2008 Artist Lineup

State Radio

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Before forming State Radio, Chad Stokes was well known to US college students as the voice behind rock band Dispatch. Forged from Stokes’ artistic response to the social and political fires burning across the globe, State Radio come armed with progressive political ideals and an infectious blend of rock, punk, and reggae beats, Stokes and band mates – Chuck Fay on bass and Mad Dog on drums – are creating songs with a conscience. Us Against The Crown, the band’s debut self-released full length, was an introduction to Stokes’ commitment to the under-dog. Songs like “Camilo,” written about Camilo Mejía, an Iraqi war veteran and imprisoned conscientious objector and “Mr. Larkin,” championing the rights of the elderly and disabled, let fans know what drives this band. The music did not go unheard – Us Against The Crown has scanned over 28,000 units. Year of The Crow, the second release on State Radio’s own Ruff Shod Records, continues to be the band’s best forum for expressing their thoughts on today’s political landscape. “Guantanamo,” the opening track, rails against the atrocities committed at the famous detention center. “CIA” and “Gang of Thieves” highlight the misappropriation of funds and the abuse of power reported in the newspaper every day. Recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios in Wiltshire, England with the acclaimed producer Tchad Blake (Pearl Jam, Soul Coughing and Peter Gabriel), Year of The Crow captures the band’s live energy and spirit. As a teenager, Stokes attention soon shifted from his first instrument, the trombone, to a borrowed guitar, and he began writing songs at the age of 14. Before going to college, Chad spent six months teaching children in Zimbabwe. His experiences there cultivated the seeds of socio-political activism that had first been planted by the music of Bob Dylan and Bob Marley. Seeing firsthand the inequity of life in Zimbabwe raised his awareness, and to this day influences the music he writes and the life he lives. Stokes’ eagerness for social change also expands to “How’s Your News?” a news show where the reporters are all in some way disabled. Traveling across the globe, the “How’s Your News?” reporters conduct interviews on street corners with their own style and charisma. Backed by South Park’s creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the original “How’s Your News?” documentary played every major film festival worldwide and ultimately was picked up in the US by HBO/Cinemax. Currently, “How’s Your News?” is in production for their first made-for-television series to be broadcast on the MTV Networks. After taking time off from the road this summer to work with “How’s Your News?” and to record Year of The Crow, State Radio will be touring the UK, Europe and the U.S. throughout the fall to coincide with the initial digital only release of the album and single. The physical release follows early in 2008.

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