Interview: Michigan metalcore act CITY STATE on new label Famined Records, single CROOKED WALLS and upcoming album EQUINOX.
SICK AND SOUND has the pleasure to present an interview our editor-in-chief Alex had with CITY STATE metalcore outfit hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan. We are catching up with the band of Duncan Green (vocals), Logan Jahr (guitar), Parker Sovinski (bass), Daniel Bryan (drums) after their signing to Famined Records and the debut of their brand new single CROOKED WALLS on July 5th, 2019. The song gives a taste of their upcoming EP EQUINOX set for release on September 20th, 2019 and following up City State’s debut six-track EP Finding Solace In Loss dating back to June 2018.
The metalcore quartet took some time out of their day to sit down and talk with us about what they’ve been up to. We got to know the band a little better, we explored their new single Crooked Walls along with their announcement with Famined Records. Moreover, we took a chance to sneak peek into the band’s upcoming album Equinox discussing lyrical themes and writing process.
- Hello CITY STATE and welcome at SICK AND SOUND. How was the band brought together and what inspirations and influences in terms of bands and genres have been part of your journey so far?
Hey, thanks for having us on! We had all been interested in being in a band for a while prior to the formation of City State. Parker (Bass) and Logan (Guitar) were at a local show and met Duncan (Vocals) and we just hit it off. We all met Daniel (Drums) later on and it was clear that we were all on the same page in terms of what we wanted the band to become so it was obvious very quickly that he would join up. In terms of our influences, we all have a diverse range of stuff we listen to but we share a love for heavy music.
- CONGRATULATIONS for signing with Famined Records in July 2019. What feelings and expectations are behind this achievement?
We’re all just excited for the future. Famined has been really good to work with so far and we can’t wait to see what’s next for us and for them.
- On July 5th, 2019 along with announcing a new label you have also debuted a new single: CROOKED WALLS. Let’s share more details about the song, how it was put together and the mindset behind choosing this track to give the world a taste of your music.
The original intent behind the song was to make a song that was fun to listen to, especially in a live setting. However, when we started working on the lyrics it was clear that this song was going to be dark and personal. After that it was an obvious choice for a single for us because it mixes the fun aspects of a heavy song with lyricism that will hopefully connect with a lot of people.
Watch City State – Crooked Walls (Official Video):
- Crooked Walls is the lead single for your upcoming EP EQUINOX due on September 20th, 2019 and following up your debut EP Finding Solace In Loss dating back to June 2018. What was truly different in terms of writing for this album as opposed to your previous material?
The main difference is that we tried a lot of new things. We wrote songs that are softer than anything we’ve ever written and songs that are heavier than we’ve ever written. We tried to add something we’d never tried before to every song and I think the tracklist is has a good amount of diversity and reflects that mindset. We also added clean vocals for the first time which adds an entirely new dynamic to the music.
- What’s the typical approach to the creative and writing process when the four of you sit down and work on new music?
The first step is always deciding what feeling we want a song to have, and what we want to accomplish with it. For example, a song could be angry sounding and hopefully get the crowd moving in a live show, or it could be a very melodic song that people will want to sing along to. The possibilities are endless so it’s always important for us to have an idea of what we want the song to sound like before writing a single note.
- What messages are City State channeling through their music and what lyrical themes are discussed in the record?
The central themes of our new record are disease and a failure to change over time. We cover things such as drug addiction, toxic relationships, and the loss of people close to you. The album is very dark and personal to us and we think there are a lot of people out there that would relate to what is talked about on the record.
- What were some of the challenges or concerns you faced, if any, when writing and recording Equinox?
We wanted our new record to be a clear progression from the EP we released last year, so we had to challenge ourselves to improve nearly every aspect of the music. Lyrically we had to put ourselves in some dark places to write a part that was genuine and packed an emotional punch. Furthermore, we incorporated singing for the first time on this album and that was a whole new element to figure out.
- Share a memorable moment you have experienced at a show so far as musicians or fans of music.
The first moment someone in the crowd was singing our songs back to us was mind blowing. It proves that people actually do care what we’re doing and it makes it well worth it to continue pushing forward.
- What else do City State have in store and how do you see yourself in 5 years’ time, any goals and dreams?
We’re always playing shows and writing music so hopefully in five years we’ll be playing bigger shows and writing better music. We hope to just continue growing.
Thank you for your time CITY STATE. We are very thrilled for more music to be dropped by you and fully supporting you into Europe and US!
City State – Equinox tracklisting:
2. Crooked Walls
7. White Lies
8. Bitter Sleep
9. Nothing New
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