Hailing from East Lancashire UK, Roy Bright (vocals/guitars), Adam Stephenson (guitars), Phil Ireland (bass guitar/vocals) & Peat “Crazy Texas” Hicks (drums/vocals) are Exit State! a rock band that draw influences from such greats as Foo Fighters, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Nickelback, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Weezer, Faith No More, Nirvana, Therapy?, The Smiths, Cave-In, Pantera, Dinosaur Jr, THE LIONS, THE TIGERS, THE BEARS….OH MY!!
Likened to Foo Fighters, Nickelback & Therapy, the band demonstrates a sound that combines the melodic qualities of indie with the innovation of rock and the power of metal that saw them described in Rocksound Magazine as “Satisfyingly heavy, unexpectedly catchy, unashamedly experimental and curiously engaging – Impressive”.
Having started 2009 with a bang by signing a record deal with King Prawn Records they are set to launch themselves onto the world music stage with a breathtaking debut EP including the huge live favourite ‘Bad Days’ as their debut single. They have also just completed a video that is sure to receive much airplay on the rock music video channels in order to help promote the ‘Bad Days’ single.
The band have already begun to take their music out of the UK and into the arms of other cultures by playing an incredibly successful tour of Finland including a highlight show in front of 1600 screaming Finnish and Swedish fans at the stylish Fontana Club in Vaasa.
They haven’t stopped there either as UK shows are coming in thick and fast including supporting ex-Iron Maiden frontman Blaze Bayley and old NWOBHM stalwarts Witchfynde. Brand new dedicated fans are now flooding in proving Exit State are set to become one of the hottest bands of 2009.
And now the band have just finished recording their (as of yet untitled) debut album. Set for a March 2010 release this is one breakthrough album thats set to catapult the band into the worlds eye.
Come along for the ride!
Today I would like thank “Exit State” for taking some time out to do this for us their Fans
Welcome guys and before we start I just wanted to say Welcome to The Rock and Roll Report,We Love Your Tunes.
Shaz: What’s the name of your band and what’s the origin of that name?
Roy: Well our band is called Exit State. It was a continuation of my former band deponeye when the band split. We had a lot of success in deponeye with 2 songs being included on the soundtrack of a smash hit game on PC/CBOX and PS2 called Flatout. However following the offer of a record deal the band split due to commitment issues. After about a year out I decided to start again with deponeye. Once I had brought in a couple more members and we were ready to get back out there I wanted to change the name – fresh start and all that.
The name was thought of by the first lead guitarist when he was on holiday in America with his girlfriend (our drummer at the time) and they were literally leaving the particular state that they were visiting – A sign had said you are now leaving (whichever) state and he just thought “Exit State” – he text me, I liked the name and it stuck.
Shaz: Could you please list the name, and respective instrument of each band member.
Roy Bright – Vocals, Guitars
Adam Stephenson – Guitars.
Peat Hicks – Drums, Vocals & sweaty socks
Phil Ireland – Bass Guitar & Vocals
Shaz: What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever’s available? What made you choose the instruments you have now? Was it cost or was it a style/model/brand/color preference?
Adam: I have always preferred Gibsons, and currently play an SG. Played Jacksons and Fender in the past but they didn’t quite do it for me. I also play PRS.
Peat: I chose my kit due to my influences. I wanted to get a massive 70’s ‘John Bonham’ sound out but on the flip side I wanted to play like Keith Moon. Sometimes it can be difficult to achieve the flamboyant fills on such a big kit but when it works the results are very rewarding
Roy: Yeah like Adam I have been pretty much exclusively a Gibson Les Paul man – I own a Standard and a Studio. I chose the Les Paul as I was always the Vocals/Rhythm guitarist and they (in my opinion) own when it comes to a full rich sound and allow for deep, powerful distortions. For sounds I have dabbled with Digitech multi-effect pedals but have settled on the Boss GT6 effects processor. Adam has also jumped on the GT6 band wagon and its really helped our sound.
Phil: The bass I play is a Warwick streamer LX, I’ve had this guitar a few years now and I’ve often felt like playing something different but its has always come out on top. You can do anything with the tone on a Warwick, what I can only describe as a crunchy tone is what I go for in are music.
Shaz: What genre of music do you consider your work to be and who are your major influences?
Roy: Well its out and out rock music but with pop overtones. The pop element is mainly due to my vocal style. Both Adam and me are really into heavy music like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax etc etc but with my vocal style that type of music never really surfaced.
Adam: Yeah like Roy says its pure Rock, simple. Main influences personally are Foo Fighters, Nickelback, Manic Street Preachers and Nirvana and we seem to achieve a similar style.
Phil: Yeah I agree we are hardrock, with a pop edge because of the vocal melody, with a splash of metal thrown in. Are personal influences are drastically different; myself I am into prog some metal, funk/jazz. We have all got a great ear to write catchy songs with a common goal to entertain.
Shaz: How did you guys meet and what was it that inspired you to become the Band you are today….
Adam: I told Roy the CD of his old band was shite, haha. We met through a shared rehearsal room, played some gigs together with old bands and eventually I joined Exit State three years ago. Texas Peat was hired after the break up of his old band and friends of ours the FreeSpirits and Phil was savagely stolen from Preston.
Roy: Yeah the bastard did tell me deponeyes debut album was shite hahaha….he was incensed cos he paid £10 for it. He also double whammied me by charging me £4 for his bands (Three Ways West) CD which was pretty grim hahahaha – all that after I gave him a free copy of the bands new EP to make up for his earlier disappointment tsk!! Hahaha….why are we friends again?!! I wonder hahahaha.
Shaz: Are you a member of any music organizations?
Roy: We are all members of the PRS and PPL
Shaz: Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? What are your touring and recording plans?
Adam: All over the UK, and Finland. Favourite places are Sanctuary Rock bar in Burnley where we virtually live hahaha and The Ship Inn in Preston. Least favourite venue is anywhere where you have to carry the gear up a shitload of stairs. We have just finished recording our debut album and our producer Steve Fenton is now working his magic on it – early previews on it have sounded amazing to us, we are really looking forward to getting it out there. As for touring we are hoping to attract the attention of some good tour agents and play bigger and better shows.
Phil: My favourite was the pampas festival in Finland an amazing night and week, my low point of gigs, I wont mention the venue, it was were I broke Roy’s head of his guitar, it wasn’t just this event though, we had had a series of spinal tap style gigs at the time haha!
Shaz: Who is it that sits down and writes your songs? Or is this a joint effort….
Adam: Ideas generally get thrown around and chopped and changed by all of us and generally come out pretty rocking. Roy writes the lyrics.
Phil: Yeah that’s right we all write, sometimes one of us comes with song and we all add to it, or we throw around ideas from scratch, four heads are better than one I say.
Shaz: Could you briefly describe the music-making process
Roy: hmmmmm yeah painstaking hahahaha
Phil: haha what they mean is we are all very adamant about making the songs entertaining, if apart of a song is dragging out we will cut it down, we will think how the song can build into a chorus or key change at the right points.
Shaz: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
Adam: I think it’s certainly started taking a more rock/groove based approach now. And definitely feels more mature. Everybody is settled now.
Roy: Yeah as Adam said we are all pretty much settled into our roles now. Things changed dramtically this time last year when we nabbed Phil to play bass for us. His influence really helped and he and Peat have formed an incredibly tight rhythm section which every musician knows is the cornerstone of your band.
Phil: It’s true that. The songs keep getting better and better because there are no week links in the band. When I first joined however I was still playing in a prog and alternative hard rock band, so some of my ideas were a bit flamboyant but what I have learnt is you can make a song out of 2 chords if the vocal melody is great and you work on the dynamics. Again we all have the same common goal to right great songs.
Shaz: What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
Adam: Overcoming Roys injury last year, and coming back stronger from it.
Peat: The 9 to 5 job!!
Roy: Yeah as Adam says, last August I suffered an unprovoked attack from a thug who broke my jaw. Took us quite a few months to get back into things after that as I was totally unable to sing.
Shaz: So, how would playing in the United Kingdom (where you guys are from) differ from playing somewhere like the USA ?
Roy: Well we are being told on a regular basis that our style fits the American rock market perfectly and we are starting to get a very healthy US following. As for how the shows would differ well I suppose it’s a suck and see moment haha – when we toured Finland we were worried as our hosts told us where we were playing traditionally didn’t cater for original bands and most acts were covers bands. However, after we rocked around 1600 people for an hour (they went nuts!!) we realised that we are onto something with our music and its appealing to different cultures.
Adam: Yeah that and the power plugs are different haha
Shaz: What are your thoughts on rock and roll, and how would you define it?
Adam: I love it. Loud, ear smashing music. Hoping to get to all the money that goes along with it at some point ala Nickelbacks Rockstar hahahaha!
Peat: Rock ‘n’ Roll was created by teenagers with nothing better to do than party and listen to their mates on stage. That’s what it means to me… one big party – it’s kids breaking away from reality to have a brief moment in bliss before it’s time to go back to work.
Phil: Rock and roll is as loud or as soft as you want, its in your face or something not very pronounced, it holds no limits unlike some other forms of music that why it gets people tapping there feet, dancing, moshing and generally just crashing around that’s how id define it.
Shaz: Which of your songs are you most proud of and why?
Adam: I personally am proud of most things we have written since Phil arrived. For me Dominates Me is my favourite, it went through a lot of changes and eventually we came out with something pretty damn good in my opinion at the end.
Phil: Yeah same as Adam. Dominates me because it’s the first song we did together
Roy: I absolutely adore Lost Beyond Belief. We are pretty sure its gonna be the lead track on the album and although unconfirmed as of yet, its looking like it will be the main song for a horror movie due out in 2010 called Creepsville. The director loves the track and it fits with the dark nature of his film – there is talk of it being their music video plug for the movie – that is very exciting.
Shaz: What is life like as a musician in the age of the Internet?
Adam: Easier. Getting gigs and shows tends to be pretty simply, and getting music out there and reaching fans is certainly easier.
Roy: Yeah Adams right, the internet has revolutionised music – we are obviously all aware of the file sharing issues but on the positives its made the world a tiny place. Back in the day you had to be something incredibly special to have people from all over the world hear and like you. Now with sites such as myspace, reverbnation and facebook, someone on the other side of the world can see, hear and watch you develop which is incredible.
Shaz: Whom and what inspires you guys, musically and otherwise?
Roy: My biggest influence has been Metallica. I simply adore the way they craft deep, dark and thrashing music whilst still being able to squeeze out every inch of melody from the track that makes it appeal to more than just us metal heads. That’s a very cool trait!! Guns and Roses have also been a big influence on me. Vocally my biggest influence was Frank Sinatra – that guy had a real set of pipes on him. His voice was brimming with technique, passion and flair!! Truly awesome man. As for lyrics, well I was let down massively (red – cheated on!!) by my fiancé just under 2yrs ago and well lets just say 95% of our set and album is about her hahahaha!!
Adam: My musical inspiration comes from the bands I listened to when I was growing up, but for me Dave Grohl is a huge inspiration. He really is what the modern rock star is all about for me. Otherwise, Burnley Football Club, English Premier League. If they can do that then anything is possible! Up the Clarets!
Phil: Metal got me into prog music but this style of music is not all that inspires me, what I am listening to at the time or music that minght not have anything in common with band gives me ideas, its good to keep an open mind.
Peat: For me past legends, I wanna join the club!
Thank you guy’s this has been so awesome and it always rocks to catch up with you……..
We hope To see you Rocking It Live someday soon!!!!
Hugs Shaz (On behalf of The Rock and Roll Report)
Enjoy a free download of Saviour courtesy of Exit State and The Rock and Roll Report!