Young Empires Kicks Off CD Release Tour

Monday, February 6, 2012

  • Photo by David A. Pike

    Photo by David A. Pike

  • Photo by David A. Pike

    Photo by David A. Pike

Written by Janet Errygers

Young Empires is a band from Toronto that has achieved many things in the short two and a half years that they have been together. I was lucky enough to speak with them last week, as well as attend their show at Jimmy Jazz on Thursday.

Canadians Aaron Ellingson, Jake Palahnuk and Matthew Vlahovich were all members of different bands before meeting each other, and when they came together, they were able to write material and play their first show within two weeks.

At first, the name “Young Empires” was disliked by the band members as it had been chosen as their moniker right before their first show by spontaneously combining words. However, the name stuck, and it has grown on them over time.

As a band, the trio does not talk much about music; rather, their ideas are drawn from shared interests in things such as art, films and travelling. When on tour, they do not get a chance to listen to many artists other than themselves, and so they aim to be influenced by new experiences and the people around them.
When asked what the best thing about touring is, Aaron said that it is travelling with the band. It's a fast-paced adventure during which they get to visit small towns that they normally wouldn't find themselves in, as well as seeing glimpses of how the rest of the world lives. He also said that it puts them outside of their comfort zone, but in a good way. Travelling in the context of playing music and doing what one loves is both challenging and rewarding.

While touring, Aaron says that it is difficult to find time to practice. When they are at home in Toronto, however, they rarely take days off. They do not get to see their families often, but being able to share their music with people they are close to makes it easier.

Their music and the message behind it can be described as “nothing preachy” - the band aims to have it resonate with people and make them feel sexy and excited. Aaron says that they make music that they like to listen to: fun, dance tracks that also have substance behind them. The goal for Young Empires is to create a song that is catchy on the first listen, but still likeable after the 100th time you hear it.

In terms of future plans, Young Empires will continue to tour and “take things as they come”. They aim to be open to new experiences and influences and try not to have too many things set in stone. In early March, they will be touring the southern United States, and then will return for Canadian Music Week in Toronto.

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