-Chupacabra' is the new album from Emperors, and is the highly anticipated follow up to their stunning 2012 debut, -Stay Frosty'. Produced by long-time friend and collaborator Dave Parkin (Jebediah, Gyroscope), the album features ten brand new tracks, rich in walls of overdriven guitars and 90's flavoured power pop goodness.
The philosophy has always been simple with Emperors; keep it simple, loud and catchy. The approach to making -Chupacabra' was no different. However, the process turned out to be far from simple, with setback after setback occurring, resulting in the recording taking a total of nine months to complete and a sonic darkness captured on an otherwise upbeat batch of songs.
The darkness was a reflection of the real life drama that unfolded in the studio during the recording, and has led ultimately to the band's demise with lead vocalist Adam Livingston announcing recently that he has no intention of performing live to support the album's release. With his decision forcing the band into an indefinite hiatus, Livingston's co-songwriter and founding band member Greg Sanders speculates with an official statement:
'His decision is based on a combination of shattered ego and Father Time being a negligent dad. I think his desire to have what others consider to be a normal life has obscured his vision of achieving greatness, which is a shame but I wish him all the best and hope this isn't the last album we make together, whatever form it takes".
The difficult second album is a massive cliche in rock and roll, but Emperors have never been a band to pride themselves on originality. Instead they have always placed more value on quality song-writing and aspiring to sound like the artists they love. -Chupacabra' reflects this more than ever and is a record brimming with character and ambition, captured while the band was falling apart.
Question: How would you describe your music?
Greg Sanders: I'd best describe it as post wave glitch core.
Question: What was the main motivation behind Chupacabra?
Greg Sanders: Upper middle class guilt. You gotta do something when you drop out of university, you know? That's how we met actually, there was a careers day at our local and there was a guy rattling on about making your parents proud and getting rich quick by starting a band. It felt right at the time, but now I kind of feel like i've been had.
Question: Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?
Greg Sanders: Technically, yes. As in we don't play covers. But I'm quite a spiritual person and I like to think i'm merely a vessel for channeling messages sent from higher powers. I'm also a massive Freemason, and my Freemason brothers are a constant source of inspiration.
Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?
Greg Sanders: I'm listening to Mariachi El Bronx a lot at the moment.
Question: What's next? Tour/Album/Single?
Greg Sanders: We just released an album called 'Chupacabra'. Next up is misery, anger, guilt, regret, prescription drugs and finally, acceptance.
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Greg Sanders: Yep. The towel has been thrown, forged into an effigy of my dreams and then burnt.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Greg Sanders: It's very hard to answer that - they're both so different and I enjoy both on different levels for different reasons. Playing live is about releasing physical and emotional energy in a dank room with your friends while you get drunk for free. The studio is more about being creative.
Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Greg Sanders: Noel Gallagher.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Greg Sanders: In hindsight, keeping the band functioning for six years was the biggest challenge.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Greg Sanders: Toast, coffee, emails, social media, emails, post office, emails, google docs, Westpac bank, google docs, emails, beer, fox sports, sitcom, beer, social media, sleep.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Greg Sanders: It does wonders for your social life. All the friendships I value have been made through playing in a band.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Greg Sanders: I'd do a soundtrack to a Jim Jarmusch film. It'd be pretty heavily inspired by what Neil Young did in 'Dead Man'.
Question: Do you have a website fans can visit?
Greg Sanders: www.emperorsmusic.com
Question: Can you tell us 5 things required for a happy healthy & enjoyable life?
Greg Sanders: Alcohol
Question: What message would you like, your music, to say to your fans?
Greg Sanders: Live long and prosper.
Question: What is the story behind the band's name?
Greg Sanders: We wanted to sound as pompous and arrogant as possible.
Interview by Brooke Hunter