1. Where did the name State Lights come from?
A friend of ours came up with it actually! He put the two words together and googled it and found that amazing aerial photos of cities came up. We thought this suited the expansive sound of the music and we went with it.
2. What inspired each of you to get into music? Is it always something you have had an interest in?
We all had particular moments in our lives when we knew this way of life was for us. Personally one of my earliest memories of music and performance was a video tape of Riverdance that my grandparents showed me, believe it or not. I was about three at the time and I can never remember wanting to do anything else!
3. What has been each of your favourite live gigs to date? (Both attending and performing!)
Performing would have to be our last headline gig when we sold out Whelans main room. It was an incredible feeling and such a special atmosphere. And attending would be Future Islands in Iveagh Gardens.
4. Is there anywhere in the world that you haven’t been that you would like to visit?
I haven’t been to America yet actually! Very much look forward to travelling there with the band.
5. Mental health in the music industry is a very prevalent issue, yet it is also a very taboo topic. How do you manage your mental health while working in the music industry?
The music industry can be a tough place at times and can take a massive toll on mental health. As a band it is an issue we sing about and write about regularly, so that helps to keep our feelings in check. We hold it as a value to always check in with each other about how we are doing in our personal lives. And personally speaking, my personal faith helps me to endure challenges that the industry throws at me.
6. Do you believe the music industry has become more accepting towards the LGBTQ community?
Yes absolutely. At one point pop singers were encouraged to hide their true selves in order to maintain their fans. That is much more rare now in the industry. Though it still was a big decision for me to write about my sexuality and put it in our video for our song ‘Freedom’. After I did it though I had no regrets, as I felt much happier being fully honest publically.
7. Have you ever had any crazy fan experiences?!
Good question! State Lights fans are always really lovely but I actually have! I was once followed in town at a not very discreet distance for about 20 mins by a fan and had to hop on a bus to get away!
8. How are you coping at the moment with Covid-19? Do you find that it has a negative effect on ye as a band?
It has been a challenge for sure. It has changed everything in the industry. No more gigs, which is very sad, but extremely necessary to protect our most vulnerable. Everything is online at the minute, but we have had some lovely reactions to home performance videos we’ve put up which has been lovely.
9. We’ve been following your self isolation videos during lockdown! (Great videos!) Do you find that doing these helps to distract you during this time? Is there anything else you are doing to keep yourself occupied?
Ah thank you! Yes we enjoy them greatly too. It still allows us to interact with our followers and keep people entertained, which is our job! I’ve been doing a lot of writing, running and drinking the occasional bottle of wine…
10. You have played support slots to big Irish bands such as The Academic and The Riptide Movement. Is there anyone who you haven’t supported that you’d really love to?!
Yes loads! I would personally love to support Future Islands, Keane, The Killers, Coldplay and many more.
11. Who are your musical influences as a band? Do they differ between members or are they similar?
They differ quite a lot. My influences were acts like Queen, Bruce Springsteen and U2. Joe loved Green Day a lot, which got him into playing guitar. Paul loved Blink 182 and Noel loved acts like Muse and Placebo. But the general theme of what we all like is big arena rock pop.
12. If you weren’t musicians, what other career paths would you like to follow?
If I were to guess, Joe would be a teacher, Paul would be an electrician, I have no idea what Noel would be to be honest! I’d probs be a priest haha! No I’m joking, I would probably pursue acting.
13. Do you find it difficult in the music industry with so many young bands/artists, or is there a good sense of camaraderie between ye?
There is generally good camaraderie with a sprinkle of subtle competition! But most acts you come across in this country are great people.
14. Tell us something about you that nobody knows?!
I have a deep and almost irrational hatred of very windy days haha!
15. Have you any upcoming gigs/releases we should know about?
We have a new release coming out on May 8th in fact, it’s just about to be announced! And we are playing the Button Factory on Oct 15th, if restrictions allow it that is!
To check State Lights out, please take a look at their social links below! Don’t forget to give them a like/follow.