Listen to the new single Blue Spruce
Sunday, May 11th
Thank You Grow Music Project!!

When we were selected to participate in the Grow Music Project a few months ago, I think we were all a bit skeptical.  For those of you not completely familiar with Grow Music Project (GMP), it is a new organization/project headed by Chris Tyng out in Santa Barbara, California.  Their story is they want to pay their good fortunes and success forward to promising independent artists.

So - what's the catch ... right?  Were they going to somehow make us sign some document in bat blood that promised the naming rights to our first born children, maybe some requirements to work in a Scandinavian Circus ... or would we just owe them like 50 grand???  Well, as we've come to fully find out - there is NO CATCH.  The Grow Music project team is made up of truly generous, caring and amazingly talented people who have taught us more about songwriting, recording and hard work than we've learned in years.

The Grow Music Project was easily our best experience we've had as a band.  We simply cannot put into words how thankful we are for the love, time and energy their team put into Instant Empire over our 5 days working with them in California.  During our time there they took us into their homes (complete strangers and easily a group of guys considered quasi-insane by any standard definition of sanity), they fed us, they washed us (okay - that's not true), they taught us a ton and they worked our asses off.

All in all, this was an incredible experience.  We recommend that ANY and ALL bands out there apply to work with GMP next year.  They only take a few bands each year, but it's worth the time to apply.

As for Instant Empire, we recorded a brand new song called "Dead Air".  The GMP Team filmed the entire process and we should be releasing our video diary of our entire GMP experience sometime in the next few weeks.  We can't wait until you hear the song and see the video.

We hope everyone is well - we are playing a number of shows this summer and will keep you all updated on the recording of the full album.


Instant Empire


Sunday, March 2nd
Writing for the New Album is Complete!

Scotty here - I just wanted to give everyone an update to let you know what we we've been up to lately.  We've been holed up in the studio over the last few months writing LOTS of new songs for the record - and we are really excited to announce that writing for the album is pretty much complete.

We could not be happier with the songs we are set to record for what will be our debut LP!

The next month or so we'll be recording a pre-production demos of each song so that we can finalize song structures and arrangements and then in early April we are headed off to Santa Barbara to work with Christopher Tyng and all of the folks at The Grow Music Project where we'll record a song.  Afterwards (in late Spring) we plan to go into the studio to record the full album.

We are so very, very excited.

We can't wait until you all hear what we've been writing and we will be in touch over the next few months with sights and sounds from the record.

See you all soon!



Tuesday, December 31st
IE's Favorite Albums of 2013

What the hell happened to 2013? It came and went like some sort of hallucinogenic fever dream. And so here we are, at the front of the line waiting to collect our goodie bag from some celebrity apparition. Hooray, Hooray, Hooray, Hooray - Indeed.


So on the cusp of 2014, we wanted to look back and to send shout-outs to our favorite albums (and things) of 2013. Some great things came out this year – here are our favorites:


Scotty’s Favorite Albums 2013:

1) Volcano Choir – Repave

2) Phosphorescent – Muchacho

3) The National – Trouble Will Find Me

4) Tim Kasher – Adult Film

5) Portugal. The Man – Evil Friends


Lou’s Favorite Albums 2013:

1) Foals - Holy Fire

2) Majical Cloudz - Impersonator

3) Bars Of Gold - Wheels

4) Kurt Vile - Walkin On A Pretty Daze

5) The National - Trouble Will Find Me


Sean’s Favorite Albums (and Books!) of 2013:

1) The National - Trouble Will Find Me

2) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

3) Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

4) The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

5) Moonface - Julia with Blue Jeans On


Doug’s Favorite Things of 2013:

1) Françoise Hardy radio on Google Play

2) The No Agenda podcast

3) Bob Hund - Stenåldern kan börja

4) Whatever the fuck Bob Pollard did this year

5) Early 90's hip hop, Black Moon and shit like that


Aaron’s Favorite Things of 2013:

1) Building Bathrooms with his bare hands

2) Buying old Porsches and putting them in his garage

3) Malort


We can’t wait for 2014 and for you all to hear the new LP we are recording. Here’s to next year – see everyone soon.



Instant Empire


Saturday, December 7th
Instant Empire Selected for the Grow Music Project!

We are beyond excited to announce that Instant Empire has been selected as one of 5 bands to record in Santa Barbara, CA with acclaimed producer and composer Christopher Tyng as part of the Grow Music Project!!

We cannot wait to head to Cali in early 2014 to record with Christopher and his team.  This is an amazing opportunity for Instant Empire and it's truly refreshing that GMP is volunteering to help indie bands that they believe in.

Check out more about the Grow Music Project Here:


Instant Empire

Thursday, November 14th
Instant Empire Releases New Single - Blue Spruce

We are so excited to share Blue Spruce with all of you!  This is our first single off of our upcoming album and it represents the first sonic taste of where Instant Empire is headed.  Lyrically, Blue Spruce is a song that attempts to make sense out of a world that seems, at times, forever fleeting - a world where nothing is permanent.

Blue Spruce is available on iTunes and of course you can stream the song right here.

We've been writing TONS of new songs and will be heading into the studio to record the full-length album in early 2014.


Take me back – through the hourglass

Before bruised fruit

Before business suits

This is temporary

This is temporary


Take me back – through the hourglass

Before spilled milk

Before woven silk

This is temporary

This is temporary


Knock me back – like a heart attack

After punch lines

After ripening vines

Is this temporary?

Is this temporary?


Knock me back – like a heart attack

After blaspheme

After fever dreams

Is this temporary?

Is this temporary?


Lunatic talks – and these seaside walks

Hear each tick and each tock from an atomic clock

We’ll start a forest fire before the night expires

We’ll start a forest fire

We’ll start a forest fire

We’ll start a forest fire before the night expires

We’ll start a forest fire

We’ll start a forest fire, fire, fire


Thursday, September 12th
IE Says Goodbye to a LEGEND!!!

It’s been a little over three years since Instant Empire was first born. During that entire time, we’ve been lucky enough to have the inimitable Matt Grizzell behind the kit. If you’ve ever seen this man play live, you know that the bearded “Uncle AJ” plays the drums with the ferocity of a cornered feral animal. He froths, he sweats, he growls and he groans … it’s impossible to take your eyes off the man. His hard-hitting groove and uncompromising talent make Matt one of Denver’s best. His contributions to Instant Empire were essential in developing our sound, and he will always remain an integral part of this band.

As all great drummers should be, Matt was our anchor … both on stage and off. So after three years of making music together, we are deeply saddened to see him go. But what we are losing in a drummer, we are more than making up for in happiness for our friend. Matt and his beautiful wife, Chanda, are expecting, and we couldn’t be more excited for them both as they embark on their new adventures together as the Family Grizzell.

The band remains very optimistic for the future. We’re writing new songs for our first full length LP and are stoked about the new tunes. In the meantime, we’ve found a new drummer, and though them’s some awfully big shoes to fill, he can be confident knowing that the guy who came before leaves behind a pretty amazing example of how to play with abandon and integrity.

So … COME CELEBRATE MATT’S LAST SHOW WITH US! This Friday, September 13th at the new Illegal Pete’s on S. Broadway in Denver. We’re playing with Fierce Bad Rabbit, so it promises to be a great show at a fun venue. For more info, visit:

In closing, we should lighten the mood a bit. In no particular order, below are our Top Ten “Mattisms” we’ve heard over the years. So here’s to the bearded one, the grizzled son, our friend.


Sean, Scotty, Aaron, Doug, & Lou


Instant Empire's Top 10 Mattisms

1. Before practice: “Come on, guys. Let’s work the shitties out.”

2. After practice: “C’mon. Up High!” [No one gives a Hi-Five like the Grizz.]

3. In the van on the way to Kansas City: “Wow guys! Look at that sedimentary erosion layer of the igneous rock formation. Talk about geological time at work.” [Said in a voice of sheer wonder!]

4. In the van once we’re in Kansas City: “You know guys … Kansas City isn’t really as bad as you think. That should be their motto: Kansas City. Not as shitty as you’d think.”

5. In the van leaving Omaha the morning after a show (muttering): “Daddy’s hungry.”

6. In the van leaving Omaha the next morning after he was hungry for the second time before noon: “Guys. Something is wrong, guys. That McDonald’s double quarter pounder is not sitting well on top of the Denny’s we just ate.”

7. Explaining why he was late to practice: “I [freakin'] blew it, guys. I [FREAKIN'] BLEW IT!”

8. Moments before a show: “Don’t [screw] this up. Do NOT [screw] this up!!!”

9. Moments after a show: “Come give Uncle AJ a cinnamon kiss!”

10. Somewhere in east Colorado Springs with tears in his eyes from laughing: “Table Rocking!?!?! BWAHAHAH!!!”

Monday, October 1st
South Park Summerfest 2012 - Part Deux!!!

Day Two

This post picks up our adventures at the inaugural South Park Summerfest in Fariplay, CO (see below from August 25th).


“What time is it?” you ask yourself.  “And where the hell am I?”  Oh, yeah . . . you’re in a cold-weather sleeping bag inside a tent somewhere on the side of a mountain near Fairplay.  Thanks to the awesome powers of the Colorado sun, it’s like 90 degrees and wickedly hot inside the tent . . . and it’s only 7:20 am.

You jolt upright in your sleeping bag and quickly realize that such sudden movement is a bad idea.  Your spine cries out in agony as you pivot on the grapefruit-sized rock that apparently decided to keep you company last night.  But the sharp pain in your back quickly recedes into the dull, constant ache that is your head.

Like a detective piecing together clues from a crime scene, your tongue finds its way around the seven different layers of funk coating your mouth.

[Ah, yes, Holmes – I do believe I understand it now. See here, the culprit: Scotty’s industrial-grade swill, perhaps better suited for paint removal than for consumption.]

The turpentine-like concoction has you sloshing and swimming inside your own head.  “Thanks for nothing, pimp juice,” you mumble.

Drenched in sweat, you agitatedly shed layer after layer of your clothing as you try to escape the suffocating clutches of your sleeping bag. Last night, neither the protective layers nor the booze could keep you warm enough, but this morning, that winning combination has you roasting like a pig on a spit and in a peachy mood. Groggy, off balance, and barefoot, you stand up, only to hunch back over when you hit your head on the electric lantern that hangs from the top of your tent.

After fumbling in your backpack for what feels like fifteen minutes to find your toothbrush, you rip open the tent and stumble outside with all the grace and coordination of a tranquilized grizzly bear waking from an induced stupor. This imagery comically floats through your head and resisting the urge to unleash your best Chewbaca yell, you realize that for the first time this morning, you are pleasantly surprised. Free from the confines of your sauna-like tent, the cold mountain air immediately revives you with a refreshing chill.

“Wow,” you say to yourself as you take in the view. Having arrived in the chaos and dark of the night before, you had no way to see just how beautiful the surrounding scenery was until now. Mt. Bierstadt, her majestic peak topping out at more than fourteen thousand feet, is the first to say good morning, as everyone else is still asleep in tents. You find the moment incredibly peaceful and soothing.

Tiptoeing around the campsite so as not to wake anyone, you enjoy the solitude of readying yourself for the day. A twinge of anticipation stirs in your gut as you see the stage off in the distance. What last night looked like something menacing and apocalyptic, this morning resembles the promise of rocking good times.

Teeth now brushed, you find your stock to be on the rise. Life ain’t so bad after all. Opening the cooler in search of possible sundries for breakfast, you reach your hand down in to the cold, icy water and seize upon a cylindrical object. The moment your hand takes hold of the beer, something primal inside you snaps. Like that, your tranquil morning respite is over.

Cracking open the beer with a satisfying snap, you take a pull. As the brew swirls down your gullet like some sort of magic potion, you can’t help but think this day has taken a turn for the waaayyy better. “Breakfast of champions, bitches!” you exclaim to yourself. With two-thirds of the can downed, and feeling infinitely better and excited for the day, you decide that now is as good a time as any to wake up the entire campsite. Chugging the remains of the beer, you tilt your head back and yell, “GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM!!!”

- Stay tuned for the further adventures of Instant Empire.  More to come in our next post where we pick back up with our Summerfest conclusion.


Friday, September 21st
Concerted Effort interview & performance

Check out Concerted Effort's interview and live performance video of Instant Empire!  Get out your party pants and we'll see you tonight at Hi-Dive with The Jealous Sound and Daytrader!



Saturday, August 25th
South Park Summerfest 2012


Day One

This summer found us playing our first festival - the inaugral South Park Summerfest in Fairplay, CO.  Can you imagine a more bucolic setting?  Camping the entire weekend at 10,000 feet.  A big ol' stage with killer sound.  The stars and mountains all around us.  How perfect, right!?

Um . . . yeah . . .

Chapter I:  THE RAWK VAN

Fairplay is pretty damn remote.  Or at least it seems that way when you find yourself crammed into the sketchiest 15-passenger POS van you can rent on Craigslist.  You know, the kind with an exposed gas line, the smell of rot and decay blasting from the barely-functioning A/C, and an owner who lets you drive away with it just because "you look like trustworthy guys"?

[Lesson learned: When something costs you one-sixth of its normal fair market value, you should probably be suspicious.]

So, you're caravaning along, rolling up 285 with six dudes, their significant others, and enough camping gear to outfit an expedition searching for new energy sources in some remote and forgotten wasteland.  Seriously, you should have seen the tent that Aaron brought along!

Anyhow, you're dodging antelope and navigating those hairpins and switchbacks with all the confidence and grace of a charging rhinocerous.  And oh yeah, you're packing an extra 2,500 pounds of musical equipment, which considering the van's current carrying capacity, makes the shocks on your marvel of American engineering sing like a freaking canary.

Oh yeah, life is good.  We're in a rock n' roll band and we're playing a summer festival!


Turning off the highway, you take a left onto a dark dirt road (it's now nightime since you had to stop five times on what would otherwise be a quick one and one-half hour jaunt).  "Are we going the right way?" someone asks.

Yes, yes we are!  "Look over there!" Lou shouts.  From behind the next hill you spy what can only be a swirling mass of red, blue, and green LED stage lights.  Lights so impossibly obnoxious that to ignore them would be impossible.  They beckon you forward, packed with all the empty promise of your rock n' roll fantasies, like a stripper coaxing the last dollar bill from that creepy guy who quit drinking five hours ago but is still hanging around at four a.m.  As you crest the hill in the rawk van, the tension, the nervousness, the anticipation of all that is to come, is nearly palpable.

And then you see it all spread out before you.  But something is off.  It doesn't compute.  "Oh, Jesus . . . what happened here?"

[Flashback to that scene in Apocalypse Now when Lance is tripping on acid and Willard can't find anyone in command of the bridge outpost.]

You roll down the windows, and although you see ferocious stage lights slicing across the night sky, the stage is empty and there is no sound.  Only the wind.  The ever-present wind.  The lights disorient you and your eyes cannot adjust to the dark.  Ten or fifteen people are shuffling haphazardly around the festival grounds with no rhyme or reason.  In talking to the stragglers, you discover that a violent wind storm has swept through only an hour before and took with it the festival's communication tower, registration tent, and - apparently - all the night's musical acts . . .

So it's off to find a camping spot and set up shop in the dark.  You realize that the temperature has quickly dropped to the 30s.  Your body, accustomed to the stifling summer heat back in Denver, begins to tremble and shake.  But there will be no fire tonight.  That possibility has been ruled out ever since the state's forests began to burn out of control earlier this summer.

"Where are we?" you wonder.  "What have we walked into?"  As you descend deeper into the cold clutch of the night, the only thing left to do is to take comfort in the bottle of whiskey that Scotty brought along.  A wise decision, indeed, and one that will surely bode well in the morning.

- Stay tuned for the further adventures of Instant Empire.  More to come in our next post where we pick back up with "Chapter III:  GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM!"

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