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watch Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate)’s first-ever music video

Empire! Empire!

One of the earliest bands associated with the emo revival, Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), broke up last year after a ten-year career. The now-defunct band has since made their first-ever music video, for “A Keepsake” off their final album, 2014’s You Will Eventually Be Forgotten. The song features guest vocals from Braid’s Bob Nanna. Here’s what Empire! Empire! singer Keith Latinen tells us about the video:

Anyone who is a more than a casual fan of Empire! Empire! knows that I am a die-hard fan of JRPGs. When I was in second grade, my class had to do a report on how to do something, and most people chose how to play checkers or make a grilled cheese sandwich or something of that nature. I chose how to play Final Fantasy. I even found the report in my parents’ basement the other day. The love from RPGs has never left me. I have a Chrono Trigger and Earthbound tattoo. We’ve named numerous song titles after lines from my favorite games. The music in those games have greatly influenced my writing. I just finished a run through Earthbound and am halfway through Chrono Trigger again.

Before our album came out, I had the idea of somehow turning one of our songs into a game as a music video, but I had no idea how long it would take or how to go about doing it. I posted on an ad on some pixel forums looking for a video game designer, and we were lucky enough to get the person who impressed us the most. His name is Jeremy Lowther, and he is very talented. I don’t think either of us realized how much work and time it would take. Being a programmer (he make a cool game called Dinosworld), he built it as a video game and not just a music video. In the programming versions, you have to control the main character to advance the scenes.

There are several references to some of my favorite games in the video, so I challenge you to find as many Easter Eggs as possible.

The video premieres below. If you don’t have the album, you can pick up a copy from Topshelf or Empire! Empire!’s label Count Your Lucky Stars.

Keith posted on Facebook yesterday that he’s “writing music again and feeling really good about it!” Maybe we’ll hear a new project from him soon?

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