Today Jammerzine has an exclusive interview with Empires That Dance. A vivid project as much as it is a true envisioning of a band, we get a band of musicians who happen to be music fans who happen to make excellent music.
And today we get to converse with one of those musicians in the form of Andy Inniss. I would call this more than just an interview but a really good conversation between two people who love music. Andy is as creative as he is original and it shows with his music. Whether it be the music of others or his own, he makes it his own, and Empires That Dance is the evidence of the evolution of such. Enjoy!
About Empires That Dance
Empires That Dance isn’t a covers band. They approach each project putting their own stamp on classic Simple Minds tracks. The result is a contemporary, refreshing and unique sound.
Whether you’ve ever listened to Simple Minds or not, Empires That Dance have a new noise for YOU!
Empires That Dance are: Andy Inniss and George Porter.
I can still recollect hearing my cousin playing some new singles in 1979 and one in particular with a synth line that got into my head. Years later I realized this was Life In A Day by Simple Minds. Growing up in a house full of instruments especially keyboards I would dabble but became frustrated with the lack of recording options and the idea of creating anything with multi tracks seemed impossible. 1990s electronica, rave and jungle fed my imagination. Whilst my music collection is wide and diverse I always retained an interest in Simple Minds and would see them live at any opportunity. In 1991 at Milton Keynes Bowl I struck up conversation with some people close to the band including a lady who I then literally bumped into again at a gig in Bournemouth a few years later.
She smuggled me backstage to the tour bus where meeting the band was nuts. However I felt something was missing as there was more to this band than the people… it was the music and the history that really nagged away at me. In 1998 I started to get enough computer hardware and software to try and create my own music and used the Simple Minds online forums for help. I found this in the form of some assistance from Simon Hayward. This was just what I needed as he kindly gave me a ton of software. In 2007 I travelled to Rotherham and the infamous Celebrate gig with Sample Minds and Four Good Men. This was a thrill as Simon Hayward was playing with Sample Minds and Mick MacNeil and Derek Forbes, original members of Simple Minds, were playing with Four Good Men.
Brian McGee was also enjoying the fun with us. The gig was arranged by Dan Millard to celebrate 30 years of Simple Minds and everyone ended up staying in the same hotel. It was quite a thrill driving Derek Forbes back after his sound check and having Mick MacNeil as my neighbor nut it was meeting a lot of good people from the Simple Minds community that are friends to this day, in particular, Billy Short & Brian McGee that took me on the ETD path.
In 2009 Simple Minds played Edinburgh Castle and Billy Short and I are in a pub that has been taken over by Simple Minds fans including Sample Minds. We discussed making music over a drink or two. The buzz is electric, the gig is very wet! A year later in a Glasgow bar we reminisce and I swapped demos and ideas including a version of Murder Story by Simple Minds mixed with a Goa trance record. I shared this with members of Simple Minds past and present and their online community and get encouragement to keep working on ideas. I pick up a gong in London for work stuff and create a personal video that needs a sound track – the chords for Room seemed to fit. The demo for Another Room was taking shape. In 2011 Brian McGee and Derek Forbes perform as XSM in Cheltenham. They are generous and afford me time before and after the gig with supper thrown in for good measure. Making his debut with XSM on vocals is George Porter. We meet and chat and I spend time with his family watching the show.
I capture George on video making his debut walking from the back of the crowd to the stage. Another Simple Minds gig in Glasgow follows and I bumped into Simple Minds guitarist Charlie Burchill at Glasgow airport and rattle off my ideas and he gives me encouragement to work harder. I share the demo for Another Room and within days George Porter gets in contact offering to do vocals. We discuss and share files and George comes up with a great mix after working with Gordy Goudie. Later Simple Minds play Glasgow Barrowlands for the 5X5 tour.
I go with Billy Short and we bump into Simon Hayward. We only get a chance for a few words but again they are encouraging ones. George and I meet up in the post gig euphoria. Glasgow airport follows and again I bump into Charlie Burchill and rattle off more ideas and get nothing but encouragement back. George, Gordy and I like Another Room so much we think about putting it out on YouTube to see if anyone else likes it and Empires That Dance morphed from imagination into reality. We wanted more than just a picture on YouTube and Martin Poschinger was the most obvious person to ask due to his stunning videos he has made with his Sweet Invader Movies. Martin was more than happy to help out and by the end of the year we uploaded to YouTube with little expectation.
Positive feedback from Paul Kerr and Pete Walsh, the producer of New Gold Dream, fed our fire. The YouTube hits go up in no small part due to the help of Simple Minds Jim Kerr and we get emails asking for a downloadable file. This can get tricky legally so contact was made with EMI and a contract was agreed with them and Jim Kerr Management Consultancy for us to sell a digital download. The video gets over 6,000 views across 87 countries with digital downloads made in Europe, Australia and North America.
In 2013 Simple Minds play at the newly opened Glasgow Hydro to film their recently released DVD. Before the gig Billy Short and I arranged to meet and exchange music files and ended up in a pub having a drink with George and Gordy. I had a demo of Changeling that we discussed. It was something I had been playing around with and it came from nowhere. At one point it had an acid loop with a melody from Life In A Day. This demo had a great build up but needed a big bass line and the one from Changeling working perfectly. Gordy and George were keen to work on it, as they both loved Changeling. Martin Poschinger also wanted to help with another YouTube video and enlisted the help of John Provyn AKA Johnnybgood. We think we made something special for us first and foremost. We have been helped in no small measure by Brian McGee who co-directed the street scenes for the Changeling video in Glasgow and Bruce Findlay who as well as giving us exclusive interviews, ultimately started these shenanigans when he signed Simple Minds to his record label in 1978… Zoom.
Our idea/vision for our version of Changeling was inspired because we all loved the original …back in the day it was a big noise on the club scene…& remember dancing to it…So it was fascinating de- constructing the track with ETD…
We all met up before the Simple Minds Hydro gig – Andy was telling us of an idea he had been messing around with regarding Changeling…So with Giorgio Moroder & John Lydon in mind, things took shape pretty quickly…Gordy Goudie has a studio in his kitchen …So each session was recorded on a full stomach…LOL.
I’m really pleased with the outcome – I think it’s sufficiently different from the original & has its own identity…Hopefully people will like it – I’ve had a great deal of fun making it.
I’m also involved in Scottish tribute band Simple Minded – Great fun & a labour of love…It’s been the catalyst to everything in the last few years… Derek Forbes appeared at one of our early gigs & got up on stage and played Changeling (oddly enough)… This led to an opportunity to go and do some gigs with Derek & Brian in XSM…the first one in Cheltenham – where I met Andy Inniss (see where this going )…That adventure closed…but not before going to Los Angeles with Derek Forbes for a one off gig… I’ve now resumed my duties with Simple Minded & big things are on the horizon (watch this space).
I’ve also been writing and recording my own material with Gordy Goudie & have plans to release an album in 2015… songs so far are – Rain, Laughter & Tears, Future Proof, Life’s too Short, Beetroot Skies and Never Above You… It’s work in progress at this time & very exciting… The prospect of my own songs out there is palpable… but hey ho… we all pull our knickers on feet first.. LOL
The truly great thing about this journey is the people I’m meeting along the way… Martin Poschinger & John Provyn came to Scotland to make the Changeling promo… So talented, so passionate… amazing… Want to thank them both…..along with Jane Crawford, The Sheriff, Cheryl, Iain Gordon Kelly, Gordon Machray, Angelique de Vries.
SOURCE: Official Bios