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O Emperor Out To Conquer The UK

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 Written by Katie Territt

O Emperor are out to broaden their horizons. The Irish five-piece have already found success at home, including an Irish Album of the Year nod for their debut ‘Hither Thither’, but they’re now ready to make a name for themselves in the UK and beyond.

Step one in that plan is ‘Vitreous’, their second full-length and an album that has once again set critical tongues wagging. For frontman Paul Savage the next few months represent another chapter in an underdog story that’s proving to be a crowd-pleaser.

“It's always quite enjoyable and exciting to start somewhere new,” he said. “We're looking forward to it and everything's been really positive so far. It's kind of nice when you're starting out as an underdog, so you can just prove that you can surprise people. It's been great so far and hopefully that will continue with the shows and getting more people to take notice.”

‘Vitreous’ is the first of the band’s record to be released in the UK, and it was also self-produced and recorded like their debut. For Savage, though, that’s where the similarities end.

“I think it's quite different from the first album,” he said. “We took a lot of time to try and come up with a new sound and new influences. I think there's a lot on there where we've pushed the boat out a bit more and it's a little bit more experimental than the first album. We always wanted to just record ourselves. We did some of that in college, we studied music so it was always something we done, recording and producing. We just naturally went that way.”

Despite the spirit of self-reliance that has sustained the band to this point, Savage is keen to bring a producer on board in future - even if it results in a few heated debates.

“There are a couple of producers we'd love to work with,” he said. “We've never actually worked with a producer. We'd like to mix it up and try it. I think we'll always be quite control freakish about recording, I think we'll always be hands on but it would be nice to try it and just play the music, or even just to get other peoples approach to it. We look forward to trying that.”

Alongside the album release, O Emperor are set to head out on the road for a small headline tour, including a much anticipated show at the Sebright Arms in London on September 7.

“We're starting to play our new songs more and more,” Savage said. “We've played a lot of them in the studio, but we're looking forward to bringing them out on the road. We've been playing a lot over the summer and the show is developing. It's nice to actually shape up a live performance and I think the shows will bring something different; we won’t just play what's on the record. I think it will be exciting for people to watch.

“I think the shows are getting stronger because we have more dynamic to draw from more songs. I think there's a good balance in the show between the two albums and they both sit well together. There's progression from the first to the second album in the show so I think we're really enjoying having all these songs that we can play.”

The band have been enjoying playing some small festivals in Ireland throughout the summer, but have their eye on the abundance of events that the UK has to offer.

“It's certainly an ambition of ours,” Savage said. “We're just trying to break the ice at the moment, but hopefully we'll get to do a few shows next year. I don't know, I don't want to jinx it or anything. The obvious one is Glastonbury, that's the big one, and Reading.

"Green Man, I'd love to play at that, I've always heard good things about that. Bestival, I hear great things about. I think it would be nice to go to some of them and play there. Ultimately I think we'd like to get out more in Europe, the UK and America. Hopefully we can play more shows and get the chance to have more places to go to, that would be nice.”

O Emperor UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Sat September 7th 2013 - LONDON Sebright Arms
Sun September 8th 2013 - BRISTOL Louisiana
Mon September 9th 2013 - CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
Tue September 10th 2013 - MANCHESTER Manchester The Castle Hotel

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