HUNTINGTON, New York, May 21
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
What do you call it when a king from Chesterfield gets into a car and starts getting all romantic with a Blondie? The Empty Hearts.
Wordplay aside, The Empty Hearts is an American rock supergroup founded by Andy Babiuk, bassist for The Chesterfield Kings, Clem Burke, the drummer for Blondie, Elliot Easton, guitarist for The Cars, and Wally Palmar vocalist for The Romantics. Each is a famed musician; they also happen to be friends, and they’re coming to The Paramount on May 28.
“If people enjoy rock and roll, they’ll enjoy The Empty Hearts,” Burke, drummer for the band, said. “We all enjoy being on stage, and there’s definitely a chemistry amongst the four of us. To be able to get together with the guys and play for no other reason but to play… it’s always a joyful experience.”
After decades of touring – sometimes with each other – and recording with their respective bands, Babiuk spearheaded the effort to form The Empty Hearts in 2013. The effort turned out to be an easy one, Burke said, and a year later the band’s debut, self-titled album was released on Aug. 5, 2014 after just five days of recording in the studio.
Burke attributed that feat to the band members’ extensive history of music making and their utilization of pre-production practices that were able to get most of the songwriting and composing done before The Empty Hearts got into the studio.
“The sound of The Empty Hearts came naturally,” Burke said. “We’re wearing our influences on our sleeves, but there’s a spark of originality there because of who is in the band. We’re taking what came before and making it out own.”
Over the course of 42 minutes, the 12 tracks on The Empty Hearts’ album each draw their influences from class rock groups of the 1960s and ’70s, such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. But they don’t sound derivative; The Empty Hearts have lived the rock and roll lifestyle, made the music and toured the world – they’ve just put it all back together with a taste of their own styles to create a unique record that feels as if it could have been born in another era.
“We’re all really proud of the record,” Burke said.
Burke said that he, Babiuk, Easton (guitar) and Palmar (vocals) are hard at work on another album, which they hope to release sometime in 2016. But for now, the guys will continue touring, and one of the next stops is Huntington village and The Paramount.
Tickets for the 8 p.m., May 28 show are available from the box office or online at http://www.paramountny.com for $17.50-$25.
Originally published: Long Islander News: Half Hollow Hills
(Thursday, May 21, 2015; A9)