State to State
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State to State

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Rock


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

State to State @ Culture Room

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States

State to State @ The Plaza LIVE Orlando

Orlando, Florida, United States

Orlando, Florida, United States

State to State @ Jannus Live

St. Petersburg, Florida, United States

St. Petersburg, Florida, United States



Review by Dom Vigil

A short, five song EP like Motives is the perfect taste test to make you fall in love with State To State. With a guitar driven atmospheric sound and stunning vocal melodies to back it up, Motives is captivating, fun and most of all, different. While listeners may hear a few hints of Muse or Radiohead in the EP, the sound on Motives is most certainly unique to State To State, and by the time the short EP comes to an end, you’ll understand what I mean.

Opening track, “My Little Phony” grows and progresses quite a bit within three minutes, from dark and grungy to big and bright within seconds. The explosive opener is definitely guitar driven, with the guitar work providing quite a bit of the emotion in the song, but that’s not to say that the vocals, bass and drums don’t follow suit. The great thing about “My Little Phony” is how well each instrument works together. On top of the stellar (and ever changing) guitar work, there are also some very nice drum fills, fuzzy bass, and captivating vocals that will keep you interested for the entire song and leave you wanting more by the time it ends.

The cool thing about this EP is the diversity between songs, too. “Arms” sounds absolutely nothing like “My Little Phony,” taking on a more atmospheric quality with soft guitar, strong bass, and absolutely stunning vocal harmonies. “Arms” swaps crazy guitar work for a more laid back sound, putting the focus on the vocals and bass work. While the soft guitar plucking still drives the song at times, the change of pace is a testament to State To State’s versatility. There is a really great balance between the instruments on this song, and on Motives as a whole.

Following “Arms” is “Let Go,” which is much sleepier and not quite as catchy as the first two tracks, but again, the change in pace and sound is not only a pleasant surprise, but it also speaks for the bands’ diversity. The strong moments on “Let Go” definitely come in the soaring vocals and brief crescendos. “Kings” then takes us right back to the beginning, with strong guitar and bass spearheading the song, backed up by smart drumming and stunning vocals. The way that “Kings” progresses is quite similar to the first track, with every instrument conveying the different moods and emotions, where normally, most artists rely just on the vocals.

“Pins And Needles” is a slow ending for the EP, but that doesn’t make it any less strong than the other four songs. Beautiful low vocals and soft guitar kick off the song, but it ends big, with the full band coming in to support a huge explosion of sound.

Motives is really the perfect five song EP to get new listeners acquainted with State To State. Normally, it is easy to finish listening to an EP feeling unfulfilled, but that is not the case with Motives. Not only does each song progress beautifully, but the EP as a whole does, as well. Each instrument perfectly conveys emotion, energy and meaning in each track, making them worth listening to a few times over, just to get the full effect. Motives is a success.

Rating: 5/5

Listen to "My Little Phony"


Song Premiere: State to State - "My Little Phony"

Los Angeles based alt-rock group State to State are debuting the first single off the upcoming Motives EP, available February 5th. Motives is the follow up to 2014’s No Bounds.

”’My Little Phony’ takes a look into a fast lifestyle that is clinging by a thread to stay relevant through young women, drugs, and night life,” said lead vocalist Shea Stratton. “Here’s lookin’ at you, Los Angeles.”

Listen to the exclusive premiere of “My Little Phony” above. - Paste Magazine

By David Lacy

When he was about 8 years old, Shea Stratton would accompany his father and his older brother to rehearsals at the Davis Musical Theatre Company, where the two were performing in “Evita.”

“I spent my nights in the theater during rehearsals and performances,” the younger Stratton recalls. “I stumbled across my voice while singing songs from that show.”

Stratton, a 1998 Davis High School graduate, auditioned for the very next play at DMTC — “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” — and landed the role of Benjamin.

He quickly became enamored with music and discovering what his own vocals could produce, but admits that for some time “it was a passion that actually took a back seat to baseball.”

Stratton, who lives in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, will be returning to Davis with his band State to State on Friday at G Street Wunderbar, 228 G St. The group released a new album, “No Bounds” in February, available on iTunes and the band’s website,

State to State also will be playing at The Caravan Lounge in San Jose on Saturday.

In addition to Stratton, State to State features Mike Schneider (drums) from Texas; Andrew Orvis (guitar) from Wisconsin; Patrick Morgan (bass) from Detroit; and William Driskill, a bassist from San Diego who played on the album.

Stratton credits his best friend and fellow DHS alum, Nick Carvajal, for introducing him to the realms of rock.

“When I first learned of U2 around 1992, rock ‘n’ roll was all I could think about,” Stratton said. He became euphoric for live performances; he played guitar and sang in everything from friends’ garages to talent shows at Emerson Junior High.

After graduating from DHS, Stratton continued to make music. He released several solo projects, including the stadium-rock-sounding single “Hollywood” in 2007. In 2010, one year after the band formed, State to State released a self-titled EP.

The band has drawn comparisons to U2 and early Muse from, and Buzzbands.LA wrote that State to State owes much of its sound to “a handful of bands you saw in stadiums 10 or 15 years ago,” an assessment Stratton welcomes.

“I think that we fit in a place that is waiting to come back,” Stratton said. “Right now, guitars aren’t in demand so we’re kind of lying in the weeds waiting to become relevant. In the meantime, we’re happy to not cop trends. I haven’t turned the radio on in years.”

Shea isn’t the only family member performing today. Older brother Cole, a 1994 DHS graduate whom Shea watched sing and act alongside their father Pat in “Evita” more than two decades ago, is one of the founding members of SF Sketchfest.

Now in its 13th year, the San Francisco comedy festival has featured performers “from every major North American television comedy smash of the past 25 years” including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Daily Show.” This year’s lineup included comedy legend Alan Arkin.

When asked if he’s competitive with his brother, Shea quips, “if anyone is competitive, it’s Cole, but I’d only say that’s true on the softball field.” The brothers play coed softball each week in Santa Monica and watch the Detroit Lions together every Sunday during football season.

“He’s always been a great supporter of me no matter what I’m doing and I wish only the best for him,” Shea says. “I’ve always respected his love for music. His iPod is way more impressive than mine.”

And this Friday, Shea Stratton returns to the town where he and his brother first discovered their love of performance. The band is on a West Coast tour, playing at a variety of venues. It’s the part of the job Stratton enjoys most.

“I love the behind-the-scenes work, but live performance is what it’s all about for me,” he says. “I thrive for that attention. In my day-to-day I enjoy anonymity, but my persona feeds on the spotlight.”

He says the “performance high” is a much healthier one than the other intoxicants he admits to having abused. He has been sober for more than eight months now, and, in addition to supportive friends and families, attributes his continued success with sobriety to his rescue pit bull Zuul.

While Stratton may enjoy the limelight while performing, he shies from it in his daily life. He joked: “having a rescued pit bull with serious co-dependency issues doesn’t lend itself to a party lifestyle, but I’m fine with that.”

When asked how he readies himself to hit the road, Stratton responds, “tour is easy to prepare for. Pack a bag and live carefree. I couldn’t think of any better way to spend time and make money in the process. I’m in a band with great people who don’t mind that I bring my doggy.”

In fact, the group has adopted the rocker canine as the official tour dog.

Join Stratton in his reunion with family, friends, canine and the very place he first found his greatest passion.

And if you would like to bring him a slice of Woodstock’s Pizza — a personal fave — he’d likely be quite grateful.

— David Lacy is a former Davis resident and Davis Enterprise staff writer who is a writing specialist for the Center for Excellence in Writing and Community at UC Irvine. - Davis Enterprise

By David Lacy

“I think that we fit in a place that is waiting to come back. Right now guitars aren’t in demand so we’re kind of lying in the weeds waiting to become relevant. In the meantime we’re happy to not cop trends. I haven’t turned the radio on in years.” — Shea Stratton, lead vocals, lyricist/guitarist, State to State

Rising, lesser-known bands inevitably get the flattering yet oft-repeated comparisons to their musical semblances. It’s par for the course in the music industry, a way of pinpointing a group’s sound with some type of GPS-like accuracy amidst the expansive mash-up of genres and subgenres.

So, let’s dispense with the necessities and move on: Yes, State to State borrows, stylistically, from everything from U2 to Pink Floyd, to Radiohead. A reviewer at drew parallels to an early Muse. I and that same reviewer even detected an echo of Sigur Ros, particularly on the band’s instrumental tracks.

Fortunately, State to State is able to draw from these influences and emerge from their dauntingly tall shadows unscathed — a band wholly and completely itself. The only possible concern — if one could even call it that, as Stratton’s infectious optimism seems to shake off worry — is that their colleagues in rock are scattered across the decades, with few currently pushing the tides in an era of twerks and “Blurred Lines.” Still, State to State appears content with where they are, “lying in the weeds,” and fans of more timeless music will be quite grateful
of this fact. They’re not in the business of playing themselves up; they are in the business of playing themselves.

No Bounds (NB), the band’s first full-length album (they released a self-titled EP in 2010, a year after forming), was released February 25th. You can purchase it today at iTunes or at the band’s website.
In addition to Stratton, State to State is Mike Schneider (drums) from Texas; Andrew Orvis (guitar) from Wisconsin; Patrick Morgan (bass) from Detroit, and a bassist who played on NB is William Driskill from San Diego.

NB is a cerebral album; though Stratton is masterful at stadium-arena-level wails and howls — check out his solo 2007 track “Hollywood”– (and NB does offer some samples of this), the group appears to have opted for a more pensive and atmospheric approach this go-around. It’s quite fitting perhaps, that one of the first singles from NB is titled “Comprehension Headache” and it’s not difficult to sense the intensity of the head rush as Stratton bellows:

Come back and kill me
I want you to
Don’t like to rush you
God forbid if I suggest you are wrong
Cause every time I touch you
Feels like a cold exchange with a stranger

One of the best tracks on NB may not provide insight into Stratton’s mind, but it does give the listener pause to retreat into his or her own head. The instrumental “Sad Robot”, arriving precisely at the album’s halfway point, is melodic brilliance, a muse of moving cadence I actually played on repeat while writing half of this review (this song also features some of the great Sigur Ros haunts, but I digress). I could easily see myself using this track for other occasions I need to reflect.

Still, NB propels forward in large measure on Stratton’s powerful vocal range, which rises and falls with enviable ease. Fortunately, Orvis, Schneider, and Driscoll are all skillfully in synch with Stratton’s melodic acrobatics. Though the album’s tracks rise and fall in energy in tandem with Stratton it ultimately concludes on a passionate note.

Whether that passion is hopeful or futile, however, is another matter altogether.

“Awake,” coming three-quarters of the way through the album lives up to its name, shaking off some of the preceding slower tracks. Two tracks later NB ends in a splendid clash of musicality and lyrics. “Bring Out Your Dead’s” choruses (much like “Awake’s) come much closer to what could be dubbed ‘arena-epic,’ fully equipped with riotous fist-pumping choruses. The energy is contrasted with Stratton’s dark, dystopian lyrics:

It was dark all December
The cold much worse
Don’t think any methods of torture could hurt any worse
Grieve for the fallen

As the guitar solo crescendos in a bridge to Stratton’s final chanting, repeat demand “to bring out your dead” you get the feeling that being in Stratton’s head must be one interesting place to reside.

To finish the review, I had to return to “Sad Robot.” I’m not sure I could conclude this article any better in my own words. Rather, I’ll let State to State have the final word. Listen to the album here. If you wish to slip into your own head, start with “Sad Robot.”

State to State will be playing at a variety of venues (from intimate to raucous) across the west coast. Tour Dates are as follows:

03.08.14 // Long Beach, CA // The Prospector
03.14.14 // San Francisco, CA // 50 Mason Social House
03.15.14 // Eugene, OR // Tiny’s Tavern
03.16.14 // Seattle, WA // The Highline
03.17.14 // Olympia, WA // Le Voyeur
03.18.14 // Portland, OR // The Foggy Notion
03.19.14 // Ashland, OR // Club 66
03.21.14 // Davis, CA // G Street Wunderbar
03.22.14 // San Jose, CA // The Caravan Lounge
03.28.14 // San Diego, CA // Till 2 Club - iPinion

Crave is proud to team up with atmospheric rockers State to State today to premiere the video for their latest single "My Little Phony,” featured on the upcoming EP Motives, due out February 5th.

Since releasing their first LP No Bounds in 2014, State to State have gone full-throttle in their efforts to conquer the world of progressive, guitar-driven rock. Motives is the next logical step in their efforts, produced and recorded by Grammy Award nominated Ian MacGregor (Katy Perry, Twenty One Pilots) at Greg Wells’ Rocket Carousel Studio in Culver City, CA.

"The video for ‘My Little Phony’ represents someone struggling through their life, barely holding on by a thread,” guiarist Andrew Orvis shared with Crave. “As he spends another sleepless night running from the darkness and the demons in his life, he tries desperately to protect his inner light from finally burning out."

With a chugging, urgent rhythm and a no-chaser potency, the video for “My Little Phony” features clips of the band performing the track, intercut with scenes of a paranoid fugitive with a bright little secret, running from an unknown threat. We soon learn that what he’s holding provides far more than just light…

Orvis further elaborated on the recording process for Motives: “Creating this new record has been quite a journey for us. Thankfully, working with Ian MacGregor has been like having a 5th member of the band and we couldn't be happier with the outcome. Recording at Rocket Carousel gave us the opportunity to experiment with all kinds of gear, which really helped expand our tonal options for each song.”

Pick up Motives on February 5th at the band's official site and on streaming services. Also be sure to catch the band's record release show at The Lost Room in Echo Park on the same day, and keep up with the guys on Facebook and Twitter. - Crave Online

I stumbled up State to State in my online travels while Googling for Steve Perry. Yes, that Steve Perry. Apparently, according to at least one website and one YouTube video I’ve found, that Steve Perry did some backing vocals on this record. I liked the samples I’d heard on SoundCloud, so when the EP was released on iTunes I gave it a shot.

If ever there were an audio resumé for a band that demonstrates their range as well of their competence, this is it. “My Little Phony” makes me wonder if the band has also been hanging out with Josh Homme, as it’s build from guitar tracks that seem to nod to Kyuss and vocal harmonies similar to some of Queens of the Stone Age. A little more than halfway through the song there’s a stylistic shift to… I can’t put my finger on the word… a brighter (?) sound, with hints of the opening guitar. “Arms”, with it’s clean guitar pseudo-arpeggio and more mainstream sounding vocals does a great job of delivering its message of nonviolence. The bass on this one has a clever slide in the riff that gives a “going for a ride” feeling.

“Let Go” reminds me of some not-too-distant past stuff from the UK. Travis, anyone? Maybe Radiohead? It builds nicely in the second half of the song starting with an authoritative bass line and following with similar guitars and layered vocals, evocative of Muse. I’ve read a couple of reviews and/or comments online from people who’ve said they can’t make out Steve Perry’s voice. If you have trouble picking him out, put on some decent headphones and really pay attention at about 1:22-ish into “Let Go” and again at 2:16-ish. As for the other Steve Perry vocal, on “Arms”, I have to agree with the “don’t hear it” folks, except in a video of the session titled “That time Steve Perry showed up to add some harmonies on our new EP” on the band’s YouTube channel.

“Kings” continues the Muse-like sound but with a chorus you won’t see coming. Once again the feeling of the song changes about midway through, something I’m beginning to think might be a signature for this band. “Pins and Needles” wraps it up by starting once again with the clean guitar and Brit-sounding vocal… then, at just past the halfway mark, there it is again! By this point in the EP, you’re happily expecting the shift. Heavier guitars, vocals from the gut, and a spirited bass line carry you out to an abrupt stop just as you’re expecting a “repeat and fade”.

By the way, the band photo here is via State to State’s Facebook site and was shot by Dan Boissy (, who you should definitely check out because his stuff is outright amazing.

State to State’s new EP is available on iTunes and Amazon:
State to State on iTunes
State to State on Amazon
State to State on Facebook - Legion of Weirdos

By Kevin Bronson

Almost three years after the release of their debut EP, L.A. four-piece State to State is back, reaching for sky. The quartet’s expansive sound owes to a handful of bands you saw in stadiums 10 or 15 years ago, and on the tensive new song “Comprehension Headache” frontman Shea Stratton sings as if he’s pleading to the masses as Michael Schneider drums as if he’s trying to move them. Stratton, Schneider, guitarist Andrew Orvis and bassist William Driskill have a couple more singles planned leading up to the release of a full-length in 2014; State to State’s Yorke-ian complexities mark them as a band capable of transcending formulas.

See more at: - Buzzbands.LA

State to State is a band ready to leave their mark,” is what the first line of their bio says. They’re an alternative rock group from Los Angeles. The band released their first LP, titled No Bounds, back in 2014, and have been making more music ever since. They also released a new EP earlier this year, called Motives. State to State has just released a music video for their track “Arms” off of Motives, and we’ve got the premiere.

The video is completely black and white, with a historic film feel. It’s wartime, and the video seems to get increasingly serious as each second goes by. This contrasts interestingly with the music, because the music feels relaxed and almost beachy. In regards to the track and the video, guitarist Andrew Orvis says that, “As the world was growing numb to the daily news of mass shootings, bombing massacres, unnecessarily slain civilians & police, and overall violent tragedies across the globe, the lyrics to ‘Arms’ were on constant repeat in my head. I kept hearing the chorus, ‘We gotta lay down our arms instead of our lives’ after San Bernardino, Orlando, Dallas, France, Baghdad, Turkey, Bangladesh, Syria, Iraq and every other recent slaughtering of innocent lives. I needed to express my honest emotions so I created the video using vintage clips of real people and events. To me the video is about human connection and the unending cycle of violence and death in our lives from both war and weaponry.”

Their message is loud and clear: “We gotta lay down our arms, instead of our lives.”

Motives is available now. - Impose Magazine


No Bounds (2014)

Motives EP (2016)



Since releasing their first LP, No Bounds, in 2014, State to State have established themselves in Los Angeles as flag bearers of atmospheric rock, a landscape forged by bands like Radiohead and Interpol. 

State to State have played sold out shows at the Troubadour, as well as residencies at The Hotel Cafe and The Viper Room, and outdoor events like Street Food Cinema, Showtime's Eat See Hear, The Surf Rodeo, and the High Times Cannabis Cup. July 29th 2017 found the band at the world famous Roxy Theater in Hollywood, CA with a sold out crowd for the release of their new single, "The Shifter," from their upcoming EP, "Clearlake Sessions", Produced by Grammy-nominated Producer-of-the-year Johnny K (Disturbed, Plain White T's, Megadeth) Since it's release, "The Shifter" has received national airplay from major radio stations all over the USA and has climbed the chart of LA's KROQ's Locals Only Countdown all the way to #1.

 The band continue to have their busiest and most productive year yet.

Band Members