Emperor X

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Emperor X
Matheny in 2016
Background information
Louisville, Kentucky
OriginJacksonville, Florida, United States
  • Guitar
  • keyboard
  • vocals
Years active1998–present
Associated acts
  • The Cadets
  • Applied Communications
  • Beatcancel
  • Neosporin

Chad R. Matheny, known professionally as Emperor X, is an American singer and songwriter.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1979,[2] Matheny got his start in music when he was given a Casio SK-1 by his grandparents at age nine, and recorded his first album on a Tascam four-track before the age of 20.[3]

Matheny tours across the United States regularly and performs around the world as well, including tours in Mexico, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.[4]

In a self-described attempt to "address the diminishing utility of physical copies of music and the expanding role of marketing in the experience of art",[5] Matheny often hides or buries one-off physical copies and associated visual artwork of b-sides at GPS coordinates and posts them online as a part of a geocaching game to unlock MP3 copies of the audio. For the release of the 2011 Emperor X album Western Teleport, 41 "translucent purple audio cassettes" were buried across North America, many of which remain undiscovered.[6] This received a feature on NPR's "Weekend Edition" program.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Matheny was a former high school science teacher,[8] and in 2004 he stopped his pursuit of a master's degree in physics in order to dedicate his career to music.[9]

Matheny is a testicular cancer survivor and is legally blind.[10][11]


Full-length albums[edit]

  • The Joytakers' Rakes/Stars on the Ceiling, Pleasantly Kneeling (1998, self-released)
  • Tectonic Membrane/Thin Strip on an Edgeless Platform (2004, Discos Mariscos) [12]
  • Central Hug/Friendarmy/Fractal Dunes (2005, Discos Mariscos)
  • The Blythe Archives Volumes One and Two (2009, Burnt Toast Vinyl/self-released)
  • Western Teleport (2011, Bar/None Records)
  • Nineteen Live Recordings (2013, Plan-It-X Records)
  • The Orlando Sentinel (2014, The Bomber Jacket) [13]
  • Oversleepers International (2017, Tiny Engines)

EPs and singles[edit]

  • Wuss/Strike/River/Preacher/Magnet/God/Unwuss (2006)
  • Dirt Dealership 7" (2007)
  • Defiance (for Elise Sunderhuse) (2010)
  • Wasted on the Senate Floor (2016)

Tour-only releases[edit]

  • Gasheater/Raytracer (2004)
  • East Coast and Freedom From/Freedom To (2004)
  • Everyone in Jacksonville (2006)
  • Australia Tour Tape (2010)
  • Several New Songs in Various Digital Formats (2011)


  1. ^ "Tiny Engines biography page". Tiny Engines.
  2. ^ "Emperor X: Tectonic Membrane/Thin Strip on an Edgeless Platform". Pitchfork. 1 July 2004. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  3. ^ Ubl, Sam. "Tectonic Membrane/Thin Strip on an Edgeless Platform Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  4. ^ Matheny, Chad. "A POORLY-FORMATTED BUT COMPLETE LST OF EVERY EMPEROR X PERFORMACE EVER SO FAR". Emperor X Official Website. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  5. ^ Wasoba, Ryan. "Emperor X On Stock Responses And Performative Marketing". Riverfront Times. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  6. ^ Matheny, Chad. "Western Teleport Nodes". Western Teleport. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  7. ^ NPR feature
  8. ^ Deusner, Stephen. "The Most Underrated Albums of 2011". Salon. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Emperor X Biography". Bar None Records.
  10. ^ "Indieheads Podcast interview". YouTube.
  11. ^ Greenspan, Sam. "Emperor X: 'We Are Much More Than The Sum Of The Diseases And Disabilities We Carry'". NPR.org. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  12. ^ Ubl, Sam. "Tectonic Membrane/Thin Strip on an Edgeless Platform Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  13. ^ Eakin, Marah. "Emperor X tries to put Orlando on the map (again) with a new single, EP". The AV Club. Retrieved 2 March 2016.

External links[edit]