Honest to Empire
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Honest to Empire

Band Metal Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Local band's 'Empire' continues to grow"

Bands have always come and gone. Some get together, play some songs and fade into obscurity, never becoming more than a local act that plays for crowds primarily made up of friends and family who were dragged to the show. That said, whether through talent, perseverance, tenacity or sheer dumb luck, some become rich and famous, spending their days on tours funded by record labels and releasing professional albums to millions.

So what then do you think of a band that, for all intents and purposes, appears to be on the rise right in front of you?

Such is the case with local group Honest To Empire, whose last few months have shown that with the right tools and a lot of talent, the fantasy might just have a shot at becoming reality.

Composed of five guys from Oregon State, Honest To Empire is Justin Gibson on lead guitar and backing vocals, Ryan Ronnander on rhythm guitar, Roland Ashton on lead vocals, Peter Mart on bass guitar, and Charley McGowan on drums. Despite being together for a couple of years now, this last summer has finally presented the band with a handful of opportunities to expand their fan base and project their music through more mediums than ever before.

To be perfectly cliché though, it hasn't all been a walk in the park for the group; they have experienced the tumultuous ups and downs of most young bands such as early-on lineup changes, a failed run at the OSU Battle of the Bands in their first year, and a particularly ill-fated run as "Dark Shark".

That said, the guys have really upped their game over the past two years and have been firing on all cylinders. Following an OSU Battle of the Bands appearance in 2007, it was the 2008 Battle of the Bands that kicked off this explosive run of successes. Their heavy-yet-accessible sound allowed them to clinch victory in the wildly popular annual battle, and shortly thereafter the group unveiled their most vital achievement to date, the album "On the Horizon".

McGowan is the first to tell how they "recorded the album in a living room", but nevertheless, according to Gibson, "the most important thing was the CD, it really opened a lot of doors". After being in production for many months, it has indeed done that.

Despite the importance of the CD release, it wasn't all great happenings right away, says Mart. "We went from the battle to playing two of our worst [turnout-wise] shows".

While in the process of distributing the album following a CD release show on the Oregon State campus, the group found out that they had beaten out dozens of other bands from around the state in an online voting competition. This earned them the privilege of playing on the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands stage during the annual Vans Warped Tour in St. Helens.

With this enormous opportunity, the guys made the most of their exposure and were able to meet several famous acts such as Protest the Hero and Angels and Airwaves, all the while presenting their own material where they could. One of these outlets was at the booth of the KUFO radio station, where their album quickly made it to the desk of a DJ, and was then featured on the air.

This positive response was soon followed up with an invitation to play on the air again with Eugene-based KFLY. All of this buildup, the Battle, the album, Warped Tour, and the multiple radio air-plays all led to one of the biggest events the group has been able to land so far. Through correspondence with the right people, Honest To Empire was able to set up a show and open for Portland-based group Floater.

Indeed, following the Battle of the Bands and the release of the album, many of the pieces have started falling into place, and the future of the band is looking strong. In the words of Gibson, it would appear that the band is experiencing what one might call "natural logarithmic growth".

Of course that kind of growth must level off and plateau eventually, but the band hopes that it is nowhere in the near future, and it's good to know that with these guys, talks about their recent achievements can easily break down into talk of mathematical functions. It looks like college is coming in handy after all.

-- Written by Evan Connet
OSU Diversions Writer - Oregon State University's Diversions

"Metal Edge Writer"

"Taking cues from Dream Theater, Tool, Porcupine Tree and the soil of the Oregon Underground, Honest to Empire are seriously going to wreck your mind with perfectly-written, thoughtful and imaginative riffs and songs that captivate even the most critical music fan's ear to keep listening."

- Carl Sundberg
Metal Edge Writer
Host of The Edge on 101.5 KFLY Eugene - Direct Quote


Our first album is an EP called "On the Horizon"

The entire album has had radio airplay on 101.5 KFLY Eugene. We were featured on the Oregon Underground.

It has also had tracks played on Rock 101.1 KUFO Portland on their locals show Viva La Luna.



As a band, we create music that we enjoy listening to. Every time we record, we get extremely excited with our end product, especially having recorded and produced it entirely ourselves.

Listen to our music, that's all we ask, and hopefully it reaches out to you. There's no need for hyperbole.

In more recent news, we've had a hew notable accomplishments.

First we were lucky enough to be able to play at the Portland date for the Vans Warped tour.

Because of that we were played on two radio stations in the next two weeks, and we then opened for the accomplished Northwest band Floater.

Currently our goals are to record more songs and to play in more cities.