Alternative/rock/ambient act, Beta State released their new song and video for "Left With The Pain", off their latest EP release "Glass". The trio got together to discuss this EP, the single/video, and future.
1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Adrian: Our original guitar player Ryan and I just got through a band breakup and decided to start a new project on our own. Justin, our bass player, was one of the first people we called to join the band. From there we wrote and posted instrumentals online in search of a singer. After HUNDREDS of auditions and a year of passing on decent vocalists in search of "the one", we finally were sent an audition from Matt McDonald. We fell in love with his takes on our songs, and we quickly got him to audition live. He exceeded all our expectations and we finally came together and wrote and recorded what would be our debut album "Stars".
2. Where did the idea come for your namesake Beta State? Does the "State" portion refer to an actual state?
Adrian: My friend told me a story of when he was high how he reached his "beta state" and saw a tree rise up from the ground. That term caught my ear, and I looked it up to find that he didn't have the right definition of the phrase "beta state". Turns out that "beta state" is actually a state of mind you are in when you are awake. "Theta state" is when you are in between being awake and hitting R.E.M., and "delta state" is R.E.M. I thought it was cool that "beta state" had a good meaning because it basically means a state of mind where you are awake, in the moment, alive, etc. I thought it was fitting for our band because each song is a snapshot of how we were feeling at that exact moment in time.
3. Tell us about your thought on your local music scene? Are there any new and upcoming bands that you are into?
Matt: We actually just moved to LA a month ago, so we're still settling in! We've been wanting to live here for a while now, there's always something exciting going on and we crave being near the action.
4. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?
Matt: We each come from very different musical backgrounds. I listen to a lot of power vocalists from all genres, Justin listens to a lot of ambient and hip hop influenced music, and Adrian likes a lot of old school rap. Fusing all this together has really diversified our sound - especially on this new record.
5. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?
Matt: I've always written lyrics that revolved around hope and self-discovery. I'm naturally a positive person, so even when writing about a sad topic I've always tried to tie in the feeling that there's always brighter days ahead.
6. Why was "Left With The Pain" picked out as a single and then made into a video? Can you discuss both of those for us?
Matt: On this new record, we took over a year off just to devote to writing the best songs we possibly could. We weren't satisfied completing a song unless we could consider it single-worthy. So, now we have this huge list of completed songs that we all agree could stand on their own. We decided to choose "Left With The Pain" as our first single because it was darker and sounded much different than the rest of the songs we had. Plus, we really liked the story that it told.
7. Do you think anymore songs will be picked off as singles or made into videos?
Matt: We have many music video ideas up our sleeves!
8. Tell us about your experience in the studio recording the EP? Do you think the band was comfortable in the studio?
Matt: This was the most enjoyable and relaxing writing experience any of us had to this point. Justin, Adrian, and I decided to move in to a house together and convert half of the house into a recording studio. The living room was the control room and where we would iron out song ideas together, the vocal booth was set up in my bedroom, and Justin had a Protools rig in his room where he would work on his own adding production ideas to songs while I would be recording vocals in the other room. I like to call it the house of no sleep.
9. Do you remember the very first time you heard the final mix of the new EP and what you were thinking?
Matt: It was a huge victory for us. The three of us began the writing process in a state of uncertainty. We essentially wrote the record without a guitar player - it was just the 3 of us. When we heard the final product, we knew that we could accomplish anything together.
10. How would you say that the title and album art relate to the music on the "Glass" EP?
Matt: The "Glass" EP is about breaking through the glass barriers that we all face in life, and emerging on the other side. We all have that one thing that seems to separate us from our goals on the other side. That was a recurring theme during the writing of this record. "Not Afraid Of Letting Go" is one of the first songs we wrote and deals with the idea of letting go of the fear that cripples you into not breaking through that glass.
11. What's your favorite song as off the "Glass" EP as of right now?
Matt: I would say it's a tie between "Only You & Me" and "Everything You've Had Is Gone" simply because they're so much fun to play live.
Matt: It's a reminder to us that there will always be setbacks - you will get knocked down, and things will be working against you - but if you keep standing back up and brushing off the dust that, crack by crack, you will break through that glass and make it to the other side.
13. What are your current tour plans, if any?
Matt: We don't have anything lined up at the moment. That will be changing very shortly.
14. What other plans do you have for this year?
Matt: Write! We never stop writing.
15. Any last words for the friends and fans out there?
Matt: There's so much more to come. Stay tuned!