Emperors – Across The Ocean


For fans of Perth band Emperors it is a sad day knowing now that they are packing it in and calling it quits just on the verge of the release of their new album Chupacabra. Emotions are still pretty raw in the band right now and Greg Sanders gives an honest account to Across The Ocean about why this much loved band has called it quits.


So this is it! Are there any factors that influenced the band’s decision to call it a day?

It wasn’t a decision we made as a band – Adam told us via email that he didn’t want to do it any more in November last year. He implied his major influence for wanting to quit was general fatigue.

Do you think it is best to go out on your own terms? Was it a hard decision in the end?

Well, again, it wasn’t a decision we made as a band. If it were up to me we would have at least done a final tour to say thanks to our fans. But Adam had his reasons for making his decision when he did and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him. It’s a bitter pill to swallow when control is taken away from you like that and the floor drops from beneath you, but that’s just how the dice rolled for us. Bands are very unpredictable things.

Are you all going on musically in different directions or just getting on with life?

Personally I would be very bored not making music, so I’m certainly moving on with some new projects. I’m working on several things but the project in its most complete state is a band called ‘Ursula‘, which is fronted by Robbie from The Love Junkies.

Are you finding that you’re getting nostalgic remembering all the highs and lows over the journey?

Yeah extremely! I’m not at the point where im sitting in a candle lit room by myself listening to Morrissey or anything but yeah, it’s very hard not to get reflective when a band ends without being prepared for it. There are a couple of regrets I have but mainly they are all good memories. We had some really fun times over the last six years.

What do you considering to be some of the best moments of being in Emperors?

There are so many good stories. I remembered this one the other day so I’ll share it… Zoe and I got massively into The Flaming Lips when the Yoshimi record came out in the early 2000’s, a long time ago. She always said if she ever saw Wayne Coyne in real life she’d walk up to him and give him a hug. Fast forward to 2013 and we were playing a festival called Southbound and The Flaming Lips were headlining. Sure enough, we were drinking backstage and Wayne walks in. Zoe immediately put down her drink with this really focussed look in her eye, fought her way through a sea full of hipsters and just bear hugged the shit out of him. Then she just came and sat back down with us like nothing happened. It was really funny and quite heart warming.

What will you miss most about being in this band?

Pretty much everything, even the bad stuff. It’s a pain in the arse lifting heavy gear, spending all your money, rehearsing over and over again, being constantly hung-over, playing to ten people in shitty pubs all over the country, but it’s all part of the experience and a lot of the good times come out of unexpected moments. Quite often the shows you play to ten people are better than the ones you play to a thousand and generally anything can happen on tour. We made a lot of good friends around the country along the way, getting an excuse to hang out with them once every six months will be something I really miss.

How challenging was the process of making Chupacabra?

Extremely challenging. It was a difficult, frustrating and stressful recording experience but I’m really happy with the result and I think the record has a lot of character it wouldn’t otherwise have.

Were there any significant challenges that were difficult to overcome?

Yes, the main challenge we had was Adam recording vocals. He really struggled with it and it took many, many takes to get his voice to where it is on the album. I don’t like speculating too much but I think that process definitely contributed to his decision to leave the band. He was having the worst time out of all of us, and I think it was ego damaging for him. We tried our best to be supportive but I felt really bad for the guy.

Was there a sense of satisfaction or relief knowing the album is done?

I’m equally satisfied and relieved, but at the same time it’s bittersweet because the band is ending. It’s hard thinking about this being the last recording we do but on a positive note, I’m really proud of the two albums we made. Hopefully they stand the test of time and I still like them in ten years.

Are there any final shows planned to celebrate the journey of Emperors?

Unfortunately not. Someone needs to start a tribute act!

How do you think you would like the band to be best remembered?

I really just hope we are remembered as a band who made a couple of really good albums. We’ve never been a super slick live act or anything but I am very proud of what we achieved as songwriters and I hope the albums are still enjoyed by our fans years from now.

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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