Interview: I Am Empire


One of Tooth & Nail’s newest signees, I Am Empire dishes about their upcoming album, Kings, to CMZ’s own Cara Fisher.

CMZ: First off, tell us about the formation of I Am Empire.

Eric: I Am Empire formed in August of 2008. Austin (singer) and Andrew (lead guitar) had been playing together for almost 6 years already. Josh (bass) and Dan (guitar) were in a band together in high school and I (drums) played in another band. Our three bands played shows together and after members starting leaving Austin and Andrews band, the rest of us started slowly joining. We have been this lineup since.

CMZ: You guys grew up listening to Tooth & Nail artists. How does it feel to now be a part of their roster?

Eric: It is pretty cool being on a roster with a bunch of cool bands, however it doesn’t necessarily feel any different. We toured and toured before Tooth and Nail, and we continue to tour and tour now that we are on the label. We hope one day to tour with some sweet Tooth and Nail bands. I think that is more of the dream than anything.

CMZ: What would you say is the mission or purpose of I Am Empire?

Eric: To melt faces! But more importantly to give people a sense of hope. There is something greater than all of this, and we hope that we can help you see that.

CMZ: Your debut record, Kings, is about abandonment, something that you’ve experienced several times in your life. Is it difficult to share songs that are so personal to you?

Austin: There are days I don’t like talking about it and days it doesn’t bother me.  Its not easy sharing my issues but I strongly feel led to do it.  Its helped me a lot and I hope it helps people in similar situations.

CMZ: Musically, Kings is pretty varied. I’m curious, which artists/bands do you consider to be your main influences?

Eric: Some of our favorite bands include Queen, Jimmy Eat World, Van Halen, Switchfoot, My Chemical Romance, Brand New, and Future of Forestry. We try to pull from as many places as we can. It keeps people on their toes, and it keeps us interested in what we are doing.

CMZ: “Dig You Out” was co-written by Anberlin. What was it like to work with such an accomplished band?

Eric: It was cool to work with Joey. He sent us a bunch of song ideas he had, and we basically picked the one we liked the most. We changed the music slightly to fit us a little more, and Austin wrote all the lyrics and melodies.

CMZ: Is there a song on Kings that means the most to you?

Austin: My favorite song on the album is “It’s Not Fair”. I spent a lot of time and went into a lot of detail on this song.  Lyrically it means the most to me. “It’s Not Fair” is the resolution to my turmoil, my biggest step towards forgiveness.

CMZ: Any plans in the near future for a music video?

Eric: Actually yes. We will be releasing the first video of the year pretty soon here. That is all I will say about that!

CMZ: Can you tell us about your upcoming tour with labelmates Children 18:3?

Eric: Can’t wait. I can’t tell you how many times we have listened to both their records. Another label mate of ours will also be on the tour. They are called Hyland.

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