Welcome to the latest Q & A with Empire Affair. They formed in Bournemouth in early 2011 and consist of Neil Tallant (vocals), Jack Woolston (guitar), Matt Park (guitar and keys), Tom Parrett (bass) and Darren Sheppard (drums). Their 3rd EP, Pangs, came out on September 5th, but what have dauphinois potatoes and a dislocated shoulder got to do with rock ‘n’ roll?
~ Describe your music and influences for those who may not have come across it?
A Hawaiian shirt in a blender with a disco ball. Or for those not trained in allegories, we are along the lines of high energy alt-indie rock and roll.
~ What’s the most fun part of being in a band?
Challenging ourselves with a creative output, and getting to do it in places we wouldn’t usually get to go.
~ What did you find most challenging about the new EP?
Breaking out of our comfort zone and approach to song writing, as well as adding a synth into the mix.
~ Your live version of Lana Del Ray’s Video Games is a damn sight better than her version! What other mellow tracks would you love to give an Empire Affair makeover to?
That’s very kind; we had a lot of fun doing it. We have started working on The Ronettes classic ‘Be My Baby’, so watch out for that.
~ If you could each pick one band or artist in order to curate a festival stage, who would they be?
Jack – Daft Punk
Neil – Elton John
Tom – New Order
Darren – Two Door Cinema Club
Matt – The National
~ You’ve been to Croatia twice and played numerous dates there. What has been the best thing about going there, and are the venues and audiences any different to what you find in the UK?
They have a different attitude to live music; it’s much more of a whole night out. There is also much more rock music over there, whereas music is more pop orientated here.
~ Your new EP has been crowd funded via Pledge Music. One of the packages on offer was a “home cooked dinner”. Who is the best cook among you, and if I’d got them round to the Alternative Friday kitchen what treat would they have served up… and who’s the worst, and what would they have attempted!!
That would probably be Jack, who would serve up minted loin of lamb with dauphinois potatoes and trimmed beans.
Neil would have ordered a take away!
~ If you could collaborate with a famous musician, who would it be?
Jack – Rick Rubin
Neil – Freddie Mercury
Tom – Matt Bellamy
Matt – David Bowie
Darren – Alex Turner
~ Are there any other new / lesser known bands from the Bournemouth area we should be checking out?
Check out Jack Grace – Soundcloud
~ Do any of you have any hidden talents?
Matt was Wessex under 16 fencing champion. Tom can dislocate his shoulder…does that count?
~ Which five actors would you choose to play you all in a film about the band?
Jack – Jim Carey
Tom – Adrian Brody
Neil – Ryan Gosling
Darren – Jonah Hill
Matt – Elijah Wood
~ What are your plans for the rest of 2014?
Release the EP and gig, gig, gig.
~ Which gets the most votes from the five of you; lager, bitter, or stout?
Matt makes home brew stout, so he is a little biased, the rest are saying lager.