Last Friday, Perth’s Emperors released their new album ‘Stay Frosty‘. Produced by Dave Parkin (Jebediah), ‘Stay Frosty‘ is 35 minutes of noisy pop at it’s best, played by a band unashamedly stuck in their own bubble of musical influences. Power chords, brutal drumming and lashings of male/female harmonies provide the backdrop for Emperors’ take on classic indie rock, with lyrical content ranging from discontinued friendships to lusting after hipster girls on buses. Emperors first made their mark on the Australian music landscape when they were ‘Unearthed’ by triple j shortly after forming. This led to a slot at the Big Day Out, a WAMi award for ‘Most Promising Act’ and the release of the debut EP ‘Sam‘. Along the way there’s been four national tours and support slots with Manic Street Preachers, The Big Pink, Silversun Pickups, British India, Shihad, Jebediah, Front End Loader and many more. We got the band to give us a little insight into the album via our On The Record questions this week. They’ll be touring in support of the release next month. Expand this post to take a read of their answers, a listen to the album and a look at their dates.

Tell us about the release title.
‘Stay Frosty’ is military slang for keep calm, or keep your cool. I got it from watching a show called ‘Generation Kill’.

Tell us about the artwork.
There’s a recurring lyrical theme of guns and irresponsible people in positions of power, so we thought having a picture of a kid holding a gun would be apt. It’s a photo of a friend of ours from the 80’s when she was a child on her parents farm. It’s also inspired by Bakesale by Sebadoh and High/Low by Nada Surf.

What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
Standard jewel case CD and digital only at this point but if it sells enough we’d love to do a vinyl pressing.

Who will it be released through, and when?
It was released on Gun Fever via MGM distribution on April 20th. Should be easy to find in record stores and online through Itunes and Bandcamp.

Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
We recorded at Blackbird in Perth because Dave Parkin is a great friend and just happens to be the best producer on our side of the country. We work really well together.

Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
See above. Parko is a really laid back guy and creates a low stress environment. And we completely trust his judgment and taste. That’s pretty important if you ask me and we’re lucky to have that relationship with him.

Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
Yeah, just to write songs we’d like to listen to ourselves. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel or be revolutionary; we’re just trying to write good, memorable songs that sound like our favourite bands without ripping them off too much!

Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
Just the usual stuff we listen to, although we wrote the songs long before we recorded them. We had a few rules going in like no strings or drum machines allowed, and made a conscious effort not go overboard on studio wizardry so we could still play the songs live.

Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
Yep – Butch Vig and Gil Norton came up a lot.

How long did it take to record?
Two weeks.

Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
Pretty standard, we tracked everything live and then overdubbed the hell out of it on pro-tools. There were lots of long nights and social lubricants involved.

Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
Only in the sense that it was a bit more simplified and focused than our previous recordings. We really tried hard to tone it down a bit and focus on the playing and performances, without overthinking it. You can do that when you trust your producer.

Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
Nope. Another rule we had was everything had to be done by the four of us. It’s always tempting to get guests vocalists and what have you but we were very determined to keep it all in house for this one.

Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
The most adventurous thing we did was add a hammond organ and some piano in some parts. There are a few whacky guitar effects in there too, but again, we really tried to keep it simple and just focused on the songs themselves.

Any memorable studio moments?
Adam bordering on narcolepsy was pretty funny. If he wasn’t doing anything, he’d be asleep in the space of minutes!

Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
Just the two. One’s a B-side on our ‘Plastic Guns’ single called ‘Last Call’ which is available on Itunes and the other is called ‘Lidocaine’, which will probably never see the light of day. But who knows!

What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
‘Be Ready When I Say Go’, ‘Tired Of Winning’, ‘Drug Mule’ and ‘Witch’ are all favourites of mine.

How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
Better playing, better songs and better production!

Anything else you want to say or tell us about the release?
Go to emperorsmusic.bandcamp.com and have a listen. If you like it come to a show and have a beer with us.

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EMPERORS
MAY

5th – Amplifier Bar, Perth [18+]
17th – Ed Castle, Adelaide [18+]
19th – Phoenix Public House, Melbourne [18+]
23rd – Republic Bar, Hobart [18+]
24th – Beetle Bar, Brisbane [18+]
25th – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle [18+]
26th – FBI Social, Sydney [18+]
JUNE
1st – The Bakery, Perth [18+]
3rd – Prince Of Wales, Bunbury [18+]
—> Tickets available now.
—> For more information, visit [Here]

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