Interview with Empire

040316-15

Interview recorded on 10/06/2016

Diego - Vocals
Diego – Vocals

Altearoa:
How did Empire get started?Jeremy:
Well it was Diego and another friend called Jake that got the band together. After that they recruited other people, we went through two other drummers before finding Rhyz, we went through one other bassist before finding Eddie and two guitarists before Tim. So Diego and I have been through it for the whole time. Just stuck at it and made passionate love to each other (laughs) and found that we actually liked each other.

Tim:
I was originally in a different band with Rhyz before this called The Fractured Sky which didn’t really go places and eventually Empire’s old guitar player quit. I just got this message saying “You, guitar, Empire” and then it just happenend. How did we find you? (Eddie).

Eddie:
I knew Rhyz back from gigging with him in my old bands and we’d just sort of yarn to eachother gigs and then one day we had ‘the yarn’ and that was me.

Jeremy:
Eddie was awesome though because he was the first one that came to practice when we needed a bass player who just came in and we’d play a song and he’d just pick it up straight away.

Tim:
We didn’t have a bass player for what was it 8 months? Something like that. It was interesting, playing gigs without a bassist but once Ed came along it’s all been happening since then.

Altearoa:
So how long has Empire been playing together?

Jeremy:
November this year will by 5 years for the original band. Eddie’s been with us for about a year, just over a year. His first live gig with us was last year’s battle of the bands. So yea too fucking long. (laughs).

Eddie - Bass
Eddie – Bass

Altearoa:
And what sort of influences does the band have?

Tim:
Well we’ve got, Amon Amarth, Lamb of God, Avenged Sevenfold.

Jeremy:
Those are the main three anyway.

Tim:
Yea, some of the vocals could maybe loosely be based from Serj Tankian.

Jeremy:
Some Slipknot influences in some of the breakdowns. There’s a lot I guess.

Altearoa:
How would you define your music then?

Jeremy:
You ever taken a shit in fish tank? That type of plop, that type of splash, is the type of music we make. Fish Tank Plop. (laughs)

Tim:
I dunno, I suppose if we really had to knuckle down and give it a name it would be melodic heavy metal. Eclectic metal really.

Jeremy:
A cross between melodic heavy metal and melodic death metal anyway.

Eddie:
We’ve got a bit of classic rock thrown in too, particularly with Diego’s vocals in some of the songs, some of our chorus’s.

Altearoa:
So whats helped Empire last this long and go this far?

Jeremy:
Not being around each other that much, Tim moving to Darfield (laughs).

Eddie:
Drinking (laughs)

Jeremy:
Alcohol! Really probably because no matter what gig we play whether its to 5 people or 5000 people we always put on the same show and go as hard as we fucking can.

Tim:
The high energy stage presence is definitely a big thing always. You just break yourself I suppose, when you can.

Jeremy:
Who gives a fuck if it takes you two days to recover after the show.

Tim:
Exactly, unless you’re on tour, then it’s not so pleasant. Interacting with people is also important, not just when you’re on stage but always talk to people when you can, get to know your fans.

Tim - Guitar
Tim – Guitar

Eddie:
We all actually get along so well.

Jeremy:
Yea we’re quite good friends.

Altearoa:
Anything major that’s gone wrong for Empire?

Tim:
Well now that I live so far out it’s a bit of an issue getting to and from places half the time, and I’ve got a child so it’s not as easy to find time.

Jeremy:
Finding enough money for alcohol, or anything really.

Tim:
Local bands don’t exactly get paid much.

Jeremy:
I think the most we’ve been paid, over 3 of the 5 years is about $300 all up.

Tim:
Money really is always an issue, it’s the old saying, $5000 worth of gear in a $500 car for a $5 gig.

Eddie:
Getting good gear to get a good sound. We’re getting there on that one.

Jeremy:
I’m paying off my gear over the next year.

040316-18Altearoa:
What advice would you give to bands starting out?

Jeremy:
Sell out. First chance. Prostitution is a good way to make money. (laughs)

Tim:
Practice a lot, you may not think its important when you’re getting fucked up, but its really the most important.

Eddie:
Hang out a lot together. Actually get to know each other.

Jeremy:
Don’t get too drunk before shows, unless you can fucking handle your shit.

Tim:
If you get too intoxicated it is gonna make for a messy performance. But pretty much form a brotherhood with the band so you can work together and play off each other’s mistakes.

Altearoa:
Do you cover mistakes that often?

Eddie:
Its reached a point now actually if anyone fucks up we all know what we’re going to do next so people don’t even notice.

Tim:
There was a really good one once, we were playing Ragnarok live at last years battle of the bands and we cut out pretty much the whole tail-end of the song.

Jeremy:
Probably about 3/5s of the way through the song we just stopped it, looked at each other, and perfectly figured out how to end the song because we knew we just fucked it up. But no one in the audience really knew.

Tim:
I don’t think it really happens that often but we can certainly play off each other and cover mistakes. We work well with each other so we usually know what everyones doing on stage and we’re interacting so it all just flows.

Altearoa:
So what have been some of the best moments for Empire?

Eddie:
Mine would definitely be going up to Auckland with these guys (NZ Final Battle of the Bands). It was my first outside of Christchurch and it was just awesome. Big turn out, great times.

Tim:
I think my favourite moment with the band so far is the elevator in Auckland. We were up for the battle of bands finals and just chilling in the elevator. Rhyz was standing their mooning Eddie while he was outside the elevator and Eddie just turns around, pulls down his pants, and runs into the elevator. (laughs)

Jeremy:
Butt charges him. You know when goats charge each other and lock horns, it was a drummer and a bassist locking butts.(laughs)

Tim:
It was my favourite thing, I just could not function, so good.

Eddie:
I won by the way, if anyone was wondering.

Jeremy:
Probably our first best moment was years and years ago when Rhyz comes in like “boys, boys, boys, boys, boys!” and we’re like “what?”, “We’re opening for 8 Foot Sativa!” That was so amazing and we’ve done that a couple more times.

Altearoa:
What about worst moments?

Tim:
The flights. The flights to battle of the bands last year. Our drummer Rhyz, the night before we had to fly out, Rhyz decided to make a fun mistake and the booked the flights for PM rather than AM and then had to shell out about $700 for new tickets.

Jeremy:
So the flights were at 9:10pm, we were playing at 9:30pm, 20 minutes to fly up to Auckland and get to The Kings Arms.

Tim:
We all have our funky clashes sometimes but it doesn’t happen a lot.

Jeremy:
We don’t really have worst moments, because we just power through them, you feel sad just wank your way through it.(laughs)

Tim:
Figuratively… some times literally.

Eddie:
Either or really.

Jeremy:
Cry or wank or both.

Altearoa:
What are Empire’s plans for the future?

Tim:
Well obviously we’d like to make it through the New Zealand finals for Battle of the Bands and hopefully make our way to Europe from that. Don’t know quite how we’re going to fund our way.

Jeremy:
If that doesn’t happen, probably next thing would be a New Zealand tour, then an Australian tour.

Eddie:
I suppose we’re still trying to find our perfect sound as well. All of our songs are a bit across the board at the moment.

Tim:
So future wise, consolidate our sound, get the best live performances possible, get fucked up, and meet lots of people.

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