|Genres||Garage rock, Alternative rock, Indie rock|
|Years active||2008 - Present|
|Members||Sean Van Vleet (vocals)
Tom Conrad (guitar)
Max Steger (guitar)
Empires is an indie rock band from Chicago, IL. The band consists of Tom Conrad, Sean Van Vleet and Max Steger. They formed in 2008 and have released two full-length albums, two EPs, and one 7" single.
Empires was formed in late 2006, when guitarist Tom Conrad approached singer Sean Van Vleet about writing music together. Conrad and Van Vleet spent 2007 writing music together, and the induction of the other band members soon followed. Empires released four demos on their Myspace in the winter of 2008, and released their album "Howl"  for free on their own website in May 2008. It has since racked up over 70,000 downloads worldwide. The band names acts such as Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Pixies among their influences. On August 4, 2012, the band performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago, IL and have performed with such acts as Kaiser Chiefs, The Temper Trap, Maps & Atlases, Colour Revolt, A Silent Film, The Whigs, Blue October, Black Francis, Mona (band) and Biffy Clyro.
The band's second EP, BANG, was released in the form of monthly digital singles, until the full-length deluxe edition was released in March 2010.
The band has consistently mentioned having a very DIY ethic when it comes to recording and releasing music. To date, guitarist Max Steger has produced, engineered and mixed all Empires releases. Guitarist Tom Conrad designs the album artwork and many of the band's concert flyers. Sean Van Vleet is the sole lyricist.
The band's name, "Empires", was thought of by Tom Conrad and Sean Van Vleet at the same time, albeit on opposite sides of Chicago (Tom was on the 'L' Train at the time, while Sean was at their shared apartment).
- HOWL (2008)
- BANG EP (2010)
- Darko 7" Single (2011)
- Can't Steal Your Heart Away EP (2012)
- Garage Hymns (2012)
- Live in Chicago EP (2013)
- 'Empires talks Rolling Stone, Their Recording Process, and The Importance of "Hunky Dory"', The Brown Noise May 11, 2011.