Exit State is a British band who will soon tour the U.K. supporting Michael Schenker and as not everybody will be familiar with them, we shot them a few questions. Let Exit State enlighten you!
Exit State was founded in 2005 and you had to face some line-up changes - like almost every other band. Adam Stephenson left last fall, did you see it coming?
This is very true; almost every band that has ever existed suffers line up changes of varying degrees as the balance is worked out for the music to come through in its correct form. There had been a few changes prior to 2008 when Phil joined on bass and from that point we were set. To be honest, all but one change was due to members going off to do other things with their lives so to get a stable line up in 2008 was awesome.
Unfortunately Adam leaving the band actually hit us like a freight train and we didn't see it coming. I have known Adam since he was 14 and he remains one of my closest friends it's still upsetting not to be playing with Adam as it was he and I that really sat down and decided to get the right people in to be able to accomplish our goal of playing at the highest level possible.
He remains very supportive of the band though and thankfully we have all parted ways as great friends still as we fully appreciate his reasons for pursuing a different career, and we have the perfect replacement in Matt Harris.
Fantasist guitarist Ollie Cordwell was stepping in temporarily, how was it to work with Ollie?
We have known Ollie for a number of years now having played on the circuit with our label buddies Fantasist extensively. Ollie is a top bloke and a world class guitarist and for anyone who has ever seen him play he is a massive character onstage so it was just such fun to be rocking out with him. He learnt our stuff in next to no time and really helped us through a very difficult time.
Late January you announced your new guitarist Matt Harris as your new band member, please tell us a bit about Matt!
Yes, Matt became a full time member of the band in January having played a few 'trial by fire' shows just before Xmas, not least of which was a show at our hometown to a packed venue AND a performance at last years Hard Rock Hell V festival featuring the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Therapy? and Magnum to name but a few.
As with many musicians, Matt has played on the scene in bands that had not really managed to push through the levels they wanted to and it was great to nab a guy for our line-up who fully appreciates the demands of a rock band in the 21st Century. He brings with him a little bit more of the 'metal' side of the band and as a result I think certain areas we will become a little more aggressive in our sound, which is by no means a bad thing as we do LOVE our metal. :)
Your last album Black Veins was released last fall, happy with the feedback you got?
Yes, we released Black Veins on Rocksector Records which indicated a significant step up in level for us from our previous record label King Prawn Records who supportively handed us over to Rocksector. The feedback for our second album has been immense and many people have really 'gotten it' with regards to what we are trying to say with our music. Exit State is really very much about writing styles of varying degrees as we all have differing influences in the band centered around rock and metal.
The collection of these styles can produce some widely swinging differing tracks but make no mistake we love them all Black Veins very much firmly stated this with the selection of songs we put onto the album so to receive high praise from critics and fans alike was awesome.
How much did the line-up change slowed things down?
Not in the slightest!!! It actually gave us more incentive to work harder than what we do as we realized we were lucky to have such a collection of support from other artists to get us through a difficult time. We are very happy to say there has been NO loss of momentum in the Exit State camp and in fact things are coming together fantastically with what we have lined up for 2012 already. :)
Did you already gathered some ideas for new songs?
Yes, we have as a matter of fact and interestingly enough was working on one of those ideas last night in the studio. We have a couple of new tracks together and we played one of them at our opening show of the current tour last week at our hometown venue of The Sanctuary Rock Bar, Burnley. We have plans to release a new album next year and on the strength of these two new songs we think it will kick everyone's arses. :)
You have a few shows in April, some with Fantasist. Glad you can play some shows before going on tour with Michael Schenker?
Definitely! Every band out there knows that you only become tighter by playing live shows, its just not possible to get that level of togetherness in a rehearsal room. Of course, you can ensure you know the set plan completely, but it's with playing live shows in front of fans that really strengthens a band so we are very happy to be playing a whole host of shows before we engage in the biggest tour support we have done to date.
You are to support Michael Schenker in the UK, what do you expect from the shows? Looking forward to share the stage with a living legend?
We simply cannot wait to get out there with Michael Schenker. As you say, the man is a legend in the field of rock/metal and has been the inspiration for a great deal of the greatest guitar players in our genre of all time. We are sure that people will really get onboard with the Exit State sound and we know we are going to really increase our visibility in our field by doing this tour its gonna be kick-ass! :)
Do you plan to do a vlog on tour? Give your fans a little look behind the scenes?
We are very much hoping to capture as much of the tour as possible and our fans should definitely look out for something of this nature in the near future although we are not sure they have the stomach for the shear madness that is behind the scenes Exit State hahahaha!!
Beside a festival in October in Belgium (and a Belgium show on March 31st) it's all UK shows, any chance you got to play continental Europe in 2012?
We are always looking to play in Europe as much as possible so make sure you throw this interview at our booking agent so they know we are ready to kick everyone's ass with rock music in Europe this year haha!
Social networking is getting more important every day, pleasure or pain?
A little bit of both I think. It is very important to be highly visible on the social networking sites, but by no means should actually replace getting out there and physically talking to your fans. It is great however, to stay in touch with people and chat with them to let them know how you are getting on and to let them really feel a part of the bands lives which they should after all, it's the fans who are the important ones here. However, constantly changing social sites and restrictions on how you generate events can be a pain its only really very relevant for bands at our level though I'm sure the Foo Fighters ain't creating a Facebook event invite! :) hahahaha
Do you have a YouTube channel? I haven't found something... Or is anything planned?
Yes we have had a YouTube channel for some time now - http://www.youtube.com/exitstate and that will give you access to all the videos we have out at present.
What are your plans for the 2nd half of 2012? What about 2013?
Our team is working on putting an Autumn/Winter UK and Europe tour together. We are also expecting to record a single and shoot a video for that single to help generate the buzz and promo for album No3.
2013 we intend to do exactly the same as 2012 and tour like hell hopefully with even more artists of Michael Schenkers profile. We will also be recording our 3rd album.