ONE WAY STATE interview

On June 10th we did a quick chat with ONE WAY STATE, a Canadian rock band worth checking out. These guys have just released their new EP entitled “The Right Time”, a must for all of you that prefer the emotionally driven side of rock music.

Hey, guys. How are you? Can you please introduce yourself for those who may not be fully aware of what ONE WAY STATE is?

We’re doing great! :) Thanks for asking! Hope you’re doing awesome too!
 ONE WAY STATE is a Canadian alternative rock band based out of Edmonton, Alberta. We love making sweet music and we hope everyone else digs it too. Listen for yourself at I’m Cody Mack. I sing and play guitar, and I write the lyrics. Nick Moir is our lead guitarist. Brandon Thomas plays bass, and Charley Jeske plays drums.

Awesome. You caught me in the middle of cheering up for the Polish team on Euro 2012 [smiles]
Please tell us how did the band get together.

Nick and I have been in bands together for years, when I used to play bass. We eventually found that we had great chemistry and started our own band with me as a singer. Found Brandon and Charley through various classifieds and sheer coincidence/destiny.

We’d love to hear about your local music scene, venues, festivals, bands and events that keep it going over there. Tell us how it looks like from your point of view.

The Canadian music scene, and Edmonton in particular, is very diverse. Indie rock from Canada has hardened into an underground gem over the years, and there has always been a healthy punk scene in Edmonton. We’re hoping to ride the crest of the indie rock wave. Festivals like Boonstock and Sonic Boom have brought all kinds of mainstream acts to the area, with a few healthy doses of eclecticism.

Do you only play non-commercial venues, within the DIY circuit? Do your shows feature bands of different genres?

ONE WAY STATE has more of a mainstream sound than most bands in Edmonton, so we usually play the higher profile venues, like The Pawn Shop and The Starlite Room. But we like to mix it up with smaller, more intimate venues like The Artery and Brixx every now and then. Most local promoters in Canada like to diversify the bills they build to maximize draw. As a result, bands from different genres get the opportunity to network and expand fan bases into new territory.

Personally, what’s the furthest you go outside your music genre? Do you go to hardcore, punk or metal shows?

If ONE WAY STATE fits in to any of those three, it would be punk, but that’s a very, very loose comparison. ;) Personally, I tend to like more melodic stuff, but the franticness of punk has always had a piece of my ear. It conveys emotions that not many other genres can convey effectively.

What inspires you to create your music? Who are some of your favourite artists?

Personal experiences mostly, especially when it comes to lyrics. I credit guys like MORRISSEY, PAUL WELLER, KELLY JONES of STEREOPHONICS, NOEL GALLAGHER and JOHN K. SAMSON of THE WEAKERTHANS for paving the way for me. Musically, I think RADIOHEAD, THE CHILI PEPPERS, DAVE MATTHEWS, and indie bands like THE JAYHAWKS, THE WEAKERTHANS, and THE SMITHS play a pretty big part in our list of influences. Throw some BLINK-182 and Rush of Blood-era COLDPLAY in there too.

Ok, about the songwriting process, what is your band’s role in expressing a certain message? Do you try to affect change for people out there?

For the most part, we like to portray a positive image, and messages of hope. Songs like Riot and The Right Time from our newest record paints those kinds of pictures. Lyrically, I like to show the bright side, but there are times that I go into darker waters, like Cycle. I’m not afraid to go into subjects that make some uncomfortable. I wrote a song about the decline of Western civilization a while back, and there has been a few angry/fearful people who don’t particularly like that kind of talk, but whatever. The lines between art and opinion tend to blur,
whether you want them to or not.

Cool. You’ve just released “The Right Time” EP. About how long has it been in development? Was it a struggle to finish it?

The making of any record is never an easy task. Most of the struggle was writing it, which happened over most of 2011. Recording wasn’t a cakewalk, either, but our good chemistry and desire to make something awesome got us through it.

How was it received? How do you measure the popularity of the outing?

Reception so far has been mostly positive, with emphasis on all six songs, depending on who you ask. We’re still looking for more reviews to broaden the opinion a bit.

Are there any plans for a full-length album?

I suppose it depends on how well “The Right Time” does. ;) But I think we’ll start writing new material for another release sometime in the first half of 2013. Whether it’s a full-length or an EP is still up in the air, unless one of the Big Three comes calling!

You’re playing some single shows in June and July. Where have you been touring so far? What’s been your experience as a touring band? Any plans for a national/international trek?

There’s a Cross-Canadian tour in the works as we speak – September thru December 2012 is the target. We’ve concentrated our focus on Canada due to it being more economical for us to tour, but hopefully some positive reviews and press will open some doors for us to tour other countries. It would be rad to get to England and Europe someday.

What about the challenges of being in ONE WAY STATE? Will you survive off your music? Can you talk about making ends running a band?

Again, it depends on how well we do with our current release, but we manage to pay the bills with what we’re doing now. Every cent we make is invested directly back into the band. As far as we’re concerned: if we can draw a decent living from ONE WAY STATE someday, it would be a dream come true.

Thanks! Any final words of wisdom?

Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, and please be good to each other. Thanks for having us!!!

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