Interview With:: empires

We recently spoke with Mike Robinson, drummer of empires, to discuss how the band started, who their biggest influences are, and what we can expect next from the band!

Check out the interview below!

How long have you guys been playing together, and how did empires start?
The band has been together since 2008, but I started playing with them in 2012. Sean, Max, and Tom all knew each other before playing music together and I met them through mutual friends at a venue I work at in Akron, OH.

Chicago is home to a lot of great upcoming bands; are there any that have been there with you guys along your journey or any bands that have impacted you along the way?
Disappears is a Chicago band that was a part of the inspiration for us to work with John Congleton. He’s done some really great work with them.

Who would you guys say some of your biggest influences are? Individually and as a collective unit.
This is constantly changing. Personally, I grew up listening to a lot of The Beatles, Zeppelin, and soul music and that ultimately got me interested in playing, but as far as current influences it’s pretty vast and just depends on the day.

You guys are playing on Letterman soon, which I think we can agree is a pretty big feat. What would you guys say were some key moments or steps in getting to that point?
I’d like to think that the music speaks for itself and caught some interest organically. We have a great team behind us as well that really helped out.

What advice do you guys have for any bands out there who are currently working their asses off?
Keep working your ass off.

What can we expect next from Empires?
We’ll be touring a lot this year and we have a full length, “Orphan”, coming out this fall. 

Thank you for your time! Anything else you’d like to add? 
Our new EP, “How Good Does It Feel”, just came out last week. You can buy it on iTunes or our webstore… And thanks for getting in touch with us, we really appreciate it!

Review:: How Good Does It Feel | empires


For Fans of: The National, The Strokes, The Airborne Toxic Event

Empires’ new EP How Good Does It Feel may only have four tracks, but really that’s all these guys need. Each track is as catchy as the one before, leaving the listener singing the tunes hours after hearing it (I know I was), but not only are these songs catchy as hell, there are some serious emotions brought out throughout the whole thing – love, longing, guilt. With How Good Does It Feel, it’s clear that empires have honed their sound and perfected their own style.

“Hostage” starts the EP of perfectly: in your face drums that the listener can’t help but at least to tap their foot. “How Good Does It Feel” and “Please Don’t Tell My Lover” are both pleasantly reminiscent of The Strokes’ First Impressions of Earth. “Lifers” ends the EPon a slower, more emotional note, leaving the listener in a state of the best kind of contemplation. How Good Does It Feel is a perfect blend of all the right sounds and feelings; it’s impossible not to fall in love with Empires.

Release Date: June 17, 2014
Run Time: 13:48
Rating: 4/5

Track Listing:
2. “How Good Does It Feel”
3. “Please Don’t Tell My Lover”
4. “Lifers”

empires is:
Tom Conrad
Mike Robinson
Max Steger
Sean Van Vleet

Written by Joe Calvi