Sunday Spotlight: State Champs

This week our spotlight is on pop punk heavyweights State Champs. Formed out of Albany, New York in the spring of 2010, the four piece has had a long and successful career in the pop punk scene becoming one of the bands that comes to the mind of people when asked, “whose your favorite pop punk band”. The founding members of the band are vocalist, Derek DiScanio and lead guitarist, Tyler Szalkowski; while drummer Evan Ambrosio and bassist Ryan Scott Graham would join later on. The band is said to have been influenced by bands like,  The Starting Line, Blink-182, Sum 41, Fall Out Boy, and Green Day.The group has established themselves as one of the bigger bands of the recent years in pop punk due to their popular releases and time spent on the road over the past ten years.

From left to right: Evan Ambrosio (drums), Ryan Scott Graham (bass), Tyler Szalkowski (lead guitar), and Derek DiScanio (vocals)

The New Yorkers have played alongside and supported some really important artists in the scene. Some of these bands are, The Wonder Years, New Found Glory, Neck Deep All Time Low, A Day To Remember, Parkway Drive, and 5 Seconds of Summer. Along with countless festival performances at festivals such as, Slam Dunk, Sad Summer, The Vans Warped Tour, Four Chord Music Fest, Tooth Fest, Self-Help Fest, and the massive Download Fest playing on the same stage as Beartooth, Dream Theater, and freaking Slayer. The band has released three LP’s and five EP’s over the past ten years. Their debut full length, “The Finer Things” came along with a lot of praise and recognition which propelled the band into scene stardom, their next two full lengths, “Around the World and Back” and “Living Proof” did not receive quite the same reaction as “The Finer Things” did but the overall reaction was still positive.

I have had the pleasure of seeing State Champs twice since last year and have been nothing but blown away each time. I saw them the first time on their Living Proof, North American headlining run being supported by Grayscale, The Dangerous Summer, and Our Last Night. The second time was at Sad Summer Festival in Columbus, Ohio at Express Live alongside Mayday Parade, The Wonder Years, and The Maine among others. As a band, these guys are super tight and always put on an energetic set that leaves fans going home with a smile, sweaty clothes, great stories, and some awesome merch. Their music has always translated so well from recording to performing live. They also all seem like super cool and wholesome guys. I was able to meet Derek and Ryan at Sad Summer and they were two of the nicest guys I have ever met. They even took a video saying hello to one of my friends that was not able to make it to Sad Summer that year. I cannot wait to see these guys again, they would be a fantastic first show when shows come back.

Song to check out: Elevated

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