Mid 90’s, one album that shook the underground dance culture was by all means Empirion’s ‘Advanced Technology’ with anthems like ‘Jesus Christ’ & ‘Narcotic Influence 1 & 2’. Around two decades later, the act is back on charge for the Brutalism 2017 events in Glasgow & London (April 28th and 30th) and with some valuable info regarding their long-waited successor to their immaculate debut. Just read the following… No further hints!
Hey Empirion… Excited for this one! Which are the latest news? And how did this revival of the project come to life after all these years?
Hey Christos ! Yes we are also excited for this one. Nice to be here with Lastdaydeaf.com.
Well we have been performing at a few gigs over the last few years, finding our feet and working out our place in today’s current scene. All going well and we feel that we are at the right time to really come back with new music and ideas. We still feel the love from people and we are happy to return and bring them some more joy. It has been a long road getting back together and thinking of how we fit in and what sort of music we are really happy making at this stage of our lives.
On Friday 28th and Sunday 30th April you will appear for the 1st time since 1999 for the Brutalism 2017 events (Glasgow & London respectively). What should fans expect from Empirion?
Well we have played quite a few shows since 1999, only here and there but these shows at Glasgow and London will be very important as we are playing a lot of new music for the fans. We bring energy, power and heads down dance music. We also run a midi controlled video show that has been written and programmed for us by our good friend Cesare Soldani from Ciao productions. This is one half of our lives shows now and both music and visuals work hand in hand together. Our live set is a mix of new and old material, classics and tracks from our new studio recordings.
Diving into the past! What can you recall form the acid house days back to early-mid 90’s? What have you missed most and what you’d rather forget…
The dance scene back then was still very young and fresh, we all had amazing times and experiences going out and creating new friends and partnerships. It was exciting and crazy all at the same time, we were very lucky to be a part of the scene back then. We found each other through the scene and had an amazing family/friend vibe that kept us all going, we loved the new music that was being generated and it was easy to feel inspired by the DJ’s that were really behind the different genres that made up the music of the time back then. Actually…….it’s very hard to remember everything that went on, some years just blended into the next and now we are too old to recall all the details ! haha
‘Advanced Technology’ was one of the groundbreaking dance albums for 1996! What was-were the main inspiration and influences for it?
We all came from the dance scene but before then we all had our own backgrounds that added to the sound of ‘Advanced Technology’. It’s easy to hear in the music if you really know our backgrounds. I was into early industrial, rock and electro, Bob was into similar and Jamie into early acid house. This all came together when we hit the studio in the early years and I still feel that this combination back then was new and fresh, we had tracks as pure as electro could be such as ‘Ayahuasca’ along side hard as nails ‘Jesus Christ’ which was number one in the Kerrang charts …..a metal chart! It just worked.
Would you like to talk about the immaculate singles ‘Narcotic Influence’ & ‘Jesus Christ’? Should we expect more like these in the near future?
It was a one off……I mean it really was. That track came together so so quick, literally over a day or so. I created a bunch of riffs with new sounds and we smashed our an arrangement within a day….job done. Same with ‘Jesus Christ’. They simply came together in a very short time. We were quite naive about writing music back then, we did a lot of playing about and not loads of technical knowledge but a very good ear for creating tracks, we still have a good ear for tracks now but somewhat more in depth knowledge into the kit and studio. I would say the new material if still very much Empirion and you would be able to pick it out from the crowd. Not sure we will ever create anoth ‘Narcotic Influence’ or ‘Jesus Christ’ but there a few new tracks that will hopefully give you a similar vibe.
What happened and you stopped Empirion and what did you do all these years? Were you active in any other projects?
I have a band called KLOQ which is more of a live band with instruments and songs than dance music. I’ve been active with the band for around ten years now. I’m also starting to get involved in TV/Film music.
What’s your opinion of the closures of many dance venues, including the temporary one for legendary Fabric? Do you believe that drug culture will be affected with such measures?
We don’t know too much about the details behind the closers. It’s been quite a while since we had contact with the club scene in regards to going out. I think it’s obvious…..if you have young people wanting to go out and have fun in the dance scene they will want to take drugs and experience a great night out. The clubs can only police a certain amount I would think, you can’t look after that many people in one place in one night. This is a hard subject to really talk about as it’s something we all did in our past and back then we had a completely different view on it, now we have families and different perspectives altogether. I’m wondering if there are as many club goers now that take drugs as they did back then? However you look at it, if the clubs are being closed down this means that it’s harder to get dance music played and the amount of DJ’s battling to get slots makes it harder to get your tunes played. Surely the more venues that are open the more music that is being played?
Acid house, rave, ecstasy, dance culture. What do each one of the aforementioned words mean for you? Please describe…
I don’t think you hear the first three words in modern day society any more…..well not how they originally meant it anyway. “Acid house”……the birth of dance culture 100%, these two words had never been used together before! People didn’t even know what “Acid” was, it could have been something from the moon because normal culture didn’t have a clue about this word. “Rave”……again it was a new word and a new scene, but as soon as you went to a “rave” you figured out exactly why it was called that. “Ecstasy “…….the foundation of dance culture and the people who gave birth to it. The coming together of likeminded people who were searching for another way of “weekend” life, we lived for the weekends and there were no social boundaries…..just people wanting to create a movement of their own. We had it in the 60’s, 70’s 80’s and the 90’s……not sure if we’ve had it since ?
Which current dance artists & and dedicated do you follow and believe make the scene evolve?
If I’m honest…..don’t have any favourites. I do like Gesaffelstein and Wulfband……crazy mix of the two but there’s not much “dance” music I really like these days. Some new dance music I hear is utter shit and wouldn’t even give it any credit……not all but you have to search for the good stuff.
“…giving them drugs taking their lives away“. How influential & anthemic was this line back then? What about 2017? Still feeling the same?
It was just tongue and cheek back then. We found the sample line and went with it, we all thought it was amusing and was kind of an irony to what was going on, drugs didn’t take your lives away that much to begin with but we saw a few people fall by the way side over the years. Now it really does mean something different I guess, older and wiser etc. But….it was really just a bit of fun, people read into it far too much really, we just found the sample and went with the humour of it all……then people thought we were giving out a huge message !
What holds the future for Empirion then? After Brutalism UK? Any chance for the 2nd long awaited album? Yep, we can still shake our bodies!
Kind of an exclusive for you……..new album this year called ‘Resume’, new single/s from the album and possibly a remix album of tracks from the first album ‘Advanced Technology’. Back on it and feeling good about what we are creating. Not sure of release dates yet but will keep you posted. Oh….and yes…..we can still move our bodies ! It’s Time to Resume 😉