State Radio

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State Radio connects music and activism for their fans

: : State Radio : :
: : The Ogden Theatre : :
: : March  10 : :

By Fallon Anderson

In this day in age, the world succeeds in falling apart all around us; in every direction there lies a man who has nothing left to hold onto. In this century, as the world’s future is being questioned, there remains only one universal language which any man, any woman, any child hears the same: music. Strip any song of its lyrics and the music is left nakedly unearthed, resounding synonymously around the globe. But leave the lyrics be and we will find there are very few bands who possess the courage it takes to speak out.

State Radio guitarist and vocalist Chad Stokes can be found among the few.

In a recent phone interview with The Marquee, Stokes opened up about his role in the music world and gave an inside look into what it means to be an activist. “It’s an honor to be able to play music all the time,” Stokes told The Marquee. “I always loved music.”

Gearing up for a nationwide tour this March, State Radio is sure to sear into the hearts of many across the country. Made up of Stokes, drummer Mike “Mad Dog” Najarian, and bassist Chuck Fay, State Radio is a trifecta of messengers deeply rooted in political angst and worldwide turmoil. “We’re not really preachers up there, but we do try to just get people involved,” Stokes said. “Our M.O. with different issues that we sing about is just getting people talking about things.”

State Radio offers not only the chance to open our ears and hearts to the issues going on around us, but they present the opportunity to get involved. Each show has its own pre-show ritual, with service action ranging from the community level to global issues — all through the non-profit organization Calling All Crows, which works to get fans involved with what the band is fighting for. Supporting organizations such as Amnesty International, CAC pre-show service projects are organized for almost every stop along the tour.

Heavily focusing on gender equality worldwide and specifically on the women of Sudan, CAC is a humanitarian organization formed by Stokes and his partner Sybil Gallagher. From 5K races to sit-ins to protests to environmental awareness, CAC service projects are largely influenced by what area the band is currently making themselves a part of.  “We wanted to have some focus to our message,” Stokes explained. “We’re thinking globally and acting locally.”

Formed in 2002, State Radio has spent the last nine years finding a way to create change through music, and has done so quite successfully. “Music’s role is different. Social and political upheavals are fascinating,” Stokes said, “I’m lucky that two things I’m interested in can go really well together.” With four studio albums already released and another on the way, there is much music left inside of these men. Currently in the studio laying down tracks for a new album, State Radio fans can expect a new release sometime in the fall of 2011.

Lyrically reminiscent of Crosby, Stills and Nash, and with an overall similarity to the music of Ben Harper, State Radio tells the story of our topsy turvy world and projects the outrage we as a people are experiencing. Their passion emanates onstage and creeps into the pores of those who are open to its message. “Onstage, it’s really trying to get to that place where it’s just bliss,” Stokes said. “[It’s] a snapshot of where we are in our lives right now.” State Radio represents what it means to truly be a rock band; the music is loud, the message even louder. Although songs range from reggae backed beats similar to the stylings of Matisyahu, to chord thrashing intros that result in Dispatch flashbacks, State Radio never fails to weave intricate webs full of captured thoughts, fulfilling a socio-political quest more often than not.

“Overall, we’d just like to encourage people to learn about whatever they feel passionate about. It’s about understanding our connectedness,” Stokes said. “It’s great to have a stronger connection to your fellow man and woman. It’s just trying to understand each other and go from there.” And while we may never fully grasp what it means to truly understand each other, the delicate hands of music will continually be reaching out to us.

 

: : State Radio : :

: : The Ogden Theatre : :

: : March 10 : :

 

Recommended if you Like:

• Ben Harper

• Dispatch

• Matisyahu

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