There are a litany of band-interview faux pas; questions to be avoided at all costs because they are boring, possibly offensive, or, again, really boring. “How’d you come up with your band name?” is one that’s sure to illicit an eye roll. It’s a boring question for not just the interviewer/interviewee. The reader could also give a s***. That one’s easily avoided, though.

But if a band or artist hails from a locale that’s indelibly linked to another iconic or well-known band or artist, any prompt related to the more famous native sons/daughters could turn out poorly–or even offend. So a gamble to bring it up, to be sure.

But when you have a band that hails from Athens, Georgia–one that boasts a melodic, noisy brand of guitar-based rock, often with political overtones, no less–avoiding a question related to the seminal Athens-founded college radio rockers turned pop music megastars, R.E.M., can feel like turning down one more round when somebody else is paying. Why not imbibe!?

Luckily for this interviewee, the fellas from Deep State share a mutual love for Stipe, Buck, Mills, and Berry and when they dropped by Void HQ to play us some tunes, they happily fielded a question about music in their home city–which they appropriately used to bring up R.E.M–and deftly flipped the question to promote the bevy of new and great music coming out of that not-so-sleepy college town.

Click play to watch these fine sons of Athens, Georgia tell some tales from the road and also discuss their new album, the writing process, and more!

Presented by: The Amp