Will Seabrook from Empire Of One has kindly taken the time to speak to Smokin’ Charlie Brown about the band’s self-titled debut EP. Check out the interview below!
01. Most bands find it difficult to come up with a name. How did you come up with Empire of One?
Voting. It’s an American tradition. We brainstormed about a zillion names and then made merciless fun of each other’s suggestions until we had it down to our final two choices. I don’t even remember what the other one was at this point which is probably a sign we made the right call.
02. Your self-titled debut EP ‘Empire of One’ is out now. How do you feel about the record now that it’s been released to the public?
It’s important to make music that makes you incredibly happy, something that you personally love. If you do that, then it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. If you don’t love it, then the first time someone has something critical to say, you wind up on the floor in the fetal position. I really love this stuff. It makes me happy when other people love it, too, but if they don’t I’m fine with that.
03. Some bands find recording their debut record a daunting thing to do. How did you find the recording process?
Fun! This band was an “instant chemistry” kind of situation and the producer (Lior Goldenberg) is such a great guy to work with, very relaxed and creative, that it was really a pleasure from start to finish. It’s hard enough in the music business without getting in your own way. You have to enjoy the process. “Process” is all there is, really.
04. What are the themes and messages running through ”Empire of One’ ?
Being in my thirties has been about finally figuring out who I really am and how I want to live my life, the kind of person I really want to be. Most people in their teens and twenties are naturally optimistic, until they get their ass handed to them a few times by life. For me, the real redemption comes in not going into agreement with the barriers, the ruins, the stops, the naysayers (internal and external). It’s about remaining doggedly and gloriously optimistic in spite of all invitations to do otherwise. It’s also about having a genuine awareness of your fellow man, not in a Care Bears, “We Are The World” kind of way but operating with a sense of empathy and responsibility for what you put out into the world and what you expect in return. If I could bottle up the sound of hope in the face of all of life’s trials and tribulations, that’s what I hope it sounds like.
05. As a band how did you go about writing your material? Do you have a particular method or process?
I tend to bring basic ideas to the band and then they work their magic in terms of arrangements, slight chord changes here and there, and the overall sound and vibe of a song. A great song should stand on its own regardless of how you produce it, but there’s also something very special that happens when a particular group of people come together to make music that only they can make.
06. Were there any artists in particular that influenced you during the making of the record?
It was more of a general concept we were going after – a big, shake the rafters kind of sound. Bands like U2, Coldplay and Kings Of Leon come to mind.
07. ‘If I Let Myself Dream’ is your current single. What inspired the song and what are the song’s core messages?
I talked a little bit about this earlier but it comes down to having lived enough of life to have experienced amazing highs and gut busting lows and through all of that realizing what’s really important to you and figuring out who the people are that you want to dedicate your life to. There’s something amazing about being in love with the same person for years at a time and going through everything life throws at you together. There’s a bond that forms there that really does make you family.
08. Now you’ve released your EP and have a single out what are your plans for the rest of 2012? Do you intend to work on an album?
Definitely more recording. We have at least two new songs which we’re very excited about. We’re taking things one step at a time and enjoying everything as it happens.
09. What’s the strangest/funniest thing that has happened to you guys whilst being on tour?
I once played seven gigs in five states in four days. That’s only funny long after the fact.
10. Finally, when you’re not writing or recording what do you like to do to relax?
A lot of knitting. Some skeet shooting. Making home made biscuits from scratch. Depends on the day.
To buy the album at Amazon.com click here
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To buy the album on Itunes click here
Smokin’ Charlie Brown