DK: What was the writing process like for the EP? Who does most of the writing?
MM: The writing process usually involves Ryan and I in a bedroom, and most of it can be attributed to cigarettes, coffee, donuts, microphones, synthesizers, a computer, a guitar, and a notepad. We need to buy more pens though. We run out of pens.
DK: Being from New Orleans, in your own words, how does this record express the sound and emotions of the region, or does it not?
MM: The Rogers Brothers and I grew up here. This is our home, and to us there is a sense of heartfelt finality to that idea. So no matter what we do, we'll reflect our roots in little ways forever. If you listen close enough you can hear it, i think. Some of the tunes are about how amazing the nightlife and community is in our town, y' know, getting fucked up and inventing something. That sort of thing is always nice. New Orleans is a playful city with a lot of nuance and depth, and I hope that comes across on record.
DK: Where does the name Empress Hotel come from?
MM: The Empress Hotel is an actual hotel in New Orleans. Sounds pretty, doesn't it? None of us have ever stayed there... I don't know anyone who has stayed there. But according to the hotel's customer reviews, its pretty lousy and grimy. Plus the Rogers brothers' previous band was called Antenna Inn. So this project kinda started as a rebuttal to that band.
DK: Do you think your sound does justice to some of your eclectic influences such as Prince and Roxy Music?
MM: I don't think we'll ever do justice to Prince. Come on! The same goes for anyone I suppose. We have our influences, and when we wear them on our sleeve it's supposed to be genuine and mean something. I think we could be as great as Roxy Music someday, though. Yeah.
DK: What are the band's goals for 2011?
MM: Well we're touring on the EP, recording a full-length in April with T.J. Lipple, releasing it before the end of the year, touring on that, selling records, making money, buying cool gear for your enjoyment. I'm also excited about SXSW this year, Park the Van's set up some great acts for sure. Also, we'd like to broadcast a live performance from the International Space Station. But it's gonna take some funding, so we gladly welcome the public's support!
Expect to hear big things from New Orleans’ latest pop outfit in 2011.