Empire of the Sun is an alternative rock band from Australia. Their sound includes a heavy dose of synthesizers as well as elements from New Wave, EDM, glam, and pop.
The band is actually a duo. Luke Steele plays guitar and keyboards. Nick Littlemore plays keyboards. Both musicians sing (Steele is the lead) and both are songwriters.
Steele is usually seen with a large white strip across his eyes and nose. He also wears large, sun-like crests on his head.
Littlemore looks like a hairy Joel McHale.
Steele is also in the band The Sleepy Jackson and has worked with Beyoncé Knowles and Usher.
When they’re out on tour, don’t be surprised if Littlemore is a no-show. Don’t take it personally. He’s very busy.
If you have Empire of the Sun tickets don’t expect a traditional concert. The band likes to tell a story with their songs. They can be very theatrical and dramatic.
When on the road, Empire of the Sun is joined by multi-instrumentalist Surahn Sidu and drummer Tony Mitolo.
The band is not named after the book by J.G. Ballard or its film adaptation. Instead, it’s based on the idea of visiting places (empires) where the sun is worshipped.
Before releasing any music, Steele and Littlemore operated under the name “Steelemore.”
Steele and Littlemore met at a bar in 2000. Although they collaborated on writing songs, it would take eight years before they would release an album together.
It’s a little odd that it took so long for Steele and Littlemore to release an album as the two have great creative chemistry. They work very well together and each brings out the other’s best.
Empire’s first album, Walking on a Dream, dropped in 2008. It did not chart in the U.S. but did quite well in their native Australia and the U.K.
Their sophomore effort, Ice on the Dune, hit streets in June of 2013. It peaked at number 20 on the Billboard 200.
Steele made headlines in 2013 when he took a shot at Daft Punk and the fact that their album, Random Access Memory, sold more copies then Empire’s Ice on the Dune…
“They had a great marketing campaign, but we’ve got better songs.”