Interview: Empty Houses to Perform At The Demo STL June 13

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Photo courtesy of Empty Houses

In support of their debut album “Daydream,” (set to release June 10 via Sargent House) Empty Houses comes to the Demo June 13. On their first national tour, Ali Shea (vocals), David Mackinder (guitar) and Adam Mercer (keys) just hope share their brand new sound with the country and make their audiences feel good.

“Daydream” was recorded by Grammy Award-winning producer Graham Marsh (Bruno Mars, CeeLo Green, Common) at Parhelion Studios in Atlanta, GA. Shea has been praised for her vocal talent by many major media outlets, and brings their Motown roots to life. Learn more about Empty House in this Q+A below!

When did you guys get started?
DM: We started sending demos a year or two ago, but nothing real serious until recent times. I’ve always loved Ali’s voice and thought we could write some cool songs together.

How did you figure out your style? Any major influences?
DM: We didn’t really have any idea or expectations with the sound or style. The basis was to write feel-good jams, or songs that just come naturally to us. We all really love Motown and Stevie Wonder.

Tell us about a major moment in your career that inspired you to keep going.
DM: A major moment for us was when we first released a song publicly and saw that people were happy and viewed it as a refreshing thing. Also signing with Sargent House and having the opportunity to write songs that would eventually be on the album in a desolate desert home was very cool! The curiosity of the future and how people will react to the album gives us a tremendous amount of excitement.

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Tell us about your debut album, “Daydream.” Any standout tracks? Were there any complications during recording?
AM: We had over 20 songs finished going into the process of deciding which ones to use for the album, so in my mind, every one of these songs is a standout track. Since we had so much material to work with, we’re really proud of every piece of every song that ended up on “Daydream.” Graham is a master at what he does, so the recording process was smooth sailing.

What was it like working with Graham Marsh? Any funny or inspiring stories to tell from your time in the studio?
AS: The first time the three of us got on the phone with Graham, we knew he was going to be awesome to work with. He really understood what we wanted this album to sound like, and had so many great ideas to help make it what it is now. One of the first days in the studio, he came in with a giant poster board, markers, and sparkly smiley face stickers so we could make a progress board to keep track of which parts of songs were complete. It turned into a canvas for lots of PG-13 doodles, which always kept us laughing.

Have you been to St. Louis before? If not, what are you looking forward to?
AS: I’ve never been before, but we’ll be there on my birthday, so I’m really looking forward to exploring the city as much as I can!

What does the future look like for Empty Houses?
AM: We’re not too sure at this point, but you can expect many many more songs.

Catch Empty Houses June 13 at the Demo in the Grove. Get tickets! 

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