(Rules of The Gauntlet: The artist (Like in this case the badass BETA STATE.) is sent 75 questions from which they must choose at least 12 to answer in whatever medium they choose: written, audio,or video. The questions range from standard to ridiculous.)
The ambient influence of U2 and Coldplay is apparent on a first listen, as guitarist Ryan Hernandez sets the mood with lush delays and reverb, reminiscent of underground art-rock kings Dredg. Once the band kicks in, the rock sound comes full circle, bringing influences such as 30 Seconds To Mars, Angels and Airwaves, and Jimmy Eat World to the table. Matt McDonald’s vocals soar and lend a positive message of hope, love, and self discovery. McDonald’s vocal power is apparent in every song, and the finished material has a sound all it’s own, with heartfelt lyrics and explosive songwriting that resonates beyond genres and trends with people of all ages.
And here are vocalist Matt McDonald of Beta State’s answers to Groovey.TV’s The Gauntlet! Interview Series!
1) Why do you play your style of music? Why not polka? or classical? or..?
There is no real reason why…when we get in the studio to write, the music that comes from it is just an extension of the emotions we feel that day.
2) What’s the bands philosophy? Motto?
Always do better than “good enough”.
3) Peace or freedom? (You can’t have both.)Why?
Peace. What’s the point of being free if you don’t feel peace? I know plenty of people who have freedom but still aren’t happy.
4) Do you have a CD coming out? What’s the scoop on that? Where did you record, style, songs etc.
We just released a new album, “#Friendship”. It has 10 original tracks, 8 remixes, and a cover a Bjork’s “Unravel”. We recorded most of it ourselves in Adrian’s bedroom, which means it took a lot more work to see this thing come to life. Looking back at all those long marathon sessions makes me feel extremely grateful and I have a great sense of pride when I am holding that CD in my hand. Lyrically, this album was therapy for me. During the writing process, I went through a lot of difficult times and this was my release.
5) What was the last song you listened to before this interview?
Funeral For A Friend – “History”
6) When was the last time you figuratively put your foot in your mouth? (or literal if you can do so.) Details please.
I’m not very flexible…but I am clumsy with my words sometimes…I have a habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time! It happens quite often!
7) What’s the most embarrassing band you listen to?
I dont think anyone should be ashamed of the music they listen to. I embrace my inner “boy band” and blast “Bye Bye Bye” by N’Sync every once in a while!
8) If you were facing unbeatable and fatal odds what song would you want to check out to?
“Where The Streets Have No Name” by U2.
9) Stella or Guinness? Why?
You know what they say… “A Guinness a day keeps the doctor away”.
10) There’s a good chance you will look back and be embarrassed by your current hairstyle. Discuss.
I am currently sporting the same hair style I had when I was 5…I looked goofy back then, and I look goofy now. I just embrace it. But at least I still have hair!
11) If you could accomplish one thing in a music career what would it be? When you achieve that will you quit?
I’ve had this recurring dream of me performing during a time of war, and inspiring enemies to put their guns away, to stop fighting, and come together for a moment of peace. I suppose if I were able to inspire that, I could die happy.
12) What really pisses you off?
I can’t stand arrogant people. They’re vain and put themselves on a pedestal…as if the world owes them something. Get a grip! No matter who you are or what you have done with your life, you’re still a regular dude at the end of the day. Stay humble and stop getting off to the smell of your own shit.
13) Worst thing ever eaten on the road?
Denny’s. It may be the worst thing I’ve eaten…period. It always seems like a good idea…until I’m finished eating and realize that even Wienerschnitzel would have been a better choice. My opinion of Denny’s would change completely if they added Bagel Bites to the menu…hint hint, Denny’s owners…
14) How many unarmed but very angry 4 year olds would it take to kick your ass?
2. They are crafty and they don’t fight fair. Biting, scratching, pulling hair…there’s no telling what they’ll do.
15) If you had a time machine what would you do with it?
I’d visit the 60’s and 70’s and enjoy one of the greatest decades in music history. Woodstock would be my first stop…and I’d go back and see AC/DC’s very first show. RIP Bon Scott.
About Beta State:
(From https://www.facebook.com/betastate) Ex-members of Strata parted ways to form new projects. Singer Eric Victorino formed The Limousines (Danger Bird Records) and guitarist Ryan Hernandez and drummer Adrian Robison ventured off to form Beta State with friend and bassist Justin Kastner.
Beta State spent about a year auditioning vocalists until they found the very talented Matt McDonald. Once their lineup was complete, they finished writing and recording their debut album “Stars”.
Some have called our style of music “Spaghetti Rock”, due to the fast, frantic strumming of the guitar. When mixed with delay and reverb, that fast strumming of the guitar sounds like an ambient choir in the vain of “Explosions In The Sky”. Basically, our guitar player is playing so fast to get that ambient string/choir sound that his hands look like spaghetti noodles.