Tooth & Nail Records’ newest addition, I Am Empire, is readying for their label debut, “Kings,” set for January 25, 2011. Recorded in Nashville, TN with producer Rob Hawkins (Disciple, Fireflight), the dozen tracks features a range of alternative rock songs and styles including the rock single “Brain Damage” that is already charting in the Top 20. This single is making its debut on the band’s MySpace today ( http://www.myspace.com/iamempire).
This San Jose-bred fivesome had no trouble igniting the local scene since forming in 2008, including dates alongside Flyleaf, Sublime, Deftones, Silversun Pickups, Thursday, Four Year Strong and The Wedding, a pair of charting singles (“You’re A Fake” and “The Elevator”), plus additional acclaim from Alternative Press, AOL’s Spinner and San Francisco’s LIVE105 radio station. Amongst this success, it was the personal story from front man Austin Lyon’s fractured upbringing that lays the thematic foundation for “Kings.”
“The whole record is about abandonment, particularly the fact that my father is the one who abandoned me,” says the singer/songwriter for I Am Empire (whose moniker is basically a battle cry to be yourself and never feel pressured towards conformity). “We decided to name the record Kings because it signifies the head of a household, and if you’ve been abandoned, you want to look past that person and try to be better when you grow up. The goal is to take up the crown that person left behind and be better than the person who left, which can really apply to any type of relationship.”
The results of Lyon’s writing finds the guitar-charged record split between tracks of justified venting to seasons of spiritual renewal. Cuts like the lead single “Brain Damage,” “Saints & Sinners,” “Heart Attack,” “To the Moon” and “Foxhole” are aggressive examples of anger relief that encourage listeners to never bottle up their emotions, while “Hammers & Anvils,” “Love & Despair” and “Take Me Away” speak of healing, reconciliation and forgiveness.
Between the band’s artistic ambitions, unceasing work ethic, tireless time on tour and thematic reliability, I Am Empire is a perfect match with Tooth & Nail. For more information on I Am Empire, visit: http://www.myspace.com/iamempire and follow the band on Twitter @iamempire