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Smash The State Interview

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Artist/Musician/Entertainers Interview Questions….

1. What is your name, and name your group/band/act?

My name is Mike and I am the vocalist for Kansas City based punk rock band ‘Smash The State!’

2. Where are the artists from?  What is their talent in the group?

Josh, Dustin and I reside in Kansas City, Kansas. While Thad and Matt take shelter on the Missouri side of the city.

3. How did the band get the name?

It is an old Anarchist slogan. It seemed an appropriate moniker that fit with our individual ideologies and beliefs in current events happening in the world today.

4. What instrument do you play now? (If applicable)

Even though I sing in the band, well, more like scream my fucking head off. I can also play a shitty bass.

5. What (who) does your act/art consist of?

Mike Yeager (me), on vocals. Josh Smithey plays the drums. Dustin Bigelow, as well as Thaddeus Nugent play the guitars and Matt Warrnier beats the shit out of his bass. Our motive is to bring back 80’s style hardcore punk with fragments of influences from more modern bands such as The Casualties, Leftover Crack and Propagandhi.

6. How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for the public audience if they have never seen you before?

It’s straight up, in your face, raw hardcore punk rock from the Midwest.

7. Give me some details about the group/act/art?

We’re a long time group of friends who have been creating music together mutually for almost a decade and it was just recently we all got in the same room and developed the current situation we’re standing for today. Our long running history together gives us good chemistry together as a band, we were not put together from ads posted on Craigslist or any other social networking device people use to whore themselves these days.

8. How long have you been performing live or making art?

We’ve all mutually been apart of the Kansas City circuit for well over twelve years and have been making music together as STS! Since December of 2009.

9. Where did you meet your group and how long have you been together now?

Josh and I (Mike) met in high school and formed a band shortly after, around 1999. Dustin and Thad were introduced to us sometime in 2003 and Matt joined the pajama party this last December when we all decided it was time to get all of us together. After being fed up with dealing with a washed up metal scene and a slowly dying punk underground, we decided it was time to take the city back from the unclean, STD ridden, dreadlocked wash-ups.

10. What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?

Getting together with everyone for more than once a week to record/rehearse has been quite a challenge. Due to everyone’s conflicting schedules, that is the only day of the week we currently have to get together and make music. It’s hard, but like always, we will prevail and find a way to make it happen.

11. You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?

We just do it. The band motto is: Live to Die and Don’t Give a Fuck in Between.

12. Everyone loves a celebrity so what advice do you have for the youth of today?

I am not the person to be giving concrete advice to the youth of today. Unless they want to end up like me, a heavy drinker who has had continuing encounters with Johnny law that should be attending drug and alcohol classes. But there is one thing. As cliché and repetitive as it may sound, no matter what anyone says, follow your dreams. You’ll run into a lot of haters along the way that will make you question your chosen career path and if you decide to throw in the towel and give up, they win. Fuck the cynics; they’re only talking shit because they’re jealous because you’re doing what they drastically failed at.

13. What does your family think of your performance and do they support you?

Our families support us 1,000%. My dad has been quite tongue in cheek about it over the years, I know he hates it but he still supports my decisions, even the bad ones. On the other hand, my mom totally loves hearing the albums and watching me perform. My grandmother keeps pestering me to audition for that bullshit ‘American Idol’ show, but god love her; she only wants the best for me and my chosen career path. We usually just laugh it off and go on about our business.

14. Thinking back, did your family carry on the same musical/artistic interests?

My mother and grandfather have always been very creative with sculpting, painting and sketching. Same goes for my uncle mark, and without his heavily induced encouragement, I wouldn’t of ever of thought of picking up a pencil and attempting to draw, or even sing for that matter.

15. Do you have your own favorite type of music and is it any different from what you play now?

Aside from punk rock and hardcore, I listen to almost everything. From Hank III to Johnny Cash. To Portishead and Atmosphere. Tom Waits and Mike Patton are my two absolute favorites though. Having an open mind and listening to all the different genres of music that is out there today helps me to stay fresh when writing for this punk rock band.

16. Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?

Aside from writing all the lyrics, I also design a good portion of the bands merch, like Ep covers, sticker designs and whatnot. I’m the photoshop, graphic design guy. We’re taking a totally DIY approach towards our merch and Dustin has been the primary resource for our stencils, the hands on laborer in a lack of a better word. So we’re working pretty hard to get our shit out there.

17. What has been your strong influence to continue performing?

All of the positive feedback we’ve been receiving on our myspace page has been the primary influence, it has seriously helped us to keep a ‘heads up’ demeanor. All of those kids fucking rule and without their undying support we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing.

18. Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/musical talent?

Speaking for myself, Mike Patton has been a main influence to me for what seems like forever. Stza from Leftover Crack, Harley Flanagan from Cro-Mags and Henry Rollins have also been main influences.

19. Who does most of the song writing/art/literature?

Dustin, Matt, Thad and Josh kick out the jams and I write lyrics in correspondence to their time changes, structures and rhythms. I do a lot of the graphic art, as well as Dustin who, while collaborating with myself, designs our hoodies and t-shirts with straight stencils and fabric spray paint. It’s a pain in the fucking ass.

20. If you had to change one thing about your music/group what do you feel would be the best change to benefit the group overall and why?

I wouldn’t change anything at all. We’re still a fresh, new band and will continue to grow stronger as a group the longer we play together and get to know one another better than we already do


21. Have you ever had any strange or stalker type fans that you are aware of?

Hahaha, We haven’t had any freaks so far. But we welcome them with open arms. The sooner they come out of the caves the better. I swear, the first kid who carves our band name into his arm with a screwdriver is getting free beer all night, so long he doesn’t bleed to death.

22. While getting ready to perform have you ever been interrupted by fans who snuck in to the dressing room/rehearsal?

We’ve never had the opportunity to have a lavish dressing room with all the fixings. If anything, it’s us who are interrupting the kids, trying to steal and drink all of their beers at the shows before we play.

23. Tell us about your most embarrassing moment if you care to share it with us?

Unfortunately, I can’t recall an embarrassing moment. If I’ve had one, I was too drunk to even notice. I once jumped off of a stage wall and ended up breaking my back, that sucked pretty bad. I still have problems with that as we speak.

24. What has been the most bizarre thing (thrown) on the stage with you?  How did you react?

Other than the multiple rounds of Jameson and Jager that have found their way safely to the stage, once a bloody tampon found its way up there. In which our old guitar player, Ryan, casually picked it up, dipped it into MY open cup, like in that movie ‘Kids’ and tea bagged the fluid into his open mouth. Another time I found a three month old French fry that had escaped to the crevice between the seats in my car. This fucking thing was wretched, like old potatoes, it was growing spores. On stage, I talked a kid into eating it in exchange for a free t-shirt, I never seen him at a show after that. I still wonder what happened to him. We welcome shit like that, the more disgusting, the better. It helps makes a more memorable experience.

25. What is your wildest story with the group?

I have none to speak of, yet. Since we’ve only been together for a few months, but with this group of hooligans, deviants, sick fucks and thugs, I’m positive there will be plenty to share here soon.

26. What has been the worst nightmare for the group?  How did you get through it all?

I have to answer this question the same as the above.

27. What are your up-to-date performance plans?  New releases?  Tours? News?

We’re currently recording our ‘Die On Your Feet’ EP independently and are hoping for a mid-April release for that. Our song, “Fat Wallet”, is going to appear on a local Kansas City punk rock compilation entitled “Hillbilly Hymns From Our Home In The Heartland” that Recycled RockStar Ind. will be putting out in April, in which we’ll be playing the CD release show on April 17th at the Riot Room in Kansas City, Missouri. Once our set is solidified, we’ll be venturing out to other venues and states, so make sure you keep checking the myspace page for any big announcements.

28. If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive who would it be? Why? (Name up to three)

Mike Patton: Because other than being a wet dream come true, it would be orchestrated vocal chaos.

Black Flag, circa 1984: Because, well, it’s Black fucking Flag. Who wouldn’t want to jam with those dudes?

Operation Ivy, circa 1988: Again, who wouldn’t want to jam with those guys? OpIvy, the first time I heard their ‘Energy’ LP, changed my life.

29. What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?

I’ve been to Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and South Dakota with previous bands, I’ve pissed off pretty much everyone in the entire Midwest.

30. Have you been involved in any benefit performances?  What was it and how did you become involved?

Previous bands have been involved with Brian Deneke memorial shows and benefits for the West Memphis Three, which this band plans on going the same route.

31. Do you currently have an agent, endorsement, record label, sponsor, etc.?

At this moment, no, we do not. We have some kids in Orlando and LA that are “promoting” us, but we’ll see where that gets us.

32. Is this your first interview or do you have some other articles/stories about you posted somewhere for public viewing?

There’s a first time for everything, feel proud, you popped my interview cherry, now there’s blood all over the goddamn place.

33. Do you have any video links where people can see you?

At this moment, no, we do not.

34. Do you have a website of any type?  (Name all options)

35. Please feel free to add any other information you want to share with the public audience/readers.

I think I covered all our bases, haha. Thank you so much for the opportunity. Much love bro.

36. and I would not mind having you on my radio program soon as well.

Anytime brother, you know how to reach us.

-Mike, Smash The State!

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