When you must answer to the most evil, hateful, vindictive person in the entire galaxy, your music better be on point. This is the task put in front of the king of the Dark Side, Lord Vader, when the Emperor commissioned him to put together a band to turn John Williams’ iconic sci-fi themes into rock anthems. The result was Galactic Empire, who after becoming an internet sensation, are now set to release a full-length album of Williams’ tracks reimagined in heavy metal form.
Already Heard travelled to a galaxy far, far away to speak to talk to the Sith Lord about the band’s musical endeavours and hoping to come back to earth without being force choked.
With Vader shredding on lead guitar, the band is complete by Boba Sett (Drums), Shadow Ranger (guitar), Red Guard (guitar) and Bass Commander (bass). “I had to scour the outer rim territories to find the right guys,” explained Vader. “It took a while but I think I have a pretty solid group at this point. At the moment we just have a bounty drummer for hire, but he’s pretty sick. I’m hoping he will stay in it for the long haul, even if his methods are a bit questionable.”
As the band is made up with some of the most infamous and feared villains in the galaxy, there is surely an agenda to their music – apart from being headbang worthy renditions of classic tunes like the ‘Imperial March’ and ‘Cantina Theme’. The self-titled album is set to be released across every star system on February 3rd, and Lord Vader revealed the record could be the ultimate tool for the Dark Side of the force.
He added: “With it (the release) we will end this destructive conflict and bring order. They will all join us, or I suppose have the option to decline if they do not prefer it. Their preference really.
Since the band was really the brain child of the Emperor, he’s pretty stoked on the result. I just hope the rebels don’t find an exhaust port in our live show, or access to our shield generator. I don’t want to have to build a second live show, it would be a huge pain.”
After a video of the band performing the ‘Imperial March’ went viral, Lord Vader took it upon himself to get a Kickstarter campaign going, as what with the Rebels continually destroying Death Stars, he was unsure if the Emperor would be willing to back this new venture to take on the Rebel Alliance. But something, which rather unexpectedly, has boosted the collectives profile was getting the backing of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil).
“I have felt his presence (Skywalker). If he could be turned, he would be a great asset.”
“Honestly the Emperor did not share our optimistic appraisal of the Kickstarter campaign,” Vader continued. “The Rebels keep blowing up our Death Stars, and we had no choice. Do you have any idea how many reverse mortgages we’ve taken out against those things to keep building a new one?
I have felt his presence (Skywalker). If he could be turned, he would be a great asset. Can it be done? I think so. His support on social media albeit brief has made a large impact. We welcome his input…there’s still dark in him. I can feel it.”
To promote the forthcoming album, Lord Vader will be leading his men on a journey to planet earth, and this got Already Heard thinking, what with the infamous Cantina song, which star system has the best music scene?
“Honestly Tattooine has generated quite a fan base even though they are so desolate,” Vader tells us. “Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes have been keeping the scene alive out there, so I’d probably credit a lot of the scene to them. But I’d say if there was one place that we are most successful, things have really been blowing up in the Alderaan System.
I have sensed a large Rebel fan base in the UK system. While that’s pretty sick, we must eliminate any traces of separatism and keep all local systems in line with the Empire. Plus we really want to try to sell some records and t-shirts to help pay off that Death Star I mentioned.”
Before returning to the safety of Already Heard HQ, we had to find out if Lord Vader’s cybernetic hand enabled him to shred like a champion on the guitar.
“I do not cheat or use performance enhancing technology,” responded an angry Jedi. “Nothing compares to the POWER of the Dark Side. If you are questioning my methods, I would choke on your words a bit if I were you. Or else I may be obliged to show you what my cybernetic hand can do with the Dark Side.”
‘Galactic Empire’ by Galactic Empire is released on 3rd February on Rise Records.
Wed 01 02 Academy Islington, London
Thu 02 Joiners, Southampton
Fri 03 The Craufard Arms, Milton Keynes
Sat 04 Patterns, Brighton
Sun 05 The Hub, Plymouth
Mon 06 Fleece, Bristol
Tue 07 Globe, Cardiff
Wed 08 Academy 3, Birmingham
Thu 09 Zephyr Lounge, Leamington Spa
Fri 10 Satans Hollow, Manchester
Sat 11 Opium, Edinburgh
Sun 12 ABC2, Glasgow
Mon 13 Academy2, Newcastle
Tue 14 Sub89, Reading
Wed 15 Academy2, Oxford
Thu 16 The Venue, Derby
Words by Tim Birkbeck.