A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... actually fairly recently - a new heavy metal band was formed by some of the most infamous and feared villains in the galaxy. Introducing Galactic Empire.
The five-piece are performing their own interpretations of the classic Star Wars soundtracks, and hit The Joiners in Southampton next week.
Lead guitarist Dark Vader (Chris Kelly to his mum) told The Guide how the band got together: ‘A few years ago our drummer, Grant McFarland (aka Boba Sett) put together a drum video of himself playing along to the Imperial March.
‘That video was the first seed. Eventually he had the idea of expanding on his arrangement by adding guitars to the original score, which is when he brought in Carson Slovak (aka Bass Commander) and myself.
‘He and Carson began demoing things out and before we knew it we had a full album’s worth of totally redone themes from the Star Wars saga.
‘Everything that happened beyond that was honestly just us being as over the top with it as we could.’
We certainly never imagined it would go this far, but we all grew up as Star Wars fans and metal musicians so the idea was appealing to all of us immediatelyDark Vader
And there was no coercion through The Force to get everyone onboard.
‘Everyone was definitely stoked on the idea from the get-go. We didn’t really know exactly how it would play out at first, and we certainly never imagined it would go this far, but we all grew up as Star Wars fans and metal musicians so the idea was appealing to all of us immediately.’
There are a few other musicians scattered through the Star Wars films – but the best known have to be The Cantina Band in Mos Eisley from a New Hope. Working from such a wretched hive of scum and villany, does Dark think his band could take them on in a brawl?
‘I don’t think there’s any doubt that any of our guys could take them out alone. The big, elephant-like drummer thing might take a bit more effort but I think we’d make short work of them.’
And how do they deal with any rebel spies they find at their gigs?
‘I bring them on stage and choke them. Not even kidding. Look it up, you’ll probably find more than a few videos.’
Holograms have always played a key role in the Star Wars universe. Can we expect any holographic cameos in their shows, like say, from The Emperor?
‘Not yet unfortunately, we definitely would love to have that at some point in the future, but for now it’s just awesome costumes, awesome lights and awesome music. So far that seems to be enough for those in attendance.’
Do they have any idea what The Emperor thinks of the band?
‘His exact words were: “Good. Goooood.”’
The Joiners, Southampton
Thursday, February 2