Raven State

Q&A: Raven State

in SF Local Bands by

How did you come up with the name of the band?
We were looking for strong, dark imagery to match some of the themes/moods of our music and lyrics. Lots of ideas were thrown around but “Raven State” was the one that stuck. Coincidentally, ravens appear to be all over SF too!

How would you describe your sound?
We’re a guitar-driven rock band with the spirit of The Stooges and patience of Pink Floyd. At times haunting and atmospheric, we still strive to infuse lots of catchy pop hooks and soulful harmonies into our music to keep things from getting too dark and hopeless!

When did you first become interested in playing music?
I think for most of us we’ve been at this since we were teenagers, or earlier. Music is a sickness that none of us seem to be able to give up, and don’t plan to.

What are you listening to these days?
Lots of things…classic stuff like Tom Petty and The Beatles, modern Brit rock like Elbow and Gomez, singer-songwriters like Ray LaMontagne and Jeremy Enigk, and some newer funky/psychedelic-inspired bands like Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Blanko Basnet.

What are some of your favorite Bay Area music venues?
So many great venues to choose from. The Fillmore and Warfield are classics and great for larger shows, but for more intimate yet stellar sounding venues, probably smaller rooms like The Chapel, Rickshaw Stop, and Doc’s Lab.

What are some of your favorites hangs in the Bay Area and why?
Anywhere there is good Mexican food, but that’s basically anywhere in the city!

How’d you guys first get together to play music?
I guess it’s kind of a typical band story. Most of the guys in the band have been playing together in various bands together for many, many years. Newbies like myself came later via the old-school musician community posting in Craigslist. It’s amazing that worked out considering most of the things you see on Craigslist these days!

What inspires you to write?
Lots of things…emotional/life experiences, the current political climate, etc. A big inspiration is probably just the creative outlet of making music itself, and the ability for us to get together, eat tacos (required), have fun and write music we care deeply about and put our all into.

What’s your favorite neighborhood in the city and why?
Don’t laugh, but probably Twin Peaks. It’s really beautiful, quiet and you’re surrounded by nature while having all of the great things about big city life just a few minutes down the road.

Is there anything you’d like to plug?
We’ve got 2 great shows coming up: Saturday 7/7 at Ivy Room in Albany with Debora Iyall of Romeo Void and Felsen, and 7/14 at Caravan Lounge in San Jose with Novela and Exploding Like Spiders. Also, we’re getting very close to recording our next EP, so new music is on the way!

Having released albums under Digital Nations, a label founded by Steve Vai, music critic Louis Raphael has remained deeply connected to the pulse of the San Francisco music scene. Following his tenure as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he embarked on creating Music in SF® to authentically highlight the vibrant offerings of the city's music scene.

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