I Am Empire
Tooth & Nail Records announces I Am Empire’s sophomore release, Anchors, which will release on March 26. This album follows the release of the highly successful debut Kings (2011). Since their debut, this San Jose-based band has logged endless miles of sweat equity on the road, supporting the likes of Emery, Brian “Head” Welch and Project 86, alongside its own headlining outing, plus a pair of performances at Germany’s enormous Christmas Rock Night festival.
“We’re always writing, and even when Kings was just finished, we got right back to writing and continued throughout the next year-and-a-half,” confirms front man Austin Lyons. “As we approached Anchors, we went into the studio with 30 songs and jammed our way through them all, but then recorded the best eight or nine and then finished up the rest in the studio.”
Anchors was produced by Brian McTernan (Thrice, Circa Survive, Senses Fail and Hot Water Music). Anchors traces the deeply personal lyrics of the pensive but relatable Lyons, who faithful fans may recall came from a broken home. Though there’s certainly been pain in the aftermath, along with the general trials and travails of a burgeoning band climbing the ladder, the current collection takes a remarkably hopeful turn, accented by newfound creative freedom.
“There are a couple of different themes throughout the record, starting with a lot of progression in my life and the idea of moving forward and rebuilding,” reveals Lyons, also asserting the band’s support of The Mentoring Project (which helps kids growing up without father figures). “Kings was my therapy from my upbringing, but things are getting better, which even plays out in why we named the album Anchors. It’s about throwing away and getting rid of the weight that holds you down, which is something we also experienced collectively as a band. We’ve gone through seasons of getting burnt out from the road, difficult times financially and just going through rough stuff behind the scenes, but we came out of all that wanting to make a record that’s 100% our art and not what anyone else wants us to be. Tooth & Nail said ‘you guys just do your thing’ and they’ve been completely supportive.”
Musically, the new material is sure to find the fellas ascending to the modern day alternative/indie rock ranks alongside influences like Thrice, Brand New and Circa Survive, though there’s also a grungy feel that echoes the classic shades of Smashing Pumpkins or Garbage. But when all the cards are laid out on the table, Anchors is still unquestionably an I Am Empire record, especially in light of the revealing lyrics, which are bound to connect on a myriad of levels.
“If listeners can take away one thing from Anchors, it’s the idea of just throwing away all your worries and casting them aside so you can be free mentally and spiritually in your life,” sums up Lyons, who credits his high school sweetheart turned new bride in helping shift his perspective towards the positive. “You can’t progress if there’s a giant anchor tied to your ankle. You’ll be stuck in the same spot as long as you want it there. As far as my Anchors go, I’m done with them. Just move forward and progress.”
Since we last heard from alternative rockers I Am Empire with 2011’s highly heralded Tooth & Nail debut Kings, the San Jose-based band logged endless miles of sweat equity on the road, supporting the likes of Emery, Brian “Head” Welch and Project 86, alongside its own headlining outing, plus a pair of performances at Germany’s enormous Christmas Rock Night festival. The results have not only found the foursome cementing their already apparent chemistry to indestructible degrees, but has also renewed their zeal for constant creativity that manifested itself throughout its second long player Anchors.
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Austin Lyons - vocals
Andrew Stanton - guitar
Joshua Case - bass
Eric Martin - drums