Q&A with Mates of State

Mates of State played St. Edward’s University’s 125th birthday party last Friday. One reporter caught up with the band to found out what students wanted to know.

Emily Griffin :What food do you miss most when touring?

Certainly not cheese. We miss our favorite sushi restaurant in town. Actually, when we’re on the road we get better food and more of a variety. Our favorite restaurants in Austin include Guero’s and The Salt Lick.

Alex Simons: What’s it like touring with your children?

Jason: It’s awesome.

Kori: It’s fun and tiring. When we do quick tours like this, it’s sort of like a vacation, even though it’s fun having them around, and our life revolves around them.

Jamie Aldridge: What’s your newest favorite band?

We like Cults. They have catchy melodies. I’m always a sucker for that.

Shelby Simons: What’s your favorite song you have written?

Kori: I always love playing “You are Free.” A lot of times, after you play a song for a long time, you become numb to them, but with this we can even play it at practice and not get bored.

Giovanni Reyes: Do you feel like your music has evolved from CD to CD? If so, why?

We think it’s evolved. We used to be this crazy spastic party band, and this was before this YouTube fascination. No one sent Facebook messages about what shows were going on, and it was all about good times, so the music reflected that. I hope our music sounds more grown up without losing touch with truth in art. Our first record was recorded in one room in four days, so we didn’t over-think it. Nowadays, you think about the sounds a little more, and how things fit with people listening at home. I hope we’ve gotten deeper without losing touch.

Warren Mauer: How hard is it being a parent while on tour?

Jason: It’s not that hard. It would be much harder if I had a 9 to 5 job.

Kori: It’s hard. We’re in a good place now. We don’t have an infant anymore. You grapple with the idea of whether they have a normal life, and whether or not it’s ok to do this to them. But as long as they’re happy every day, I think they’re all right.

Sara Sanchez: What’s your favorite song that you’ve covered?

I like playing “Laura” by Girls. I love doing the Death Cab song (“Technicolor Girls”) because it brings nostalgia. The songs we cover are a bunch of our favorite songs.

Sara Sanchez: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you while touring?

Kori: On this last tour, we were in a really bad area of Baton Rouge, and Jason went for a walk and got questioned for a shooting that happened right near him. On the same day, I was walking with the nanny and the kids and this truck pulled up and told us “You’re in a bad part of town! Follow me!” and tried to get us to get in his truck and go with him. It was a really bizarre “where are we?” moment. After 10 years, though, nothing surprises us.