State Champs Pop-Punk Band Ranking Interview

State Champs can agree on the best pop-punk band but not much else

If you’ve ever needed a knowledgeable pop-punk band to answer all of your burning early ’00s pop music questions, State Champs have you covered. Or if you need a couple of guys to rank pop-punk legends, they can do that too. And they’re not afraid to stir up some controversy or crank out some choreography in the process. 

The choreography in question, of course, is that to *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye.” Is it perfect? Not really. But vocalist Derek DiScanio and bassist Ryan Scott Graham don’t need perfectly executed choreo to decide how *NSYNC hold up against their boy band rival, the Backstreet Boys.

Read more: 10 rising Australian pop-punk bands you need to hear

“*NSYNC were better,” DiScanio says. “They had more hits. Better dance moves, better-looking guys… We feel pretty powerful about this, so we could talk about this for a while because we have.”

Alternative Press caught up with both DiScanio and Graham to hear all of their pop hot takes, personal secrets and how they’d rank legendary groups such as Green Day and Fall Out Boy among each other. Their answers may shock you, especially if you’re a Britney Spears fan, but at least they were honest about it. 

What’s one of your secrets?

DEREK DISCANIO: I’m pretty messy. I leave my clothes everywhere on the bus. That’s a secret. It’s a secret to everyone except [people] on the bus.

RYAN SCOTT GRAHAM: My secret is that I wet the bed until I was about 12 every single night. I was a loser. I couldn’t go to sleepovers. 

Would you rather be a tiger or have a pet tiger?

DISCANIO: I think I would rather be a tiger and F shit up.

GRAHAM: I think I would rather have a pet tiger. It sounds fun. 

Rank these artists: blink-182, Sum 41, Fall Out Boy, Green Day.

DISCANIO: Fall Out Boy, blink, then Green Day, then Sum 41.

GRAHAM: Ah, it’s different for me. Mine would be Fall Out Boy, blink, Sum 41, then Green Day.

DISCANIO: State Champs, Fall Out Boy, blink…

GRAHAM: Yeah, that’s a festival we’re putting together right now.

Where’s your personal safe haven?

GRAHAM: My bedroom, for sure. 

DISCANIO: It’s gotta be. It’s where we really value our time alone when we’re off tour and just chilling. Mine is just a bed, and I have band wall flags from when I was growing up. I have New Found Glory posters and stuff still. And a big plasma TV that I play video games on.

GRAHAM: I don’t have a TV. I was never allowed to have a TV in my room. Still don’t. So mine is a bed in the corner and then a bunch of our tour posters framed up, and then I’ve got a bookshelf [and a] dresser.

Would you rather join *NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?


GRAHAM: *NSYNC. Backstreet Boys were my first concert ever. I just think *NSYNC have got the hits. They were specifically built to beat the Backstreet Boys, to be their rivals. We were talking about something maybe even more heated the other night. Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera. Who was the one?

DISCANIO: And see, that’s where the argument came in. Maybe I would rather be Britney Spears for the fame in the level that she got to, but Christina Aguilera is by far more talented.