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Bummer: D.C. experimental punk band Imperial China has decided to break up. On its website, the band writes:
After three albums and 94 shows, Imperial China has decided to call it quits so we can focus on our jobs and new music projects. Our last show will be Wednesday, May 29, at the Black Cat with our friends Tereu Tereu and May Tabol. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 3. Thank you all so much for your support over the last six years, and we hope to see you on May 29!
Frontman Brian Porter elaborates on the split in an email:
The main reason we’ve decided to break up is simply that our lives have just changed a lot over the past year or so. For six years, the three of us really made the band one of our biggest priorities, but in the past year, other things like jobs and a desire to try new things have just become more important to us. We never wanted to be one of those bands that played shows twice a year just for the fun of it. Everything we did had a purpose with an end goal in mind, whether it was putting out a record, putting together a short tour, or even just getting people out to our shows. We were able to put forth a lot of energy because we were always psyched about goals we wanted to meet. Over the past year, as we’ve individually wanted to do different things, the effort it takes to keep evolving as a band just wasn’t the priority it was before.
The band’s first show was at now-defunct venue The Red and the Black in 2007. After self-releasing an EP in 2008, Imperial China caught the attention of Sean Peoples, owner of the also now-defunct Sockets Records, who helped put out the band’s first full-length, 2010’s Phosphenes, and released its second album, How We Connect, in 2012.
Imperial China’s sound, which combined athletic percussion and guitars with chantlike vocals, sealed its popularity in the District. Last year Lindsay Zoladz reviewed How We Connect for Washington City Paper, saying its “combination of muscle, steel, and agility” made it sound “like the kind of thing Optimus Prime might pirouette to.”
Imperial China recently played the Black Cat as part of Sockets Records’ final showcase. The show also served as the last show for D.C. band Hume.
Photo by Sean Peoples