1980: after leaving famed post-punk band Generation X (featuring Billy Idol), guitarist Bob "Derwood" Andrews and drummer Mark Laff formed the band EMPIRE, along with bassist Simon Bernal. Initially an instrumental band, when no singer surfaced Andrews deputised on vocals. They released one single 'Hot Seat' and one album 'Expensive Sound', both of which went re-issued with bonus tracks in 2003 by Poorly Packaged Products. The original trio undertook four gigs, before Bernal left. Ian Woodcock became the new bassist for some studio cuts and two gigs, but it was a temporary replacement. Slowly, a fourth Empire line-up emerged with Mark Laff, their sound engineer Michael "Mike" Gregovich at bass and vocalist Babel Wallace from Miles Over Matter. After some time, Laff was asked to leave the band for artistic divergences and so they used a drum machine for three live performances. The guys then morphed into NEW EMPIRE with Wallace and Gregovich taking over permanently and the addition of Crispin Taylor at drums.
The sixth outfit soon released a white label 12 inch 'Inside You' (B-side: 'Love Is Out Of Fashion'). In October they toured all over Spain (pulling big crowds in Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid much to their own shock). Finally, in early 1984 New Empire went to support John Miles for one month and one week in a highly successful 32-gigs tour across UK. On February 12th 1984, after a final performance at the Slough Fulcrum Centre, New Empire disbanded. Basically, at that point the band was broke and Derwood ended the Empire odyssey by crashing his amp.
Thus, the legend began.
In the middle of the eighties, Empire became the prominent inspiration and a milestone for the D.C. post-punk Dischord scene. Artists like Henry Rollins and Fugazi expressed their admiration for the band. 'Expensive Sound' turned into a huge cult release and went reissued.
Today, they are regarded as the "grandfathers" of Emo by critics and music buffs alike.
In 2006 Empire had somewhat of a reunion when Derwood and Laff met one last time to re-record their classic 'Hot Seat', but eventually their collaboration ended there.
In 2009 Poorly Packaged Products released via digital distribution a collection of studio and live recordings from New Empire titled 'Volume II - Expansive Sound'. The CD release of 'Volume II' will be out in December 2011.
Even more surprising, Empire reformed one more time (new line-up: Derwood, Babel Wallace and Jerry Judd) to record 'Bed Head', a brand new song to be issued on the upcoming Babel Wallace solo compilation 'Good Things Can Happen', also featuring three rediscovered New Empire tracks.
As you can see by yourself, the legend of Empire is alive and well.

Mark I (1980, 2006) 
Bob "Derwood" Andrews (vocals, guitar, bass), Mark Laff (drums).
Discography: Empire EP, original collection of 5 demos, only 2 cuts still available today on 'Volume II' along with the reunion track: Hot Seat 2006.

Mark II (1980)
Bob "Derwood" Andrews (vocals, guitar), Simon Bernal (bass), Mark Laff (drums).
Discography: Expensive Sound and 4 live cuts available on the 2003 CD edition.

Mark III (1981)
Bob "Derwood" Andrews (vocals, guitar), Ian Woodcock (bass), Mark Laff (drums).
Discography: 7 previously unreleased songs available on the 2003 Expensive Sound CD edition.

Mark IV (1982)
Babel Wallace (vocals), Bob "Derwood" Andrews (guitar), Mike Gregovich (bass), Mark Laff (drums).

Mark V (1983)
Babel Wallace (vocals), Bob "Derwood" Andrews (guitar), Mike Gregovich (bass).

Mark VI a.k.a. NEW EMPIRE (1983)
Babel Wallace (vocals), Bob "Derwood" Andrews (guitar), Mike Gregovich (bass), Crispin Taylor (drums).
Discography: Volume II - Expansive Sound (2009/2011). 3 tracks on 'Good Things Can Happen', the Babel Wallace solo compilation: Closer (alternative version); New Day; Tradition.

Mark VII (2011)
Babel Wallace (vocals), Bob "Derwood" Andrews (guitar, bass), Jerry Judd (drums).
Discography: the song Bed Head featured on the anthology Good Things Can Happen.