I have had the awesome pleasure of seeing one of the best bands based out of Toronto this past month. Young Empires, the unique haute-rockers that opened for Dragonette at The Wave after which, they were gracious enough to indulge me with an interview, which you can catch below.
The Toronto band who is quickly taking the indie music scene by storm have been taking huge leaps towards international recognition over the past two years. Young Empires have been among my favorite bands since my initial listening to their hit song, “White Doves,” almost two years ago. Throughout the time that I’ve been paying attention to Young Empires, many a band has come and gone, gained momentum and then fizzled away, while Young Empires have been steadily growing, expanding their fan base, hitting the road, and recording more great music. This four piece band, that comes from a whole range of places such as Edmonton and Thunder Bay but call Toronto their home base, have recently released their first EP, Wake All My Youth, on which, you can find “White Doves,” which recently appeared as the soundtrack for NHL.com’s Plays of the Week; “Enter Through The Sun” which can be seen on the hit TV show, Suits; not to mention another personal favorite track, “The Earth Plates Are Shifting.” If you missed the band open for Dragonette and their recent shows at Canada Music Festival, SXSW, and on their tour, I highly recommend seeing this extremely high-energy band, whose music will be making major waves in the entire industry very soon, live.
PremierLife: Having just come back from an American tour, what cities showed the most love?
Young Empires: Savannah, Georgia was amazing. We played a festival there called Savannah Stopover and has an amazing experience there. Our New York, Manhattan and Brooklyn shows were great as well.
PL: Young Empires is described as being this newly dubbed genre, ”Haute Rock.” Do you see your “Haute rock” being played alongside haute couture at fashion shows in the future?
YE: Oh for sure. I think “haute” music is already what is being played at fashion shows around the world.
PL: Being from so many different places in Canada, what brought you together as a band?
YE: I guess just a common passion and desire to create that “haute” music.
PL: What work goes into remixing a great song that is already popular like what you did with Two Door Cinema Club’s track, “What You Know?”
YE: A track like that is tricky, as you want to try to keep the essence of what made the original version so good, but also add your own interpretations and put your own stamp on it as well.
PL: Having been on tour in support of such incredible acts as Dragonette and Chromeo, what wisdom have you taken away from their work ethic or just high-spirited, high-energy attitudes?
YE: Both of those bands are great examples of bands that have a great time and love what they do, but are also incredibly professional in the way they operate. It was great early on to be around that.
PL: What were some of the highlights from playing your recent showcases in Austin, Texas and Toronto, Ontario for SXSW and CMW/CMF respectively?
YE: Playing the big showcase with a bunch of other Canadian bands at SXSW was great. Sharing the stage with other Canadian bands we like and respect, and showcasing a great collection of Canadian music was excellent. Then coming back to Toronto, all of our CMW shows were fun. We did a good mix of small more intimate shows, and then a massive award show gala, so I’d say being able to do both was what made that great.
PL: One of my top 20 favourite songs from the 2000s (the 00 decade) is “White Doves.” What goes into a hit like that?
YE: I wish I knew! Writing songs is always a weird experience in that you just kind of play and see what comes out. We never write anything with any preconceptions, so it really just kind of happens.
PL: Being a part of the Toronto music scene, what other acts would you consider to be among the trendsetters? And do they influence the sound that you guys produce? What else do you draw on for inspiration?
YE: Azarii and iii, Coleco. Lots of great dance music coming out of Toronto these days.