Interview with Of Burning Empires

I had the chance to chat with the guys in Of Burning Empires a metalcore band hailing from Ottawa, Ontario recently and they have a lot of great things coming up as well as phenomenal understanding of the value of music. Check out what they said and what they have planned!

of burning empires


How has fan reaction been to your EP “Everless” that you released last year?

The reaction by far exceeded our expectations and it is very humbling to know that simply doing what we love has connected with so many. Where we stand with our overall status in terms of local versus touring band leaves us in a position riddled with competitive nature, however we have been able to maintain a positive relationship with our friends, fans and co-artists on both a local and external level which has been essential in spreading our name and music. The release party for the record in our hometown of Ottawa was ridiculous; the venue was packed with familiar faces who supported us along the way as well as those who stopped by to give us a listen. Definitely a milestone in our career as a band.

What did you like most from that EP and what things would you like to improve on from your first time recording?

While recording Everless, there was a fair amount of spontaneity that went into the recording process. A few guitar parts in Extinction, the guitar solos in Iridian, as well as almost all the lyrics for Desolation were elements of the record that were non-existent prior to going into the studio. After the recording process, we all agreed that these last minute additions took the material to almost a whole new tier and because of that, we’re hoping to come across more last minute studio inspiration in the future. Originally, with our second time recording we intended to improve our sound by record all real instruments rather than programmed drums and bass in order to give everyone in the band a chance to develop their expanse as a recording artist. However, when we went in to record the first two songs of what will eventually be a full length album, we decided that when comparing the time it takes to record real instruments to the overall sound quality, the difference is minuscule and therefore we may actually retrace our steps back to the method we used recording Everless when we go to our next session.

What did you learn from recording that record that you would take with you when you go into the studio to record your first full length album?

When we first contacted Frank Shooflar (Bird Wazo Studios) to record “Leviathan”, our first single from Everless, he made a point of touching on a few parts of the song. Although we were at first a tad skeptical about the alterations, we decided that it would be best to go with the flow and allow the producer to have the final word. Looking back and comparing the original to the final gives us a first-hand understanding of how open-mindedness in the music industry is an essential and we are excited to take this to Nashville when we finish up our first LP with Brian.

What are you most excited about with working with Brian Hood of 456 recordings who has worked with many talented groups like Gideon and Sworn In?

 After meeting Brian and tracking the beginnings of our first full-length, we’ve developed a sense of what his strengths are as a producer. Brian is the type of producer that has a sixth sense; he can listen though a song and immediately know how to fix an issue or tighten up a section whether it is by adding post-production elements or changing the timing of a guitar riff. With our heavier, more complex sound that we are planning on following through with on our next record, we have never been more excited to hear the turn out.

What should fans expect from your new album?

When we decided that writing a full-length album should be our next move as a band, we decided to try to write something that strayed as far from the general cliches of metalcore records as we could but write something that still resonates with fans of the genre. With the wide variety of talents and tastes within the band, we decided that rather than write a record that is tailored entirely to the sound established by our first EP, we would expand and experiment with our sound. The sound we’re developing for the full-length will be more musically complex but with the same overall vibe and enjoyability that came across successfully with the release of the EP.

Who has been your biggest musical inspiration?

One of the greatest things about this band is that each member has a separate and unique musical background. Although we gather a lot of influence from the early post-hardcore and metal bands that introduced us to the genre (i.e. All That Remains, Underoath, As I Lay Dying, Lamb of God), most of our favourite bands subside within the earlier architects and innovators of alternative, sub-cultural music such as 30 Seconds to Mars, The Used, and Radiohead. Of course, we listen to and are passionate about the style of music we play; we’re often up to par with trends and very opinionated about how this genre is evolving. However, we believe that great musicians are those who introduce new elements and bring new ideas to the table, hence that is where we draw the most inspiration.

What bands would you most like to tour with in the future?

This is a difficult question. There are so many amazing bands out there and life is so short. We all have a slight Issues fetish. Their music doesn’t break any particular barriers but is always a good listen and is suitable for almost any mood or occasion. They also seem like very genuine, fun-loving dudes, unlike some of the pretentious attitudes you come across in the scene. Touring with them would be wicked.

What would be your dream tour or festival to play (who will you be with and where are you going?)

It may seem like a metalcore cliche, however I think Warped Tour would be the collective dream festival of the consensus of the band. Warped Tour is the type of event that brings both ends of the spectrum together; it provides an environment for bands to interact with their fans freely, and it gives fans a platform to meet their favourite artists. In a sub-culture such as metalcore, fans will go to the lengths of admitting that a certain band or certain lyric saved their lives, and in OBE, we aim to create music with substance. Our lyrics mean a lot to us and has gotten us through a lot, and we feel that it could do the same for a fan. If we ever reach that pinnacle in our career, we would love to be on a tour that gives us the opportunity to share our experiences, thoughts, and of course our live performance with our fans.

What goals have you accomplished and what new ones have you set for your future?

As a band, we have accomplished personal goals that were at one point deemed purely fantastical. We have managed to stay true to our ambitions and establish ourselves online and locally via professionally recorded material and tastefully presentable media such as the music video we recently dropped for “Desolation”. We are all a collective in the sense that we all thirst for the same desires within a career in music (i.e. touring the world, working with the best producers in the game, etc.) and because of that, the once perceived impossible is now our present, and we have no plans to discontinue this drive. As for future goals, we are in the writing stages of a full-length concept album that we will hopefully be putting out in 2015. Before the end of this year, the first single from said album should be dropping, stay tuned! 

Do you have any upcoming tour plans?

Nothing set in stone. However, we are looking to maybe set up something small in Ontario and Quebec before the end of the year.

Do you have anything to say to fans?

The message we wish to stress the most to our fans is that we owe you the utmost amount of gratitude for sticking with us through this and having faith in this working. It is not an exaggeration to say that you are making our dreams come true, and each morning, our gratefulness is our first thought. Thank you. P.S. stick around for the new material. If you were a fan of “Everless”, it will not disappoint.


Check out their Facebook here!

Photo from Of Burning Empires’ Facebook, taken by Josh Hotz 

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