Empty Orchestra
We are Empty Orchestra, and we are an American musical group from Flint, Michigan. We began in 2006, forming out of the remains of several different Michigan bands, as a casual recording project between songwriter Stephen Wisniewski and some of his friends. The result of that experiment was the first Empty Orchestra EP, “Get Well Soon,” a weird collage of American roots music that would set the tone for things to come. Since then, we’ve evolved into a collective model of musical production where the talents of 10 or more members are featured in the studio, with a solid core of 5–6 playing live on stage — all sharing a common musical history and vision.

During the last four years, we’ve made a few recordings and played a lot of shows all over America, and we’ve made a lot of friends in the process. From the beginning, our songs have displayed a real stylistic freedom, rooted in the sometimes uncomfortable rubbing together of traditional musical forms like country, blues, punk, rock and roll, and others. In many ways, it’s folk music, meaning music that has a relationship to a community, and usually a relationship to struggle — it’s an impossibly messy and constantly changing tool for people to express joy and navigate pain, and of voicing outrage and celebration and solidarity. It’s a way of telling stories and of trying to understand your relationship to your home and to the people around you, and that’s certainly what we try to do. Our songs are fistfights of traditions and generations and genres and tempos and hope and doubt and death and punchlines. Our roots are in punk rock and our ambitions are for song creation without boundaries.