In support of their self-titled album (on 429 Records), the supergroup The Empty Hearts will soon commence touring. The rocking group consists of Elliot Easton (The Cars) on lead guitar, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Clem Burke (Blondie) on drums, Wally Palmer (the Romantics) on vocals, harmonica and guitar, and Andy Babiuk (The Chesterfield Kings) on bass. Here, in the first of a series of Empty Hearts interviews, Elliot Easton entertainingly discusses the upcoming Viper Room gig, influences, and the uniquely intriguing information of how the band got its name:
W.E. What are you most looking forward to regarding performing in Los Angeles and, specifically, at the Viper Room on November 18th?
E.E. Well, for me it’s a hometown show, so it’s always fun to play for friends and family, and, being such a center for media, L.A. should be a nice gig for us publicity-wise.
W.E. What is most important in a band with so much individual talent performing so well together as a unit?
E.E. Separate hotel rooms and a good lunch.
W.E. Could you please share how the band got its name?
E.E. The band was named by Steven Van Zandt, who is a friend of the band and has a secret list of band names. He said, “You’re called The Empty Hearts,” and so it was done!
W.E. Who musically are the biggest influences on The Empty Hearts?
E.E. All the great music we grew up with: The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Cream, The Faces, garage rock, etc. etc.
W.E. To what extent does the band’s live sound differ from its also great recorded sound, from the lively, rocking recordings on the album?”
E.E. Live, there is more room for improvisation. In some ways, the recorded versions are a jumping-off point to extend certain sections and also to interact with a live audience.
More is here in this series with the Empty Hearts in an interview with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Clem Burke (Blondie).