Empirian is a local band making headway toward the national music scene. They have a large local following, as well as fans in other states due to internet exposure from Battle of the Bands1 and Famecast2 online competitions. This writer, being Kye’s mother, had the opportunity for this exclusive interview with Empirian guitarist, Kye Wright.
Kye Wright taught himself guitar while still in elementary school and joined with a couple of friends to make their first band, Mutalitia3 during that time. Mutalitia played the local club scene as well as made several appearances at the nationally recognized Athens Halloween Block Party.
He has played his guitar at Christmas programs at school, including the electric guitar version of “Ukrainian Bell Carol”. He also made a guest alumni appearance in the local high school’s musical of “Grease” last year, where he sang “Hand Jive” while playing guitar.
Having a strong musical talent, Kye Wright also used to sing vocals for Mutalitia. In school, he was voted “Most Musical” and sang at his high school graduation ceremony. This past summer, he sang one of the most beautiful versions of the song “You Raise Me Up” at our Church. But his passion remains with heavy guitar sounds with his position in his current band, Empirian.
Interviewer notations as follows:
JH: Jolynne M Hudnell
KW: Kye Wright
JH: Hi, Kye! Thank you for granting me this interview.
KW: No problem. Thank you for having me.
JH: Would you tell me Empirian’s line-up, and when each member joined the band?
KW: Chris Love (drums), Josh Gillogoly (bass), and I started Empirian under a different name (Civilian). About six months later Locke Wolf (guitar) joined the ranks. He had played in a band with me prior to this project (Mutalitia). Nathan Lambert (vocals) joined the band last year.
JH: What genre of music does Empirian consider itself to be?
KW: Metal. Nothing fancy, no sales pitching adjectives. Straight to the point METAL!
JH: Is there still a following for that style?
KW: Oh yeah. Especially in Athens. Metal has always had a large following, but it seems to me that more and more people are beginning to get into the style.
JH: Empirian played the Athens Halloween block party this year. How did the show go?
KW: It was d**n good. There was a pretty decent crowd (about a thousand people right in front of the stage). At outdoor festivals like the Halloween party, it is hard to judge the people that are actually paying attention to your act, but it seemed that most were very entertained.
JH: How many times has Empirian been invited to play at the Athens Halloween block party?
KW: This was the first block party that Empirian was invited to play. But with the success of the show, I would not be at all surprised to be receiving another invite for next year.
JH: Have any of you played together in a band before Empirian?
KW: My childhood was filled with various musical ventures. The most prominent of which was a group called Mutalitia.
JH: What was Mutalitia’s first paid gig?
KW: I’m not sure about paid, but our first gig was at an open stage at a place called the Front Room.
JH: How old were you?
KW: I was in the eighth grade so that would make me about 13.
JH: How old were you when Mutalitia first played the Athens Halloween block party?
KW: I was a freshman in high school. 14 or 15 years old.
JH: For the fans out there, when did you first start playing guitar?
KW: I started playing guitar in the fourth grade. My family and I had just relocated to Athens so my mom could attend college there. I met Locke and we both picked it up together.
JH: I have seen that Empirian has pages on both Facebook4 and MySpace5. Do you keep fans posted on both of these sites? Do you prefer one over the other?
KW: From what I hear fans seem to stay in the loop over both of these sites. I don’t have much of a working knowledge of these social networks. I’m not exactly sure how to do anything on either one of them honestly! I usually just let Nate or Josh take care of that stuff.
JH: There’s an ongoing online Battle of the Bands. I’ve seen Empirian listed for cities such as Cincinnati, Detroit and even Chicago. Can you tell me more about this?
KW: Really? I haven’t heard much about that. I guess that is one of the downfalls of not being involved in the online following.
JH: I’ve also seen a page for Empirian on the website Famecast. It looks like an online contest for independent bands to compete. What is Famecast and what is the contest about?
KW: Like I said before, the online world is not really my bag. But from what I understand, Famecast is a website where independent artists can post a page and people from around the world can become your fans and vote for your band to win prizes or “career boosting opportunities”.
JH: Where can online readers go to listen to your music?
KW: The best way for someone to check out our music is at the MySpace page.
JH: Empirian currently has a CD. Can you tell me about it?
KW: We released our first demo, “Blood for the Wicker Man”, earlier this year. It is a small CD, containing only four songs. We have sold about one hundred copies but have been pretty lazy about making more. The best way to check it out is through our MySpace page.
JH: What are some upcoming events for Empirian that viewers should be aware of?
KW: December 26th we are playing our annual Christmas show at the Union in Athens, Ohio. We have done this show for the last few years with a band called The Grand Theft Audio All-Stars6. Always seems to be a good time.
JH: Where do you see Empirian being in the future?
KW: Well, hopefully, spreading a little further around the country than we have been. I always jump on the opportunity to share our music with as many people as I can get to listen. It would be nice to take our material further west.
JH: Before we close, is there anything you’d like to add?
KW: Just to let all the potential fans know to check out Empirian’s MySpace page5, become a friend, and get your face melted by some sweet metal.
End of Interview
Empirian’s following is now growing with the help of online networking and competitions entered by bassist, Josh Gillogoly and vocalist, Nathan Lambert. For more information on the band, or to listen to their songs, check out any of the websites mentioned in this interview with Empirian guitarist, Kye Wright.
Wright, Kye. Personal Interview. 15 November 2009.
1) Ernie Ball Inc; Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands 13: Empirian; Battle of the Bands
2) Famecast; Empirian; Famecast
3) Athens Musician Network; Mutalitia @ The Blue Gator Photos by Matthew Toledo; www.sexylocalbands.com
4) Facebook; Empirian; Facebook
5) MySpace; Empirian; MySpace
6) Ian P. Berger; Grand Theft Audio All-Stars; ianpberger.com