Interviews Music

Music | Interview: O Emperor

Having released their second album ‘Vitreous’ in the Summer, O Emperor are set to continue their busy schedule with single releases and tours galore over the coming months.  In a chat with frontman Paul Savage, he talks about the new album, the band’s recent European Tour and O Emperor’s plans to get back to making more music.

When O Emperor’s debut Hither Thither came out in April 2010, songs like ‘Don Quixote’ , ‘Po’ and ‘Don’t Mind Me’  were seen as the pillars of the album.  Fueled with intricate and dirty guitars, there was an elegant approach to the record.  The band originally released the record themselves and through K&F in Germany.  A deal with Universal Music followed as the band appeared on media across the nation.

For the band’s second long player, like the first album, ‘Vitreous’ was recorded at the band’s own studio in Big Skin HQ, Cork over a period of nine months.  The studio was purpose built by the band themselves.  It’s a space they call their own and practice in.  Paul is quick to add that they enjoyed it too “It was DIY, I guess we’re nerds like that”.

The name is certainly different, as it may not roll off the tip of the tongue easily “It’s like the album,” says Paul “it’s glass like, sharp.  “There’s a wider cross section of time which recorded it in.” he adds “it’s a younger record (than Hither Thither), it is more reassured”.

A name like O Emperor isn’t too common either, but Paul tells me it is based on a character from the 1970’s cartoon, Mr Benn.

In terms of influences, the band get most of their inspiration from the likes of Mercury Rev, Radiohead, Brian Eno and some synth based pieces that they have written on the new record, which Paul says made it “more elaborate and extravagant”.

The first single off the new album was hard hitting ‘Contact’, which was written about the isolation of recording.  “That single is about spending too much time in the studio” Paul mentions, “Contact was about being isolated and paranoid almost”.  Second single ‘This Is It’  was one of the last songs the band recorded for the album, “it’s about moving on”; adds Paul.

The five-piece recently embarked on a European Tour, stopping off in the UK, France and Germany, with a five date Irish Tour at the end of November, where they will play Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Galway.  For their show in The Workman’s Club on 30 November, fans can expect the 29 minute ‘Vitreous’  to “take on a different life” when the band play it live.

For O Emperor, the road ahead will see them take off an Irish Tour before heading back to recording in January.  The band also plan to make a trip to the US early next year.

‘Vitreous’ is out now on Big Skin with tickets for their Irish Tour available on O Emperor’s website.