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Crack The Sky: How Empress AD Are Conquering Metal

With a sound that’s part Mastodon and part Elbow, Empress A.D. Have bagged major tours and signed with Roadrunner. Talk about living the dream.

So imagine you start a band. What would your hopes and dreams entail? If you were being ambitious you might hope that you’d attract some attention after only a few gigs. If you were to go out on a real flight of fantasy you’d maybe wish that you’d be handpicked by some of your favourite bands to open for them on your first tours.

If you were to disregard reality then you may well aim to come off tour and find an offer from the biggest metal label in the world waiting on the table. This is, of course, highly unlikely and almost totally unheard of, but it has happened. Welcome to the whirlwind world that is Empress, or rather, Empress A.D. as they’re now called (to protect themselves from any name issues down the line).

“This [meteoric rise] was not part of the plan for us! No, no, no!” laughs guitarist/vocalist Ollie Loring. “All this has just cropped up. But we spent so long writing our first three songs, over two years, and just doing our own thing, ignoring what our mates’ bands were doing and writing songs for no one else but us, that when we started getting messages from the industry we were all like ‘No way!’ and couldn’t believe it. It just snowballed after that.”

Still Life Moving Fast is out now via Roadrunner. The band tour the UK with Turbowolf in December



Four rock greats that changed up their identities.


Ghost B.C.

Papa E and co had to change their name for legal reasons in the US. The band insisted that they were still called Ghost and that the B.C. was silent. Hmm.


Vista Chino

Everyone was delighted when John Garcia resurrected a version of Kyuss called Kyuss Lives!... except former members Josh Homme and Scott Reeder, who took out a lawsuit, forcing the guys to rethink the name. 


Linkin Park

The nu metal titans used to be Hybrid Theory until Warner Bros made them change it. They named themselves Linkin Park in tribute to Chicago’s Lincoln Park. Although they weren’t fussed about spelling, clearly.


Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page’s new venture was originally a nod to his past in The Yardbirds, named The New Yardbirds. The Who’s Keith Moon suggested that would go down like a lead Zeppelin and the rest is history.


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