Interview: Rick Lambert of Empty Trail talks about the band’s upcoming single, future plans
Empty Trail

Austin, Texas-based rockers Empty Trail are preparing their first major media launch, for their single “My World” which will debut on the radio in January 2019.

During a recent trip to New York to promote the single, guitarist-vocalist Rick Lambert sat down with AXS.com at the Premiere Networks radio studio in TriBeCa.

After releasing a couple of EPs in 2014 (Obscured and Hollow Hearted) and a full-length album in 2016 (Bare), the band are now focusing on singles. In addition to “My World,” they have four more tracks (“Lost,” “Wait Around,” “Reality,” and “Every Toll”) that the band plans to release next year as a collection on EP.

“My World” was “written differently [than Empty Trail’s earlier EPs and album]. It was really centered around vocals this time,” Lambert said. “All the unreleased songs were written with just an acoustic guitar. Just kind of basic guitar chords and me singing. Then I went back and produced it up into a full band orchestration.”

Although Empty Trail’s sound is strongly reminiscent of the 1990s grunge era, some of Lambert’s first and biggest influences are 1980s metal bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, and Pantera. 

“I always wanted to have a band,” he said. “I had a vision of wanting to — probably since I was 12 years old. But when I was out in Los Angeles in 2013, that’s when I kind of started Empty Trail. And it wasn’t until I moved out to Austin in 2016 [that he added members]. So it’s not even two years with the full band.”

Lambert — a native of Franklin, Wisconsin — rounded out his band with drummer Rom Gov and Shane Wallin on bass.

While checking out Austin’s famously vibrant music scene, he saw Gov drumming with local hard rock band Inch of Dark and immediately wanted him to join Empty Trail. “He was amazing and I just reached out to him and said ‘Let’s do this,’” Lambert recalled.

He rounded out the trio with a bass player he found via Facebook. “So I messaged a bunch of people — I’m sure it was like ‘stranger danger,’ I get that,” he said, laughing. “But there’s really no way around it.”

After exchanging messages on Facebook Wallin agreed to play bass for Empty Trail. Although he’s more a guitar player, he liked Lambert’s music.

The internet has been a factor in the band’s decision to focus on singles instead of albums. “Just the way the industry is and how the internet has changed our ability to take something in. We’re getting hit with so many things at once and we can only devote our attention to one at a time. And I just don’t think at this stage in the career it makes sense to do any more big albums,” Lambert noted. “I just wanted to spend more time just really making great songs and then spend time releasing this one, then releasing that one. And then if the fanbase grows, hopefully, then a full album.”

Meanwhile the official release of “My World,” a video for the next single — “Lost” — is expected in early December. Shortly after, an EP collection of the four singles will be released.

The band goes out of their way to be accessible to fans online, often posting on various social media. “So I’ll post kinda, well I find them to be kinda silly, videos every once in a while and people seem to like those,” Lambert said. “I put up videos — acoustic covers and stuff on Instagram. That’s what I’m doing now, but if the band gets put on tour, you’ll be seeing a lot of that on social media.”

You can find Empty Trail on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.