An Australian rock band have walked away from the Live Nation In House Artist Project with the winning title, after blowing the international competition out of the water.

The In House Artist Project is a Battle of the Bands styled competition hosted by Live Nation that judges bands on their originality, marketability, and performance. This year’s event was held at the iconic House Of Blues on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles on the 7th of April.

Australian rockers EMPRA have walked away with the top prize, trumping global competition from The Big Reveal, Tamara Laurel, The Glombies, and This Boys Fire. As winners of the competition, EMPRA have won themselves a US$30,000 USA Touring & Marketing prize from Live Nation Worldwide.

The band performed newly composed original songs on the night, including ‘Strange Conditions’ and ‘Yours Sincerely’, also playing ‘Only Love’, a track off their debut album.

EMPRA have gained a following in Australia by supporting bands such as British India, and have wide airplay on Melbourne radio stations Triple J and Triple M. “They had great songs with fantastic melodies, powerful and clear vocals, they are fantastic musicians and the band put on a tremendous show.”

One of the judges of the Live Nation competition explains that the Aussie quartet won because “they had great songs with fantastic melodies, powerful and clear vocals, they are fantastic musicians and the band put on a tremendous show.”

During their set, the band experienced two microphone failures, yet still managed to wow the crowd and judges enough to take first place. As the statement reads, “EMPRA improvised while lead singer/guitarist Sanny Veloo walked off the stage and into the House of Blues audience and charmed them into singing the words of the chorus to Only Love, while the sound crew rushed to swap the faulty microphones.”

Footage that’s surfaced online shows lead singer Veloo summoning the crowd to join in the chorus, chiming lyrics “only love will last forever” with him standing in the middle of the crowd, while the band continued to groove on stage behind.

The improvisation and energy from the group was an impressive diversion from the faulty mics, one which caught the attention of the competition panel. “The fact that the mics failed and the band still pulled it off made it even better!” said one judge, adding “the band exploded onto the stage with an energy and passion that won over the Los Angeles audience at the House of Blues main stage.”

The win follows a busy year for the band, with the release of their self-titled debut album, followed closely by a successful 24 date national tour across Australia; the three-month trek included a sold out Melbourne album launch and packed venues nationwide.

The hardworking rockers are returning home to jump right into recording, EMPRA will head into the studio with producer Haydb Ing (Calling All Cars) and will complete work on a follow up EP, slated for tentative release in May 2013, followed by another Australian national tour in June/July 2013.

EMPRA then plans to return to the USA later in the year to promoter their new EP with their Live Nation Touring and Marketing prize money. The winners will play a homecoming show when they hit Australian soil in Victoria at the end of this week.

EMPRA USA Tour Homecoming Show

Friday 19th April – Gertrude’s Brown Couch, Mebourne VIC

For more info, head to the band’s official Facebook.

EMPRA – 11pm – 12am
Dividers (SYD) – 10pm – 10:45pm
Lipsmack (ADE) – 9pm – 9:45pm
The Furrows – 8:15 – 8:45pm

Doors $10

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine