ve always wanted to play that fest.”

“(Also playing at Slam Dunk) Motion City Soundtrack- we did a three week tour with them in the states back in October it was sick they’re such a fucking sick band dude, so talented. We do get chance to see other bands sometimes, it depends how busy we are, although if I start drinking I’ll mess up and forget about what bands I wanted to check out, but we have three days chance to check out the line up though, so I should be pretty good.”

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Picking up any tips from these icons you’re rubbing shoulders with?

“Yeah usually there’s always that one guy in every band that wants to give you band advice, tell you how to make it, it’s all helpful it’s always good to have someone, you know, pushing you in the right direction, and try to save you from messing up. Then there’s the other dude that wants to give you pro-tips, how to be better on stage or about your gear, tone, guitar, or this and that. We toured with Motion City and Bayside and Anthony (Bayside vocalist) gave vocal pointers to Derek and Chris gave Evan drum advice, I think as long as you go into it open minded you can learn from pretty much anyone really.”

The history of State Champs formation..

“Well we don’t have all of our original line up any more, only two of us are OG members, but me and Derek have been playing together in bands since we were like 13, he’s 21 and I’m 22, Derek and me used to play in some like really crappy metalcore bands at age like 14, we fell out of touch, for like a year, then started talking again and it was like- do you want to do form a band- neither of us were doing anything musically, he was still in highschool. We kinda just did the damn thing, we met Evan through friends and I had known Tony for some years too, the person we’d known the least is Ryan our bass player, we’ve known him for 7, 8 months, we didn’t start off as friends but we are now.”

Influences?

“I dunno, its hard for me to really answer that, just because like, I don’t know why I write the songs I do, I just know I have to do it. And if someone is like ‘oh this sounds like this band or that band’ I’m like I dunno. I agree, cus I like those bands, so I suppose it makes sense. We’re like huge Motion City fans, All Time Low, Mayday Parade, and The Wonder Years and stuff like that so, when someone comes to me and is like ‘hey this song sounds like a mayday parade song’, it’s like I don’t see it, but I can see why you’d say that, you know. It’s not like I put a fall out boy song on and be like I want it sound like this- I just do it, and the sound just comes out.”

Tyler on the current trend of EP’s..

“We got some advice from Nick of Man Overboard who was like “you need to always be releasing new music, new stuff, kids want music”. Album cycles used to be like 3 years long, you could tour off of a record forever, now its like year long, guys are already asking us when our new music is coming out, and this last one came out in like October- that’s 7 months, and we’re still getting used to playing the songs live and stuff, there’s still three songs on there we’ve never played live yet, like ‘Easy enough’ and ‘Mindboggle’ and stuff, it’s like if kids wanna hear those songs, they never will, cus as soon as we put out a new record the old songs will get phased out, people need to relax and stop demanding new music!

EP’s are alright, you know, I’m not like in love with them. They’re ok. We’re actually going to be releasing an acoustic EP over the summer it’s, five acoustic versions of ‘The Finer Things’ (their  album) songs and two new songs. And the thing with that is, what’s going to happen is, we’re going to release that EP and kids are gonna be like we wanna hear that song or this song, cus they think it’s new, but we’re an electric live band, we’re not gonna play acoustic songs in the middle of a live set.  It also like, makes your old stuff feel old, like ‘The Finer Things’ isn’t old at all, but when we release this new acoustic record, they’ll call that the ‘new state champs’, it’s an acoustic record, that we’ll probably never play songs off of, it’s kinda like a treat if you will, for people that are following us. I don’t hate them (EP’s), I think they’re cool, but I think if fans could wait like 4-6 months longer, it would be better to just let that band release a full length record, because you’ll get more replay out of it.

Sorry I like to talk, basically: Releasing an EP to promote a full record; that’s sick, that’s smart, but dropping them randomly doesn’t work. If you’re strategic about it EP’s make sense. Let’s leave it at that.”

! SPEED ROUND !!

What would you like to be remembered for?

Just being a good person, I don’t care about music when it comes to that shit, I want people to be like, Tyler was a nice guy-not ‘like fuck that guy I’m glad he’s dead!’

Dead or Alive dinner guest?

Dave Grohl

How long do you spend in the mirror

45 seconds

Favourite Swearword?

Fuck 

Shoe size?

12

Best break up excuse?

Your behaviour is less than ideal… That was my most recent one too..

Best day of life

When I found out that our first record had sold 300,000 and made the billboard top 100, that was the best day of my life

Worst thing you’ve put in your mouth?

Erm… Fuck what is the worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth? I don’t know, I don’t really put random shit in my mouth.. Oh I know, one time I licked my ex-girlfriends eye, and she had make-up on, and that shit tasted so bad. So I guess there’s that..

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Vanilla

Last band you paid to see?

Turnstile

Band you’d love to see/have seen?

Nirvana

Dream childhood job

The guy that film skate videos, cus I can’t skate- I can’t balance for shit.

What would you say if you met the queen?

Can we take a selfie?

Your biggest turn on?

Hair, great hair, preferably coloured.. (On the head?!) Yeh! Biggest turn off is hair elsewhere..

Yeh you know, great hair, a nice smile and a sick butt.

Best childhood memory?

Probably going to disneyland and shit, that was really cool I always had a fascination with the characters, movies and stuff. Meeting the characters and shit as a seven or eight year old. I loved Winnie The Pooh he was my boy, even though he was a big dumb idiot.

DC or Marvel?

Marvel for sure. DC sucks. You hear that DC?! Batman’s fine, I just hate Superman, its just so fucking stupid dude. Marvel’s sick.

Rock, paper or scissors?

Scissors because they can cut you.

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star wars

Last time you was star struck?

when I met alex from all time low like two weeks ago, I mean I held it down, but I was like damn. Because I’d been waiting so long to meet that dude, I straight up love that band, and I finally got to meet him and he was like -hey I know your band!