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The Driving Sounds of Emperors Night

The Driving Sounds of Emperors Night

Photo Credit: Valentina Caballero

The Driving Sounds of Emperors Night

Emerging alt-rock band Emperors Night is a Toronto, Canada-based band via down under, and they are ready to break it out all over the world. Meet the Chalmers brothers – Anand (guitars, production), Bud (vocals, piano) and Dhyan (vocals, bass), ready to present their own dynamic take on the independent music arena.  Driving At Pace is the name of their just issued EP, featuring strong melodies, thoughtful lyrics and imaginative musicianship sending the songs into the stratosphere and beyond.  Highwire Daze recently caught up with middle brother Bud to find out more about the driving sounds of Emperors Night.  And be sure to check out their brand new video for their song Not A Soul In Sight at the end of the article…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Emperors Night, and how long the band has been together.
Hi Ken, I’m Bud, we are a band of 3 brothers – I’m the middle brother, I play piano, and share lead vocals with youngest brother Dhyan. Being brothers, that’s a difficult question to answer. Have we always been together, in which case that would that be last-to-arrive-Dhyan’s date of birth? We have played music jointly since we were in our early teens, but we’ve been more serious about it the last 3-4 years I’d say.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We’re living in Toronto, Canada, and have been for the past year, having moved here from the little beach side town in Australia where we were for 14 years previously. It was a beautiful place, but it didn’t have much in the way of a music scene. In contrast, the scene here in Toronto is great, when there isn’t a pandemic in full force! Before that, the city had lots of great live music venues of all sizes… who knows how things will look when we come out of this though!

Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title Driving At Pace?
It’s a fairly straightforward selection of 5 of our songs which we feel give a good overall representation of our sound. We have a 21 song live set we’ve finished. These particular songs on Driving At Pace were selected as the ones we’d like to introduce ourselves to the world with. Driving At Pace itself, the title track, features classic Emperors Night sounds of intertwining and melodic piano, bass, and guitars, with one of Anand’s drum-beats to tie it all together as usual, so it stood out as a natural lead single.

Select two songs from Driving At Pace and what inspired the lyrics.
The themes for Not A Soul In Sight crystallized from a moment we had during the first lockdown here in Toronto in March. The eerie feeling we each felt while looking down over the city from a high-rise downtown – and we couldn’t see anyone moving, any cars on the road, not a soul in sight! Very strange in a city this size, something you could never have imagined we’d see in our lifetime. The song expresses the thoughts and feelings this moment and these times provoked within us.

Pink Taffeta is our take on a love song. The alternating dance steps between two people of sharing yourself, hiding yourself, finally leading to and finding refuge with each other. For me, there’s an innocence to the story which is really lovely.

Who produced Driving At Pace and what was it like working with them?
Anand produced it, and, of course, he is really terrible to work with. He’s the eldest brother, so naturally thinks he’s in charge (really, we all think that). More seriously, Anand has a great ability to create a unique sound with each song, and knows how to place the instrumental pieces Dhyan and I write, on piano and bass respectively, in the right moments in the song. He also works with our father Bruce in this capacity – having all that within the group is a huge bonus, and allows us a lot more creative control than we’d otherwise enjoy.

What has it been like to release new music in the middle of a pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
There’s a lot going on out there for so many people, struggles and suffering of all kinds. We make music, so in good times or in challenging times, that’s what we naturally turn to; it feels normal to us no matter what else is happening in society.

What is a live Emperors Night show like for those of us who have never seen you before?
We really love the music we write as well as playing it together, I think that comes across a lot to the audience. In between songs, it’s soon apparent we’re brothers, we keep it light and don’t take each other too seriously. We’re currently working on a mid-set wrestling routine to really ramp up the entertainment factor – we may not even have to rehearse this part of the performance (there’s a good chance my brothers know nothing about this and it’s just my plan I’m going to surprise them with at our next show, who knows how this will go!)

Photo Credit: Valentina Caballero

If Emperors Night could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I would say The Beatles, although would anyone be able to hear us? I admire the unique variety their music had. For a more modern band and a bit of a local Canadian flavor, I love the energy, songs and creative performance style of Arcade Fire!

What is the best and maybe not so best part about having three brothers in the same band?
The natural ease and honestly we have as brothers is a huge plus. Is that also a downside? When we’re on the road and everyone is getting hangry, maybe it is – but also you have the ability to get through those times. It’s a real skill of Dhyan’s, he is quick to recognize a hangry debate, and after we’ve sorted the argument of where to eat, we’re back on track. Creatively that honesty makes for better music we think, another in the list of pros!

What do you hope 2021 brings for Emperors Night?
Our plan is to promote this EP, and then follow it up with a full album. We’d love to take our live set on the road also, but that’s looking likely to be late 2021 if at all next year, it’s all dependent on what happens with Covid of course.

Any final words of wisdom?
Eat cucumbers in summer” – author unknown.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
Our pleasure, thanks for talking with us!

(Interview by Ken Morton)

Emperors Night on Instagram

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