Interview The Empire Strikes – “It took a lot more time to get from point A to point B”

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The Empire Strikes has been one of Finland’s premium rock bands for over a decade now. Every time you catch them live, it’s an amazing old school rock ‘n’ roll show that simply blows the roof off. It’s been some years since their last release ‘Charm’, so when it was announced that their next new album ‘Motell Scandinavia’ was coming, we had to meet up with the guys to have a bit of a talk about that album and how things have been for them…

We caught up with Paavo (bass) and Tommi (vocals, guitars) in Helsinki and they immediately started talking that things like the pandemic and somewhat their own slowness on getting some things done made it take as long as it took to bring ‘Motell Scandinavia’ out. The first single ‘License to Thrill’ was unveiled already back in 2021, so they’ve been working on their new music for quite some time now. Overall, the process was pretty much the same as before, it just took a whole lot longer to get from point A to point B. They wrote about 17 songs and recorded most of them, but only took 10 of them that made sense for this album and the others might appear in the future (2 are actually already reserved for some upcoming releases on their label).

This was also the first album they wrote and recorded with Otto, their present drummer. But they’re also looking forward to making a new album as a 5-piece since now they have another new member since about half a year ago. This time for the album, they didn’t have any prominent guests, but they still have their usual group of friends providing some strings, backing tracks,… (or “all the gypsies” as they say themselves).

The album is called ‘Motell Scandinavia’, which makes it the first album ever for them that has a title track. They simply thought the song was so good, and stands out so much, that it deserved to be a title track. That’s also one of the songs that they feel they will really enjoy playing live for their fans. Tommi also brought up ‘Crossroads’ as his favorite to sing, which is a more moody track. That was also a track that was made from scratch when they were at the cabin writing music, based on just some riff that Paavo played while noodling around.

For the release of the album, they’ll play a couple of Finnish shows, but are also taking off back to Spain, which they’re really excited about. Somehow they have a really nice following there, and it helps that it’s a nicer climate there compared to the Finnish winter. And it feels like there is a bit more of a “club scene” in Spain compared to Finland, where people are excited about going to a show even in the middle of the week. They also briefly touch on how they’ve been booking their shows and tours, where they put a lot of effort in reaching out to the right people. Besides those shows, it’s already been unveiled that they’ll have some shows in Germany and are maybe hoping to drop by Belgium while they’re in the neighborhood…

Check out the album, and go see them at their shows, it’ll be worth it!

For all of that and more go see the full interview on our Youtube channel or right here:
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