Young Empress
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Young Empress

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Rock Indie

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Power-pop, when I’ve been craving it the most. Thank you Young Empress, great timing.

An LA-based indie-pop group that’s bursting from the seams, I really dig their driving guitars, accompanying violin, and dueling girl/boy vocals. There’s elements from a mixture of different things this 5-piece brings together and it simply just works.

Listen and grab your very own copy of their quick 2-track self-titled release they dropped mid-2012. So worth it.
- What's Protocol


Young Empress – No One Can Stop Me
Un petit groupe sympa qui débarque de L.A. - SURLMAG


In the late 90's, Weezer‘s breakthrough sound was perfected and carried on by Pasadena‘s Ozma by simply adding a female keyboardist. Ozma may now be static, but their bassist Daniel Brummel created his own band called Sanglorians that continues their catchy core sound. But now they’re not alone. Doing their part to revitalize the power-pop rock is the Whittier-based quintet Young Empress that is fronted by the married duo Paulie and Cristal Peshkepia. And just like the Sanglorians, Young Empress is putting in their own spin by adding a violin. The result is a superb orchestral wall of fuzz. Check out their leaked track “Cider Of The Sun”: - Free Bike Valet


Young Empress is a band that recently stumbled into my inbox and I’m really glad they did because they rock. They are self-described as “orchestral indie bliss pop” and their influences are Weezer, the Killers, and Arcade Fire. Previously they were a 13- piece group named Paulie Pesh, but now Young Empress have already established local credibility by playing shows sponsored by LA’s Alt Rock radio station KROQ and Buzz Bands LA. So it’s really more like Young Impress. Take a listen to two songs and then download them because this band is infectious. - Angry, Young and Bored


At times comprised of anywhere from 9 to 14 members, the folk group Paulie Pesh take the stage at Continental Room in Fullerton one last time for their March residency. I’ve made it out to a couple of their shows so far and every time I’m in awe of how they can all fit on the cozy, Chuck E. Cheese-like stage without some sort of domino effect happening from one person who sneezes or bumps elbows with another, only to make everyone lose their shit. And despite that worry and any sort of discomfort, they all keep their heads high and show no sign of awkwardness to provide the audience with an inspiring set.

I caught up with singer-songwriter Paulie Peshkepia on new music, remembering the birthdays of his 14 band members and of course, vinyl.

Ash: First, give me some background on how the band got started.

Paulie: My wife and I came back from a 2 month tour in July of 2010 and there was a real turning point at that moment. I decided to run with the idea of incorporating brass, woodwinds and strings with my music and I just called a bunch of my friends and family and got them on board. I was sort of flirting with this idea prior to the road trip, being that we had already recorded Shining Stars with the ensemble in April 2010 before we hit the road, but having actually seen other bands throughout the nation do what I wanted to do, made it very clear that it needed to happen.

Ash: You have how many members total in the band? How the heck do you juggle everyone’s schedules when it comes to shows, practice and recording?

Paulie: We actually have anywhere from 8-14 players to be accurate. I rely on friends, family and new talent and just whoever I can get. I usually just send out a mass text or e-mail and just sort of wait for a response. It’s worked out great that way. There are so many committed people to this project. That is another reason why it works.

Ash: When creating this project, did you know right away you wanted to incorporate so many different elements to it? And were you worrisome at all about how that idea would transfer over live when involving that many musicians? (WHICH I have seen, heard and been told by many that you all blend so well together…and that can be a hard thing to do!!)

Paulie: The idea to add so many instruments came both gradually and all at once. I added things gradually, but I always heard the music in my head. It’s not difficult to transfer the idea to players because its my idea. I write out all the music and am very specific so there is no room for interpretation. That’s not to say that there isn’t any room to speak. As a matter of fact I make it very clear that anyone who has an idea is welcome to share it. That doesn’t necessarily mean I will take it, but I am always willing to listen.

Ash: What artist would you say has been your biggest inspiration when it comes to your writing process?

Paulie: I have been listening to a lot of Randy Newman, Paul Simon and Harry Nilsson.

Ash: Right now, you have residency at Continental Room in Fullerton every Tuesday night. How did you feel about show #1? I know there were beads floating around for Mardi Gras…

Paulie: I thought the first show went really well. Of course it’s great to have a full house, it’s great to see familiar faces coming out to support, but it’s also a great experience to see a lot of new people showing up, having a great time and enjoying the night and music with us. It was also nice to have our first night be on Mardi Gras which made it fun and special.

Ash: How was it fitting everyone on the Continental Room stage? And when you play there, do you ever feel like you’re one of the characters at Chuck E. Cheese because of the way the stage is set up and the red curtain?

Paulie: It was really difficult fitting everyone up there but it totally worked out. We were really just focused on playing and not tripping over each other in that small space. YES It really felt like the Chuck E. Cheese stage!

Ash: You released your sophomore EP Shining Stars in fall of last year. When recording the EP what were you thinking going into it? What did you want to have come across in the record?
Paulie: My wife [Cristal Peshkepia, backup vocals] and I had just gotten married and I really was in a good mood. I really wanted to capture a sound that was exciting and big. I figured a brass section and string section could really do that. I also just wanted to do something different than my first EP. I hope people can capture the way that I was feeling when I made that EP.

Ash: What can we expect post-residency?

Paulie: Two of the songs in our current set which are not on Shining Stars will be released as a digital EP on April 5th at our show at the Silverlake Lounge. Also, in June we are going to begin recording all new material, which will be produced by Chris Schlarb from Asthmatic Kitty.

Ash: Who are some local artists you’re currently listening to that we should check out?

Paulie: Prea - The Vinyl District


"In jazz, there's some stuff that may not fit into something...but you make it fit. It's so against this perfect world. And it's just real and honest. I learned that with my father. This is real honest music." - Paulie Pesh

Celebrating its 11th anniversary, the OC Music Awards kicks off on January 3rd with seven weeks of free showcases at different venues across the county. 35 local artists will compete for the titles of Best Live Band or Best Live Acoustic and a performance slot at the 2012 OC Music Awards, March 3 at the Grove of Anaheim. And, the voting is open now!

“Famiglia!,” Paulie Pesh from Paulie Pesh & The Vitals exclaims as I suggest that the overarching theme of his fifteen-piece band–which includes his beautiful, milky-skinned wife Cristal Pesh – is family.

“We wanted to have this more family, big-sounding band, so my sister plays clarinet. My best friend plays guitar,” Pesh explains. “We have a violin player. His now-fiance plays flute in our band. So we’re all really connected.”

Paulie Pesh & The Vitals are certainly family-style fare full of bold flavor and a plethora of sonic spices in a larger-than-life Andrew Bird-Flaming Lips fashion. Pesh cooks up quirky, organic arrangements that are an orchestral miscellany of kazoo, violin, cello, viola, alto sax, tuba, piano, and the prerequisite drums, bass, guitar combo.

Family, whether musical or not, is vital to Paulie Pesh. “Honestly, if we don’t look back,” he says. “I don’t know how we can do anything. When we were on our tour, we were able to meet up with family in New York. If I hadn’t…put myself out of my comfort zone, I wouldn’t have learned about my family and people that migrated from Albania.”

"It was my cathartic way of dealing with how I am and who I am in this world." Pesh’s lifework as a musician was less of a career and more of an ancestral calling, a calling that was innately inspired by his Latin jazz percussionist father and Classical singing mother who “lovingly encouraged” him to play the alto sax.

From there, Pesh moved onto guitar and became obsessed with musical theory, using his involvement in “about fifteen bands” since he was 13-years-old as a way to sublimate his social anxiety.

“I’ve been a geek and a nerd my whole life,” explains Pesh. “And I think that was around the time I kind of said to myself, ‘You know what? I’m going to relate to people through music, because I can’t talk to them.’ I was–and kind of still am–socially awkward.”

“I sat down every weekend and wrote music or went to go rehearse with my band,” Pesh continues. “It was my cathartic way of dealing with how I am and who I am in this world.”
- KROQ


“Cider of the Sun,” by Los Angeles newcomers Young Empress, will gutpunch you from the opening notes, as the band merges the harder edge of alternative like Arcade Fire with the folk flourishes of Decemberists. The song is incredibly repeatable, building from a thunder of drums and guitars to add haunting vocals, particularly at the chorus: “I want you stay with me … I never want you to disappear,” the male-female duo sing as strings and hints of keyboards build behind them. “We will outshine the sun.” This song certainly shines bright, and bodes well for what this band could do when they really get cracking. - Hear Hear Music


"Saturday night Torches, Incan Abraham, Body Parts, and Young Empress will be tearing down the Satellite in Silver Lake...""... KROQ Presents Torches with Incan Abraham, Body Parts, and Young Empress tonight at the Satellite. If you’re looking for new awesome bands to check out then you don’t wanna miss this show." - KROQ Locals Only




“Cider of the Sun” uses an interesting collection of sounds to create a catchy, yet enjoyable experience for the listener. Young Empress are an up and coming band from Los Angeles California and with this song and “No One Can Stop Me,” it looks like they have a promising future ahead of them. I am very interested to see how they hone their sound and build upon the foundation that these two tracks have set.
- Westnorthern Music


Orange County-bred Paulie Pesh put himself on the map locally with two EPs of life-affirming orchestral pop — notable not only for their inherent glee but for the compositional fortitude it took to make them. Pesh and his wife Cristal were abetted by a band numbering as many as 15. Now Mr. and Mrs. Pesh have decided to (indie-) rock out. Their new music as the quintet Young Empress indicates that Paulie has either been chugging caffeine drinks or got himself a new guitar pedal. Or both. The Peshes, joined by Jason Chavez, Ryan Langford and Jake Abernathie, have released their first single, “No One Can Stop Me,” a rousing power-pop anthem that gives Grouplove a run for its money on the optimism scale. Got hooks? - Buzzbands LA


“Cider of the Sun,” by Los Angeles newcomers Young Empress, will gutpunch you from the opening notes, as the band merges the harder edge of alternative like Arcade Fire with the folk flourishes of Decemberists. The song is incredibly repeatable, building from a thunder of drums and guitars to add haunting vocals, particularly at the chorus: “I want you stay with me … I never want you to disappear,” the male-female duet sing as strings and hints of keyboards build behind them. “We will outshine the sun.” This song certainly shines bright, and bodes well for what this band could do when they really get cracking. - HearHearMusic.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Los Angeles based Young Empress can best be described as enthusiastic indie power pop that is bursting with joyous energy. The band formed in early 2012, after husband and wife Paulie & Cristal Pesh decided to explore a new sound from their 11-piece group named Paulie Pesh, whose song "Shining Stars" garnered much touted press. Now joined by bassist Jason Chavez, keyboardist Jake Abernathie, and drummer Spencer Lere, Young Empress have already established local credibility by playing shows sponsored by LA's Alt Rock radio station KROQ and Buzz Bands LA.

Kevin Bronson of Buzz Bands describes Young Empress' music as "life-affirming orchestral pop — notable not only for [its] inherent glee but for the compositional fortitude it took to make [it]." He calls their first single, “No One Can Stop Me,” a rousing power-pop anthem that gives Grouplove a run for its money on the optimism scale. Got hooks?"

Drawing inspiration from Weezer, the Killers, and Arcade Fire, Young Empress have honed their craft to create concise, melodic, danceable episodes. They are a musical reminder that we can do anything, anywhere, anytime.