Known for their intense high-energy performances, the band’s contrasting sounds of epic alternative rock, with infectious electro-dance is a beautifully chaotic blend of artistic honesty and rock intensity.
We sat down with lead singer Damien Lawson to find out what it takes to Awaken an Empire. Listen to ‘Breath and Repent’ from Awaken the Empire while you read.
Q. How was the band Formed?
Damien: In 2009 I had moved from LA to Seattle to start a new life with this girl I was with for half my life. Unfortunately things didn’t work out up there and we split up. I moved back to LA and I kinda became this crazy depressed mass, just working on music all the time. That turned into a band called Vampure, and as members changed and the sound evolved it became Awaken the Empire.
Q. Where did the name come from?
Damien: The Vampire craze just got too huge, and the name Vampure (which was way more about girl Vamps than pale people that cry when they see garlic in a supermarket) just didn’t really fit anymore. Our sound was really epic and anthemic, and we really wanted the name to reflect that.
Q. Who else is in the band?
Damien: Right now the band consists of me, our bass player Jaymz, and our guitarist Rufus. Our drummer just recently left the band, but we have a huge list of people we’re auditioning, so we pretty confident we’ll find someone pretty quick. We also have two touring guitarists (Lukas and Nick) that play with us.
Q. Will you be releasing more music soon?
Damien: We’re actually in the studio right now recording new music. We have some plans to release an EP in the near future. We also have been throwing ideas around that would involve releasing a song every month. We just really wanna get as much music out there as possible.
Q. The industry seems to be moving the way of the single or EP, Do you think full length albums are going extinct?
Damien: I don’t really think albums will disappear, just because it’s so ingrained in the mind of the industry. I think one of the main reasons bands are releasing more singles and EP’s right now is just because it’s way cheaper and easier now than it was in the past.
Q. Any plans to tour?
Damien: We’re really focused on playing the LA area, and building a bigger name for us here, but… we are planning on doing some small regional tours in the beginning of the year, and we are gonna try to put together some kind of national tour next summer.
Q. Your currently unsigned, are you looking to get signed, or do you want to stay independent?
Damien: We’re looking to do whatever it takes to get us on the road, and have a ton of music available! If making that happen involves signing with a label, rad. If it means we’re doing all the work and funding it ourselves, equally as rad. A lot of bands seem to wait around for a golden ticket to rockstarsville. Our goals are really simple: Put out a ton of great music, and meet every single person who gives a shit about our band. We’re gonna make that happen no matter what it takes.
Q. Other bands your loving right now?
Damien: I’m loving a lot of bands right now! Being in LA, you have access to a ton of great new bands. Uhh let’s see… “Oh No Not Stereo” is rad, “Living Dead Lights” just released a cd that has yet to be removed from my car. Our live guitarists are in other bands that are really cool. Lukas is in a band called “Hexham Heads” and Nick is in a band called “BlueSkyReality”.
Q. Ok, I always like to end with whatever random questions pop in my head. You ready for this?
Damien: Let do eet.
Q. Favorite food?
Damien: Ok, I’m not ready for this. Uhhhhh at this moment Del Taco Shredded Beef Burritos. They are totally Amazeballs, and there is a Del Taco really close to our studio. Close Proximity + Cheese x Beef = A Happy Damien.
Q. Guilty Pleasure?
Damien: AM Radio/Goth Clubs.
Q. Worst Injury?
Damien: When I was in high school I cut my toe off with a lawnmower. Long Story… Luckily there was some foot specialist who had come in on his day off, and that dude saved my big toe.
Q. Any Last Words?
Damien: I will quote the book of Jaymz. “Don’t be scared all your life”