State Faults have been on the rise ever since the release of their debut EP Head In the Clouds in 2010, and now with their Tiny Engines release Desolate Peaks they are poised to go from California secret to post-hardcore darlings. We talked to them about their new album, what they see in their future, and, of course, about some old school video games.
SputnikMusic: Lyrically, the new album seems to be coming from a much darker place than your EP. What was the impetus for the shift and did it come into play when you decided on the title of Desolate Peaks?
State Faults: The lyrics of Desolate Peaks are very personal, we kind of left ourselves wide open and let a lot of negative feelings flow through while at the same time trying not to be TOO obvious about the subject matter. The song ideas came from introspective talks we’d have with each other, and Jonny would take them and weave em into lyrics, sometimes before all the instruments were even written. We’re all really goofy and light hearted guys, so when times get tough or we look back on times and experiences that leave us heavy hearted, we channel it into our music.
SM: I’ve been told that you’re very hands on when it comes to recording. What was the recording process like for Desolate Peaks?
SF: We had a lot much fun recording Desolate Peaks. We took five days to record drums, bass, and guitars at Chip’s brother’s house, then we’d come back whenever our jobs permitted to make changes/corrections and add all the vocals to it, so all in all it took about a month to have everything locked down recording-wise.
SM: Your style blends a lot of atmospheric sounds into these rather heavy structures. What are your influences when it comes to writing music?
SF: We take influence from so many artists and genres, each of our personal tastes sorta sneak their way into the music. Some of the artists we’re influenced by include As Cities Burn, This Will Destroy You, mewithoutYou, Suis La Lune, Circle Takes the Square, and Depeche Mode. Album-wise, we’ve been influenced by band’s like Trophy Scars and Death Cab for Cutie for the way they make their albums flow from one song to the next. We want our works of music to sound cohesive, especially when it comes to a full length record, where some songs are more at risk of being ignored or skipped over for others. We try to make each song build and grow from the one before it.
SM: The post-hardcore, or whatever you want to call it, scene as of late has started taking a turn back towards the underground. How do you feel about being part of this new rebirth of ideas and approach to the style?
SF: It’s really cool to see “post hardcore” kind of going back to its roots and becoming so popular because of it. We’re honored to be making music at the same time as all the other amazing bands who are gaining popularity. It feels like a family. We just hope that all the passion, honesty, and integrity that this genre was really founded on remains for as long as possible.
SM: What are your thoughts on how the internet has made what were once isolated communities in the DIY scene something that can garner a national following even if it’s something small?
SF: The internet is a very important tool nowadays for the whole DIY scene. You don’t really need a label or a promoting agent to spread the word about your band when the whole country is connected now through the web. Blogs have brought so many bands and ideas together in such a beautiful way. It makes it so much easier to share your passions and connect with all the people who share that passion with you. We’re so blessed to have been able to create so many awesome friendships with so many people this way.
SM: How did you become involved with Tiny Engines?
SF: Well Will from Tiny Engines runs a music review blog called Sound as Language, where he reviewed our EP after finding it on another blog! He shot us an email asking us if we were writing music, and after a couple phone calls and emails between Will and Chuck and a VERY giddy State Faults, the rest was history! They’ve been so great to us, we really can’t thank them enough!
SM: You recently completed a touring stint earlier this year with Ruptures. How did that experience go? Any interesting stories because I know the Raz (vocalist of Ruptures) and company get down?
SF: Ruptures are such amazing musicians and wonderful friends, we had such a blast touring with them in January. After our show in Las Vegas we decided it would be rad to walk the strip and sight see at 1 o’clock in the morning. When we came back to get our vans, we discovered Ruptures’ van had been locked in a parking garage which resulted in Raz and our friend Cameron trying to break/kick through the gate…which led to a VERY angry security guard nearly calling the cops on them! There’s also a brief tale about our bands in a snowy motel with Michael in his underwear, but we probably shouldn’t print it.
SM: What is the hardest part of being a band that’s just starting to get its touring legs down?
SF: The hardest part about making the jump from a non-touring band to a touring band is keeping up on your finances! SAVE YOUR MONEY. Between jobs, making merch, buying gear, maintaining a working van, and of course food and gas, you have to be saved up and prepared for it, and we all kinda learned that the hard way. We’re all taking steps to saving our money so we can keep progressing to bigger and better tours.
SM: What does the foreseeable future have in store for State Faults?
SF: There’s a lot in store for us, we’re trying to get some weekender stint’s in motion this summer, as well as a smaller tour or two later in the year, and we already have some new material that we’re playing around with! We’re also being featured on a compilation with a TON of great bands through Interskramz records, so keep a look out for that sometime mid-summer!
SM: I know you guys are huge fans of classic videogames. What are your favorite games?
SF: Oh man do we love video games! The Sonic the Hedgehog and Megaman series are favorites of ours, (Megaman X especially!) And of course we’re all into the Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda series as well. (Michael and Jonny just recently beat A Link to the Past on SNES.) We also love playing Super Smash Brothers and Pokemon Stadium as a band, even though Michael usually kills us at both of those games!