State of Man

Atlanta, Georgia, US
Artist / Band / Musician
PolyPlat Records

John Stringer | Vocals, Guitar
Thomas Panza | Guitar, Piano
James Beale | Bass

In troubled times like these, where every day seems to bring more bad news and even the brightest forecasts make Chicken Little sound like an optimist, it takes a heaping helping of hubris to think that any one person or group of people can truly make a difference. But State of Man sincerely believes that music has the power to change the world, and remain determined to do their part to inspire the “Yes We Can” generation.

Formed in Atlanta in 2000, the quartet originally bonded over their common sense of professionalism and love of ‘90s rock legends like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Tool. But unlike many young bands, who expect rapid success and give up when million-dollar deals don’t rain from the heavens, State of Man kept plugging away, racking up a series of accomplishments ranging from Battle of the Bands wins and Rolling Stone appearances to landing a single on the Billboard charts.

“Every year something would happen to keep us going,” Beale recalls, “picking up momentum gradually along the way. We’ve experienced the highs and lows, but even when we encountered disappointment we all remained focused on our commitment to our goals. That’s why we’ve been together as long as we have, because we built that critical chemistry that is the foundation of every good band.”

That chemistry has never been more potent than on In This Place, State of Man’s first new album since 2006’s Both Sides of the Story. Produced by Rick Beato, the disc features a bevy of instantly memorable anthems ranging from the devotional “Be Still (My Heart)” (which the band dedicated to American soldiers stationed overseas) and the conciliatory “I Have Forgiven” to the inspirational title track.

But perhaps no song on In This Place has proven more helpful than the arena-ready epic, “Swallow Your Fears.” Whether it’s a therapist playing the song to help teens in a suicide prevention program or Adam Bush, who produced a State Of Man video before dying of leukemia in February of 2008, the song has provided a beacon of hope for people caught up in life-or-death struggles, assuring them that “you don’t have to be alone” if you “swallow the things that hold you back from living life.”

“We’ve had the name State of Man for five years,” says Panza, “but I think this record really exemplifies what the name is about. It’s like a mission statement. We’re representative of where humanity is as a whole, and I think John’s lyrics reflect that. We want to lead by example and actually get our hands dirty.”

To that end, the band is planning their ‘Service2Humanity Tour,’ in which they’ll perform some form of community service in various cities before their concerts, hopefully inspiring local fans to do the same. The concept originated in part from a 2007 tour in which they entertained troops in nine countries throughout Asia and the Caribbean, listening to soldiers’ stories and realizing the emotional impact of their music.

“Everybody in the band is in music because we want to make a difference somehow,” Stringer insists. “And we want to inspire other people to want to make a difference, especially in times like these. We’re in a very similar time to the era that produced artists like Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, where people are looking for change. We’re not trying to be anything we’re not: the bottom line is that we want to be true to who we are, and ultimately to inspire others to do the same.”

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"State of Man is a refreshing breath of energy and life that moves through you with every song. From the passion of each word in their lyrics to the strength of their music, State of Man gives you exactly what you want and what you didn't even know you needed."
-Cindy Simmons | Star94 (94.1FM Atlanta, GA) Cindy & Ray Show

State of Man | Live Performance
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