Empire Signal
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Empire Signal

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock


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Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Paul & Rob met in the year 2000, whilst both were playing in other
bands.They started writing tunes and jamming at Rob's house in Partington.
Over the last 10 years they have been in various bands, toured and gigged
relentlessly and generally spent a massive amount of time and money on
their music, all with little commercial success or reward.

"We were waiting for something to happen and not making it happen, it was
half a lack of knowledge and half a lack of belief" Rob

"It's funny now how green we were, we just thought Alan McGee was gonna
turn up at a gig and offer us a deal" Paul

By the end of 2009 they still had no recordings they were happy with, had
virtually stopped performing live as a band and were without a bass
player. Paul had setup a studio at home and Rob had moved to Holland to
Cue the introduction of Bolton based producer Neil Treppas.

"I knew Neil cause I had moved to Bolton and we had been practicing at the
studios as Redbridge so I gave him some of my home recordings to listen
too." Paul

At Neil's behest the band went into studio to put down a few tracks with.

"The songs were just too good to waste. I remember listening to Strangers,
then Big Wide World and just thinking how good they could sound if they
were produced correctly" Neil

Initital sessions were tentative to say the least. Having not played for
over a year and working on songs that had not been done live it proved a
long process.

"The new songs were different, I'd layered things at home on my studio and
tried to write baselines that Rob had never heard. So taking them into the
studio was strange it was the first bit of feedback I had on the songs
from Rob & Neil"

It took about a year to get 'Strangers' done. TPaul & Rob were going in at
different times when possible to work on it and Neil was mixing and
re-mixing till they were happy. But that was the deal, they would not move
on until they were happy. But Neil knew it was vital, part of the learning

"Tpaul and Rob are both top musicians, but they had no studio experience
and were embarking on a new style - I had heard their early stuff and it
was bluesy and raw, the new songs were melodic. Plus Paul's home demos had
so many different ideas we had to sift through and interperate them again"

"The agreement was to do them Neils way and spend enough time to get them
right. That time turned out to be 2 years! But we were captivated by the
studio, it cost us a fortune but we just couldn't settle and say that's
enough. We just reworked and reworked things. Some days got completely
erased and shelved."

The resulting 3 tracks bear witness to this. They do sound like studio
tracks, not a live band. Perhaps that is a shame as the musicianship is
perfect and given more spontaneity and lucidity the songs would shine
more. But there is no doubt in the effort put into the songs, the
attention to deter and intricacies. 'Between Days' is the most rent of the
3 and outlines the intense craftsmanship more than the others. It just
doesn't sound like anything else. It most certainly doesn't sound like an
unsigned band paying for their own studio demo. It has a confidence in it,
a sense that it doesn't matter what happens justas long as the artist is
happy with his art.

"We have the studio ug now, I used to hate studios, I just wanted to gig
and play my guitar. But Neil's changed that. Yes it's still frustrating,
we still argue and are still polar opposites. I like weird dark intense
sounds and I want to confuse people and Neil likes clinical, melodic
perfection in tone and elegance and wants to uplift people. But somehow it
works, if i made the record on my own it would probably sound disgusting,
if Neil made it on his own it would be too pretty. So it feels right like

Empire Signal release their debut on 17th January on Maison Rouge Records.
It's their own label, but that's another story...