Simon Neil’s Empire State B**tard share blistering debut track ‘Harvest’ ahead of sold out club shows

By Dom Smith
By March 24, 2023 Manchester, News

The prospect of Simon Neil and Mike Vennart’s leftfield extreme metal band Empire State B*stard has fascinated fans for years – and that excitement was amplified when it was revealed that the legendary drummer Dave Lombardo would be performing on their upcoming debut track and at the live shows in March. The band’s momentum continued to fire at full ferocity as next week’s debut headline tour sold-out in a matter of moments before they signed to Roadrunner Records. Now, Empire State B*stard unleash their debut track ‘Harvest’.

Bursting into a blitzkrieg of aggression, ‘Harvest’ sees Mike Vennart’s inventive, barbed riffs complementing Simon Neil’sferal vocal attack which darts between manic screams, Fantomas-style yelps and a fleeting melodic delivery. Anchoring the chaos is Dave Lombardo, whose battering ram rhythms bring the savagery and swing that defines the best of his work with Slayer.

The band said, “Empires fall, States rise, B*stards sing…it’s Harvest time mother*ckers!”

‘Harvest’ features artwork from Radio 1 Rock Show host Daniel P Carter, who described the track as “a blistering noise/metal assault.”

Empire State B*stard emerged from the dark recesses of the duo’s mind, inspired by spending downtime during Biffy Clyrotours by sharing the heaviest, most avant-garde or the most sickeningly confrontational music they could find. Split betweenMike (guitars and songwriting) and Simon (vocals and lyrics), the duo emerged with a collection of songs which adventurously probes almost every dark crevice imaginable from the myriad sounds of metal and genre-adjacent extremity.

Their terrifying tourist trail visits slamming hardcore in the vein of Siege; frenetic, visceral thrash in Slayer’s ballpark; the claustrophobic sludge of Melvins; the freeform vocal dexterity of Mike Patton; and the gargantuan stoner riffs of Sleep. It’s a band that’s rooted in the tradition of metal’s forefathers but informed by more recent waves of leftfield aggression.

Completed by bassist Naomi Macleod (Bitch Falcon) for live shows, Empire State B*stard will follow their debut headline tour with UK festival dates at Download2000trees and ArcTanGent as well venturing to Hellfest in France and Norway’s Malakoff Rockfestival. The dates are:


26th – Glasgow, Cathouse (SOLD OUT)

27th – Manchester, Rebellion (SOLD OUT)

28th – London, The Underworld (SOLD OUT)


9th – UK, Download Festival

18th – France, Hellfest


7th – UK, 2000trees Festival

17th – UK, ArcTanGent

21st – Norway, Malakoff Rockfestival