Interview: The Stereo State talks new record and future plans

Interview: The Stereo State talks new record and future plans

Dying Scene recently got a chance to sit down with the Massachusetts based 90’s punk influenced band, The Stereo State. Last week we posted a very favorable review of their newest record entitled “Caffeine, Beer and Quoting Movies” and wanted to see the band behind the recording. You can read the review here. In this interview, we cover their influences, what’s in store for 2011 and other fun questions such as what their dream tour would be. If you’re not into this band yet, it’s time to get familiar. This is The Stereo State.

You can read the interview here.

So before we begin, why don’t you say who you are and what you do in The Stereo State…

Andy: My name is Andrew “Uncie Dave” Frongillo…and I sing.

Brandon: I’m Brandon Spence and play drums like a man

Gabe: My name is Gabe Griffin, I play guitar and sing in the shower sometimes.

Matt: My name is Matthew Spence, and I “slap’pa da bass, mon”…I mean, play bass.

You guys just dropped your newest EP entitled “Caffeine, Beer and Quoting Movies “. Can you

tell us a little bit about the recording of this record?

Brandon: We recorded it with Jay Maas who is just a beast. And when he is not on Facebook or AIM he

works his dick off and I’ve been known to get him to party just as hard.

Andy: Maas is the Boss.

Matt: Yeah, we did it with Jay at Getaway Studios in Wakefield, MA. Our last bands had been doing

records with him for many years. We did our demo with him in 2008, and we recorded this during a week in January 2010.

Gabe: We had 4-5 songs that we cut out. We felt these songs really went well together, and had a

consistent theme. “Spit Hot Fire” was written a week before, maybe? It almost didn’t make it on the

record. We had some late second guessing on it, but I’m pumped that it made it on there.

What are some of the themes dealt with on this release?

Matt: This record is essentially all about coping with and accepting change. Our last band came

to an abrupt halt in 2008 when the bass player of that band started using heroin. We only found

out about him using after he gave some to a friend who overdosed with it and he lost his life. It

completely crushed us and our band. We wrote this record in 2009 around that and similar themes.

The songs “There Is No U In Team” and “Blood Ran Cold” are specifically about that scenario.

Brandon: I was gunna say something funny, but Matt spoke well about it before me.

Andy: We are all in our mid to late 20’s so life as we know continues to change more and more every

day. As Matt stated, there was a specific situation but we felt the lyrics overall are pretty easy to relate

too for someone in our age range.

Gabe: I think that we had all been through a lot the last few years, both together and personally. I think

you can hear that on the record. We’re always going to make each other laugh and help each other get

back on our feet and I hope that comes through as well.

There’s a lot of great influences seeping through this record but I’d like to know what influences

you guys musically?

Matt: So much, hahaha!! What comes through the most is a mix of that 90’s Epitaph/FatWreck sound

with other bands like Samiam, Farside, and so on.

Andy: Matt hit the nail on the head, but also 90’s Lookout Records, No Idea Records, Victory Records 95-

01, and Megadeth.

Brandon: Sam and Dave, and the O’Jays.

Gabe: More Metallica than Megadeth, Uncie Dave’s just a little biased. I think everything from The

Beatles, to Dinosaur Jr, to ALL. We’re all pretty well balanced with what we listen to; there are not many

arguments in the van about what to listen to.

What’s in store for TSS in 2011?

Gabe: Writing, writing, breaking bad season 4.

Matt: We’re spending all our time this winter writing for our first full length that will be release

sometime in 2011. We’re keeping quiet on album title, studios, producer, and label until next year. We

couldn’t be more psyched!

Brandon: We are indeed being semi quiet about it, but there will be a full length mid 2011. That’s kind

of all we can say right now. We will have some pretty heavy hitters working with us and featured on the

record, so look out for that. As far as names I was thinking “Roger”, “Bark At The Moon”, or “Bark At The

Moon, Roger”. If it’s not one of these, there will be a new drummer in TSS.

Andy: We are also trying to find the time to record 2 songs for a split with Headaches from Brisbane,

Australia to be released on Arrest Records Australia. Check them out at:


So future tour plans?

Brandon: I saw this portable toilet thing that I need to buy. You just fold out the legs and make the

magic happen. And as long as I get that I’ll go anywhere. I eat a tremendous amount of hotsauce, so the

worst part about tour is having to take shits in disgusting places

Matt: At some point next year we will be doing a west cost run with Heartsounds (Epitaph). I want to

make sure we get out to the Midwest too, because we haven’t been out there yet.

Andy: We are crossing our fingers that we can do a UK and/or an Australian tour .

Gabe: For sure. We’re just hoping for new spots and new ears.

Any other things you want to put out there?

Gabe: Hi mom!

Andy: Keep your ear to the street for the next Grandmaster Frong record!

Matt: We’re finally launching a webstore in 2011, look out for that!

Brandon: I’m in another band called Alibaba. So hopefully when we get our shit together we will have an ep possibly titled “save ya drama for obama”. It’s extremely heavy.

:::::::::FUN QUESTIONS::::::::: (Let it ride boys)

How many games will the Pats win this year?

Brandon: Call me now for ya free readin!

Gabe: 16, and Brady cuts the mop at Disneyland…finally.

East Coast or West Coast?

Matt: ECFU

Gabe: East Coast. Anyone who knows pizza will agree.

How’d you pick the name The Stereo State?

Gabe: Matt pulled the shortest straw.

Matt: It was actually one name on a list of about 100 other names we were choosing from. I initially

thought of the name after reading a pretty interesting article about sleep studies involving music and

sleeping with the stereo on.

Favorite meal ever?

Andy: Chicken Korma with Garlic Naan from Rang Indian Bistro in Stoneham, MA.

Brandon: Authentic Jamaican Patties at Golden Krust. Don’t try them anywhere else. Middle aged

white people should not be trying to make curry goat.

Dream tour?

Andy: Ok…us, Good Riddance, Reach The Sky and Ignite US Tour, and then Europe with Lifetime, Battery

& Dillinger Four.

Matt: Opening for: All (or Descendents), Lagwagon, A Wilhelm Scream, and None More Black.

Brandon: Up in Smoke Tour! I think I speak for all of us when I say we’d each give a testicle to do a song

with Nate Dogg. I’d give both if someone wasn’t willing to give one up.

Gabe: European festivals with: NOFX, Billy Bragg, The Slackers, Less Than Jake, and Sick Of It All.

Victory Records 96 or No Idea Records 2000?

Brandon: Death Row Records, early-mid 90’s.

Gabe: California Takeover??? Victory!

Andy: Victory 1998-2001.

Matt: As crucial of a role that Victory Style cassettes played to me in my life, I gotta go No Idea.

Do blondes have more fun?

Matt: Not in my bed. I’ve always liked them just fine, but I’ll take the brunette 8 days a week.

Brandon: Who likes blondes? If the hair ain’t dark, get to walkin’ like a shark! Do our dance with us!

{The whole band stands up to start dancing and singing!!)

TSS: “Now do that Gator Walk! Shark Walk!…baby do that Gator Walk! Shark Walk!

Favorite type of hot sauce?

Matt: TSS FACT #32: Brandon always carries more than 1 type of hot sauce everywhere he goes.

Brandon: True. Also, I will be making my own next year in very limited batches.

Best band out there not hyped?

Matt: The Snips,

Brandon: Absolutely, The Snips.

Andy: Capital.

Gabe: I would agree with Capital, can’t stop listening to Homefront.

2010 Record Label of the Year goes to………?

Matt: Topshelf Records!

Brandon: Topshelf, all day!

Gabe: Paper and Plastick.

Andy: “Yankees of Punk Rock”….Paper + Plastick!

Favorite Late Nite Wars song?

Andy: Death By Routine

Matt: When they cover The Stryder, haha just kidding. Truthfully, the only song I have from them on my

iPod is “Pub Crew“, so I have to go with that.

Brandon: We like early morning wars, aka “FARTWARS”. It’s the fart game son, you’ll play it someday.

Gabe: The Cool Thing To Do.

Should MTV still exist?

Andy: Yes, it helps me stay a misanthropic male.

Brandon: If I wanna watch a bunch of guidos interact, I’ll go to golds gym in Chicopee.

Do you have PMA?

Andy: Yes, it is tattooed on my wrist, my first tattoo ever. I fucking love Bad Brains!

Brandon: I have PMS if I don’t get a strong drink in me by the time the sun goes down.

Who drew the cover of the record?

Matt: Kenny “Cat Burglar” Stewart.

Andy: Ken’s the best. Also listen to his band Great Lakes!!!

Thoughts on the Merrimack Valley?

Andy: MVHC!!

Matt: The people and the bands have been amazing to us, thank you!

Will you cover a Farside song for my Bday?

Andy: Yup!!! “I Hope Your’re Unhappy” or “Search For Ourselves”

Matt: I’d rather “Seven Day Constant” or “The Fashionable Rebellion”. I really want to hear Andy sing

the latter.

Why am I obsessed with “Whalesounds”?

Brandon: Did you not hear FartWars?

Andy: Wow, thanks Troy, that’s very kind of you to say and it’s quite flattering.

Gabe: It really makes me happy to see this song has already hit a number of people this strongly. We can

only thank you and those others for giving us a listen. We love playing it.

Matt: That song is so brutally honest that it makes me uncomfortable. Andy has a way writing about

very real things.

Speaking of “FartWars”, could you explain what that song is all about?

Andy: “It all begin, ions ago….ions and ions ago….”

Brandon: IAN!!!!

Gabe: Hahaha, basically the first morning we woke up while recording that record Brandon and I were

farting on each other. It became a war to stink out the enemy. Then Andy started singing about it.

Matt: After we finished drum tracks, Brandon randomly played drums to that basic melody Andy

was singing and we recorded it. We just made up the riffs and vocals the same way you hear them.

FartWars didn’t fit on the vinyl, but it’s all over the internet for download (like everything).

Shout Outs! (Give Em’)

Brandon: Buy the record and read the thankslist.

Gabe: Hi Mom!

Matt: Extra special thanks to a few people who believe in this band and allowed this record to happen

the way it did, Jay Maas, Corey Auger from NTR, Mike Poulin, Kevin and Seth @ TSR, Jeff Lynch, Travis

Martin, and Ken Stewart. Thanks to everyone supporting us, you know who you are!!

Andy: Listen to: After The Fall, Hostage Calm, The Flatliners, Make Do And Mend, Iron Chic,

Heartsounds, The Snips, Let Me Run, Rust Belt Lights, The Casting Out, Caleb Lionheart, Maker, Defeater,

Daybreaker, The Prozacs, Timeshares, Kill Conrad, The Carrier, Transit, Seahaven, The Fake Boys,

Banquets, Great Lakes, Form & File, Late Nite Wars, and Mountain Man.

Thanks guys, you’re the best. Now everyone go pick up this record!

Interview done by iTroy

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