Hard as it may be to believe for all those involved, this month marks five years since State made its debut. It all sprung from a meeting backstage at Oxegen in 2006, when a gentleman called Roger Woolman approached John Walshe and Phil Udell with the idea of starting a quality monthly music magazine for Ireland. Eighteen months of research, dummy runs, phone calls and some nice lunches later we emerged, initially online and then with a first issue that featured REM on the cover alongside the likes of Adele, Ham Sandwich, Stiff Little Fingers, The Jimmy Cake and why Poison’s second album was rubbish. It was good but it got better over the months as we spread our wings and decided to throw away the rule book.
The two would exist side by side until we made the decision to concentrate on the digital version (although we still miss the smell of print in the morning believe us). It’s not always been easy but we like to think that we’ve always stayed true to our original ethos – to support and report on Irish music alongside the best in international coverage. And now we reach our fifth anniversary with another step forward, the lovely new design from Simon Roche and Niall Byrne that you’re looking at now.
There are an awful lot of people to thanks: all the writers and photographers who have worked under the State banner over the years; the record companies, PRs and promoters who have supported our endeavours; all the artists who have helped us out by playing gigs, letting us stream their albums and generally got on board; our colleagues in the magazine and online world; everyone who reads the site. We’ll have a few celebratory posts over the next few days (including a gig announcement that we’re very excited about) but generally it’ll be back to business. Enjoy the new site.