State Radio


For generations of American bands, the music and the message have been inextricably linked. Word and deed are one in the same, and the only thing more moving than the rousing call to action is the song that transports the words like a shell casing. Following the hard travelin’ path of Woody Guthrie, these bands sing about ordinary people in extraordinary ways and can turn the world inside out with three chords and the truth. These are the tenets by which STATE RADIO’s Chicoree Stokes, Chuck Fay, and Mike “Mad Dog” Najarian are driven, and they once again flex that strength and sense of purpose on their third album, LET IT GO. But this is no soapbox symposium.

“This has always been an organic, grassroots thing” says singer/guitarist Stokes about the band’s impassioned social consciousness.. “It’s about staying true to each other in so far as the music is an honest reflection of our lives.”

Like Rage Against The Machine and System Of A Down before them, State Radio roll up their sleeves as they practice what they preach, whether it’s riding bikes to gigs to support Bikes Not Bombs, hosting food drives in conjunction with Rock For A Remedy, or playing shows to raise money for the Learning Center for the Deaf. How’s Your News?, a film project created by Stokes while working at a camp for adults with disabilities, where the campers are the reporters, was just a way for Stokes and company to flip the standard interview format on its head with a different viewpoint before it was picked up by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for a run on HBO and MTV.

Action is hardly a new concept for all the members of State Radio. Before the band, Mad Dog volunteered as mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, while Fay was and continues to be a powerful voice for Instant Runoff Voting (or Rank Choice Voting) and comprehensive election reform across the country. On tour, State Radio has joined with Amnesty International to expose the injustices and improprieties of the legal system by protesting the death penalty for Georgia’s Troy Davis. They’ve worked to minimize wildfire danger by removing invasive plants from areas in California, and have partnered with Oxfam America to organize home run derbies and 5K road races to raise money and awareness to help protect women against violence in Sudan. Most bands have touring schedules. State Radio have an Action Calendar.

During their sold out, 25-city tour last February, and throughout the rest of 2009 including another 25-city fall tour, the band performed service projects in every town they visited, from serving lunch at a homeless shelter in Houston to building a community garden at an inner city elementary school in Washington, D.C. Calling All Crows (, the group’s platform for social action started by Stokes and State Radio tour manager Sybil Gallagher, is committed to continuing the group’s socio-political dialogue once the music ends and the lights come up. In the past year, State Radio and their fans have amassed over 3,000 hours of community service through projects that have local, national, and global impact. State Radio/Calling All Crows just recently presented Oxfam with a 100,000 dollar check to go towards Oxfam’s Stove Project in Sudan.