The term ‘supergroup’ seems to be thrown around very loosely these days with critics only too quick off the mark to judge a band on the names of the members and their previous musical efforts. Eye Empire should have no worries, as they are a band that blow their collective previous works out the water.
American rock quartet ‘Eye Empire’, are not another supergroup to ride on the wave of their previous “success”. Instead, the band is making serious headway since forming back in 2007. Eye Empire is Donald Carpenter on vocals (formerly of Submersed), Corey Lowery on Bass (ex. Stuck Mojo/Dark New Day), B.C. Kochmit (ex. Switched, Dark New Day) and Ryan Bennett on drums.
Originally released as a one disc 11 track album back in 2010, then titled ‘Moment of Impact’ helped Eye Empire rapidly build a loyal fan base throughout the US, and now in 2012 throughout the world. The renamed and reworked ‘IMPACT’ contains 24 tracks over 2 discs, containing studio records along with acoustic renditions and live recordings. Having released previous versions of the ‘MOI’ album independently, this double disc is Eye Empires debut via label Bulldog Productions, and a magnificent debut at that. For fans of Submersed, Dark New Day and all the members’ former musical carnations, this album combines all your favourite elements and so much more.
Tracks such as, ‘I Pray’, ‘Victim’ and ‘More Than Fate’ are instantly memorable. Vocals from Carpenter really shape the band into something explosive with what has to be one of the greatest rock/metal performances of recent years. Eye Empire are one of these bands that with ease can replicate what has been captured in the studio, live versions of ‘Idiot’ and the destructive ‘Bull in a China Shop’ will having you longing for the Empire to get to the UK.
A Sevendust influence can be heard throughout, which is hardly surprising considering the band not only features Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery’s brother Corey, but on many of the tracks epic drum performances from Sevendust’s Morgan Rose, who stepped in to help the band in their early stages – arguably his greatest drumming performance to date.
Even the albums softer songs display the scary talent that each of the members bring to the band With a modern sound and classic grooves that are sure to satisfy even the old school metal fans, this is a band well worth checking out.
IMPACT is truly a frighteningly good debut.
We caught up with Eye Empire vocalist Donald Carpenter whilst the band has a few days off in between tour dates! This is what we found out….
PM: I’ve already listened to the album, what would you say fans can expect when they get their hands on a copy of the album?
DC: Dynamic Rock Songs, Honesty & Passion. For Me, I Feel Music is About
Challenging the Mind through Truth and Evolution. There are A lot of Sounds and Stories to This Record. All are a Growth and a Progression.
PM: In terms of song writing, is there one or two people that take the lead? Or is it a full band effort?
DC: The Beauty of This Band for Us, is that it is a Band Full of Songwriters. Corey & Brad (BC) really carry the Torch when it comes to the Orchestration of the Music. I tend to Take the Lead on the Melody & Lyric. To have that Level of Trust and Respect in each others ability is a true asset for us. Very Grateful.
PM: Are you surprised at how well the album has been received by fans? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
DC: I would Hope that True Fans would Appreciate what we do, I Guess the Surprise if any would be the Patience & Understanding from the Base here in the Early going. I Couldn’t be More Proud of where we have Come from & Where we are headed. Proud but Never Satisfied! ;)
PM: The album came out on your own label, was this through choice or are you looking for a label to get the album out on a wider distribution scale?
DC: The Most Important thing for us Was to Keep this as Independent as Possible and hopefully bring in the right Partner to Help Facilitate the Capital needed to Operate our Small Business. You Don’t Need a Big Label for Distribution anymore. Fans Can Buy Music More Directly Than Ever. Most Importantly for us is that the Fans Take the Reigns and Grow this Word of Mouth.
PM: The release was done a little differently compared to other debuts from bands, a 2 CD digi-pack, what was the reason for releasing the album this way?
DC: It Was an Evolutionary Process. Over the 3 Years that it has taken us to get to this Release, we Printed Limited Run Of 1 Disc Copies with Varying Track Listings. By the
Time we Started to Plan this Release, we had 14 tracks that we released in a Limited Basis and 5 New Tracks Recorded during “time off”, None of Which had been released in an Official Manner. So we Made the Decision to Put it All together, add 3 Acoustic Versions & 2 Live Recordings. In a Day where the Album is losing it’s value, we wanted to Give More for Less. I Personally think it’s a Great Idea and Really gave us the Ability to explore A lot of different Sounds on this Record.
PM: With members being involved in other projects, how do you feel with the comparisons being made to your sound with the likes of Dark New Day and
DC: Why wouldn’t those sounds be there? That’s all a part of our History and Growth. We All have A Lot of Appreciation of where we came from. I am confident that Eye Empire has a Sound all it’s own with the familiar flavours of Days Gone By. It’s an Evolution.
PM: Now guys are now out on the road, how is it going for you so far?
DC: It’s Going Great! When you Build something like this, it really makes those little victories sweeter. We’re out here earning our Fans One at a Time and it is Very Gratifying.
PM: Do you or any of the other members have any pre gig rituals?
DC: Nothing Too Crazy I would say. I have a count down that starts 4 Hours Out & a Pretty Focused Warm Up. A Process of Preparation that helps me Focus My Mind & Body. Everyone Can Turn it On Pretty Naturally.
PM: From your perspective, what have been the advantages and disadvantages with forming a band where members have other music projects?
DC: I wouldn’t Say there have been any Disadvantages. For Us, Our Entire Collective journeys have been a Blessing. We Draw from our Experience Everyday and Wouldn’t trade it for anything.
PM: Have you faced much adversity since forming Eye Empire?
DC: There is Nothing Easy about this Business of making Music. I think anything Worth fighting for has a certain level of adversity to it. In the end, it’s how you respond to that adversity and the decisions you make in those moments. I am Proud of How we’ve all handled it So Far.
PM: Any parting words that I have missed, or that you wish to share with our
DC: Our Motto is #LoveRespectSupport. For Us Music isn’t Just about Refuge, it’s about making an IMPACT. We want Eye Empire to be an Experience that Transcends the Walls we all tend to Live Behind. It’s about Relating to Our Fellow Man and Acknowledging that we areOne and Same and Deserve the Support and Love of Others. To Realize that Life is About Perspective not Absolution. We can’t thank you enough for the Platform to Extend Our Voice. #LRS
Eye Empire are currently out on tour with Nonpoint and are heading out on the road with Seether come October.