The Heavenly States are Ted Nesseth, Jeremy Gagon, Genevieve Gagon and Masanori Mark Christianson. A Minnesota lefty born of humble means, frontman/lyricist Ted Nesseth plays his guitar upside down and backwards because he taught himself to play on his friends' guitars. Not wanting to wait to learn how to play straight ensured that he'd have an inexorable ticket to a certain kind of sound that was well-suited to the punk Minneapolis scene he came up in. From there, his impatience and sponge-like nature has led him to produce a range of music. A surprising, wired, sometimess livid, comedic improvisateur, Ted delivers memorable and unexpected evenings.
Jeremy Gagon, drummer/instrumentalist, grew up in an offbeat, highly edited version of the "military family" in Virginia and Georgia. He leapt from Van Halen to jazz in his teens and became a student of music, philosophy and horror, studying with Ed Soph, Henry Okstel and Ron Fink at the University of North Texas. With a flexible and adaptive style he drives as much as he rides The Heavenly States song.
Genevieve Gagon, lyricist/instrumentalist is a pop ascetic who abandoned virtuosity for the thrill of sketching unsentimental songs in coal. A student of music and letters at various institutions across the land including two highschools and seven universities, she collected a number of degrees before the well ran dry.
Masanori Mark Christianson, bass/instrumentalist is the most recent member of the band and the one the others were waiting for. Cordial and approachable, a visual artist and amateur chef, he provides the plate on which The Heavenly States are served. A Japanese-Korean immigrant raised in the same southeastern Minnesota town as his Mexican-American bandmate, he often muses with Ted that they ended up together, contributing to a project that was once unimaginable.
The band has toured the USA, Australia, the UK, Egypt and were the first rock band to play Libya. They have recorded two full-length albums entitled The Heavenly States s/t and Black Comet, as well as the 3-song single King Epiphany I, II and Monument. Also released, a 7-inch single with Coldplay and The Postal Service, several Australian b-sides and the ep Elephants from Ants under the moniker Fluke Starbucker.
The band has collaborated with artists and filmmakers in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and the San Francisco bay area to produce music videos for the songs "Pretty Life", "Car Wash" and "My Friends", and a video for "The Pale" is in the works.
The Heavenly States have made news and garnered features in Newsweek, The Washington Post, Billboard, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, Reuters, Alternative Press, the Daily Telegraph (London), the Guardian (London) and others. Their travels and adventures are documented in interviews by NPR's All Things Considered, NBC11 News in San Francisco and Reuters (Libya, Tunisia, London). 1