Empires (band)

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Empires 2014.jpg
Empires performing in 2014
Background information
Origin Chicago, IL
Genres Garage rock, Alternative rock, Indie rock
Years active 2008 - Present
Labels Chop Shop Records / Island Records
Members Sean Van Vleet (vocals)
Tom Conrad (guitar)
Max Steger (guitar)
Mike Robinson (drums)

Empires is an indie rock band from Chicago, IL. The band consists of Tom Conrad, Sean Van Vleet, Max Steger, and Mike Robinson.

The band's third full-length studio album, Orphan, produced by John Congleton, was released on September 23rd, 2014 on Chop Shop Records / Island Records.


Empires was formed in early 2007, when guitarist Tom Conrad approached singer Sean Van Vleet about writing music together. [1] Conrad and Van Vleet spent the year 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" [2] for free on their own website in May 2008. It has since racked up over 70,000 downloads worldwide.[3] The band names acts such as Nirvana and Pixies among their influences.[4] 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, The Whigs, Blue October, Black Francis, 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.[5] 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.[6] 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).[7]


  • HOWL (2008)
  • BANG EP (2010)
  • Garage Hymns (2012)
  • Orphan LP (2014)


External links[edit]