Meet Richie Arthur of States & Capitals
States & Capitals is an indie pop rock project presented by mastermind Richie Arthur, and the music found within is sure to intrigue the senses set the imagination in flight. The band has opened for the likes of The Ready Set and The Summer Set, and recently completed a two week cross country tour, concluding at the world famous Chain Reaction supporting With Confidence.
Creations & Memories is the name of States & Capitals’ debut EP, a collaborative production effort between Richie Arthur and Jonathan Roye (Owl City, Forever The Sickest Kids). Featuring the spiraling single Drive among its collection of captivating tunes, Creations & Mememories is sure to leave an indelible impression on all who take the time to discover its reflective lyrics and rapturous melodies. Right after the States & Capitals set, we caught up with Richie Arthur in the patio area of Chain Reaction to discover a whole lot more about this band on the rise. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in States & Capitals and how long the band has been together?
My name is Richie Arthur, I play guitar and sing in States & Capitals. I’ve been going for a long time but officially since August we put out our first debut single. So August 2017 was really the debut of States & Capitals.
How long have you been out here in Los Angeles? I know you used to be based in New Jersey.
Yeah, I grew up born and raised in New Jersey then moved out to Los Angeles like a year and a half ago, two years almost. Loving it, man. It’s great.
What do you think of the local music scene out here?
It’s cool, man. A lot different than Jersey. Jersey had a very tight scene for a while and then it kind of died off and all the guys either grew up or moved away. Everything out here is just so diverse and so many different bands playing with other different bands. You go to one show and it’s just the same genre, it’s very diverse. That’s what I love. States & Capitals – it’s not one genre, it’s all over the place. That’s what I love, I love playing with all different types of bands. It’s great, man. Everyone is hustling out here.
You’ve been on tour. How has that been going and what are some of the highlights?
It’s been great. We started the tour about 2 weeks ago, this is only the first part. We’re going to do the Creations & Memories tour all year. The first leg, actually tonight was the last night. It’s been great. Id say tonight was really the highlight, I think this was the greatest way to end it. People really reacted well, we’re not very well known yet so it felt good – feeling like we’re well known. It seems the kids really took a liking to the music. We also played in Nashville a few days ago which was really cool. It was at City Winery, which is a great venue. I’m gonna say tonight was the highlight, for sure. It was a lot of fun.
Is there an overall story or concept behind the title Creations & Memories?
Yeah, it’s basically about the whole process of leading up to here. I’ve been playing music since I was 7 and looking back, every day you’re creating and it is all memories. You wake up the next day and it’s gone, it’s in your head and it’s a memory. So I feel like the journey we’re on, it’s all about creating and it all turns into memories. I felt it was a good way to debut the first record, basically straight to the point about what we do. It happens with everybody. Everyday we’re creating music, we’re creating live shows – we’re creating just almost like a fanbase as well. I think it’s straight to the point.
We create and then it turns into a memory and you’re always growing, never stopping. It’s cool looking back and seeing how we got here and how the songs have developed. I’ve been doing this, like I said, for a long time but – we just put this stuff out starting in August. It seems like it’s being created in the moment, but for us it’s a memory already. Everything in the future is gonna be memories so we’re just creating every day.
The song “Drive.” What’s the story behind the lyrics?
Just about being a little too attached to something and feeling like you’re very dependent on something. You realize you need to take a step back and you need to not be so dependent on things. Just relax, enjoy the ride and don’t put your eggs in one basket and feel like you need something to have a passion for something. You really don’t. If you love something, you love it. That’s it. Just take a step back and just go with the flow, man. It’s about going with the flow, and letting go of anything that you felt too dependent on or too attached to. I felt it was a good opener for the band, it explains how basically what life was like for a while and how these songs came about. It’s just one big story. I think that has a very core meaning behind the rest of the EP.
The first song you performed live is also the first song on the record. “Higher” – any story behind the lyrics? “Try again. I’m buying these pills for a friend. Depression can slightly offend…”Tell me about that.
I have a little bit of a past with stuff that’s a little too – you shouldn’t have a past with. You can’t change that, so the song is about getting too high on yourself. It doesn’t have to be drugs, it can be anything – just life or anything you’re doing. It’s saying you don’t care about this thing is, as long as its taking your higher and making you feel alive. It’s very straightforward, for sure [laughs]. It’s not really candy coated. It’s very straight to the point. It was written a little while ago, things are different now. It’s very straight to the point, it’s about – is it breaking me? I don’t really care, it’s just taking me higher. Could be about anything.
If the music of States and Capitals was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
Glazed. Because it’s very straight to the point and plain, but it’s got that little sprinkle on top. It’s got that little frosting on top, I should say. Its very straight to the point lyrically and even the chords and structure is very basic, but then we throw in the synths and throw in the ambient guitars and throw in very tasteful things. So, that was easy to answer actually. [laughs]
If you could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Now, The Night Game – this dude Martin. He’s become a good friend of mine, but growing up he was my idol and he was in a band called Boys Like Girls. His new project is amazing and I love every song, and he’s grinding. Honestly – it’s not a huge band, but I just fall in love with everything he puts out. He’s always been my idol and that would be a great tour for me. It would come full circle for me. I started writing music because I heard one of his songs back in the day.
What’s up next for States & Capitals?
We go back home tonight. We’ve been on the road for two weeks, we came straight from Texas to this one. We did 16 hours yesterday, stopped in Phoenix and then 6 hours today. So its a lot of driving. We go home, chill, I’ll start writing a little more. I’m always writing. We’re going to do a lot of off-shows over the spring. Just random cities, random bands we’re playing with and then in the summer we go on tour, and we have some dates we can’t announce yet but we have some pretty cool stuff going on this summer. Keep checking the live events, we’ll definitely be going everywhere in the US this summer.
(Review and Photos by Ken Morton)
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