'We're immensely proud of it': Northampton rockers Empyre talk about new album ahead of town gig

Empyre are singer and guitarist Henrik Steenholdt, lead guitarist Did Coles, bassist Grant Hockley and drummer Elliot Bale
Empyre are singer and guitarist Henrik Steenholdt, lead guitarist Did Coles, bassist Grant Hockley and drummer Elliot Bale

Northampton rock quartet Empyre are gearing up for the release of their debut album and are playing the King Billy this weekend as part of their UK tour.

Self Aware is out in July and was preceded by the single Too Little Too late last month.

Empyre are singer and guitarist Henrik Steenholdt, lead guitarist Did Coles, bassist Grant Hockley and drummer Elliot Bale.

Speaking about their latest single, Henrik said: “The song is an exploration of an obsessive and toxic relationship before, during and after its collapse.

“The idea that initially your pride is damaged and your emotions feel like they have been tainted.

“But, ultimately over time you end up realising you have come out better off than the other person involved.

“It’s intense. We also incorporated some of those ideas into the video for the song as it’s part built around the single cover artwork, part around the lyrical content of the song and the narrative conveys a relationship stuck between war and intimacy.”

Empyre formed in 2016, writing, rehearsing and recorded a couple of EPs before turning their attention to an album.

Henrik said: “We formed a plan, set some goals, got out gigging consistently across the country and decided to produce an album.”

Self Aware was recorded at Parlour Studios in Kettering with Neil Haynes.

Henrik said: “We’ve worked with him a few times over the last three years and have always been really happy with how we’ve worked together and the end result.

“We see the album Self Aware as encompassing the complete sound of Empyre as we stand.

“It covers a fairly broad spectrum within the rock genre from atmospheric and prog elements to straightforward hard rock. We’re immensely proud of it.

“It was around three years in the making, we’ve taken old songs and new, kept some tracks, dropped some tracks, re-worked some, remastered, tweaked and even re-recorded whole songs.

“It’s been a bit of a labour of love, but we wanted to get it right before we put it out.”

Picking their favourite tracks on the LP, Did said: “New Republic which has a multitude of rock riffs in one song and is so much fun to experience performing live with the band.

“We often close the set with it. The subject matter also draws on some aspects of the current global climate we live in retaliating against religious theocracy and political authority triggering humans to do inhumane acts against one another.”

As well as headline gigs, Empyre have clocked up praise from BBC Introducing, performed an acoustic set for Bob Harris on his Under The Apple Tree sessions and played at Hard Rock Hell in Ibiza.

Empyre’s eight date RPM Takeover tour with Ryders Creed and The Rocket Dolls begins on Friday in Grimsby and heads to the King Billy on Sunday, May 5. They are also due to play the Northampton Music Festival in July.

Self Aware is out on July 5. For more details, visit www.empyre.co.uk