About Mental State:
Mental State consists of me- Hollan (vocals), Cam (guitar), Nick (drums), and Jarred (bass). We all have been involved in the Birmingham music scene for a while and Cam, Nick, and Jarred have all been in different local bands for as long as I can remember. I had been wanting to front a band since I became a part of the scene but I never thought people would care to hear what I had to say. We basically got started because Cam finally convinced me to just go for it and we recorded a song and it just kind of clicked.
What does local music mean to you?
Local music is and always has meant family. Especially in this scene. It means open arms when the world has cast you out. It means acceptance when you feel like you are alone. And it shows you that it is okay to be angry and aggressive in a world that's telling you its not okay to be. Birmingham has always been a tight knit family and we are so stoked that we are able to be a part of that.
What do you hope to contribute to local music?
That it's okay to be pissed off and sad and depressed and hurt and alone. It's okay to get help. It's okay to feel exactly as you are feeling and no one can take that away from you. We want to be able to give people an out. We want them to know that they aren't alone in how they're feeling and that there is a whole other world of people out there that feel the same things they do. Most importantly, we want them to know that they are understood. The hopelessness, the being suicidal, the loneliness, the unworthiness, the misery... we understand.
What is it like being one of the only female vocalist in the local hardcore scene?
Being a female vocalist is pretty entertaining actually. No one ever thinks I am in the band, we call it being "merch-girled" because no one expects me to be the vocalist. So it's a cool feeling watching people realize when we are getting set up before our set. I have the time of my life performing/writing/doing anything with Mental State and I can only hope that it could make women see that they can do it too. Everyone has something worth saying, you just have to do it. I would love to see more girls in local bands because it has the ability to start a chain of others wanting to do it too and who knows who you could be affecting.
What is Mental State’s writing process like?
Cam writes the music and I write the lyrics. We typically work separately until it comes time to recording. He'll write a song and send it to me and I am constantly writing and we work together to make it mesh. It's so exhilarating watching something so personal and intimate come to life and watching people react to it is surreal.
I feel like Mental State has a pretty dedicated following. What about your band makes people feel so connected?
The fact that people can relate to anything we have to say is amazing. We try to stay completely transparent and we hope that everything we put out there is relatable or can help someone in some way. We are having a blast and getting so much out of this experience and we can't wait for what is next for us.
For all the people interested in local music or starting a band, what advice/words of encouragement do you have for them?
Do it. Let go and do it.
Is there any new music, shows, etc. people can expect from Mental State?
We will not be playing shows for a little bit but we did just put out a new single called "Rot" on bandcamp and our EP "Find Your Pain" can be found on Spotify. We are in the writing process of a new EP and are beyond psyched to get back and running.