In just a few short years, New York’s State Champs have managed to become one of the biggest and most exciting voices in pop-punk: the band, made up of vocalist Derek DiScanio, guitarists Tyler Szalkowski and Tony Diaz, bassist Ryan Scott Graham and drummer Evan Ambrosio have fostered a loyal and dedicated fanbase through their inventive take on the genre—a certain ascending melodicism, bouncy power chords, infectious hooks and a level of band-to-fan transparency unique to them.
After two years touring their second studio album Around the World and Back (debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard 200, 15,000 copies sold in the first week) on a global level, the quintet is ready to give their fans an in-depth glance into their lives like never before. State Champs will re-release a deluxe version of the album May 5th, complete with hour-and-a-half tour DVD, live versions of “Elevated” and “All You Are Is History,” acoustic versions of the singles “Secrets” and “Losing Myself,” as well as two brand new songs, “Slow Burn” and the tour-referencing “Hurry Up and Wait.”
“We used to love watching old band DVDs growing up and that’s what made us want to be in bands. I still watch them to this day. It’ll give everyone a chance to see everything behind the scenes and how everything goes down, traveling as much as we do and the connection that we have between us, the band, and our crew and our fans,” frontman DiScanio explains. “We’ve always done little short, funny tour recaps but we wanted to do something different than that this time, a full feature. It’s got live footage from the tour we did with Neck Deep. It gets emotional at parts and it’s really funny at parts. There are different sections for different parts of the world. There’s an Australian leg, a Japan leg, a UK leg and an American leg.”
The new songs showcase the band’s first venture in working with songwriters outside of themselves. “They aren’t necessarily what people should assume is the next step for State Champs because we decided to put them as bonus songs on the Around the World and Back reissue for a reason,” DiScanio reveals, “But they are a step in a new direction. I will say they’re more mature. They’re different because they’re collaborative. We wrote the songs with our friend Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low. We’ve always wanted to work with other people and see how we mesh with friends that are in bands, particularly Alex because he’s in a band that made us want to be in a band. We spent a week out in LA with our friend [ATL producer] Mike Green who we also wrote the songs with. He produced them. It was something new for us, something we were pretty nervous and scared about. We’re really happy with how it came out.” The tracks will be treated like singles, with music videos to come.
“We’re not afraid to be the biggest band in the world,” DiScanio assures. “We would love that. We’re always trying to push and stay goal oriented. We have a bucket list that we’re adding to and trying to check off. This deluxe reissue is part of that. As long as our heads are in the right place and there are no egos and we stay the five best friends we always have been, things will be alright.”