QC Podcast episode #4: Interview with rock band State Radio’s frontman Chad Stokes about his unique guitar

The rock, reggae-funk band from Boston, State Radio is presently on tour with their new album Rabbit Inn Rebellion.   I caught up with their frontman Chadwick Stokes for an interview about his unique, custom ‘gas can guitar’ and the story behind it.


In the podcast interview you’ll learn more about the new video for Big Man which features the ‘gas can guitar’ (‘Fidel Castrol’), Calling All Crows, How’s your news? and one of my favorite videos that just seems to capture State Radio’s personality and sense of caring for their special fans….’Right me up’.  Check out all the links below.

State Radio

An interesting band with a mission.  On tour, State Radio has joined with Amnesty International to expose the injustices and improprieties of the legal system, worked to minimize wildfire danger by removing invasive plants from areas in California, raised money to support hundreds of Afghan women with shelter and education and have partnered with Oxfam America to organize home run derbies and 5K road races.  Most bands have touring schedules. State Radio has an action calendar.

State Radio: Chadwick Stokes (guitar/vocals), Mike ‘Mad Dog’ Najarian (drums/vocals), Chuck Fay (bass/vocals)

Calling All Crows

Calling All Crows – the band’s non-profit organization aimed to mobilize musicians and their fans to create change through music and service – State Radio interacts with fans in local service projects in the cities they tour. They meet the people who buy their records, while giving back to their communities.  “We’ve never had major label help,” Stokes says, “we get together with fans at protests or do service projects between shows. It’s never been a top-down kind of thing, it’s always been from the ground up.”  Founded in 2008, Calling All Crows has raised over $250,000 to empower women in Sudan and Afghanistan and invested more than 17,000 hours of service in local communities and across North America and Europe.

How’s Your News?

How’s Your News?, is a film project created by filmmaker/author Arthur Bradford and Chad Stokes while working at a camp for adults with disabilities, and was picked up by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for a run on HBO and MTV.  

New album:  Rabbit Inn Rebellion

Organic musicality paired with socio-political lyrics, Rabbit Inn Rebellion is State Radio’s most urgent record yet.  It’s a hopeful antidote to the plague of cynicism, a metaphoric candle lighting a world gone dark.

“We didn’t care if it was little messy or not perfect, if the energy and the driving nature and sense of urgency was in it, then we would go for it. That’s what carries the album,” says Stokes.  “This is totally a full steam ahead, pedal-to-the-metal album. You can feel the blood coursing through it.” 

Big Man

New video (featuring gas can guitar – ‘Fidel Castrol’)

Chad Stokes plays the gas can guitar in the Big Man video


Right Me Up.

Check out this older video that will warm you heart and give a feel for the band.

Right Me Up!

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  1. I love this guitar. I have seen a few shows in which Chad has used this, it sounds amazing. Thank you for interviewing him. Big fan of State Radio.

    • Jim Fetterolf says:

      Thanks Mitchell,
      Yes, Chad was a fun and relaxed interview. I recently had a chance to see State Radio at the House of Blues in Boston. They were excellent. I’m a new fan. The guitar really was a huge hit. You’re right, it’s amazing how much sound he gets from that little beat-up gas can. Take care and thanks for listening!

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