Artist Interview: Black Sun Empire

Black Sun Empire

Dose: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us how you’re doing?

Black Sun Empire: Not really…actually I’m Micah from Black Sun Empire and I’m doing well! I had been sick for most of the tour, I’m getting better and this is the last night of the tour and then I’m off to go back home tomorrow.

Dose: You’re wrapping up your album tour tonight in Toronto, what is your best memory of the tour?

Black Sun Empire: We’ve played Boston a lot of times and over the last 14 years or so Lenore and the Elements Bar has made great progress there for not being very big. Usually only 150 people can get in and this time they let in around 220 or something, that was a nice start to the tour!

Dose: Funniest Moment of the tour?

Black Sun Empire: Playing in Las Vegas and then going to the club and discovering it was an outside party because it was fucking cold! Usually you expect it to be a little warmer in Vegas and to lure people in they had nickel priced beer so the crowd had a great time!

Dose: You guys have just finalized the remix edition of your last album with remixes from Audio, June Miller, Receptor, Prolix, and more. Do you have a release date set?

Black Sun Empire: March 25th! We’re pretty happy with how all the remixes turned out!

Dose: After producing 5 whole albums and being in the top 5 LP’s sold on Beatport overall last year, what’s next for BSE?

Black Sun Empire: Retirement! Actually, we have a lot of plans for Black Sun Empire including a best of remix album coming at the end of the summer! Besides that we don’t really know what we’re doing ourselves, but we have this party called Blackout that we’ve been doing for 10 years and it’s been exploding all over Europe so we’re going to continue doing that. We’re also going to stop all our other labels and form a single collective label called Blackout because our sound and a lot of other artists deserve a bigger profile.

Dose: Do you feel that’s a slightly backwards approach considering many labels usually get too big and end up forming subsidiary labels to release more music and different sounds?

Black Sun Empire: No, because basically there are three big labels in drum and bass which is RAM, Hospital, and now Shogun and I think the dark side of drum and bass needs something like that as well. There’s many smaller labels pushing the darker sound but I think it needs that really big and identifiable label.

Dose: With that said, would you ever consider bringing the Blackout party to North America?

If it starts to really kick off here then yeah of course, and a lot of artists are interested in it but the difference between North America and Europe is the drinking age. Here you have to be 19 but back home you have to be 16 so people go out with the knowledge that they can party at a younger age and so the parties are bigger because you can attract a larger audience. Kids grow up with the party year after year at an earlier age, so maybe something has to change over here…

Dose: Vote BSE for parliament to lower the drinking age! So, we know you’re big Star Wars fans and that you’ve been influenced by its characters and themes many times. How do you feel about the resurgence of the series and it being handled by Disney?

Black Sun Empire: I’m 33 and I grew up with the first three movies, my babysitter used to show me them when I was like 7 so they’re pretty influential to me. After the first three though I was a bit disappointed with the others, but Disney can go either way. I just hope they make it dark like they do the Batman series now because then if they make it dark like Batman it could be awesome, but if they make it happy like Bambi then it’s going to be awful!

Dose: Maybe Black Sun Empire should score the film!

Black Sun Empire: Maybe!

Dose: How did you guys originally come up with the name Black Sun Empire?

Black Sun Empire: My brother used to read a lot of Star War’s books and we needed name and he was going through a book and was like “Black Sun Empire.”

Dose: You guys do a regular podcast and showcase a variety of producers, what are some artists you’re feeling in and outside of drum and bass at the moment?

Black Sun Empire: Right now and always will be feeling is Audio. Over the last five years he has been doing such dirty stuff and he used to be really dark, but then kind of embraced some more rolling type stuff and now he’s been incorporating a wider amount of sounds which I think is really great.

Dose: What can you tell us about the Astronaut girl?

Black Sun Empire: This friend of ours who designs a lot of shirts and most of it is like therapy type stuff and we said we wanted a more sci-fi type of shirt to put out. Who wouldn’t want a girl in an astronaut suit!

Dose: Your track “Arrakis” was featured in the trailer for EVE online, how did that originally come about?

Black Sun Empire: They just asked us and said they wanted something and we said go for it!

Dose: How do you feel about being such sci-fi fans and that a track with its title inspired by Dune was eventually featured in a sci-fi related video game trailer?

Black Sun Empire: It’s pretty cool I mean if you think about electronic music it’s very much so like evolution so I will never understand the debate of vinyl over cd’s or live setups and so forth. Things evolve and so does this music so I think it’s good to embrace the future!

Dose: You guys are very active on social media and just wrapped up a fan video contest, what benefit do you see having this direct access with fans?

Black Sun Empire: It’s great because now I think artists are a lot more approachable and this opens up a greater number of opportunities for fans and artist alike.

Dose: What DAW are you currently using and any favourite plugins?

Black Sun Empire: Cubase and a lot of the Native Instruments Komplete stuff is pretty good!

Dose: We also know your solely exploring a techno side-project, can you tell us about it?

Black Sun Empire: I produce under the name “Tinlicker” and my first album is coming out in April. It’s going to be 22 tracks and my brother Rene was involved with two of them.

Dose: What label will it be released on?

Black Sun Empire: My own label called Zero Three Zero

Dose: Why a different label?

Black Sun Empire: It’s a different thing, it’s me but in a different area. I’m sure we’d get complaints if it was on BSE because it doesn’t sound like us.

Dose: Does Tinlicker’s sounds compare at all to BSE?

Black Sun Empire: It’s pretty different, but sometimes a techno project might turn into a drum and bass tune and vice versa.

Dose: We look forward to hearing it and thank you for the interview! We hope you feel better!

Black Sun Empire: Thanks!


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