Give us some background on Blank State…
Blank State is a new upcoming band from the Cincinnati area. What makes us unique is that despite being all high school students, the maturity of our music, performance skill and live show rivals that of a lot of seasoned, touring bands. This was a comment we received from a judge at a band challenge that we won and has been repeated by other industry professionals that have seen us live. Every aspect of our music and stage show is created and produced by 6 high school students.
We draw from a vast amount of different rock genres such as alt, punk, indie, grunge, classic, blues, and many more.
We consist of five band members: Sawyer Roberson – Lead Vocals, saxophone, piano/keyboards, and rhythm guitar; Hunter Torosian – Bass… a six string bass; Jack Johnson –Rhythm guitar, Lead Vocals; Garrett Crider – Drums, Percussion, and synthesizers; Brendan Jordan – The best lead guitar player that any band in the entire world could hope to get.
Our debut album, Trauma Illinois, was named after our singer Jack, who was hospitalized when 4 of us were nearly killed in a bad car accident last summer. That was the nickname given to him by the ER nurses.
In a short time, you have accomplished quite a bit, how does it feel to be rising to the top of the local music scene?
We have been doing the best we can to promote ourselves and have been given some amazing opportunities to get our name out there such as playing the WEBN fireworks festival, headlining Bogarts for our album debut, headlining the Madison live, and winning several band challenges. We could not have accomplished any of this without help from an amazing support staff of parents and others and from our amazing lighting engineer and technician; Ethan Fleek.
It’s hard to accurately describe the feeling. Every time we set our sights on one big goal, several other small ones emerge. It can be somewhat overwhelming sometimes to have so many things going on that we are working ourselves to our core and then have even more responsibilities dropped on us. Don’t mistake this for a complaint though, for this is exactly what we want out of this. The pressure causes friction, and the friction causes sparks of inspiration. Those sparks of inspiration are how we get our ideas for great new songs to write, or for Garrett to light his drum sticks on fire mid song, etc… To put it simply, it’s a rush!
What can we expect from a live show?
We decided as a band early on that we wanted to create a live show that is a real spectacle and is heavy on fan involvement. We as a band try to include the crowd as much as possible whether it’s through having the audience sing with us, through Sawyer stage diving in to the crowd, or our favorite is our fan created chant of “Blank State! Blank State!” as we walk out onto the stage. We are continuously working more aspects into our performance and stage show to meet that goal and are exploring some unique social media angles to incorporate into the experience. Some bands bristle at the idea of fans experiencing a show through their devices as so many do but this is the world we live in so we embrace it.
What is next for Blank State?
There are so many things we as a band are planning to do. We continue to mature our stage show and grow our fan base. We are going to play some smaller gigs and promote our album, Trauma Illinois, we will start heading back to the studio and begin/continue writing some new songs, we are going to get started on our next album, and finally we are talking to some national acts about possibly playing with them sooner or later. Next summer we hope to tour and hit the festival circuit. Hard to imagine a better summer for 6 newly graduated high school seniors than to hit the road for a rock tour.
As long as we keep up this growing fan base, we can continue to make amazing music and continue to have amazing live shows! Blank State is a band with no boundaries, we want the fans to be just as much a part of our music and shows as we ourselves are.
Whatever happens next, we will be ready and hope that you will be too!