The Stormfest Files 2015: Chad Biggs


If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that this is part two of a series about Stormfest. Read part one, with Tripp Stevens, here.

When I spoke with Tripp about booking bands for Stormfest he said, “Obscurity is another factor. People are unfamiliar with some of the bands, and I like to try to help get the bands some exposure by putting them on the bill with the more established acts.”

Empires End is a great example of that, as they are a relatively new band. Stormfest will be the band’s first time playing in eastern Nebraska, but its members are no newbies to the Nebraska metal scene. Empires End is made up of current and former members of Slantpiece, Ninefall, Faded Black, and Transcending Zero.

This Kearney quartet is going to record with producer Michael Beck soon. There are no studio recordings of Empires End songs, YET, but you can get an idea of what to expect from some live videos here. Make sure to give them a “like” while you’re there.

I had a chance to talk to Chad Biggs, who sings and play guitar for Empires End, about the band’s beginnings, Stormfest, and what you’ll see from them in 2015. Read below:

Damascus Wootz: Chad, last time we talked you were putting Ninefall to rest. This time, you are getting a new band started! Tell me about the members of Empires End and how you got together.

Chad Biggs: We actually had been jamming and writing a bit before Ninefall played its last show. Playing the final Ninefall shows, after 10 years of doing nothing, had made me realize how much I missed it, so I had asked around about other musicians without much luck for awhile. Wryan Carpenter of Slantpiece introduced me to our drummer, Josh Chapin, at a show and told me “This is your drummer.” Wryan stated if Josh and I were going to play together, that he was going to jump on board. Wryan plays bass for Slantpiece, but jumped on guitar and said he had a bass player already taken care of, which is Logan Policky.

DW: You guys are planning on hitting the studio with Michael Beck soon, how many songs do you plan on recording?

CB: Well, we are just starting out with a couple. More than likely we will put together our first album a little differently by piecing it together here and there instead of all at one shot. We just wanted to get a couple good quality tunes done so people would have something to hear if they visited our page and were interested and wanted to see what our stuff was like. Definitely excited to work with Michael. He’s done both Slantpiece albums, and I’ve listened to some of his other work, and I’ve only heard great stuff. Anytime I see a clip of him in the studio with a band, he’s behind the board moving his head and getting into it. That’s the kind of guy we all want to work with for sure.

DW: How do Empires End songs get written?

CB: So far it’s been coming into practice with a guitar riff, or sometimes even a completed song. I recently brought in a song I had done, but once it gets to practice, it gets diced up, slapped back together, tried this way and that until it becomes something we like. Everyone is pretty good at coming up with stuff to try and throwing that extra something in there to make it better. Everyone is open, no one gets offended if their idea doesn’t work or whatever. We just finally try that part that everyone gets excited about, and it really doesn’t matter who it came from.

DW: For our readers who have not have the chance to catch you live yet, how would you describe the band’s sound?

CB: I would say it’s heavy rock/metal. It’s nice to be open a little and not pegged down to everything being just one dimensional. We like our heavy stuff, our melodic stuff, and we’ve probably only got about half the stuff written that could end up on an album, and I wouldn’t be surprised it we have something more light. I never really like trying to compare yourself to other bands because everyone hears it a little differently, but if you mixed something by say a band like Chevelle or that style and also stuff like Killswitch or even Testament it probably wouldn’t be far off. But it changes with each new song, which is cool, so I guess the best way is for people to just show up. 🙂

DW: I’m sure you’re excited to see all the bands on Stormfest this year, but which one in particular are you most pumped about?

CB: Boy, that’s really hard to say, especially since this is only my response and not each member’s. Honestly, hard to whittle it down I guess. Always love seeing Tendead and our brothers in Slantpiece. I’ve actually not seen Hemlock so that’s definitely something to look forward to. I just jammed some Iconocaust the other day and those dudes can play so that will be cool. I’m just looking forward to the whole thing man…shows like this with such a good following don’t seem to happen much, and Tripp and everyone involved have really done a great job of doing this every year and we are really excited and honored to be on it when we’re just starting out. We are opening the shop up, so please everyone come out early and stay late!

Yes! Do come early and stay late! It all starts with…
…getting out and paying some cover charges f*ckers!