Sometimes there is a simplicity in the songs we hear that pull at our very being. The songs work like a time machine and you go back to a different time and place. You get lost in the freedom and the space the sounds create. I want to introduce Great States, an alt-rock group out of Albuquerque. They are dropping their debut album, Gatsby, this Friday, January 29. The album is 14 beautiful songs that embody the spirit of time periods in your life. Their newest single “Arcadia” gives you a sense of exactly that, written by lead singer and guitarist Morgan Ching. Words written provoked by his summers spent in the Pacific Northwest, his memories of growing up there and his own personal Arcadia. Check out this sneak preview of the song before it’s official release and what else Morgan had to say about the group and their music…
– Great States is?
We’re an alternative rock band from Albuquerque, New Mexico. There’s Eric Jecklin on bass, Sean Leston on keyboards, Ryan Rael on drums, and me, Morgan Ching, on vocals and guitar.
– Describe your sound.
Raw. Organic. Groove-based. Lyrical. There’s a lot of ambience and texture to our sound. This is always a hard question – go listen!
– Your new album, Gatsby, has a dreamy far away feel to it with a sense of urgency for living in the moment. Almost complete opposites but it works and keeps me intrigued. What inspired this album and the name “Gatsby”?
Thank you! That’s a really great way to describe it. Everyone’s first instinct is to think that Gatsby is a full-blown concept album, but that’s not necessarily true. While The Great Gatsby did inspire a lot of the songs, the deeper meaning and context was definitely sourced from my own experiences growing up as a young adult. The novel was a great tool for personal reflection, and I found that Fitzgerald’s ideas on love, loss, friendship, superficiality, etc. were even more applicable today than they were in the 1920’s. I hope you did your summer reading…
– What is your process like for creating a song?
On this record, nearly every song started as lyric and a progression. Some of the songs were fully formed before coming to the band – some were only bits and pieces. The songs usually start getting exciting when we start tackling the arrangements as a band; the music usually ends up being a unique blend of all of our influences.
– The album is getting great reviews critically; how do you deal with that?
Is it really? I think we’re still at a point where we get hyped on the fact that people are actually listening to our music, so it’s awesome to see the positivity surrounding the album. We’re going to put our heads down and keep working hard – anybody that takes time out of their lives to support us deserves the best that we can offer!
– Any upcoming shows planned, thoughts of touring?
Yeah! We’re looking to support the release of Gatsby throughout the year. At the moment, we have a small run following our CD release show in February, possible SXSW dates, and even more in the spring/summer season.
– If you could play any stage where would that be?
There are so many great stages to pick from… Madison Square Garden.
A big thanks to Great States for this interview! Check out their website, follow them for updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The new album Gatsby is available for preorder here. Let them know what you think!
Feb 13 The Launchpad Albuquerque, NM
Feb 16 Yucca Tap Room Tempe, AZ
Feb 17 World Arts Stage via Periscope Culver City, CA
Feb 19 The Mint Los Angeles, CA
Feb 20 Gallagher’s San Diego, CA
Apr 15 Flipside Lounge Pocatello, ID