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Empire of Fools…there’s gotta be a story behind that name?
Like most bands we struggled to find a name that we all liked and contemplated a few before deciding on Empire of Fools. We liked that the name can be interpreted in many different ways and different people could assume it’s a reference to Governments, organisations, bigwigs etc The intention of the name doesn’t have a political stance but it’s good for getting people to a think about it’s meaning and hopefully people can relate to it in some way within their own lives. Hopefully a name to remember!!

And do you find you get mixed up with other bands with Empire in their name?(Mark) So far so good, hopefully people won’t get us mixed up with other bands but if people stumble across us through confusion, we would be more than happy with that.
(Steve) Not yet! There’s loads of bands with similar names so I don’t think it really matters.

How did Empire of Fools start?
(Both) The band has been in development over the past few years. Steve had been writing music in his home studio and wrote some great pieces and wanted to push this into the live environment. Steve needed to collaborate with a songwriter. Once these tracks were jammed live Steve knew he was onto something great and set out to find the missing link. Not settling for just anyone, Steve wanted a vocalist/songwriter with the same passion and drive plus great vocals/stage presence. At the same time Mark had finished with his previous project MORPH and was looking for something new and exciting to work with. After seeing an advert posted by Steve, Mark enquired and checked out his compositions and instantly clicked with the direction they were going. Steve had been auditioning for over 9 months before he received Mark’s demo and was instantly sold. Once Mark had written lyrics and melodies to the tracks we were good to go. Mark and Steve have worked incredibly hard to build the band from scratch and have concentrated on trying to secure the best line up possible and are finally there!!!

You’re from the South West right? How does that sit with your ambitions in the music industry?(Mark) Being from the Southwest does create problems but nothing that we can’t overcome. Obviously we are miles away from the so called cities that are classed as the “mecca of live music scene” etc such as London, Liverpool, Birmingham etc. We do have to travel a lot AS the band is from Devon and Cornwall so rehearsals are sometimes a challenge too!!!.
(Steve) There have been loads of great bands coming from the southwest, MUSE and REEF to name a couple so i don’t think its a problem being from down here. I think there are loads of amazing bands from Cornwall and Devon but most struggle to break out and gig in larger places.

You’ve got some high profile festival slots coming up – what are you looking forward to most?(Mark) Supporting Reef and finally playing at The Relentless Boardmasters will be a couple of very proud moments for me. I’ve wanted to do these gigs for years as they have been a massive part of my life for many years too.
(Steve) Just playing live! All the gigs coming up are fantastic and its taken a lot of work to get them so we’ll enjoy every second of all of them.

Tell us more about heading out on the road with Reef…
(Mark) I can’t wait to share the stage with Reef. Reef have been a major influence on my musical direction and I have been a fan for a long time. When I first heard their track “Naked” that was it! Get down to the show in Frome, Somerset July 6th! this is going to be an awesome show! I got invited to support StringerBessant recently at a couple of their shows which were great fun but the Reef show is going to be something even better!!!!
(Steve) I grew up listening to Reef. Back at college we use to drive from the Lizard to Truro listening to all the Reef tunes in the car, with ones of my mates belting out Place Your Hands at the top of OUR voiceS. Good times.!!!

How important are lyrics to your set up and what lyric are you most proud of writing?
(Mark) Lyrics are always important as they set the tone of any track and can take a listener down a certain path. It’s great when lyrics written about a particular event or situation can be interpreted in many different ways and forms depending on who is listening. The lyrics to “Dirty Mind’ are ones that i’m proud of due to the way they flow and tell a story without it being outrageous obvious what i’m going on about. I like there to be a certain amount of the narrative hidden whilst creating a melody to make it flow.

Any collaborations in your back catalogue or in the pipeline?
(Mark) There’s nothing in the pipeline at the moment, but if anyone reading this is interested then please get in touch!!!!
(Steve) We are always up for doing tunes with other artists/bands. I think it’s fantastic for the fans to see what happens when two artists or bands get put in a room together and see what happens. I think we’ll eventually do quite a few collaborations as it’s always interesting to hear how someone else interprets your music or lyrics.

How would you sum up your sound in one sentence?
(Mark) Big anthemic rock with melodic vocals with hints of Rage/Audioslave/Incubus/Chillis

More info on Empire of Fools, who play LemonFest 2012, Boardmasters 2012 and SomerRock 2012 among others, at www.empireoffools.co.uk