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Indie Spotlight: State Run Radio

A lot happened between late 2001, the last time Brian Schatzel was in a band, and late 2020. Donald Trump, following 8 years of our first Black President, made racism acceptable and divided our country more than it has been since the civil war era. Then the pandemic hit and locked us all away. Needing an outlet more than ever, Brian began playing bass guitar and eventually assembling what would become State Run Radio. The band’s lineup was solidified when drummer Matt Pursino moved to second guitar and Dan Pursino joined Brian, Matt, founding guitarist Thomas Berghorn and vocalist Joe Mazzeo, to take over behind the drums.

The band is fueled by Political disgust and Media distrust which comes across in everything from the band’s name and Mazzeo’s lyrics to their cover of Marginal Man’s Missing Rungs and their Evil Mic artwork by Billy Sidebyside. State Run Radio released 2 EP’s back to back in August and September of 2022 while playing with Murphy’s Law at Amityville Music Hall in-between.

The first EP released, which is self-titled, contains 6 tracks showing the band’s progression from the early days of the pandemic. The first tracks Panic, A Thousand Crises and Rise Up are aggressive, fast-paced, and ripe with sing-alongs. On the fourth track, Rent The Garden, Mazzeo shows he can do more than sing aggressively and the guitars bring a rock feel to the riffs. Rat Bastard is a throwback with a lightning-fast thrashy feel, taking you to the most aggressive edge of the record. The last track, Our New National Anthem, busts out with melodic riffs and vocals, guitar solos, anthemic sing-alongs, and guest vocals by General George of Long Island Hardcore band Clockwise fame.

Farmingdale, NY hardcore punk band State Run Radio has released their debut EP, the self-titled State Run Radio EP. The 6 song EP is out now on Lemmis Records and features the singles “Our New National Anthem” and “Rent the Garden”.

On “New National Anthem”, State Run Radio took it upon itself to give America a new, better reason to stand at sporting events. “We had a conversation one day about the national anthem at rehearsal. And how we all hate it. It’s outdated, it uses words that aren’t even used anymore, it’s racist and it musically sucks,” explains the band. “We wrote the music to the song that same day recorded it and sent it home with Joe. A few weeks later he came in to rehearsal and was like I fixed the national anthem.”

The theme for “Rent the Garden” came up as a joke at practice. “This song is an uplifting one about going after your dreams. We randomly rented a gigantic rehearsal room for fun one night and used it to write new material. There were some jokes cracked about how dumb it was and how no one has probably ever used the space like this before. At some point, Matt busts out this total rock riff. There were a couple jokes about writing arena rock and someone said What are you going to rent next? The Garden? That was it, chorus was written.”

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