Q&A with The 21st State


By Alastair Thompson

The 21st State are an alternative rock band that have made all sorts of waves in Glasgow, Scotland and beyond. Bassist Craig McCormick, drummer Callum Anderson, and vocalist and guitarists Andrew Duncan and Craig Horne all came together for a battle of the bands after meeting at Greenfaulds High School and were eager to stick together. The group is a collection of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and Stirling University students and have an impressive following after several successful gigs. Their EP, ‘Stepping Stones’, has paved the way for them to support bands like Boys Jumps Ship, perform at various student unions across the country and headline their own shows at Stereo and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. They were even popular enough to headline at Tut’s more than once, an impressive accomplishment for the band. Stepping Stones is free to listen to on Soundcloud and holds crowd favourites, ‘Jigsaw’, ‘Colours’ and of course, ‘Stepping Stones’, with their melodic, almost unique sound; these three never fail to get people cheering at gigs.  The group is very busy at the moment with gigs, new music, and maybe even a bit of university, but I managed to get a few questions answered.

How did you get to the name 21st State?

“Well after a few terrible names we eventually settled on The 21st State because Andrew is originally from Chicago in Illinois which is the 21st state and we thought that made for a pretty good sounding name!”

What band would you compare yourselves/sound to?

“It’s hard for us to say ourselves but we would say there’s definitely influences from bands like Fatherson and Imagine Dragons.”

What’s your favourite song that you’ve done?

“We’re really excited about both of the new tracks that we are releasing soon so I’d definitely say those are both our favourites. From the Stepping Stones EP we like the energy in Jigsaw, so probably that one.”

So you have gigs and new material coming soon?

“Yeah! We’ve got a few tracks on the way that we’re hoping to release soon and that we’re really excited about. As for gigs we’re supporting Only Shadows in Edinburgh and Liverpool as part of their UK tour in mid-September, so if anyone can make it to either of those they should definitely come along. Both will be great nights!”

What’s your favourite gig?

“There’s been loads of really fun gigs for us, our first gig at King Tuts was pretty exciting and supporting Boy Jumps Ship at Stereo was definitely up there too. It’s so hard to pick a favourite.”

What’s been the best moment so far for the band?

“Again there’s been loads but I think headlining King Tuts for the first time is definitely my [Callum’s] favourite, the venue has such a buzz and history about it that getting the opportunity to headline there was a really big step for us.”


With their energetic sets and enjoyable sound, it would well be worth following these guys on Facebook and Soundcloud or even to Edinburgh, where they play Sneaky Pete’s on the 19th September and at The Shipping Forecast in Liverpool on the 23rd September.