With 2015 being a huge year, hitting Download, Camden Rocks and more, Emp!re are on the verge of releasing their latest E.P ‘Our Simple Truths’. Drawing influence for Arcane Roots, At The Drive-In & Biffy Clyro we managed to get a few questions in before they set off on their latest tour.
You’ve played numerous tours and festivals, over the course of those years what do you think has been your highlight point that you can look back on with distinction?
I think we have all been proud of what we had done, whether that was our first UK tour, first big festival, or first big headline. They have all been amazing. Some highlights, playing Download was very special for us, for so many reasons of all going there for so long and enjoying the festival. Sonisphere was great. Playing the mainstage of 2000 Trees festival was absolutely incredible, then supporting HIM at a sold out main room of Rock City was bloody wild.
You’re upcoming E.P comes out on the 20th May, what did you find were your influences for the lyrics and were there any musicians in particular that you drew from to help along the way?
We find influence from everything really. The thing that is always interesting about this band, is it is never coming from the same place or any one place. Anything kind of goes. There is some more pop orientated stuff on there, some heavier riffs and even some more soul. We’ve been listening to lots of music old and new, but this is usually just about EMP!RE doing EMP!RE and that is what we have tried to achieve.
How did Emp!re come about, what got the five of you together?
It was pretty much assembled and hand-picked. We all had affiliations through various older bands and got most of what is there now, assembled musically. We were then introduced to Joe by a mutual friend and thankfully, the rest worked out great from there!
This isn’t your first release; in 2013 you dropped ‘Where The World Begins’, between then and now how do you think you’ve evolved as a band to build upon the success that you created back then?
Musically, we have got better – we just saw such evolution with realizing the exact vision this time. We love WTWB so much and for what it has done for our band – we still love some of the songs – just this time along we are bringing some more craft to the table and feeling like we are pushing out our best stuff.
I first saw you guys back in 2014 on your ‘Where The World Begins’ tour in Birmingham. Unfortunately we aren’t known for attending small time shows, since then how do you feel about the rise of your band with more people coming out to see you to the point where you played Download Festival?
It is just thankfully continually improving and the shows are really getting better every time. We have been lucky to play some great shows and meet some great people along the way and the band has evolved organically from that.
I saw your set up for drum tracking – that bass drum is huge and sounds giant on record! Is that the kit you’re touring with or do you reduce it for ease of touring?
“Yes, that’s the beast we are touring with! It’s a custom OCDP kit, the kick is 24” x 24”.”
You list Arcane Roots, Biffy Clyro & At The Drive-In as bands you admire (on fb); three massive bands that all progressively pushed and continue to push their sub-genres. These influences shine through on this EP in the songs sometimes completely unpredictable direction. But your vocal style stuck out for me as completely unique and different, what influences do you have vocally or would you like to think you’ve cemented your own style?
“The Vocals are definitely influenced by other bands/artists as time has gone on.
Anyone in particular you would list as a big influence?
There’s been a few big influences vocally including Incubus, Skunk Anansie, Prince, Coheed and Cambria, Stevie Wonder and The Mars Volta – I could go on!”
That’s a varied combination, and it is represented in the recordings. Prior to this release last Summer was pretty successful for festival shows, playing Download, Euroblast and Camden Rocks. Using this momentum is this Summer set to be more of the same or do you have plans to move in a different direction and head back into the studio?
“This year was more about getting the EP together and getting out there – we are playing a couple of select festivals, but not so many this year whilst we get ourselves fully prepared for next year!”
I’ll anticipate some developments next year for sure then. Moving back towards the present, touring is long and arduous. You often end up in a town with no idea where anything is and not enough time to explore and eat properly. So, if fans could bring you one kind of snack to your shows to share with you, what would it be?
“Ok we’re all into different kinds of snacks to be honest just like our musical tastes, but a universal one we’d never turn down would be a large supply of skittles, all the colours, a nice sugary boost up, not good for you in any way other than the sugary boost up and taste, but sometimes that’s enough.”
So you don’t need someone to remove all the red ones then?
“That would be crazy, the red ones are the best, apart from maybe the purple ones, but no generally we believe variety is the spice of life so we do not discriminate when it comes to skittle selection”
Finally, anything else you would like to share with Creation Press?
“As an exclusive, you can expect a tour to be announced soon for slightly later in the year with an incredible line up of support bands!”
Interview by Fred Whatmore & Sean Shore (@seanshorephoto)