Biffy Clyro offshoot Empire State Bastard teases first US shows: “We leave it all out there”

Roadrunner Records; Artwork by Daniel P. Carter

Biffy Clyro offshoot band Empire State Bastard will make their U.S. live debut at the 2023 Riot Fest, held September 15-17 in Chicago. Speaking with ABC Audio, frontman Simon Neil shares that you can expect “visceral … ecstatic, psychedelic stoner hardcore music” from the live ESB experience.

“Not to sound like I’m a f****** sportsman, but we leave it all out there in the show,” Neil says. “There’s no doubt that you’ll have seen Empire State Bastard.”

Neil adds that he and ESB bandmate Mike Vennart experience a “spasm of expression” live, though he also makes sure to bring some levity to the show.

“When the music’s this intense, I think it’s important to not make it an oppressive experience,” Neil says. “So there hopefully will be few smiles, as well.”

Following Riot Fest, ESB will play a few shows in New York City before heading back to Europe. Neil hopes to play more shows in the U.S., possibly on the West Coast, but you probably shouldn’t expect a full Empire State Bastard tour.

“These shows feel so primal and vital that we don’t want it to become too habitual,” Neil says. “If it’s muscle memory and it becomes too performative, then I think it kinda goes against the essence of what ESB is.”

Empire State Bastard’s debut album, Rivers of Heresy, is out now. It also features ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, who plays live with ESB, as well.

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