As I frantically down a flaming volcano drink from a well kept secret pirate bar and quickly devour a 16-dollar fish and chips, I find myself with just enough time to make it to this California DIY show. A small quaint art gallery named the Honey Hive, located in west San Francisco hosts a number of Bay Area hardcore bands. One of which being State Faults, a band I had a brief encounter with two summers ago on a short run of shows up the east coast with my old band, but they had seemed inactive since then. Their ambient screamo fills the tiny space of one of the only all ages spots in the area. There is a feeling of passion and devotion in the crowd of the unfamiliar west coast scene that I find myself part of for the evening. I was able to catch up with the guys after their set and discuss art, music, and Final Fantasy.
What have you all been up to recently? Seems like you took some time off in the past year or so.
Jonny Ross: Yeah, we did. We kind of took a break and worked on a different side project (Slow Bloom) for a bit. It was the three of us plus Timmy from Strike to Survive but then Timmy had to leave and it was back to the three of us again. And at that point we kind of missed State Faults. We decided to get back into doing more shows and we’re slowly getting back into the swing of things
Jared Wallace: After Slow Bloom, we kind of took a break, more of a break, kind of chilling out and feeling other things out because being broke is tough.
JR: It’s a morale killer for sure.
Michael Weldon: Yeah, it sucks! We kind of had to regroup and get re-inspired.
JR: And regroup and re-inspired we got! And did!
Are you guys getting back at it?
JR: We are getting back into doing shows regularly. Slowly working our way back up into touring. We have 3 California dates with The Saddest Landscape in October, so that’ll be cool.
JW: We were trying to do a tour with them about a year ago but our schedules didn’t really lineup.
JR: And we’re poor.
JW: And we’re poor. So that didn’t work out ’til now.
You all are currently on No Sleep Records, but what was the process for originally working with prominent North Carolina label, Tiny Engines, which is on the total opposite coast?
JR: Well, when we recorded our EP ‘Head in the Clouds’ we did that ourselves and were really pumped and sent out to as many music blogs as we could to just get it out there. And one of those music blogs (Sound Is Language) was run by Will from Tiny Engines, and he liked it and ended up emailing us asking if we were writing anymore. At the time we were really stoked he was emailing us because they had put out stuff from Tigers Jaw and Cast Of It.
MW: And later stuff by Cayetana and other really, really tight bands.
JR: We were really stoked on it and we sent him just about every song off of ‘Desolate Peaks’ in demo form. We finally met them a year later on the east coast for I Got Brains Fest and a show in Charlotte at Tremont Music Hall with you guys (Oddczar). Chuck looks like Dane Cook in dad form.
JW: And Will looks like Garth without the hair in the most flattering way possible.
Now as a 3 piece, is it easier to function both in the writing process and in general band management?
JR: It’s not really easier because the dynamic has changed and now we are trying to write more intricate, off time stuff, so it’s actually a little bit slower. But the stuff we are writing is the craziest most technical stuff we’ve written.
MW: I got demoted to bass. But when Johnny and I played in high school that’s what I started off playing so I feel very comfortable.
Any new gear you guys are really stoked on recently?
JR: Oh dude, we get new gear all the time. The Ampeg VT-40 is my favorite amp I’ve ever played ever. I think its a forever amp. It’s really dark because I crank it and turn up the mids. Then the Mosfet Marshall is really bright and I’m very stoked on those together.
MW: I have a Limited Edition Epiphone Ripper. That’s my justification, a limited edition run! It’s pretty cool.
JR: I read its one of two hundred made.
I liked how badass you were at the end when you dropped your bass.
Michael: Oh thanks, that was part of me trying to be cool and part of me feeling like I needed to throw up and get out of there.
As avid gamers, are there any favorite new games you’ve been playing?
MW: The main thing I’ve been doing recently, and Johnny has been helping me with this, I restarted Final Fantasy 10, and started from the beginning with characters I haven’t used before. And it’s pretty lame because I’ve played it a bunch but at the same time its cool because its different. The main thing I’ve using Rikku for those who are familiar with Final Fantasy.
JR: She kicks so much ass!
MW: I’ve currently sunk 43 hours into it, which is embarrassing because I live with my girlfriend.
JR: But not only has it been 43 hours but its only been a week since you started.
MW: My girlfriend will be gone all day and come home and be like, “what are you doing?” (laughs)
JW: The last Final Fantasy I’ve played was 13. I’m not as big of a gamer as Michael but lately I’ve been replaying Portal 2.
(This is the part where bystanders overhear us talking about Final Fantasy and the conversation took a turn into a FF pow-wow for a portion of the time)
What can we expect from you guys coming up?
JR: Finishing this record and hopefully touring more. We’d like to hook up with some cool bands. We’re out of the hiatus.
MW: I feel like all of us are all pretty inspired and are having fun.
JR: There is a new fresh breath of air in the band.
MW: Its called Jared’s breath.
JR: Next record, ‘Jared’s Breath.’