10 Quick Ones with STATE OF ILLUSION – February 2018

According to a recent press release: “South Carolina rock quartet State of Illusion has released the highly anticipated music video for “Blind,” the newly remixed single off of their 2014 released LP, Aphelion. Originally premiered on Tattoo.com, “Blind” was directed and edited by Erez Bader of Silent Flight Productions.” We get the band to answer to our 10 Quick Ones about new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Cameron Price (Guitar): I don’t think there are any Easter eggs in this particular song.  But there definitely will be on the next album for sure!

Jacob Porter (Vocals/Guitar): There are so many little layers throughout Aphelion that, I think, it would take a couple listens to really digest everything.  There are a ton of subtle vocal harmonies, pianos, guitars, etc, just lurking in the background.  One of the coolest nuggets to me is on the single version of “Blind” that we just released.  It has been updated from the version on Aphelion, which is the updated version of a demo that we recorded in 2009 and wrote in 2007.  This version has updated lyrics, vocals, and guitar tracks, but it also incorporates little elements from some of our former band mates.  The drums were performed by our former drummer, Chet Whigham, in 2009, the bass and part of the guitar solo was performed by our former bassist, Josh Breland, for Aphelion, which we released in 2014, Cam and I updated our guitar parts and I updated my vocal tracks for the single, and then we sprinkled in a weird reverb-y bass effect from our old bassist, Chase Medlin, and some guitar feedback from our original lead guitarist, Zach Young—both from our 2009 session.  To top it off, the music video is performed by the current line-up, so you can hear and see over 10 years of evolution in one song.

Brandon Rodgers (Bass): With our latest release of “Blind”, there are slight changes to lyrics from the original.  Just to make it more modern and relatable to where we are now as opposed to 4-5 years ago.

2.  What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Bryce Chism (Drums): My dad for sure.  He would always play 90’s grunge for me and he got me loving a lot of the bands I strive to be like.  I remember being in about 9th grade and having absolutely no plans for the future.  I would just go through ideas and I hated all of them, but then one of my friends, Andruw, said, “Why not be in a band?”  So we “made a band” even though we did absolutely nothing, but that made me wanna pursue music and that’s why I’m here. Thank you, man.

Cam: My parents really introduced me to music and, thankfully, they were both products of the 70’s so I grew up with 80’s thrash from my father and hair metal from my mother, both really shaping my taste.  I knew for sure I wanted to play guitar when I went to my first concert.  I saw Shinedown and Staind play at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville and the whole night blew me away.  It was an epiphany, no pun intended, like clarity cut through all the fog and watching Jasin Todd, I was like, “that is definitely what I want to do.”

Jacob: I was just always drawn to music.  As a kid, I grew up listening to my dad shred the guitar, so I guess that sunk in along with the oldies they listened to—Elton John, Elvis, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Jim Croce, etc.  In elementary school, I was super into the Backstreet Boys (hey, it was the 90’s!  Great songs, though), and loved picking out harmonies in all those songs.  I would say that at that point, I was really into music and singing, but everything changed for me when I heard bands like Staind, Cold, Seether, Tool, etc.  I taught myself to play guitar to Seether’s Disclaimer, started a band, and pursued music heavily but the moment that really stands out as THE moment was when I saw Staind play with Shinedown and Parmalee (when they were a rock band) in Greenville, SC, in 2006.  Seeing Staind play made me KNOW what I wanted to do.  It was larger than life.  I didn’t find this out until nearly a decade later, but Cam was at the same show and walked away with the same reaction I did, albeit his was because of Shinedown’s performance.  It’s very cool how things work out!

Brandon: I have always been intrigued by various, different forms of art, so my interest in music was natural.  But the defining moment was listening to Thrice’s “Stare at the Sun”.  I was roughly 10 or 11 and Eddie Breckenridge’s bass line just stood out to me.  I knew then what I wanted to do with my life.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Bryce: Breaking Benjamin, Avenged Sevenfold (The Rev, mostly), Tool, Chevelle, and Deftones.

Cam: Shinedown, Pearl Jam, Poison, Slipknot/Stone Sour, and Zakk Wylde.

Jacob: Staind, Cold, Periphery, A Perfect Circle, and Tool.

Brandon: Eddie Breckenridge from Thrice, Spencer Chamberlain from Underoath, Dustin Kensrue from Thrice, Casey Crescenzo from The Dear Hunter and The Receiving End of Sirens, and Jack Lawrence from City and Colour.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

Bryce: Either Ben Burnley, because he’s just a phenomenal musician and person all around or Will Swan from Dance Gavin Dance, because he’s a phenomenal musician and person as well.

Cam: Dave Grohl. He’s a studio master.

Jacob: I’d want to do a piano ballad with either Elton John or Sarah McLachlan. Or both.

Brandon: Dustin Kensrue. Having him sing on one of our songs would be a defining moment of my life.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Bryce: From being a huge fan of State to now being a member, it’s something everyone needs to experience: this sound.  It’s something that you can, not only rock out to, but also relate and possibly cry to (it’s okay to cry). I highly recommend anyone and everyone to just listen to this and have an emotional roller coaster with us.

Cam: I would say our music has a fresh modern rock sound. Aphelion features deep, melodic tracks. It’s not going to shock the world what we do, but it will catch ears and it will have an impact on people.  The writing is all very powerful and personal.

Jacob: Tasteful melodic hard rock but I don’t think you need to be a rock fan to enjoy it.  Hopefully it’s something that can resonate with people emotionally.

Brandon: We are heavy but we incorporate heartfelt lyrics with intricate melodies.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Bryce: Definitely meeting people and going to new places.  Getting to talk to people and fans from all over, even in my own city is amazing. The connection music has, has always intrigued me and made me want it even more.

Cam: The fans. The best thing about being a musician is connecting with other people who love music. It’s awesome that I can not know one thing about a person and, if we connect over a song, we can form a bond deeper than everyday relationships.  And if someone bonds with me over my songs, that is truly amazing.  To hear their take on the lyrics or the emotion of the song is always so great.  I love meeting people.

Jacob: Getting to create art with my brothers and people I respect, play shows, and meet other music lovers and fans make it all amazing!

Brandon: Being able to create and play with the people we love.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Bryce: Definitely Jacob cooking, I could see Brandon with drinks and Cam is cracking out an acoustic. I am, however, annoying the whole band with memes (hit me up if you need some quality memes).

Cam: I don’t know who would cook but I know it wouldn’t be Bryce. As far as drinks, I know Brandon likes his Rum and Colas and I would probably be the first to grab an acoustic guitar.

Jacob: I’m not sure who would cook…but I know it wouldn’t be Bryce.  None of us are big drinkers, so I can’t really call it one way or another there, but I’m going to say Bryce just for fun.  Cam would bust out the 80’s covers on someone else’s acoustic but sing modern bands’ lyrics over them.

Brandon: I haven’t seen anyone cook yet and drinking tends to be a group effort.  But Cameron knows more cover songs than anyone I have ever seen.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Bryce: Honestly, I would have practiced drawing more and would become a tattoo artist.

Cam: I would love to be a standup comedian.

Jacob: I would love to play in the MLB (for the Atlanta Braves, of course).  That was my plan before some injuries knocked me out and music took over.

Brandon: I have often thought about designing and making guitars out of raw materials.  So probably that or graphic design.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

Bryce: I wouldn’t, honestly. This is very cliché, but it’s the “I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for those missteps” mentality.  I needed to learn and I still need to learn.

Cam: I feel like everything happens for a reason. I would have liked to have started earlier and focused more early on in my career, but I wouldn’t be exactly where I am right now if I didn’t do exactly what I have done. I would never change a thing because where I’m at right now is great and where we are going is going to be huge.

Jacob: If I went back and changed things, I wouldn’t be right here with this group of guys right now.  I feel that this is where I’m supposed to be.  If we had done things differently, like capitalizing on a couple of big opportunities, maybe I would be at the next step of my music career, but those negative periods or “missteps” have made me who I am and I’m better for it and certainly wouldn’t have gotten the chance to be making music with these guys that are my brothers.  What I’m saying is that, even though State of Illusion didn’t take off like it could have at a couple points, I’m glad it didn’t because the road ahead of us is much brighter than it ever would have been on any other path.

Brandon: I can’t say that there is because those moments lead me to where I am now, and I am so grateful for what State of Illusion is and what we have accomplished.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Bryce: Probably the self-titled album from Avenged Sevenfold.  Every song on there is amazing and unique.  No two songs sound the same and just to be a part of that masterpiece would be a dream.

Cam: I would have loved to watch Slipknot record Iowa. Ross Robinson really pushed the band creatively and, from what I understand, it was a chaotic mess.  But that mess created the staple album for them.  The stories told from that session are just great.  I spent a lot of time with that album growing up in amazement of how angry the songs were and hearing the studio stories helps give a look into that madness.  It would be really cool to have been a part of those details.

Jacob: That is such a tough question!  The problem is, I couldn’t pick just one!  If I had to narrow it down to two, I’d say Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Cold’s 13 Ways to Bleed Onstage.  Objectively, Dark Side of the Moon  is probably the greatest rock album of all time.  The songs, recordings, and tones still hold up today.  Those sessions had to be magical.  And while 13 Ways to Bleed isn’t my favorite Cold album (sorry, Cold Army, it’s all about Year of the Spider!), it is so raw and dark and mysterious.  I’d love to be a fly on the wall to see how it all came together.

Brandon: Beggars by Thrice.  The album, Beggars, was the only album that I listened to for months after my brother passed away so, to me, that album holds so much weight and meaning.  It is a milestone for the evolution of who I am.

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10 Quick Ones with STATE OF ILLUSION - February 2018

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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