Emperors Addictive Last Groove
A long time coming, Emperors 'Chupacabra' took 9 months to carve. "Doomed From The Start" the album was riddled with set backs including needing to replace the drummer, a hard drive crashing and voice box issues with their frontman Adam Livingstone.
Laced with the tension of that series of unfortunate events, Emperors follow up album to 'Say Frosty' is an absolutely addictive indie rock recording. With the band now on an indefinite hiatus, FrankenSounds catches up with the articulate and lighthearted co-songwriter and founding member Greg Sanders to talk about the new album, their career to date, the highlights and things to remember along the way.
"No matter what walk of life you are from, if you are pursuing anything passionately, I think you've got to not be insecure about it and just enjoy it while it is happening."
FS: How did you write and record this second album, was it an organic process and how did it differ from 'Stay Frosty'?
GS: "It was just so different, the evolution is organic in the sense that we didn't plan to do anything differently, the writing process was different . The first record was more organic. We would get really excited and bang them out really quickly. With this record, we were in the middle of doing a lot of touring and Adam and I we were both in between starting and finishing different jobs."
"We had to force ourselves to do it, we would write separately and then get together and force ourselves to bang it into shape. It's less organic in that sense. When you are stuck in between touring cycles and you lose your energy without that down time so writing a record is difficult one."
FS: With references to jury duty that led you to facing Romanian heroin drug traffickers to fictional stories you have written about people in a small town called Green Head. Which is your favourite track on the record and why?
GS: "Eliot Ness has always been one of my favourites, ever since we wrote it. it's definitely not a single and it's definitely not a classic sounding Emperors track. It was really one where I wanted to capture all my favourite moments on the first couple of Weezer records and I think that is as close as i'm going to be able to do it without completely embarrassing myself!"
"Hopefully it falls short of being completely shameless!"
"I really like the structure of the song and I really enjoy playing it live... that might be due to the fact I get to play a lot of lead guitar in it so it's probably just me being self-indulgent!"
FS: I hear a Biffy Clyro influence across the record was that a deliberate move?
GS: "I like Biffy as well but they are not a huge song writing influence, Ash is more a song writing influence if we're talking UK bands that have had an impact."
FS: Looking back over your career to date, what experiences and lessons are you taking away with you?
GS: "I'm in a really reflective state about Emperors at the moment and being really analytical about it for the last 6 years of my life. I think the biggest thing I am talking from that time as a lesson would be that maybe with my next band I will be taking it a little less seriously and enjoy the really good parts while they are happening and not reflect on whether that guitar part was absolutely perfect live."
"There were so many moments when we were playing to massive crowds of people and supporting big bands and playing with our favourite bands, and the whole time I was pre occupied with nailing the guitar parts live and stuff like that that. If I did it again I would try to have more fun and enjoy the moment while it is happening."
FS: I think that's something we can all do a bit more...
GS: "No matter what walk of life you are from, if you are pursuing anything passionately, I think you've got to not be insecure about it and just enjoy it while it is happening."
FS: What's next musically for you?
GS: "I've joined a band called Ursula with members of The Love Junkies, Foam and Pat Chow. Robbie Rumble is the bass player from Love Junkies and he is and amazing song-writer and I'm playing with him, which is awesome. Plus, I'm working on my own solo stuff, trying to put together my own band and working towards putting a record out of my own."
FS: Can you tell us more about the music you will be working on?
GS: "With Ursula, the closest I can get to describing is 'Shoe gaze' I think. It's still indie rock but it's got that My Bloody Valentine kind of feel and a bit of Pavement in there as well."
"With the solo stuff, I don't think I would ever make an acoustic album, I don't think I would ever make an album without loud guitars on it but hey, who knows?!"
"My solo stuff sounds more like Emperors, you'll hear some similar structures and guitar sounds but that's all a work in progress, that won't be out for quite a while.... and I like to think Emperors would make a new record but right now I can't see that happening."
FS: Any Perth music recommendations?
GS: "Pat Chow are the best band in Perth right now, their-doing a Pixies kind of influence and country style music."
"There great new garage band called the The Pissedcolas. They're a straight up punk/garage rock band but the singer is from Chile and he sings in Spanish so the band has this really cool exotic South American punk vibe to it.... I love it. You know, he may be saying 'Oh Yeah Baby, I Love You Baby', and I don't know what the fuck he is saying because it's in Spanish but it sounds really cool..."
"There are a few other bands that I like Puck who are a 3 piece stoner rock band everyone should check out. Race To Your Face are an incredible 2 piece instrumental math rock band.. there are so many others..."
FS: What is your fondest memory of the last 6 years?
GS: "We did some big shows with bands like Everclear and Grinspoon so it was great playing to audiences of that size that will be a fond memory. We got to go to New York for a couple of weeks in 2013 which was an experience I'll never forget. I remember throwing up on the pavement all over Greenwich Village..."
Interview by KenadaQ