I recently talked with Keith Latinen of Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate). Here is the short Q&A.
Describe the band’s sound and major influences.
Keith: I guess I would describe our sound as a throw-back to the mid-90’s emo bands. The really pretty, heart-on-your sleeve gut-wrenching stuff that when you listen to it, you can tell the artist is pouring their heart out. So it’s only natural for our influences to start there- we’re talking Mineral, American Football, Appleseed Cast, Penfold, old Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab For Cutie, and The Get Up Kids.
What is the songwriting process like for Empire Empire?
Keith: The project started as a solo-project for me, so the first entire EP I did everything – all the instruments as well as the recording. At that point, I would write in blocks, so I would write every part for the first 30 seconds or so, then start the next part with guitars and build it up again. We actually recorded the full-length the same way, only Cathy played guitar as well. Nowadays though, Cathy or I will bring something to practice, or we just start jamming and molding it into whatever form it naturally takes.
What’s the band’s opinion on file-sharing?
Keith: At this point I think it would be foolish to be against something that is essentially the greatest form of advertisement. I think file-sharing has already helped us gain exposure as a band. It’s sort of a loaded question though, because we are all broke, and recording and pressing, and just being in a band is really expensive. It would be nice to be paid for every song someone downloads, but file-sharing is here, and I think it can help us more than hurt us. If it brings out someone to a show or makes us another fan, then that’s way more important than getting some change from a download.
What’s on the horizon for Empire Empire?
Keith: Right now, I am finishing the vocals up for our full-length, which we hope to put out sometime this summer. Past that, we are booking a tour for May, and hope to just keep touring and making music as long as we can.