By: Joe “Papa” Tyree
A few years ago I was just starting in the publication business with another online zine. I was nervous and unknowing about what I was getting into. I found a post about a band that was from Chicago and would be playing at a small club in my area. I set up the interview which would be my first and set forth to meet the band. It was that night that I met Jesse Andrew, Sitting at the bar a pack of Marlboro on the bar top and that signature handkerchief hanging for his pocket. After a great show put on basically for just myself and my friend being as we were the only crowd they took the time to sit down and talk to me for over an hour.
Flash forward to 2017, I followed Emperors and Elephants through line up changes and the tragic loss of guitarist Jeff Windisch. I watched as they got signed to Pavement Entertainment and began recording of their new album “MOTH”. After much time and anticipation the first release “PORCELAIN KISS” was released on March 1st. “PORCELAIN KISS” has the emotional ups and downs of a rocky relationship. You can watch the video below:
There is alot of pain that I pick up from the album which is truly understandable. The tracks ‘Whisper in the Strom”, “Hold You Back” and the song “Chicago” which pays homage to their hometown and it’s struggles. At the same time they continue to pour out the heaviness as evident from the first track “Hidden” A strong heavy guitar based song which you would expect and love about E&E. Continuing with the heavy sound “Not Today” shows off the gritty vocal style from Jessie, and where you can hear Ron’s (Vanderlip) heavy bass licks. Jason (Meudt0) continues to impress with his animal like (also looks a little like him) drumming and shows he is the driving force behind the music.
E&E blends together the softness of a ballad with the echo’s of Jessie’s raspy voice in a way that only these Chicago boys could get away with. From what seems like a silent scream they have brought “MOTH” to life, even with tragedy they continue to make it work. Time will heal the wounds of E&E and as always making music can be the greatest therapy.
You can defiantly pick up the entire vibe of “Moth” and how much it has meant for the guys in E&E to follow through with it for not only themselves but for Jeff. When I was in a bad place in my life the song “Change” from their first album “Devil in the Lake” got me through that time and actually inspired me to start this very magazine you are reading. Jesse once told me “You will always have a friend in Chicago” and with this album I believe that he and the rest of the guys will always be there like a “MOTH” running from a flame for me through this great album.
A little background about E&E:
Emperors and Elephants is a hard driving modern heavy rock band based in the suburbs of the Windy City, Chicago Illinois. Formed in early 2010, they quickly gathered great momentum in the Midwest area, and started venturing further outside the region.
Drawing from their musical heroes of hard and heavy music, each member contributes to the unique vibe and sound of the band, and the end result gives E&E its own identity. Their efforts were noticed immediately and directly led to the signing with Pavement Entertainment. Armed with a collection of newly inspired material, 2014 saw the band release their debut full-length album, Devil in the Lake (Pavement Entertainment).
The 2014 Devil in the Lake Tour brought E&E throughout the country well into 2016, playing countless shows and festivals, masterfully broadening their fan base. Emperors & Elephants became a solid touring machine, with their popularity soaring at every turn. On the evening of August 13th 2016, tragedy struck in Savage, Minnesota. After playing a show, lead guitarist and founding member Jeff Windisch suffered a massive heart-attack and regrettably passed away. The loss of Jeff was devastating.
After taking some much needed time to recover and heal, the band decided the best way to honor their friend was to continue on; with the help of long time fan and friend Anthony Modica taking the mantel of lead guitar as a permanent member of Emperors and Elephants. Before Jeff’s passing, the band completed work on their highly anticipated follow up album. Titled Moth, the album will be released in March of 2017.
You can pre-order the special album bundle package here: HERE
To learn more or follow Emperors and Elephants you can use the links below: