Do You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star
Rolling Stone - Home
Back to Blog Home

Empires: Raucous Chicago Quartet Show Off Their Dark Side

by Nicole Frehsee on Feb 14, 2011

. Photo by Adam Courtney.

Who: This Chicago band racked up 70,000 downloads of its self-released 2008 debut – then decided to rough up its pop-punk sound. "We're getting rid of the polish," says frontman Sean Van Vleet, 28. "I like that whole Clash/Sex Pistols attitude: 'If you don't like it, we don't give a fuck.' "

Sound: Serrated riffs, topped by Van Vleet's passionate wail. "Topics like struggle, hell and sex keep showing up in our songs," says Van Vleet. "If it's dark, it's dark."

Sweet Ride: Five days a week, the group squeezes into a subcompact Toyota Echo for the 20-mile commute to its rehearsal space. "It's extremely modest, so it represents the band pretty well," says Van Vleet.

Back to Blog Home

Also See

blog comments powered by Disqus
Facebook Twitter RSS Sign Up For Email Newsletters Close
Close This