Hailing from the Midwest, the South, and the heart of Texas, Eye Empire is preparing to shake the Earth’s crust, or at least the music scene. With its edgy, energetic, and intelligent brand of rock and metal this quartet is ready to make people take notice. This week Metalholic caught up with vocalist Donald “DC” Carpenter to talk about the group’s debut album and his take on the state of America.
The seeds of Eye Empire were planted as far back as 2007. Bassist Corey Lowery (Stuck Mojo, Stereomud, Dark New Day) and guitarist B.C. Kochmit (Switched) began kicking up some dust and waiting to see what settled. The empire was founded on that ground.
Fast forward to 2009 and the band reached out to former Submersed frontman, Carpenter, to give voice to its volcanic sonic hell. For a brief tenure Will Hunt (Evanescence, Black Label Society) backstopped the band behind the kit. However, it wasn’t until the recent addition of former Texas Hippie Coalition drummer Ryan Bennett that the band found its final piece.
In 2011, the band self-released a couple of limited album variations as “Moment of Impact”, but the moment wasn’t yet right. Last month, the band, now armed with new management, has realized “Impact”. The band’s debut two-disc set offers the group’s original recordings along with a handful of new tracks and some acoustic and live material: 24 total performances.
If the talent in the band already wasn’t enough on its own, Lowery’s brother, guitarist Clint, along with his fellow Sevendust bandmates, vocalist Lejon Witherspoon and drummer Morgan Rose all played a role in the band’s debut album.
DC talked about the Eye Empire’s ballsy decision to kick off its career with a double album:
“We always look at it as an evolution and a kind of progression. We’re trying to do something that’s different. This industry is in a transition, and we figured it was the only way for us. In a day and age when the album is losing its value we figured we’d give more for your money and bring that value back.”
Carpenter can write lyrics that are straight up rock and roll, and then there is his other side where he likes to get deep. “It’s a bi-polar type of world, and a bi-polar type of life,” he laughed. The socially savvy singer then got serious, talking about the state of America.
“You never want to come from a judgmental perspective. Me as an individual, I’m always trying to search for truth, for an answer within myself. I feel a lot of where we’re at now is the natural evolution process of man, and where our arrogance and lack of focus has brought us too. For a long time I think a lot of us have been content to say, ‘I’m gonna stay on my block. I’m gonna take care of myself. And as long as I’m fine, screw everybody else.’ I think nowadays were starting to see we’re not inconsequential. We’re very much a part of the bigger picture. I know I personally start to notice some of that complacency that comes along with feeling insignificant. I think for [Eye Empire] we want to try and come out, and our impact is making people feel significant again. Let them know that complacency is not going to work.”
Carpenter stated that it is the same thing for our country as it is for the music and keeping music alive. “I think if we don’t get actively involved. If we don’t give ourselves a voice and a chance, then it’s not gonna work. We’re at that day and age where we have to find that significance again. We have to find that fire, and for me I think music is one of the best tools to really ignite fire in people and bring that focus back to life.”
You can hear our full interview below, including DC’s first album of impact, and who his thoughts on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Pick up Impact at your online retailers or on the band’s webpage.