Doncaster natives Children of the State are a band on an anarchic rise, their brooding brand of low tempo punk garnering them a main stage slot at Tramlines, one that unfortunately did not come into fruition given the state of things. Yet, being confined to their homes has not caused a block in Children of the States’ snowballing pipeline, instead they have continued full force with new single ‘Hot Money’ plucked from the upcoming EP Tragic Carpet and the Magical Wasp Gang of Notre Dame (what a name), and to mark the next step in the band’s story, we caught up with members Nathan Keeble, Connor O’Reilly and Corey Clifton.
“I think it’s important not to let people forget about you, so if we could possibly release music then we had to,” says Keeble, deliberating the past few months.
The band, like so many others, have been in a sticky place since their biggest tour got cancelled, on top of the home town Tramlines spot, but the band all spent their time writing and experimenting. “We must’ve got like 10 new songs or so out of lockdown”, he continues.
“I think musically we’ve progressed; in a way [lockdown] worked in our favour. As soon as we were able to get back in the practice room it was like a new lease of life that we wouldn’t have had if we were just still constantly gigging. It made us all excited again to get back together and test out these new songs.”
Of these new tracks the latest to grace the airwaves has been ‘Hot Money’, a track which signifies a heavier direction for the band sonically. Its distorted cries and the menacing rumble of the bass make it sound devilish and uneasy. “We wanted to make it like a weird voodoo sort of track in the feel of it” Clifton comments.
“It’s quite tribal as well, the rhythm. With the vibrato, guitar effects and drumming pattern that have been used, it’s like tribal chanting, almost like an evil spirit breathing.”
On the flip side of the scolding coin, Keeble expands on the track’s lyrical content, and the unlikely place they came from – an economics book. “It was called Freakonomics, and there was a determiner in there called hot money and I thought it sounded really funny, kinda sexy, but it’s such a boring concept, I thought it was a nice juxtaposition, so I put together some seductive lyrics around this one concept and how money is like the science of the world.”
‘Hot Money’ seems to be one the band are just as excited to play live, whenever that may be, as the tracks darker tone “adds another element to the live shows”. With all three of them agreeing how fun the track is to play, you could see the growing appetite they have for tracks of a similarly heavy nature; “it’s new territory for us, but I think we’d like to go in that direction”.
Ian Skelly of The Coral returned on the production side, after working on previous single ‘Big Sur.’ Yet again he had quite a big impact with the working of the track. “He was the one who had the idea of it being like voodoo, like a straight beat” O’Reilly explains.
As a result, the track changed quite a bit from its original state, and all the band agreed it was for the better. “The riff came from nowhere really, but it changed the whole song, suddenly we knew exactly what we wanted to do with it” Keeble noted. Skelly has also made a psychedelic animation to go alongside the single.
Children of the State are definitely a unique band, one trying to curate their own soundscape, and on the most part succeeding. Their new EP, Tragic Carpet and the Magical Wasp Gang of Notre Dame, a name I’ve been advised not to look too deep into, is out later this year, and if its content is of the same quality of what’s been released so far, it’s bound to be a hit.
Keeble finished by saying, “We’re gonna release this EP and hopefully have some new fans by the time we can gig again, but you can’t not do anything because people lose interest, we’ve had all this time so it’s good to have something to show from it.”
Image: Sonic PR