It all started in 2003. I met a kid named Austin in my P.E. class on the football field and we got to talking about music, bands and guitar. One thing led to another and we ended up writing a rock song together in his bedroom that June, the first of many that would create the catalog of I Am Empire's current history.
Later that same year, a friend of mine from church asked me if I had heard the new record by a band called Thrice; "The Artist In The Ambulance." I had no idea what he was talking about honestly, but 12 tracks later on the car ride home I was hooked. I knew that was what I wanted to do and that it could be done. Austin was a great singer, we could both play guitar, all we needed was a pair of friends on drums and bass and we would be there!
Thrice sounded like everything we loved, passionate lyrics, gritty vocals and a rockin' and original-sounding band. Without their presence and outspoken faith in the mainstream music world we may have never seen the path that brought us to where we are today. I think we have a lot to thank them for, and also a lot to thank Salad Days Studios; the place responsible for producing that record, for. Which brings us to our current endeavor...
It's a pretty rare occurrence for four friends to get together to play rock 'n' roll in a garage and end up in a state-of-the-art recording studio with one of their favorite all time producers like Brian McTernan. It's an unbelievable feeling still knowing that I am two weeks into that very process here at Salad Days in Baltimore, MD with my best friends in I Am Empire.
Everything we have done up to this point has been an adventure; touring, playing overseas, writing and recording, etc. But this experience in a way is the topper on it all. In addition to creating albums like Thrice's "Artist", Salad Days is an amazing place to simply spend time for any musician. The days have been chalk-full of tracking ideas, jamming and talking endless circles around who the best bands of the last 10 years are.
Brian is an incredible producer who we have all looked up to since that fateful year of '03, so learning from him is like interacting with a real life Yoda; a true Jedi Master in the band world. He has pulled a very organic and energetic power from our music that maybe we already had but have never harnessed until now. The album we are making here will without a doubt be the most prolific and complete musical effort of our careers, we are all so excited for you all to hear it!
I know that the guys and I are so thankful to God for bringing us here and to Tooth & Nail for making this happen for a band of four geeky music guys that didn't have anything better to do. And we would not be here without the love and support we always receive from our fans, friends, families and each other. Regardless of public opinion or success, I know we will all remember our experience here in an absolutely fond way. We will always be able to say that we walked the same halls as some of our favorite all time artists (Thrice, Circa Survive, etc.) for four weeks, and made a record that stretched us to the best of our abilities and the furthest reaches of our passion. I hope that you, when you hear the music we're making, feel the same intensity and power that brought it to life!
Thank you for reading as well as supporting I Am Empire and music from all around the world. Without you, our lives would be so much different, and the path from P. E. to L.P. would still be a mystery we would never solve. Here's to making records until we're dead; long live Rock 'n' Roll!
A video blog for those interested in Andrew's gear is up now on YouTube.
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.
Read the full Biography
Austin Lyons - vocals
Andrew Stanton - guitar
Joshua Case - bass
Eric Martin - drums