Spotlight: Empire Escorts

DIY Booking and Word-of-Mouth Promotion

GENRE: Hard Rock


ARTISTIC APPROACH: Democratic songwriting and thematic lyrical concepts.

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Crank up the debut EP by Jersey rockers Empire Escorts and clean lyrics rally with sharp riffing in an air of punk influenced rock that holds a definite power and mystique. The solo work in opening track “Electric Whiskey” qualifies its title, but what really deserves attention is the way this fairly new band attracted a local following. From 2009-2011, the group built its following by playing energetic live gigs, and then recorded its first self-titled EP in 2011 at Lakehouse Music in Asbury Park with producer Jon Leidersdorff. As drummer Cameron Lockwood explains, “Tools like Facebook allow bands to reach hundreds of fans and [they] no longer rely on word of mouth; however, the influx in social media has created a saturated market place.  I believe that word of mouth holds more sincerity and has more of an impact on non-listeners.”

Singer Joe McCaig describes the band name as an epiphany taken from song lyrics: “We were working on a song and there was a lyric I had that was ‘Empire escorts enslave empty egos.’ The guys heard it and, almost simultaneously, we all agreed that Empire Escorts was it.”

The diversity in themes and the execution of the songs shows Empire Escorts deserve the word of mouth and buzz surrounding their music. In referencing the themes in “Bury the Man,” McCaig says, “The whole idea of ‘Bury the man, become the myth’ means we are more than just a bunch of particles making up a human body; we can be our own gods. Lyrics can be interpreted differently by everyone, though. To [our guitarist] Tim [Spaulding], it speaks about the 1% and Occupy Wall Street, which is really cool, and shows the true beauty of poetry.”

“Our music reflects the tough times we currently live in and are faced with; however, there is always a sense of optimism and a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Spaulding adds that he views most of the songs with a sense of disenchantment: “Our music reflects the tough times we currently live in and are faced with; however, there is always a sense of optimism and a light at the end of the tunnel.” Empire Escorts offers its EP and the lyrics to all five tracks for free online, because the guys understand the value of getting the music heard. They know the word of mouth will take off from there, and Spaulding shares, “We are currently booked for a spring tour in May along the East Coast. This is our first time playing a string of shows outside of New Jersey. We are planning it all out ourselves. We are also always working on new material which will hopefully translate into a full-length album within the next year or so.”

Photo by Alex Rivera

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1 Comment

  1. the EMPIRE of ill usin

    May 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm


    Your music is a reflection of the individuals growing up in American Society, and their reaction to the forces acting both upon and within their culture.

    We are sentient beings communicating our current conditions to each other.
    Combating the static interference in between. (and those sentient beings who create it)

    Heralds of the Dawn
    Escort our Empire
    Through the Dark Deep Divide
    Conduct us
    Back to the Source
    So we may tend the Garden
    As we did when
    We were Men amongst Animals
    Not just Animals Among Men

    That’s for you Joe
    Cultivate Man Kind

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