:: STATE OF INTEGRITY
State Of Integrity formed in early 2003. All four members are from the Bayside area of Brisbane, Australia. The band comprises of Aaron Franklin (vocals), Ben Clayphan (bass), Nick Rhodes (drums) and Brendan Rhodes (guitar). The style of music they play is a blend of traditional thrash,mid 90's groove and melodic death metal twisted with pure mosh aggression. S.O.I have been inspired to play this style of music by the bands they listened to growing up such as Metallica, Pantera, Sepultura, In Flames, Obituary and Slayer.
During the three and a half years Nick, Brendan &Ben had been playing together as a band, they had gone through several vocalists, none of which had worked out. After having difficulty finding a vocalist who complemented their style & displayed a genuine commitment to the band, Nick and Brendan placed an advertisement in the local music magazine Rave in june 2003. After seeing this ad, Aaron, who had been a vocalist for four years, contacted Nick and Brendan & arranged to attend a jam.Just 6 weeks of being a complete band they entered the studio and cut a 3 song demo in august 2003.
The band played their first show in September 2003 and continued to play shows throughout 2004, in the process gathering a healthy and loyal fan base due to their high energy and chaotic shows.June 2004 saw S.O.I support death metal band Exhumed from the USA & they also played with many well known Brisbane and interstate bands during that year. 2005 has seen the band in the studio for the third time in eighteen months, during that time doing two demos and also recording their full length album. Recording for the album started in January, proceeded through February with the mixing and mastering finished in March. The debut album entitled The Fourth Season Of Revelations, was released in stores June 12th 2005 through MGM distribution. Throughout 2005 the band will be doing several shows across Australia in support of the full length album.State Of Integrity completed their first international tour in September 2005, as the main support for New Zealand heavyweights 8 Foot Sativa. The tour took in four high profile dates which included shows in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
The band has also been busy throughout the year writing new songs and is now demo-ing new material for their second album, due early 2007.The band will also release "The Fourth Season Of Revelations" in the USA in august 2006 via Sinbad Productions & in New Zealand through Globalroutes Distribution in September 2006 before embarking on a 2nd national tour of New Zealand supporting Sinate (feturing ex-8 foot Sativa members) in november 2006.
State Of Integrity's goals are to get their music out there, play as many gigs as possible and have a good time whilst doing what they love most creating and playing heavy music.
Ballbuster: Please introduce the band mates.
Aaron Franklin: Ben Clayphan (bass), Brendan Rhodes (guitar), Nick Rhodes(drums/percussion).
Ballbuster: Give us a brief rundown/description of "The Fourth Season Of Revelations."
Aaron Franklin: We recorded the album in January/February 2005 at Core Studios, Gold Coast, Australia with producer Nik Carpenter (ex-Devolved vocalist). We then released it in Australia July 2005 via MGM Distro and began touring in support of the album. The music on "The Fourth Season Of Revelations" is groove/thrash/melodic death style and the lyrics are about war, personal struggles, terrorism and a dying world as we see it today.
Ballbuster: Tell us about the band's studio experiences. What did you learn? What did you like or dislike?
Aaron Franklin: We have learned a lot from our 3 studio experiences doing some demos and the album in what not to do and what sounds better, etc. We liked the fact of hearing what we could do to the music and adding things we didn't think of before entering the studio and we didn't like the long days. But, as the same time, we were doing something we loved. So, it was worth it in the end.
Ballbuster: Does the band prefer live performances or studio and why?
Aaron Franklin: Live for sure. We get to interact with the crowds and feed off the energy in the room. At this time, we are definitely a live band.
Ballbuster: How did the Aftermath Clothing endorsement come about?
Aaron Franklin: I enquired about it to the owner and he liked what we were doing, so, he decided to help us out with some stage wear. It was all really helpful for the band and his company.
Ballbuster: Name some bands in which you've shared the stage with and opened for.
Aaron Franklin: We toured nationally in New Zealand in September 2005 as main support for 8 Foot Sativa, Frankenbok, The Amenta, Japunga, Diatribe, Touretts, Against Exhumed (USA) to name a few.
Ballbuster: What sort of touring plans do you have lined up?
Aaron Franklin: National Australian tours and a few shows in our home town of Brisbane, including the Helloween Hellfest Festival, before heading back to New Zealand on a national tour supporting Sinate (featuring ex-8 Foot Sativa members).
Ballbuster: Radio play?
Aaron Franklin: We've been getting great feedback and airplay on national, community and Uni radio in Australia, USA, Canada & New Zealand. So, we are very happy with all that at the moment.
Ballbuster: Your influences?
Aaron Franklin: In Flames, Sepultura, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Machine Head, Slayer, Obituary, etc.
Ballbuster: Talk a little about the best gig you ever had and why it was so good.
Aaron Franklin: Auckland, New Zealand because it was so intense and our first overseas show. So, that is a memorable favorite and also Christchurch, New Zealand was another great show for us. The crowd repsponse in both of these places blew us away. They love their metal in New Zealand, that's for sure.
Ballbuster: Now talk about the worst and why.
Aaron Franklin: I would have to say Newcastle on the East Coast of Australia. The promoter didn't do his job, the show was badly organised with little or no promotion and the venue was not the best either. There were like 10 people there. So, it really brings the mood down a bit before you hit the stage. We still performed well though.
Ballbuster: What would you say is your biggest gripe about the music industry?
Aaron Franklin: Manufactured bullshit like Britney Spears and the whole Idol shows here in Australia and the US. The artists get told what to do, what to write and sing about. So, it is all shit. Also, how every awards show or contest seems to ignore the whole heavy music scene and just goes after the popular bands or what's cool at the time. So, that really gets me pissed, man. In places like Norway and Finland, you have bands like Dimmu Borgir and Children Of Bodom performing live and winning grammys and all getting recognised for their talent. They should do that world wide. Now that would be cool if all the metal got some exposure.
Ballbuster: What do you feel sets your band apart from other metal acts?
Aaron Franklin: We do strive to be a different metal band incorporating some of our influences, yet, not doing what has been done and keeping our music and lyrics original while trying to create something new and that has the State Of Integrity sound and I think we just might have done that with "The Fourth Season Of Revelations" and also with the new material we have written for "The Second Coming."
Ballbuster: Describe a State Of Integrity fan.
Aaron Franklin: People that like real, from the heart, no bullshit metal with no gimmicks and that like to come down to a show and relate to the lyrics and the music and let out some anger they may have within them.
Our fans are really diehard and a lot of them have become our roadies and friends and work for us. So, it is great to have an intercation with all of our fan base.
Ballbuster: What's the most outrageous thing that ever happened to you on stage during a performance or rehearsal?
Aaron Franklin: Probably when I got pissed off at a sound dude that wasn't our regular guy and didn't know what he was doing. So, I picked up a mic stand during a song that he had cut vocal out of for like a whole verse and broke it into the stage. That scared a lot of people.
But, made for a good show at the same time and also, in Dunedin, New Zealand where there was no crowd barrier and some fans were storming the stage while we were playing and it was very chaotic. People trying to shake our drummers hand while still playing and all that kind of stuff.
So, it was an intense situation at the time. But, we laugh at it now, looking back at it. But, apart from that, nothing too spectacular.
Ballbuster: Who would you like to tour with and why?
Aaron Franklin: Slayer, In Flames and Soulfly because they are big influences on us as a band and as people and to tour with just one of them would be a great honor and a complete rukus.
Ballbuster: Last words?
Aaron Franklin: Can't wait to get over to the US and show the metal heads how it's done...aussie style. Bottoms up, horns high and stay metal!