Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Jacob Porter (Vocals/Guitar)
Cameron Price (Guitar)
Bryce Chism (Drums)
Brandon Rodgers (Bass)
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to State of Illusion?
Brandon: I have played in several garage type bands but my first real band was called Fed to Lions. Then I spent time working with our good friend Tom Carden in Solarist. After a few months away from music, I was given the opportunity to play with State of Illusion. It's history from there.
Bryce: I also play drums in Broken Testimony.
Cam: Prior to joining State of Illusion, I had to opportunity of playing with First to Fight, Star Lit Letters, Nirro, and most notably Solarist.
Jacob: My first band was called Lost Cause with two of the guys currently in Decibel Effect.
How long has the band been around?
Jacob: I formed State of Illusion in 2005. After recording and releasing an EP and two albums over the course of several years, a significant lineup change caused us to re-tool. In 2014, we launched State of Illusion 2.0 with our album Aphelion. Cam joined shortly after the album was released. The next couple years were spent trying to regain some lost footing but, ultimately, that lineup didn't work out and left me as the last man standing at the end of 2016. In January of 2017, we got an offer to play with Flaw, which is one of my favorite bands, so I threw together a lineup of friends that were, at the time, just filling in to help me out: Cam (again), Bryce on drums, and Tom Carden from Solarist on bass.
After that, more shows started popping up and we were having so much fun together that Cam and Bryce wanted to make it permanent. Tom, was having a great time with us but needed to put his time into being the front man of his own band. He brought in his former Solarist bassist, Brandon, for our "Blind" music video and that solidified the lineup that we have today. We're having more fun and doing more work now, with this lineup, than we ever have. Check out the documentary on our DVD, State of Illusion - Live, for the whole story in all its glory!
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Jacob: State of Illusion was a name that I just had in my head but thought that maybe the other guys wouldn't like it. The night before our first show as State of Illusion in 2005, which was a battle of the bands at our high school, our drummer, Chet, and I were on the phone tossing band names back and forth. After a bunch of really bad names, I threw out "State of Illusion". Chet stewed over it for a second and then said something like, "Well, that's the best we've got, so let's go with it for now." When we told our friends at school the next day, they all said, "Do you mean 'State of the Union'? No? That's lame!" I guess "for now" went out the window a long time ago!
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Jacob: The way it has worked so far with this lineup is: one of us will bring in an idea, whether it's just a riff or somewhat fleshed out structure, and we'll jam on it and all put ideas out there like "what if you tried this on bass?" or "what if the drums did this?" and then we'll do a bad recording on our phones, take it home and flesh out our individual parts more or bring in new structural ideas. Normally, once the music is finished, I'll write the lyrics to the melodies I was starting to develop while we were jamming. So far, the songs have been about really personal things in a way that, hopefully, the listener can apply to their own lives. Being personal is what I want this band to be about, so I imagine that that will continue.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Jacob: We're just trying to develop and expand on our own established sound, so I can't say that anyone is necessarily directly inspiring what we're making. That said, if you're asking what we're listening to right now, a couple bands that the whole band is into at the moment are Periphery and Thrice.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Brandon: As a child, I was highly fascinated with various forms of art, so it’s just natural that I find myself playing music. But I clearly remember listening to Eddie Breckenridge's bassline for "Stare at the Sun" and just knew that’s what I wanted to do.
Bryce: Breaking Benjamin! But I also will say that I’ve always loved music. Since I can remember, my dad always showed me music and got me loving artists like Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Breaking Benjamin, etc. and wanting to become them was like a dream I could never do, but here I am today, fighting for my spot beside them.
Cam: I was always fascinated by guitar and loved rock music. I got a guitar for Christmas my 5th grade year, learned a lot of old songs, and never really thought about a career or that stuff--it was just cool. Then when I was in the 6th grade, I got the chance to see Shinedown play with Staind at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville and watching Shinedown play really sealed it in for me. I knew from then on what I really wanted to do. I’ve seen them 13 times since.
Jacob: The bands that really inspired me to start playing were Staind, Cold, and Seether, but the moment that really set me down with path was my first concert. Seeing Staind at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville with Shinedown and Parmalee (back when they were a rock band) made me KNOW what I wanted to do. Years later, I met Cam and found out that he was at the same show and it had the same impact on him!
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
Brandon: Stretching and walking to get loose and relaxed--calm the nerves before I take the stage. I might try out yoga in the future.
Bryce: Stretch, set my drums up prior to show, and listen to music to get pumped!
Cam: I have recently started running or doing a quick cardio routine to get my blood flowing and build my confidence before getting up there. I like the quiet time that offers me to visualize the show and get my mind right.
Jacob: I just do some light stretching and then I go find a somewhat quiet place and do vocal warm ups for about an hour. Shout out to my voice coach, Mike Semesky from Raunchy, Rest Among Ruins, and Ordinance!
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Brandon: The video shoot we did for "Blind" was a highlight for me personally. Particularly having to collaborate with artists from a different field to create a single product.
Bryce: Getting to play Amos Southend, which was one of my “before I die” venues.
Cam: The biggest highlight of the band’s career since I have been a part of it would be recording the video and the success we are seeing from it. But we have much bigger things than we have ever done ahead of us.
Jacob: For me, it is definitely sharing the stage with Staind and Chevelle at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC, and then playing with Flaw twice in 2017.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Brandon: I would definitely love to tour with Thrice. They are just great guys and to get the chance to work with and learn from them would be more than I could hope for.
Bryce: Breaking Benjamin (that’s really obvious), Thrice, Brand New, and Post Malone, because why not shake it up a bit?
Jacob: Solarist, because I would love to tour with Tom and I love their music so much! I'd love a tour lineup like this: Solarist, State of Illusion, Flaw, Cold, Staind. Of those, Cold is the only band that we haven’t played with yet…Scooter, hit us up!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Please give us a listen and take a look at our merch, but the best thing you can do is spread the word! Big things are coming!