Let It Go - State Radio

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Label: Ruff Shod Records

Band Members; Chad Urmston (lead vocals, guitar)Chuck Fay (backup vocals, bass)Mike "Mad Dog" Najarian (backup vocals, drums)Genres: Reggae, Indie Rock, Punk, Folk

My very own picture i snapped of State Radio live in concert at the Bank of America Pavilion during the summer of 2010 Song Listings: 1) Mansin Humanity2)Calling All Crows3) Doctor Ron the Actor4) Arsenic and Clover5) Bohemian Grove6) Knights of Bostonia7) Let It Go8) Evolution9) Held Up By the Wires10) Blood Escaping Man11) Still and Silent12) Indian Moon (Long View Farm Sessions) Background Information: Chad Urmston, the frontman for State Radio, grew up in Sherborn MA. During his youth, he spent much of his time at the Peace Abbey, a multi-cultural retreat center based in his hometown of Sherborn. There, he started to develop the ideas of peace and social and political justice that is so prominent in his music today. After graduating high school, Chad went to Middlebury College in Vermont and formed a band with Brian Corrigan and Pete Heimbold known as Dispatch in 1996. Dispatch gained a strong following in the east coast with the help of the internet and live shows at bars, clubs, and colleges, but in 2002, Dispatch disbanded on amicable terms. Later on that year, Chad met up with guitarist Pete Halby, bassist Chuck Fay, and drummer Mike Greenfield to form State Radio. After many personnel changes, State Radio's members consist of Chad, Chuck, and Mad Dog.

Vital Statistics: State Radio's album Let It Go sold over 200,000 copies since its release in 2009. In just one week, the album sold 5,933 copies. It reached #96 on the billboard top 200, #43 on the list of top Rock Albums, and #25 on the list of top alternative albums. Being an independent group with a small record label, SR's album Let It Go did not win any notable awards, but they are steadily rising in popularity. They have opened for big bands such as Rage Against the Machine, the Dave Matthews Band, and the John Butler Trio. Popular singles on the album include Knights of Bostonia and Calling All Crows receiving 59,516 and 60,794 plays on their myspace page respectively.

Technical Detail:State Radio has always been known as a group that is hard to categorize because of the broad spectrum of music it covers. SR's album, Let It Go, is no exception. While songs such as Dr. Ron the Actor, Knights of Bostonia, and Arsenic and Clover reflect a punk charged sound using simple power chords, sweet guitar licks, heavy distortion, loud cymbal crashes, and smacking that bass drum like no other, songs like Evolution, Bohemian Grove, and Indian Moon exhibit very prominent reggae roots by using a springy, offbeat strumming pattern; scraping the strings, organ- like keyboards, and smooth bass lines. Folk roots are also evident in the album; Blood Escaping Man utilizes interesting harmonica melodies, a rhythm acoustic guitar and simple beats. Dom Monks, the producer for Let It Go, decided that State Radio sounded their best the way they played live, with all of the instruments buzzing and howling on the floor at once, so thats the way Let It Go was recorded, live. Vocals were added in later, and Dom later mixed the album. Dom's approach to recording Let It Go was to let the music flow the way it was supposed to; speed up and slow down. SR did not use a metronome while recording, they used mistakes such as missed snare hits and rimshots, and they often took full drum takes without any cutting or pasting. Within the album, there is a strong theme condemning social and political injustices, urging people to band together to do good for their peers, and to combat the declining morals of the people and government. Knowing a little background on Chad's beliefs, these themes are intentional and he wishes to convey messages of peace and justice. On a side note, Let It Go was the first SR album to be released in both a CD format and on a Vinyl record.

This guitar used by Chad is made out of a gas can from South Africa. Chad's friend, Weej, brought back the guitar from Africa and gave it to Chad, and Chad added heavier strings to the guitar in order to beef up the sound.

Cultural Analysis:The change in genre of music from punk, to reggae, to hard rock, to folk, may reflect the changes that America is currently undergoing with the economic crisis, a new war in the middle east, and terrorist groups striking fear into the hearts of the people The lyrics from Bohemian Grove very directly parallels the political injustices from the past century including the assassination at Sarajevo that sparked WWI, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, the female political leader Aung San Suu Kyi being put under house arrest without just cause, and the poor leadership during the cold war. The lyrics from Mansin Humanity echo the social injustice of 1 million harmless Armenians being exterminated. Not only did the "allies just watch and whisper and talk as 1 million are marched to a nowhere land", meaning that America and her allies did nothing to stop the genocide, but as a broader theme, the line "Man's inhumanity towards man. Stop them when they first began." tells the audience to realize that men can be unjust to other men, but that you need to rise up and stop the hate. Bohemian Grove and Mansin Humanity are not the only tracks on Let It Go that convey the message to rise up and take action against social injustices - all of the tracks convey that message.
State Radio holds its integrity and takes action against Social and Political injustices. Chad got his old band, Dispatch, together in order to play a show to benefit the people of Zimbabwe in 2007. They succeeded in selling out the Madison for 3 nights, and they were the only independent band to ever have done so. All of the proceeds from the benefit concert went to the Elias Fund (also founded by Chad) to help Zimbabwe fight against disease, famine, and social injustice. State Radio also supports Amnesty International and the Troy Davis case. Troy Davis was a black man who was convicted of murder in the deep south in 1989. Unjustly convicted, he has been on death row for over 20 years, and State Radio has taken an active role in raising awareness about this social injustice. At a concert i attended, SR held a moment of silence where everybody raised their lighters and cell phones in the air in order to keep Troy Davis in our minds. They also organize 5K road races to raise money and awareness to help protect women against violence in Sudan in Northhampton MA every Halloween. While touring, State Radio founded sponsored the Bikes Not Bombs group where the members of the band rode bicycles around the city with volunteers to raise money to provide education in the projects so that hate and racism will not proliferate within the cities. But above all, the most active organization founded and sponsored by SR is Calling All Crows. Led by Sybil Gallagher and Chad Urmston, Calling All Crows is an organization that demands that the people go out and make a change in the world. "The band is dedicated to delivering more than just music. And we have come to expect more from our fans. We want them to be activists. We want them to be organizers in their own community. We want them to see the inequities in the world, gather, use their voices, demand change... and be that which they want to see in the world." State Radio does everything to facilitate their mission statement from serving lunch at a homeless shelter in Houston to building a community garden at an inner city elementary school in Washington, D.C. They also have an essay contest that fans may participate in, and the winners of the contest may tour with State Radio and preform community service projects with the band. State Radio has had a huge cultural impact on the world, calling on people to demand justice, and work for a change in the forward direction.

Youth Education Training from Elias Fund on Vimeo.

Video Promotion of the Elias Fund


Mansin Humanity:


Interesting Story about this take. While in the Long View Farm recording studio, everybody spontaneously picked up an instrument and began to play. Mad God, the drummer, picked up the bass, Chuck, the bassist, hopped behind the keyboard, Chad, held his integrity and picked up the guitar, and Dom, the producer, hopped behind the drum kit. Luckily, Mike Gill, a friend of SR, was able to catch this spontaneous jam session on tape. State Rade laying down some smooth jams on the fly. dird.