Road Through Hell, The Federal Empire’s latest album was released on 25th March, so Pop Sins caught up with band member Mckay Stevens to get the lowdown and plan a dream tour line-up!

Hi, guys, how are you keeping in these strange and turbulent times?
It’s definitely been hard for everyone. We were super bummed to have our tours with The Unlikely Candidates and The National Parks cancelled and not be able to connect with the fans in person around this new album. So many people are going through much worse so we are just taking it a day at a time and looking for the small things each day to be grateful for.

Your new album Road Through Hell came out on March 25th. What can you tell us about the creative process of writing and recording this record? Is there a natural evolution process within the band to creating these new tracks? Or is there a clear structure of what comes next?
We create the songs together in our house or in a studio. We usually just sit around talking about life for a few hours and what we all are going through and then we write about that therapeutic process. All of us were going through difficult times during this writing process through the breakup of longterm relationships and some hard times in life so that came out on the Road Through Hell and the cycle of life that can be seen in so many different instances.

Watch the video for Good Man below:

So, where do The Federal Empire’s musical influences come from – both for your new record and whilst you were growing up?
They are all over the place. We are all huge music fans in every form so great songs and soundscapes inspire us. Everything from oldies to classic rock and 80’s hair bands to hip hop and modern electronic music. We love great songs that tell honest stories of humanity.

Which musicians are you listening to now?
So many different musicians…Oliver Tree, Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, The 1975, Ashe, The Glorious Sons, Maggie Rogers, Coin, Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, HAIM, Louis The Child, Sego, The Moth and The Flame, Mura Masa, Halsey, Dominic Fike, Valley, Kacey Musgraves, Chance, Lauv, etc. 

You’ve recently toured with the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Cage the Elephant and Palaye Royale. Who would be on the dream line up for you, if you could choose to tour with any band or musician and why?
These questions are so difficult! Music is such an emotion that it depends on so many different things at different times. We love so many artists and respect their art so much that it is hard to choose just one. I think right now I would choose The 1975 because they have been creating super genuine and authentic art and trying to make a change in society and impact culture. They also work with other artists to develop and create amazing art and their taste and aesthetic are always on point.

You’ve collaborated with Martin Garrix and Sam Feldt. Are there any other collaborations on the horizon for The Federal Empire?
No other collaborations in the works right now but we love working with so many different musicians that we hope after this quarantine is over we can get back to collaborating!

Going back to Road through Hell, which are the tracks that you’re most looking forward to playing live?
We love playing all of them live but some of our favorites are:Bad Habits because it feels like a punk rock mosh pit when the chorus gets going and people get really into it, I Never Liked Your friends because people know the words and sing along and dance like crazy, and The American Dream because you can see people laughing and identifying with the lyrics and really feeling the message so it opens up dialogue after the show.

Watch the video for I Never Liked Your Friends below:

If you were to sum up Road through Hell in three words, what would they be?
The three words would be “Road Through Hell” haha if you want three more words then I’d say “Path Across Fire” joking. I might sum it up by saying “Therapy With Energy”


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