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Interviews: Empty Friend

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the  Hard Rock band Empty Friend from the UK. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that? 

The band settled on the name ‘Empty Friend’ after the track of the same name by LA rockers Failure, a major influence on their sound.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

RO: For the four of us, hard rock, punk, metal and grunge were really prevalent during our formative years - in the 90s and early 00's - with all of those huge guitar riffs and heavy choruses! It can be pretty visceral. It's exciting to listen to, to hear and see it played live, and for us it's a style we love and that we can be honest with. Every time we play we give it everything, and we pour ourselves into our music. Hopefully that comes across and people like what we're putting out there and can connect with it.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Ryan and Karl have been friends since school, 18 years or so and have played on and off together for years. Following a chance meeting with Dave at a gig in 2015 they decided to kick off a joint project which eventually became known as Empty Friend. Moving on a couple of years Karl provided much needed support for a touring band where Davvers was on bass. Karl asked if Davvers would help out with some Empty Friend gigs and he never left.

4. Each band member favourite band?

RO - Favourite band. Just one each?! Ah man, that's a really tough one! I think there are a number of bands that have connected us and strands of their music runs through what we play. There's a healthy slice of grunge, as we all love Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, and desert rock stoner like Kyuss and QOTSA, but we love classic stuff like Led Zep, Sabbath and Hendrix, as well as Incubus, Tool, Primus... sorry, think that's about 10...!

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

RO - Living, working and just surviving in a big city has a huge influence, undoubtedly. And I think that's the same for most cities around the world. But we're all interested in what's going on beyond our own back yard as well. Dave's lyrics are really socially and politically charged, and we all still have that deep burning desire to be decent people and stand up for something - even if it's just pushing back against the things that chip away at you every day, and looking out for people.

6. Where was your last gig?

We played at an all day charity event in Chatham called Kimbofest, which was raising awareness and money for Dementia causes.

7. Where would you like to act?

RO - There are so many iconic venues around the world it's hard to choose! Personally, I love smaller, packed out dive bar settings - I think they make for the best shows. I was recently in Seattle and made a bit of a pilgrimage to the Central Saloon where all the grunge bands played back in their day - that would be a great venue to play. But we wouldn't turn down Download festival, Glastonbury or SXSW either.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

DN -  It would be great to share a stage with Senser, they're a fab band, great tracks, great lyrics and loads of energy. A varied cross over sound too, I highly recommend a listen.

9. Whom not?

Anyone with too much self importance I guess.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

A little bit of stage fright is a good thing, it really does make you pay more attention to what you're doing and ensuring you give your best to the crowd. It never goes away completely but becomes more manageable the more times you find yourself on stage. The advice would be keep getting back up on stage, no matter what happens. And if you do make a few mistakes here and there, genreally most people won't even notice, so just keep going and keep enjoying the vibe.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

RO - I think it would have to be the Seattle grunge bands of the 90s. There were so many bands in that scene and it was just a whirlwind of talent and a real punk ethos running through it. Making rock music is amazing and you can really put a lot of yourself into it. I think some of our musical heroes put too much in and lost themselves, as it can take you to some dark places. Another huge area of inspiration is the California rock scene (everything from Kyuss and Sleep to Failure).

12. What do you think of your fans?

RO - The London hard rock and grunge scene is relatively small, but it's healthy and growing - so we know a lot of the bands and try and make it to each others shows. We also have a great circle of friends, family, musical acquaintances, and increasingly just people who are into our music, which has been really great. There's a lot of good people and every hard won fan is worth the effort!

13. What do you think of our site?

RO - It's great! It's good to see so many metal and heavy rock bands are out there and putting music out. I love the 'Behind the artwork' section - some really gnarly covers on there!

15. Something add?

RO - I think people can get a bit too hung up on trying to make something no-one has heard before, or even going too far the other way and just trying to tick all the boxes of a particular genre. You make music together as a band, and it takes bits of your experiences and personality, so just enjoy it and try to make the best music you can. Also, get out there and see some bands and if you're in a band, stick around for the other bands! Thanks for having us! -EF-

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