Empress unveil new ‘Deeper In Disguise’ video ahead of Download Festival appearance…
Prior to this we chat to front man Ollie about the single, and the albums that have most influenced him.
It took a moment of clarity for brothers Ollie (guitars and vocals) and Alex Loring (bass) joined by Edd Unwin (drums) and Tom Meadon (guitars), to realise they’d been making music they never truly loved for years. It was time to start following their instincts 100 per cent. They trusted their music tastes implicitly so decided to ignore the trend and appease their own minds by forming Empress.
Empress have been writing since the start of 2011, honing their style together; quietly and carefully. The result is a sound that belies their young age – all are in their 20s. Soothing and vicious in turn, they juxtapose gentle harmonies with frantic ferocity; relaxed strumming followed by thrashy beats, time signature changes and other interesting meanderings that you’ll just have to find out about for yourself.
Empress take to the Download Festival stage next weekend, with a new gut wrenching single ‘Deeper in Disguise’ available now we caught up with vocalist Ollie Loring who said of the single “The sound we’ve achieved on the new album is a huge step up from anything we’ve written before and we’re extremely proud of it. We’re really excited for people to hear this new song, especially before our UK support dates with Bring Me The Horizon”
Taken from their yet-to-be-named debut album, ‘Deeper In Disguise’ is fresh from being mastered in the US and is already available from iTunes, and all other digital stores.
The video for ‘Deeper In Disguise’ – directed by Ross Leppard
We also took the opportunity to ask bass player Alex Loring to detail the ten albums that have had the most impact upon him, those albums that have influenced him both personally and as a musician; certainly a couple that surprised us her at LTW.
Pink Floyd ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ This is an album we owe a debt of gratitude to. It is the pinnacle of beautiful, meaningful and existential music. Every aspect of this album feels deliberate and considered yet there are gentle meanderings that suggest something more incidental. The message behind the album is implicit but powerful – to the point that I could listen to this album 1000 more times and still not fully appreciate the grandeur of it.
Reuben ‘Racecar is Racecar Backwards’ This album starts off with 5 songs that could easily make it into a ‘Top 100 British Rock Songs Ever’ – in our own humble opinions. There’s so much more than great song writing going on here though. The delivery is so memorable – the dynamics in each song are an amazing journey and Jamie’s voice is incredible in his ability to go between serene and savage in the same phrase. It’s remarkable considering they were all under the age of 25.
Elbow ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’ We admire this band so much. They’ve been putting out great albums for years so when The Seldom Seen Kid was received with critical acclaim – picking up music prizes on the way – it felt justified. If you take out Guy Garvey’s voice from this album – you’re left with a breath-taking rhythmic, melodic and dynamic masterpiece that sounds like no other band. The fact that he has a truly individual vocal style and a particular way with lyricism makes this album very special.
Mastodon ‘Crack the Skye’ If we had to choose one album that was a game changer for our band then this would have to be it. This is my favourite heavy record of all time. Mastodon definitely tipped their hat to some prog rock bands of a past era on this album and with the help of producer-extraordinaire Brendan O’Brien: they executed it stunningly well. They managed to maintain the sludge-metal backbone to their music that we know from previous albums as well.
Metallica ‘Master of Puppets’ I’m sure there is a defining moment in everyone’s lives where one album makes you appreciate music on a different level – even if you don’t realise it at the time. At first Master of Puppets was an awesome album with heavy guitars, fast drums, aggressive vocals – all the stuff that draws in an impressionable, young teenager. As you mature from impressionable to receptive however, great albums start to make more sense. This was the first album that made me feel something special – the heaviness was purposeful, the speed was sensorially intimidating and the aggression was meaningful. Metallica and more specifically Master of Puppets made us appreciate heavy music.
Deftones ‘Diamond Eyes’ I was definitely not a fan of the whole nu-metal movement in the early 2000s and Deftones seemed to move with that scene. That meant I didn’t check them out until Diamond Eyes – an album that even diehard fans were raving about. The way this album moves makes it individual – it can go from labouring and heavy to groove-laden to soft. When I heard the track ‘You’ve Seen the Butcher’ – I knew I’d experienced something new musically.
Poison the Well ‘The Tropic Rot’ If you had to categorise this album, it would be filed somewhere near Reuben. Great songs, huge dynamics and a vicious aggression like nothing you’ll ever hear. The vocal melodies and the way Jeffrey Moreira flits between screaming and singing litters this record with moments that will make your hair stand up. Antarctica Inside Me is a highlight track.
The Beatles ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ It’s so hard choosing a Beatles album – they could all be in this list though Sgt Peppers may be the most remarkable of their albums. The psychedelia, instrumentation, vocals harmonies, dynamics, everything – it’s just so special. The first track I heard from this album was A Day in the Life. That song really started my love affair with this band. I couldn’t believe how they had taken a song and turned it on its head; incorporating ideas and themes you couldn’t dream up. In a sense – that song reflects the rest of the album really well. It’s progressive and vast and you never know what’s around the next corner.
No Made Sense ‘New Season/New Blues’ – We feel so lucky to have found this album. There is no other heavy band that really compare to No Made Sense – maybe the odd bit of Neurosis, but other than that – this album stands out amongst everything and anything. It’s hard to even describe how great it is as there really isn’t a reference point. Each song moves from dense to sparse; through a dirge-like wall of noise and complexity that evolves in a way that feels almost random. That is the genius of this album though. Anyone into Mastodon, Converge, Isis and Neurosis: prepare to listen to one of your favourite ever albums.
Grails ‘Doomsdayer’s Holiday’ Some people have an album that is the soundtrack to their life and this is mine. It does indeed sound like the soundtrack to a film but this album exhibits some amazing qualities. Grails have a way with sauntering melodies that draw your mind in, developing simple ideas with vague dynamic wonderings and alluring layers in an expanse that feels immense. Vast yet simple is the name of the game here.
Empress on tour:
07 Guildford Boileroom W/ Funeral For A Friend
15 Donnington, Download Festival
12 Gloucestershire, 2000 Trees Festival
27 Redhill, RedFest
04 Port Lympne, Hevy Fest