Rhythm Condition: An Interview With Children Of The State

It’s not the easiest just by looking at Children of the State to fathom what period they belong to or where on our humble planet the quintet have arrived from, and this can be applied to their musical prowess also. Just like the Flying Scotsman, the Alternative Indie outfit are ready to move on from their Donny roots, with plenty of personality, humour and style in tow. Blending 70s glam rock, 60s nostalgia, and electronica influences, I had the pleasure of a quick chin-wag with Nathan Keeble and John McCullagh about the state of The State.

With a distinct lack of musical venues for the lads to investigate, it was inevitable that, as young men making their way, their paths would eventually cross. Nathan reveals, “I knew John previous from his solo gigs and stuff, and he introduced me to the rest of the guys (Corey Clifton, Conor O'Reilly, and Harry Eland) in Doncaster. There are only two bars to go to for music really, so we all gravitated towards each other.” Genuine connections were established, and dots joined as they formed their bond. John adds, “We knew we had the same tastes by the gigs we were going to when we were whippersnappers, we also found our drummer Conor on Join My Band, which is like Tinder for musicians.”

Alas, the season came when they outgrew the offerings of South Yorkshire and headed out west. We observe that a considerable number of bands live in magic Manchester and also relocate there, which is where the five felt a magnetic pull for the most serious of reasons: “There's just a lot more going on there than in Doncaster, to be honest! Our friends reside here too, and the beer tastes better, there's also a bar that's in a toilet - that's pretty whacky.” John divulges.

As a group, their output gives a welcomed signal that there is plenty of fun to be had, prompting me to compare them to the same quality that the US’ Nude Party produce. Nathan agrees although he confesses that this may not be the direction that they have chosen to follow recently. “Definitely, love that tune of theirs Chevrolet Van, the whole life's a road trip vibe is nice. I think that could be more attributed to our previous singles though; this one is a bit more mean, a bit more vicious - spitting blood through its teeth.”

Their forthcoming EP can be discovered on November 20th and was recorded in Liverpool at Parr Street and Elevator Studios. Named Tragic Carpet and the Magical Wasp Gang from Notre Dame, I simply had to enquire what picture the title paints, but it turns out that it is entirely up to me. Nathan invites, “It means pretty much what it says on the tin; it's open to interpretation - how does it make you feel?” John enlightens us further, “It's the fourth Godfather film.” Superb single Hot Money reminded me of Electric Six, but taking a serious tone. I admired the unnerving feel provided by falsetto and brass, exhibiting current feelings and experiences around us. Nathan replies, “Thanks, never heard Electric Six comparison before, that's pretty exciting. Probably the underlying sexual themes I guess.” “I think it's a reflection of the times, to be honest. And perhaps, it's definitely angrier,” John extends.

Nearing the end of our catch up, the duo looks to the near future and the restoration of live performances. Nathan ponders, “As you can imagine, nobody really knows what's going on at the minute; hopefully, we can go on tour or something.” Thinking about how they have grown, and the main message that their new EP is trying to express, John reminisces, “We formed in 2018, our music style has definitely evolved yeah, even on the last couple of releases, I think it's important to change constantly. You should never be pinned down. Music is music." Nathan concludes, “In terms of messages, I think it focuses on saying goodbye. Give up the ghost.”

Article by Beverley Knight