"I think that song made us a lot closer." - Derek DiScanio.
In this month's issue of Rock Sound, Derek DiScanio steps up to tell us The Story Behind... State Champs' classic 'Elevated', and it turns out that it's about his bandmate Tyler Szalkowski [guitarist].
“It all goes back to about 2012, and what a lot of people don’t know is that it’s about Tyler [Szalkowski, guitarist]. Myself and Tyler are the only two original members of the band - we started in 2010, when we were both just graduating high school, and didn’t really know what it was like to be in a band. A lot of stuff happened really fast," Derek shared. "Fast-forward to 2012, we were on one of our first DIY tours, probably the furthest we’d been away from home, and Tyler was going through a lot of shit, wasn’t in the best mental state.
"At one point after a show, he took me aside, we went for a walk and he came clean, like, ‘Man, I don’t know if I can do this, or if this is for me - I think I’m going to have a mental breakdown. I just want to fly home and not do this anymore’. It was a real big shock to me, because [it was] when stuff was just kicking off for us. We’d just signed to Pure Noise, and we were about to go and record our first album.”
And it turns out that 'Elevated' ended up being integral to the long-term survival of State Champs, with Derek continuing “It took me a while to find the right things to say to him, but we sat down and started writing songs for the album when we got home. ‘Elevated’ was my response.
"Lyrically it goes right back in time, [from] the first lyric when he came at me and was a little mad, like I was to blame for it, which didn’t make sense - and I don’t think he meant it that way. But go a little bit ahead to the chorus and I’m trying to explain to him that everyone has those feelings: everyone has those worries in dark times, and goes through those rough patches, but it’s up to us to stick together, get through these things step by step and hang in there. I think that song made us a lot closer. Instead of me just trying to explain to him and talk him through that time when the issue was at hand, it was more important for me to just listen to him and be there as a friend.”
This is just a taste - check out the full story of State Champs' 'Elevated' inside this month's issue of Rock Sound. Pick up your copy below: