Mates of State is the organ and drums, vocal-laden duo of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel. The band essentially began in 1997. After a few months in the midwest, they high-tailed it out to a new home in San Francisco. California greeted them with sunshine, pop sounds, and a great music community.
Their long-standing motto of "Play anywhere, anytime" allowed them to play everywhere from Oakland parties to venues up and down the west coast. Kori (organ, vox) and Jason (drums, vox) quit their day jobs as a teacher and cancer researcher in 2001, got married, and hit the road bringing their love to the rest of the world. They've toured the US, Europe and Japan and by the looks of it, won't stop any time soon.
The Mates have released five 7" records and two full lengths, "My Solo Project" and "Our Constant Concern." Polyvinyl Records will be releasing the third full length record entitled "Team Boo" in September of 2003. It was recorded at Pedernales Studio in Texas with John Croslin (GBV, Spoon, Waylon Jennings, Pavement) and Jim Eno (Spoon).
It's difficult to place MOS in a genre as the song structures are unique, often complex. At the same time there are always the pop elements of catchy melodies and loads of harmony. Even though there are only two of them, they fill up the space with the monster, bass-heavy organ, creative drumming, and constant dueling vocals. The music can be sweet. At other times it's spastic, but either way, you leave MOS shows with a warm feeling.
Mates of State has been described by critics as unabashed joy, honesty at its best, a two piece with balls, and a band that you must see live. Their first record was listed in the New York Times as one of the best records you probably didn't hear in 2000. Their shows consist of packed crowds singing, smiling, and dancing and, of course, the private jokes between Kori and Jason.