There’s an element of surprise that follows this Brooklyn brain-punk band wherever it goes, probably because it is a band that exists almost entirely by accident. At its simplest, the States are three friends who found each other through Craigslist. Chris Snyder (vocals and guitar) started the band in 2002 in his Harvard dorm room after spending his childhood playing violin and singing in Hollywood movies. Joe Stroll joined as the drummer in 2004, bringing with him a considerable amount of blind ambition, as well as a lot of sheer volume. In 2007, the band enlisted Pete Connors, a seasoned session player and veteran of countless national tours, as their new bassist. Together, the trio tours in large and noisy church van known affectionately as the Blue Whale.
Since moving to Brooklyn in 2004, they have played hundreds of shows in cities near and far, including appearances at SXSW, CMJ, and other regional festivals. They have also released two records. They were grand prize winners in the 2007 John Lennon Songwriting Competition for “Black Jack.” In early 2008, Q104.3’s Jonathan Clarke included the band in his list of New York’s top 10 bands of 2007. The States continue to tour and write incessantly while they support their current release, The Path of Least Resistance (2007).
The Path of Least Resistance (2007): The States’ second record is both more political (its songs address gentrification, the war on terror, and civil liberties) and more carefully produced (thanks in large part to the band’s collaboration with producer Evan Moore) than Multiply Not Divide. It was recorded during the winter of 2006 and 2007 in New York City.
Multiply Not Divide (2006): The band’s debut, recorded over the course of 3 sleepless days and nights in 2005.