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INTERVIEW: The Federal Empire

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’re doing super well! Just finished a couple weeks of shows up and down the West Coast from San Diego to Vancouver and everywhere in between promoting the new release. It was absolutely amazing to connect with so many fans!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I Never Liked Your Friends”?

Yeah, we are really excited about it and the reaction so far has been great! A big focus in this project is our gang vocal approach to the choruses where we all sing along. We did this to make it so the audience would sing along and we could all be unified, even for just those few moments, while we join together.

Ultimately that’s what joining the Empire is all about. Music breaks down the barriers of race or religion or anything else that separates humanity. It unifies us all and it has been amazing to be out playing shows in front of thousands of people and have them all singing along and uniting with us.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

We’re always inspired by the real stories we go through in our own lives. While writing these records we had all come out of difficult relationships, so we would talk all about our lives and what we were going through.

There can be times in a relationship where you can’t stand hanging out with the other person’s friends and you don’t like them as human beings or in the negative ways they affect your significant other. In the end, even though we loved the person, we were at least glad that once it was over we didn’t have to hang out with their friends anymore or see that negativity.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We made a really cool lyric video for it ourselves by getting an old photo album from a thrift store and cutting up magazine collages of Kim & Kanye West vs. Taylor Swift as well as some other funny celebrity feuds.

We also did a little campfire acoustic video of the song with our friend in the band Nightly as well as Aly & AJ Michalka and some other musicians we hang out with. The official music video will come a little further down the road as we are meeting with directors now on a video treatment we wrote ourselves that we think is pretty amazing.

How was the recording and writing process?

We started recording in Chad’s house up in Laurel Canyon in the Hollywood Hills and we would grab interesting instruments and start to lay down soundscapes. Once we had the song written we all jumped in front of the condenser mic together and chanted out the gang vocals. Keith then took this basic sketch idea and started filling in layers of other production. It was a really fun song to write but it also comes from a very real place so it was like group therapy talking about it all together and laying it down on paper.

How has your previous musical backgrounds influenced this new project or is this a complete departure?

We have all worked on a lot of different kinds of music. We definitely come from the singer/songwriter background but we all ended up working with modern day DJ’s in the dance world. So this hybrid is something new for us but also feels like a perfect natural progression for where our music should be.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you write songs for other artists?

Yeah, you kind of have to work with the artist to help them bring something genuine out of themselves so it is a different process to help them find their authentic voice and story. A lot of the same techniques are involved and the end goal is always to make genuine art that is real and can connect with people on an emotional level.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new album? How’s that coming along?

Yes, we will be releasing our EP on October 28th. We will release one more single called The American Dream on October 21st right before the EP comes out. We are super excited to share this music with everyone. It has been done for a while and we loved the process of creating it. We believe it is some of the best art we have ever created and so we can’t wait to connect with people across the globe that identify with the stories.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yeah we have a bunch of other tour dates routing us all over the country throughout October and November. Keep checking our website for updates and to join the email list for free stuff!

What else is happening next in The Federal Empire’s world?

Mostly just getting this new music out to everyone and being on the road playing shows and connecting with people. We are really excited about all of this, as this art means a lot to us and has been healing for us in a lot of ways. We believe everyone has gone through these stories so we hope that people will connect with the art and join us on tour singing along with our gang vocals to build an Empire!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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