Interview with Stateside at NYC's Webster Hall

Monday, 25 June 2012 17:16 Sally Rosen - OFC Contributor

New York, NY - March 16 2012 - The eve of St. Patrick's Day in New York City, post-hardcore quintet known as Stateside met with OFC at landmark Webster Hall to chat abut the debut full-length album, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors. Following the success of their debut EP, this full-length album is quickly becoming one of the most highly-anticipated releases of the New York rock scene. The band talks about their Album Release party at NYC's Webster Hall Studio and some visceral aftermath. Read the band's perspective on the drug culture in the rock world and much more!

You can Purchase the album on iTunes

Consisting of Mike Tarry (vocals), Chip Su (guitar), Jeff Meiers (bass), Phil Zepeda (guitar), Eliran Malakov (drums), Stateside has already been featured on Reverb Nation's Top 20 charts for NYC Rock, ranking among huge names in rock such as Eve to Adam, Me Talk Pretty, and Pete Yorn. Fans of both pop-punk and hardcore will love their sound, which is reminiscent of The Ataris and Blink 182 mixed with the punk intensity of NOFX.

Please go to for more updates and check out the band's official website here:

Interview of Stateside took place at Webster Hall with Mike Tarry (lead vocals), Phil Zepeda (guitar) and Chip Su (guitar) March 16th in NYC

OFC: What was very interesting to me about Stateside is that the band has come along like a storm. The band just formed in 2011, is that correct?
Mike and Phil: That’s correct!

So, what’s your secret? How does a band mobilize so quickly?
Mike’s actually been in it since the beginning, which was I think about a year and a half ago.
Mike: Yeah, we did it coming off of another project that just didn’t end up working out for some reason, and Chip and I just sort of said, “Let’s do this; let’s make a new band so that we can go out and try to pursue this a little bit further.” So we formed Stateside, and everyone sort of met through different venues.
Phil: I actually found him on Craigslist, so I’m one of the newer members. I’ve been in it about a year now. Eliran, our drummer, has been with us for about 3-4 months. A lot of it has been the internet – things like Facebook…
Mike: Internet dating sites…(laughter)
Phil: Things like that have helped a lot for people to hear the music and to share it with their friends. That’s huge, so I think that’s a big part of how a lot of people are hearing about us.


Is Stateside signed with a label or are you unsigned?
We’re an unsigned band right now. Everything that’s sort of happened has been a blessing thanks to all the fans out there who have helped us get where we’re at right now. Hopefully we keep pushing on. We want to record another album eventually, hopefully do some touring with this one, and just put our music out there for the world to see because we love when people love our stuff.


Let’s talk about the new album. It’s a full-length album, “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors.” I understand there was an EP prior to that, and the debut was February 7th. Now we’re here at Webster Hall and you’re going to be playing this evening, but is this the night of your debut for the new album or did that take place before?
No that was actually on February 7th, so we played here at the same venue. There’s a lot of different lineup changes in that album, and it’s kind of music written by a bunch of different people, but it’s a great collection of songs and we’re really excited to get it out. People seem to really enjoy it and it’s been pretty well reviewed so far. Now we’re looking to start writing new music kind of with a more solid lineup.
Mike: And to answer your question, tonight is not the album release. (Phil then says “We’re playing here again”) We love this place. They love to have us back, and it’s a great place to come and centrally play in New York City. You’ve got Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island. You come in and it’s a centralized place where people can come from all over and you get a lot of good crowds and a lot of good kids coming in to experience new music and people they’ve never seen before. We like to put on the shows, and Chip helped us out a lot, he books the shows for us and that’s it, we ran from it.


I heard an interesting story when I was downstairs that something happened with Chip the night of the opening of the new album. Can you talk a little bit about what happened with Chip?
Somebody threw something, a cake, and the story according to Chip is that the candle somehow got lodged in his nose and caused him to have a bloody nose
Mike: That is just insane by the way.


(Chip walks in) Chip, we were just asking about the opening for “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors.” Did you break your nose? Any technical difficulties that evening?
Not really, it’s really a minor injury.
Phil: I just looked over and he was bleeding from his nose.

On stage?
Yes, it was on stage.


Kind of like Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off of the bat, and blood all over the place. It got a little visceral.
One of his interns made a birthday cake for one of his friends, it was their birthday at the time. One of his interns took the cake—there was a candle inside the cake still—and bashed it in his face and the candle got stuck in his face. He couldn’t take it out, hence the nosebleed.
Phil: No he did not do cocaine.


Back to the album, “Stand Clear of the Closing Door,” obviously you’re a New York band, the album cover art work looks like a subway. The name--Is there a story or message behind the album?
I think it’s something that fit perfectly fine and we did not know any big story or anything. I don’t know, what do you think?
Mike: I mean, I wanted to write the vocals and lyrics and sort of came up with the idea to put the sound bite in there because there’s this thing we hear every single day of our lives as we get into the trains and, it’s annoying, yeah, for sure, but it’s a New York thing. You know what it is if you’re from New York and when you hear it, automatically what you think about is home if that’s where you’re from. It sort of maybe a little bit glorified all the amenities that the city has to offer. Everything is a unique experience, from meeting strange people to seeing all the chaos going on around you and it’s everything I love about it.
Chip: I recently learned that there’s an octopus on the album cover. I don’t even know why that’s there.


As a New York band, Webster Hall is a regular gig for Stateside. I understand the band has also toured with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Burn Halo.
We did not tour with them, but we actually had a gig with them./
Mike: We opened up for Burn Halo and Red Jumpsuit. It was a good night. I think everybody had a lot of fun.
Phil: We’re going to be playing with another band that all of us really like, August Burns Red. It’s another big band and show that we’re looking forward to next week.
Mike: So August Burns Red--we have a great opportunity to play in front of a lot of people and we’re hoping to get out there and take them by storm. We’re going to convert everyone over to Stateside as possible.


Have you done any of the festivals? I think Stateside is a perfect fit for Warped Tour from what I’ve seen.
Honestly, we have been trying for years. One of my dreams since I was a kid is to play Warped Tour. But, it seems kind of hard to find connections to play warped tour right now.
Mike: We might end up doing some dates this year if we’re lucky, but definitely next year for sure. We sort of just came out of the box so we’re trying to, you know, give them a good run for their money.


I saw Stateside is described as post-hardcore. I’ve heard of metalcore and of course heavy metal. What is post-hardcore? That’s new to me.
It’s just a name that’s been given to a genre of music that is kind of like metal.
Mike: It’s like a hybrid. A hybrid of metal and pop punk fused into each other and I think that’s what people really like to listen to right now and we just happen to be able to write that kind of music. We didn’t really know what we were going to get ourselves into when we were writing our music. It just sort of happened and people ended up liking it.
Phil: We all grew up listening to New Found Glory and Blink 182. I personally love pop punk. I have a very strong emotional attachment to it because it came about at a time when I was in high school at 14 years old. You can say what you want about it but, I wanted to bring it back a little bit and sort of try and do something as an homage towards something that I love so much.


Recently on the news front is the untimely death of Whitney Houston and Mikey Welsh from the band Weezer. And last year Amy Winehouse…how does a band live in the rock star type of life avoid the pit falls of alcohol and drugs.
It’s an individual choice. If you’re going to succumb to that it’s going to happen whether you’re a musician or a lawyer or anybody. So ultimately it comes to your personal decision. It’s your responsibility how you live your life.
Mike: What do you like more? Do you like drugs or alcohol or music or what? I guess you have to learn how to control yourself if you want to be out there,  if you want to do anything professional.


As a band who’s made it big all through the internet, what do you think of some of the new tools that are coming out like Spotify and Pandora. Do you think they’re helping the bands or are they actually just Napsters ripping off the band’s music.
: If you think about it, there’s nothing you can do about pirating music anymore. Anywhere we can get your stuff to be played is an amazing tool. Pandora, Spotify, I would love to be uploaded onto those websites. You put in the band’s name and get to hear everyone that sounds like them. It’s a great thing to have and to use, and I think most of us actually listen to these things. I love them, that’s just my opinion
Phil: Without a doubt, it’s definitely helpful. It’s changed the entire music industry. Something like Napster for a local band and for a small band is one of the best things that can happen. At that point early on in any band’s career you’re just trying to get exposure and you’re trying to get distribution, so any kind of social tools like that—Pandora, Facebook, MySpace--anything that allows you to share the music is nothing but helpful. It’s not taking a hit out of any revenue or anything like that.


Do you have a personal message for your fans?  Anything you’d like to impart?
Thank you so much for coming to the shows and for telling your friends about us, for listening to the music, and for giving us a chance. We really appreciate it.
Mike: I just want to tell everyone to get that name out there: Stateside. It’s going to be around for a while. We’re not going anywhere and if you want to listen to good music and not just hear the same bullshit over and over again, you know where to come.
Chip: We’re actually trying to write a new album too this year, so hopefully it’s something that will keep us going. We’ll try to do better than last summer of course.

special thanks to Alana Dresner - OFC Contributor

Last Updated on Monday, 11 March 2013 22:08