Breaking Through | 5 Questions with Children Of The State

We caught up with John McCullagh from Children of the State to learn some more about the 5-piece band from Northern England making waves with their brand of fuzzy-indie-rock that possesses a familiar retro groove, echoing the more melodic surf-rock of the '60s.
Posted: 20 April 2020 Words: Chris Hartmann

For fans of, SHEAFS, The Mysterines and Cabbage. Children of the State present themselves as a blend of smooth and anthemic vintage rock which is equidistant between the glam rock of the 70s and sunny nostalgia of the 60s, with a hint of electronica added in for good measure. The band consists of John McCullagh (Vocals), Nathan Keeble (Guitar), Corey Clifton (Bass Guitar), Harry Eland (Keys), and Conor O'Reilly (Drums). 

Check out the latest track from Children of the State, 'Big Sur'.

Who inspired you to start making music? 
"Gotta be (Bob) Dylan, my dad brought me up on a steady diet of spinach, Bob Dylan and Black Sabbath, after seeing Dylan in the face paint on my dads old DVDs I knew I wanted to transcend, to be something larger than life. So I quit school and decided to pursue music and only music."

What is your favourite song to perform?
"My personal favourite is 'How Right You Are' - we end on this song quite often and it always goes well with the crowd, the strings sound on the keys and the wall of sound they created positioned above the guitars fills the room with pure emotion."  

What is the best song you’ve heard this year and why? 
"Predictable, but it's gotta be 'Murder Most Foulthe new Dylan song, 17 minutes of a hyper-observational onslaught on the American Dream. It's the sound of a very wise man transcending, looking back at life in while a rocking chair creaks."

How would you describe your creative process? 
"Usually, me (John) and Nathan our guitarist collaborate by one of us either presenting lyrics or a melody to the other - sometimes songs come out of nowhere sometimes they can require a little more work digging them out psychologically but then everybody in the band has an input when it's brought to the rehearsal room." 

What is the best advice you’ve been given?
"The best advice I've ever been given was from Richard Hawley when I supported him on my solo project, he simply said don't give up, never give up. That was the sort of encouragement I needed at this stage of my life and it really resonated with me."

Find out more about Children Of The State, here

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