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(Frequently Asked Questions)


New to Empyre, or don’t quite get what the pinched fingers, the gig rules or “killing the vibe” is all about? Or you just fancy a bit of insight into Empyre, then this is for you.

Firstly, if you’ve heard about the gig rules, or "killing the vibe" and found that a bit confusing, all you need to know is that it’s tongue-in-cheek. EVERYONE is free to express their appreciation of what we do however they wish at our gigs (and on social media), whether that be singing along, clapping, crying, sarcastic remarks, dancing, booing, heckling, football chants, or just nodding along, we appreciate all those things and more.

We really appreciate the applause, the compliments and love directed our way (both online and at gigs) and we also appreciate people indulging in the Empyre in-jokes (e.g. booing, the moody faces, heckling, social media comments about how mediocre we are), you’re all welcome to partake or abstain in any of it as you wish.

The Pantomime Villain

We however enjoy playing the pantomime villain and will sometimes embody that role and indulge ourselves and those that enjoy the darker side of Empyre. But there are also times, as we are doing here, where we’ll break 4th wall and break character.


We like to blur the lines between our perceived seriousness and taking the p*ss out of ourselves and our dour demeanour with some self-deprecating humour. Our music is melancholic and we mix that with other aspects of our personalities, this won’t change, and for those that don’t understand our approach now things are likely to only get more confusing.


For those that have been to our gigs you’ll hopefully know that we want you to feel the emotion, whether that’s the highs or the lows that’s down to you. Our aim is always that you’ll enjoy an Empyre gig, that’ll take different forms for different people. We’re not asking anyone to embrace the misery and the in-jokes unless they want to, we just ask you all to embrace the music.

Q: Where did "Killing The Vibe" come from?
A: If we recall correctly it grew from a conversation between Henrik and Grant on the way back from a gig where they discussed the fact that Empyre commonly play alongside party bands, or at least bands that are considerably more upbeat and energetic than ourselves. When we take to the stage with our repertoire of melancholic music we change the atmosphere of the room. In that discussion one of them said something along with lines of we tend to “kill the vibe” and it struck a chord with us.
It was also at a similar time to us coming up with the Empyre gig rules (search Facebook’s GIFs library to find them) which also play on a similar idea. Also see the answer below.


Q: What are the rules for an Empyre gig? And, why do you have rules for your gigs?
A: The rules are:
1) No singing
2) No clapping
3) No looking as if you’re having a good time


As mentioned above these are tongue-in-cheek, it’s all part of our sense of humour. It started with the joke that we kill the party vibe when we perform. We play on the fact that we bring the mood down with our music, demeanour and humour. Many people when they first see us don’t know quite how to take us, or categorise us, or aren’t even sure if they like us. That can result in blank faces and folded arms whilst they ponder us or just embrace the music and emotion. We’re fine with that reserved appreciation/consideration, and the rules became an ‘in joke’ for those in the know. The gig rules are laughing at ourselves and the reaction we sometimes create from other people, as long as everyone is enjoying the music we don't mind who they choose to express (or restrain) themselves.

This in part has also led to the booing (more on this below), in fact anyone that’s been to an Empyre gig lately will know that there is a boisterousness about some elements of the crowd participation that does not reflect the rules in the slightest. Keep reading to find out more.

Q: What’s with the pinched fingers ?
A: The “rock standard” of the devil horns 🤘 is a bit cliché for us. There is nothing wrong with it, we still like to see the devil horns, and in the same way that the devil horns can suggest being part of a rock community and also show appreciation at the same time, our pinched fingers mean something very similar but are unique to our Empyre community. As in Italian where pinched fingers can refer to so many emotions, it possesses versatility in our world too and can mean appreciation, a good gig, a good crowd, be used just as a knowing gesture, a greeting and more.

Q: The booing, I don’t get it, please explain.
A: That started at gigs where we’d announce we're about to play our final song of the night and some people would boo. We understood that that meant they wanted more, but we embraced it in a different fashion, almost as an extension of the seemingly unappreciative crowd reaction that spawned gig rules. Not to mention it was the antithesis of what most people would describe as encouragement. Think of it like this; what’s the first thing the crowd does when the pantomime villain walks on stage?

It has become a way that crowds welcome us to stage and interact with us in between songs, just another in-joke we enjoy.


Q: I’ve started to hear football chants at your gigs, where did that come from?
A: Good question, not sure who started that, but we like it, keep them coming!

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