Taking influence from the brooding sounds of PVRIS and Bring Me The Horizon, culminated with a vengeful energy and bleeding-heart lyrics, Stateside have fast become one of the country’s standout pop punk acts.
The band dropped their EP ‘Naive’ in 2017, featuring tracks that showcase the band have a total knack for soaring choruses, melancholic guitar riffs and epic drumming that drives and carries its vitality.
Having toured the country extensively, celebrating the release of ‘Naive’, frontwoman Erin Reus is a beacon of knowledge and advice for young musicians, carving their own paths within the industry. With an epic sound and cool as hell aesthetic to boot, chances are you’ll be seeing Stateside around a lot this year – here’s what she had to say!
Stateside have toured Australia extensively – what are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome while on the road?
I’m a total homebody. It doesn’t take much to make me homesick! So being on the road I’m in a constant state between missing my safe haven and having the travel bug. Although I’ll probably always feel like this, the more we tour the easier it gets. Another challenge I’ve had to overcome is being the only female! Don’t get me wrong, the boys are the best thing that’s ever happened to me but sometimes it’s nice to have a sister. Some feminine presence. It gets hard sometimes but the boys don’t mind ‘girling out’ with me from time to time with face masks and chick flicks. Bless their cotton sock.
Your latest EP featured some pretty intense lyrical content, especially on the track ‘Jaded’ – what experiences were they inspired by, was there a moment or feeling in particular?
I went through a heavy breakup filled with hurt, jealousy, revenge, anger, sadness and most of all, heartbreak. As a young person learning about love, I didn’t know how else to express my feelings other than to write about them. I spent a lot of time hovering over all of the problems, and writing/recording/releasing the EP was basically closure for me. It was like I had finally closed another chapter, and that was definitely what I was hoping for when pouring my heart out into those songs.
Stateside have taken on a deeply catchy, yet brooding, dark pop punk sound – what acts would you say inspired this sound?
We all listen to very similar yet different music and it’s hard to pinpoint where the inspirations came from. But on a really broad spectrum, I think that Bring Me The Horizon and PVRIS influenced a lot of the dark and crunchy Naïve feels.
What was your experience like getting into the pop punk scene? What were the first shows you ever went to like? Did you ever attend small local shows?
Growing up I was always the little solo acoustic gal and I never really started attending local shows until I met Ethan in grade 11. We combined forces and attended local shows together! Before that I had only seen big acts at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre so when I saw my first local band, my entire mindset shifted about what shows are really about. From there we started a band and slipped into the local scene pretty fast! Fit like a glove & we loved it.
How did your experience change as you began playing shows, as an artist?
When Stateside started out, I was shy af. I went from playing tiny shows just me & a guitar to front woman of a rock band – as bad ass as that sounds, it was terrifying! It took me a long time to find comfortability on stage but I got there eventually. As well as that, I also started considering live shows when writing songs. I’d sit there and think, “the crowd could chant this back to me” or “is this something you’d want to bop to?”
What’s the Stateside songwriting process like? How is it collaborating on ideas and compromising to create the best possible result?
Stateside’s writing process changes every year. But usually, someone will put some ideas into Logic and send it to the group and everyone builds on it. Other than that, it’s pretty common for 2 members to get together and bounce off each other until a song comes out of it. When we’ve pulled together some decent stuff, I usually get a vibe from the music and start throwing words at it! We pick apart songs a million times before it gets released but we get there in the end.
As a musician, what are the biggest hurdles you’ve had to face? (writer’s block, stage fright etc.) What advice would you give to someone facing those same challenges?
One of the biggest hurdles I have had to face is stage presence. I felt embarrassed every time I moved because I was worried about what people would think if I looked like an idiot. But over time I realised that some of the greatest entertainers make a fool of themselves on stage, and they’re only doing their job – entertaining. Who cares if you look like an idiot when you dance on stage? If you’re having fun, the crowd will have fun too. Looking silly is half the adventure. If there is any piece of advice I can give to someone who is facing the same challenge, it is that you should be the entertainer that you would want to see. Dance. Make a fool of yourself. The more fun you have on stage, the more fun your audience will have. I’m still working on it to this day, but catch me getting better every time! Best of luck x