Expect fast and frenetic, engaging punk sounds from exciting Pittsburgh-based post-punk outfit Empty Beings.
The band released a demo back in 2015 then and EP the following year before releasing their debut album last year. And the album has us really hooked.
They sent us the album’s second track Growing Boys to give us a taste for their sound. It kicks off with drawn-out guitars and rolling drums that kick into lively riffs and drums under frontwoman Shani’s lively vocals.
The second chorus features the lyrics “Bad breath, bad teeth, bad skin, bad hair, There’s nothing says that you wanna fuck, You lied, She lied, Coked up, Choked up, Divide, divide, divide it up, ‘Cos I’m towing line with you, Growing boys with you, Can you get me off?”
The pace drops down a little with the lines “You said you want it and now you got it, Now you can’t even keep it up,” before launching into the chorus lyrics. Give it a listen below:
While Better Way offers an insight into the more melodic side of the band, kicking off with Shani’s engaging vocals before diving into a heavier chorus supported by driving guitars and drums. Give it a listen below:
A particular personal favourite track is In Between, which opens up with a cool guitar riff that continues under Shani’s intoxicating vocals, which intensify as we move into a singalong chorus. Give it a listen below:
We had a chat with guitarist Nick and frontwoman Shani to find out more about the band. Read on below…
GR: Who are Empty Beings?
Nick: “Currently, Empty Beings is Shani on vocals, Adam on bass, Dave on drums, and me on guitar.
“I wrote and recorded a primitive version of what became our demo on my own using what I had in my apartment at the time. I wanted to make a band and I was still somewhat new to Pittsburgh so I figured the easiest thing would be to write and record everything to the best of my abilities and then show some people to see if there was anyone out there that would be into it.
“I ended up with Dave and Adam for the initial line up and the songs got re-recorded in Dave’s studio, The Braddock Hit Factory. Dave suggested we email the recording to his friend Shani who was doing an art residency in Iceland at the time but was due back in Pittsburgh in the coming weeks. She was into it and started emailing rough drafts of vocal ideas to me.
“Once Shani was back in Pittsburgh she came to the studio and laid down all the vocals on the first take if I recall correctly. I’d never been in a band with such a prepared vocalist before. She came in, said ‘what’s up,’ recorded everything and was out the door all in 20 minutes or less. It was impressive.
“For the second tape, we added our friend Flynn. He actually wrote some of the music that ended up being on the LP, such as Blameless and Culture Shock. Unfortunately, he didn’t have time to be in the band so he is only on the second tape.”
GR: You just released Growing Boys. What should people be expecting from the song?
Shani: “At least vocally, it’s kind of about the duplicity of drug use as a manipulative tool and how it backfires on people and kind of makes them unreliable emotional messes, disappointments, and liars.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
Nick: “I guess we’re some version of a post-punk band but, I try to focus more on ‘warm’ sounding music as opposed to the bleak and cold sounds that many post-punk bands strive for. I like to take influences from surf and country music as much as I do from punk.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
Shani: “I can only speak lyrically, but I always pull from my actual experiences and end up in an allegorical and literal split. A song like Better Way on Dead & Pathetic is very literally about not learning good coping mechanisms for depression until I was like, 30.
“Blameless and Absolution are political and ask people to look at their own responsibility and kind of poke at dormant anger regarding racism. A Whole Ending and Shot Down are very much about the many ends to a relationship I was in for the duration of the band, the record was a nice exorcism.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
Nick: “Personally, my influences for this band are The Wipers, Ennio Morricone, Parálisis Permanente, and The Cramps.”
GR: What have you got coming up as we move into 2020?
Nick: “Well our drummer, Dave, is due to be a father any day now. We’re all pretty sure his time for band stuff will be nonexistent or at least it will be for the first few months/years. Maybe we will find a new drummer and go from there.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
Nick: “Not really but, thanks to anyone that has checked it out, come to a gig, or supported us in any way. We appreciate it all!”