Everything you need to know about Eminence Ensemble
Ever listen to an album for the first time and get the feeling that it’s going to make the band big? If you haven’t gotten that feeling lately, we recommend listening to Eminence Ensemble’s first studio album “Mouse Hunt,” released last month.
The album showcases musical diversity not common among such young bands. It rocks funky dance tracks, including “Swim” and “Wunderbar;” prog-rock breakdowns such as the title track “Mouse Hunt;” and metal with “Thing Pt II.” The crowd favorite seems to be “Swimsuit,” a soulful track with lyrics that verge on silly: “In the winter or the spring/ there’s one thing you need to bring/ I wanna see you in a swimsuit.”
Through working on the album, the band grew in its song-writing, said percussionist Nick Baum." Being in the studio definitely changed the way I looked at writing,” he said. “When you’re actually playing other people’s new material you think ‘What should be here’ as opposed to ‘What do I want here?’ It’s a lot harder to write that way, but it’s better, I think.”
Guitarist Justin Neely adds, “The hardest thing for me was to just accept some of the parts. You just want to make it so perfect that it would be over-corrected. It was good to have the initial rawness. We ended up keeping a lot of the first takes because it was natural.”
Although the band started work on the album in October of last year, the songs were mainly written through years of touring.
“I think we found this level of where we want the music to go now, and I guess the maturity level for the last six years has been really good, musically,” Baum said. “We’re figuring out what needs to be where, and what needs to not be there. That, to me, is big time. There are so many bands you’ll go and see and think ‘Man that was really sweet, but they did it for like 10 minutes.’ I don’t need to hear it for that long.”
Neely says the band is still learning to be patient. “Patient mainly musically, but kind of moderating, not just playing these really cool things you like for long extended periods of time,” he said. “Slowly building up this one idea. You can’t have the hard shit without the soft shit.”
With the release of the album, the band hopes to get back on the road this year and tour as much as possible. While the eventual goal to play Red Rocks, Baum says it would be encouraging just to sell out anywhere.
“Being able to go to another state and sell out that venue we’re playing that night would be incredible,” Says Baum. “People I’ve never talked to in my life, that I would never talk to otherwise, that would mean more than anything. I would love to get to that level, and if that’s as far as we got, that’s great. Playing Red Rocks is one thing, but I want to be playing everywhere.”