Tom Conrad (guitars)
Ryan J. Luciani (drums)
Max Steger (guitar)
Sean Van Vleet (lead vocals)
"It's always felt like things just fall in place for us," says guitarist Tom Conrad. "I think it's a testament to how we approach things and the fact that we were friends long before we were band mates. We all have different perspectives musically, but there's a collective mindset that makes it all work."
Free from creative restraints, able to explore any sound they want, and build an identity that was true to their vision, Empires spent nearly a year crafting their debut record HOWL, which was officially released for free online in May 2008 via their website (weareempires.com). HOWL was entirely written, engineered, produced, and art directed by the band, with youngest member, Max Steger at the helm of the tracking and engineering recording sessions.
By the end of the year, HOWL had earned over 60,000 album downloads and had caught the attention of many including
"The album is great, all ethereal and doomy like the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or the Black Angels, but with a little bit of My Chemical Romance snarl thrown in for good measure." - MTV.com
"The debut from Chicago quintet Empires is either refreshing unpredictable or totally all over the place. But you've no reason not to give it a listen. The record achieves a strange, roller-coaster cohesiveness" - Red Eye (Chicago Tribune)
"[HOWL] is a sweeping album that doesn't really come off as a first effort and spans from sunny-pop songs like 'Believe' to the rockin' howl-along 'I Want Blood'." - AOL Spinner
With a recording and release process approached on their own terms, Empires' collective kismet and cool confidence translates into a sound that's bigger than their time together as a band might suggest. The experience-surrounding HOWL also left the band feeling totally liberated and allowed them to focus on finding new fans via untraditional methods. Especially by taking advantage of online communities and offering their music for free. "We've got fans from all over the globe now," says lead singer and songwriter Sean Van Vleet. "It feels like a great way to start a relationship with the listener."
"We've really learned how to work as a band," says Van Vleet. "When you strip away all the worries about what comes next with the process of releasing music and all the other crap that just gets in the way, you end up really finding your sound."
While the band works on their follow up to HOWL, they will continue to offer music for free. This collection of songs will culminate with a physical release of an EP entitled BANG, this March.
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CANYONS OF STATIC
A band from West Bend, WI, formed in 2005. Featuring husband and wife guitarist Ross Severson and keyboardist Aggie Severson along with bassist Chris Biertzer and drummer Nathan Gaffney. Canyons of Static is an instrumental quartet that blends the distorted melodies of shoegaze with the intensely emotional aspects of post-rock. With no central songwriter, the music evolves from a collective process of experimentation challenging the boundaries and forms of traditional rock music. They self-released two ep's in 2006 and their first full-length album, The Disappearance, in 2008. Canyons of Static continues to grow their audience through a dynamic live show. Performances feature homemade abstract films projected onto multiple screens creating a unique experience of sight and sound. Currently Canyons of Static are wrapping up recordings for a new full-length album. WHAT THE PRESS SAYS: "Canyons of Static stand out as something worth paying attention to" -Juli Lawerence ON MILWAUKEE.COM "monstrous walls of sound" -JSONLINE "Listening to Canyons Of Static is nostalgic bliss...it deserves your attention.." -INDIE ROCK REVIEWS ..."The Disappearance"...a musical narrative developed in a relatively vintage (but powerfully vivid) style that blends the introversive dreamscapes of shoegaze with the extroversive emotional inspiration of post-rock. " THE SILENT BALLET "some of the most haunting and brutal signature guitar tones thisside of guitar-led instrumental music" NOWLIKEPHOTOGRAPHS "Canyons of Static. Have you heard these guys? Have you seen these guys? Incredible. Absolutely incredible." Matt Wild VITAL SOURCE "Perfect headphone music" THE BIG TAKEOVER
121 West Main Street
Madison, WI 53703