With the release of their exciting and innovative new single Big Sur next week, Lily Martin caught up with Yorkshire favourites Children of the State to find out why they think Coronavirus might be the creative stimulus the music industry needs at the moment.
Defined by their beautifully curated tracks, including favourites I Shiver When I Burn and How Right You Are, Children of the State have developed a steadfast reputation for their hard work, impressive talent and supportive nature when it comes to their peers. It’s evident that they’re constantly learning, developing and building as they progress too. Their true-to-their roots attitude, combined with their experience both writing and playing across the country makes them one of the standout groups of 2020.
Their distinctive but care-free sound, clearly influenced by the psychedelic movement of the 60s and 70s, is fresh and reactive. Due to play the recently rescheduled You Are Not Alone Festival in Manchester on November 29, it’s clear that they have a strong and dedicated fanbase and are keen to be part of a supportive culture in the industry. How are they staying on top of their mental health during these hard, and stressful, months?
“It’s important to keep creatively stimulated so watching mad films, listening to music and looking for new sources of inspiration,” says Nathan. They’ve even created a list of their favourite films which can be found here.
But with the ever-changing turmoil of Brexit, and then the COVID-19 pandemic, this year is looking to be an unpredictable and frustrating time for many people working in the music industry, especially smaller artists. Children of the State don’t seem too dissuaded though.
“Maybe it’s too soon to tell, and there’s this feeling in everybody’s stomachs that it may harm the industry,” says guitarist Nathan. “However, isolation has given great artists the opportunity to retreat into their own minds and write new music.”
Nevertheless, it’s clear that recent isolation measures introduced by the Government have impacted musicians’ ability to work says bassist Corey: “Rehearsing, being able to be in a room together tightening up sets and creating new material is difficult. Being unable to play gigs, seeing venues struggle without any income, radio presenters unable to work and promote, it’s unprecedented.”
It’s clear as well that there is a feeling of shunned responsibility when it comes to Government and the Arts during this challenging time. Instead of setting a precedent to invest and support the Arts and their importance in UK society, public condemnation of the lack of financial support available for musicians of every style and genre has been widespread.
Nathan agrees that more needs to be done. “The arts are one of our biggest exports as a country and the fact they are totally looked over when it comes to all our education is crazy. Everyone in isolation has watched a film, listened to music, played a game or read a book created by artists. It’s definitely something which should be reassessed following these unprecedented times we are existing in.”
So what are Children of the State doing to keep their creative juices flowing?
“Making sure to designate some time of the day, even if it’s only 10 minutes, to actively create something, be it a little sketch or penning some lyrics,” says drummer Conor. “Over the course of a few weeks this will amount to something of philosophical and artistic value.”
Big Sur is out on April 10. Find it on Children of the State’s Spotify here. Find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Support local artists like Children of the State by buying their merch online.
Lily Martin is a SPA-nominated freelance journalist with an interest in up-and-coming artists in the indie, rock, punk and folk genres as well as the socio-political dynamics of the music industry. She can be found on Instagram here.