The Empty Hearts, a new band featuring members of The Cars, Blondie, The Romantics and The Chesterfield Kings are on the verge of releasing their eponymous debut album. The band, consisting of four iconic players and musical peers, features Elliot Easton on lead guitar, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Clem Burke on drums, Wally Palmar on vocals and guitar, and Andy Babiuk on bass. Co-produced by the band and Ed Stasium, The Empty Hearts is a raucous collection of tunes with each player's rock -n' roll stripes on display" a bracing sound shaped by influences which span decades and include -50's American roots rock -n' roll, 60's British invasion, and 70's garage-punk. The album was recorded at Fab Gear Studios in Rochester, NY and also includes the Faces' Hall of Fame keyboardist Ian McLagan on Hammond organ and Wurlitzer.
Billboard.com announced the release with an exclusive stream of the song 'I Don't Want Your Love (If You Won't See Me)". Listen to the track here.
The Empty Hearts is a band who sound like musical cohorts - all came of age in the 70's and 80's music scenes and play by a DIY punk rock code of ethics. They are all connected having come together as a band of friends. Babiuk called up Palmar looking to start something new and shortly thereafter, Palmar connected with Burke who then brought in Easton. A self-proclaimed band of 'rock and roll lifers", the chemistry clicked immediately.
Says Clem Burke: 'Those common influences are what brought us together. We're survivors and lifers of rock -n' roll. We take from everything that's come before musically. A lot of people have never heard or seen a band like this. There's a freshness to it, at the same time as it's a recollection of the past."
The Empty Hearts Track Listing:
1) 90 Miles An Hour Down A Dead End Street
2) I Don't Want Your Love (If You Don't Want Me)
3) Fill An Empty Heart
4) Soul Deep
5) Loud And Clear
6) Perfect World
7) I Found You Again
8) Just A Little Too Hard
9) Drop Me Off At Home
11) Meet Me -Round The Corner
For more information visit: www.429records.com
Question: What inspired to collaboration of The Empty Hearts?
Andy Babiuk: We were all friends socially and respected each other's bands. We would alway say to one another 'We should do something together,' but years went by and we never did. I had this idea, wouldn't it be great to have a band and just get in a room and play music and write songs for the fun of it? Remembering the reason we all picked up guitars when we were teenagers, because we likes The Stones, The Beatles, The Who and all the other cool stuff we grew up listening to. So we got together and did it!
Question: How would you describe The Empty Hearts sound?
Andy Babiuk: We draw our inspiration from the cool records we grew up with. We are a Rock and Roll band!
Question: What does the track I Don't Want Your Love (If You Won't See Me), mean to you?
Andy Babiuk: Well, the title says it all! Imagine a bar full of people real drunk all singing together. It's a fun "I don't give a fuck" kind of song! We were pretty drunk when we recorded it...
Question: What was the main inspiration behind the upcoming album release?
Andy Babiuk: We wrote a bunch of songs together, the four of us. Then Clem called me one day and said he booked a flight to Rochester where my studio is, and said we're recording an album on these days. We all said cool, and everyone came to Rochester, NY a few weeks later.
Question: Can you talk us through the processes of creating this album, together?
Andy Babiuk: We call the great producer Ed Stasium and asked if he would produce us, so he came to Rochester as well. He's really great and had us record old school, all in one room playing live. We cut the LP in 5 days. We had this joke going while we were recording, if you made a mistake you had to pay $20. Some of the songs were cut in one take! I know I had to pay the drink tab at the bar one night...
Question: What is the story behind the band's name?
Andy Babiuk: we respected like Andrew Loog Oldham and Little Steven Van Zandt asking if they had any ideas. Little Steven sent me his secret list of the coolest band names that he had been saving. The thing was that the bulk of the names were used! So we kept trying to think of a name, and about a month later I got a text from Little Steven, 'You fuckin' guys think of a name for your band yet?', I replied 'No'. I got a text back, 'You're gonna be called The Empty Hearts, I said so'. I copied the text and sent it to the guys in the band and said 'If any of you guys want to argue with Silvio Dante be my guest. I guess we're gonna be called The Empty Hearts'. Steven really is like his character Silvio Dante from the Sopranos, he just doesn't kill people!
Question: What's next? Tour?
Andy Babiuk: The LP comes out August 5th and we will do a tour soon after in October and November of this year.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Andy Babiuk: I like doing both. Recording in the studio is fun artistically because you get to really create something new. I look at performing live like a big party. We get to perform the song for people and have blast. It's our job to make sure that everyone is having a good time. If we're having fun on stage, I think people can see that, it becomes infectious.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Andy Babiuk: The music business itself!
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Andy Babiuk: I would like to write some songs with Donovan and or Ray Davies.
Interview by Brooke Hunter