The Explosive Reveries of City State
The Explosive Reveries of City State
Michigan metalcore quartet City State recently presented their new 5-track EP Violent Bodies via Famined Records – and it’s a dynamic collection of songs that should garner the band a good amount of recognition. With lyrics that discuss dark themes such as mental descent, guilt, and loss, combined with vibrantly powerful sonic interludes, City State unveil an intriguing and emotional darkness. It’s a hard-hitting EP to be sure, and it’s certainly one that genre fans will want to revisit time and again. Highwire Daze recently caught up with guitarist / vocalist Logan Jahr to find out a whole lot more about the explosive reveries of City State. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in City State, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Logan, I play guitar and do most of the cleans. We also have Duncan, our screamer, Parker, our bassist, and Daniel, our drummer. We’ve been playing together since 2018.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
The band is based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The local scene there is still recovering from Covid, but things are starting to move again. A couple years ago the local scene was great so hopefully we can get back to that point soon.
How did you wind up signing with Famined Records?
Famined reached out to us after we released our debut EP, Finding Solace in Loss back in 2018. We already had some new material that they were able to listen to and we felt that they would be a good fit to release the new music with.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Violent Bodies EP title?
Violent Bodies is about the violence or harm we intentionally or unintentionally inflict on the ones we love. The EP mainly focuses on emotional violence, but physical violence is also touched on a bit. We wanted to tell stories that felt real and complicated. There are no good guys and bad guys in the stories we told on the EP, because even well-intentioned people can do serious damage to others.
Select two songs from Violent Bodies and what inspired the lyrics and/or music.
Haven is about what it takes to get through the grief process. It asks the question, “Do we have to give up the memories and the feelings we had for the ones we love in order to move on without them? Or can our loved ones coexist with us in our heads?”
Stasis is about pushing a significant other away. The two sides still have feelings, but the relationship is toxic. The speaker in the song comes to that realization and tries to explain that things have to end even though they still have strong feelings.
Who produced Violent Bodies and what was it like working with them?
We worked with Lee Albrecht on this EP. We’ve worked with him on everything we’ve released since the beginning of the band so the process is very natural at this point.
Who did the cover art for Violent Bodies and how much input did you have on it?
Eventide Designs did the cover. We had a basic concept, but we let him have the final creative and artistic say so we could develop a product that we were all happy with.
What was it like opening for The Plot In You and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
All of us love The Plot in You, and they are a big influence of ours, so it was great to open for them. Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to meet any of them but that was okay.
If City State could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
My personal choice would be Northlane. They are huge trendsetters in the genre, they put on a killer live show, and I think that our two sounds would work well together.
If the music of City State was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
It would probably be a jelly donut. There’s a lot of depth to the atmosphere and easter eggs in the lyrics that you’ll only find if you look closely.
What do you hope 2022 brings for City State?
We’re hoping that things start going back to normal. We’d like to play shows regularly and maybe hit the road if we can in 2022.
Any final words of wisdom?
Treat people kindly. You never know what they’re going through. Violent Bodies is all about the damage we do to others, and we have to do the best we can to limit that.
(Interview by Ken Morton)