Empires, a DIY indie band from Chicago, Illinois, was a slow-to-go project in their early days. Members Sean Van Vleet (vocals) and Tom Conrad guitar) were friends for nearly a decade before they started playing music together in 2007, then they started pursuing a more serious music career when their now-former drummer, Ryan Luciani joined their sound. Current band members also include guitarist Max Steger and drummer Mike Robinson. Now, in 2014, the band has 3 full length albums and an EP under their belt and they bring a genuine gothic, alt-rock sound.
Empires newest album, Orphan, which was released on September 23, 2014, comes out of the gate with their first track “Silverfire“, which has a dark, atmospheric drone (picture the most gothic, mournful tracks from The Cure), but the following tracks evolve into slightly brighter, but still ominous sounding musical landscapes. The band lists acts Nirvana and Pixies as their influences, which seems logical considering their consistent heavy tones. Empires also has a sound that is very reminiscent of The Doors at times. A few tracks off of the album, such as “Honeyblood“, really showcase the bands home-grown, gothic-at-times, sound. The tracks ebb and flow nicely and form a nice collection of moods; everything from a deep, sorrowful moan, to a surprisingly upbeat feel, which rides dangerously close to the line of even being poppy without going too far.
Currently, Empires is just a few shows into a nationwide tour, which started in California, and they will zig-zag across the country hitting Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., and they will end their tour with the final show in Tennessee.
If you’re into the soulful, heavy, gothic indie alt-rock scene then you need to catch Empires live. It’ll be a show that you’ll be glad that you did not miss. Check below for the group’s full tour schedule.
9/17 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
9/18 – San Francisco – The Independent
9/20 – Bend, OR – Old St Francis School INFO
9/21 – Seattle, WA – Showbox
9/22 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
9/26 – Chicago, IL – W Hotel INFO
9/27 – Cincinnati, OH – Midpoint Music Festival
9/28 – Springfield, IL – The Radon Lounge INFO
10/1 – Columbia, MO – Mojo’s
10/2 – Kansas City, MO – The recordBar
10/4 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10/10 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s BBQ: Inside
10/11 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10/17 – Akron, OH – Musica
10/18 – Columbus, OH – Rumba Cafe
10/19 – Grand Rapids, MI – Founders Brewing Co
10/21 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th St Entry
10/23 – DeKalb, IL – The House Cafe
10/24 – Champaign, IL – Error Records
11/7 – Pontiac, MI – The Pike Room
11/8 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Smiling Moose
11/9 – Philadelphia, PA – The Barbary
11/11 – Boston, MA – Church of Boston
11/14 – Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right
11/15 – Washington, DC – DC9
11/16 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
11/19 – Nashville, TN – the High Watt