Herban Empire really began in the basement of brothers Rick and Jesse Plautz along with college friend Adam Lenkowski in 2006. The roots, rock, reggae writing style of lead vocalist Andrew Cole was added to the project in the summer of 2008, kickstarting the band and bringing a new flavor to the traditional hard rock influences of guitarist/vocalist Adam Lenkowski. Drummer Skip Hardy was added to the mix shortly after. Members have moved away and returned, but the Empire marches on.
Together as the group’s primary songwriters, Andrew and Adam's compositions became the refreshingly original sound of an up and coming Alternative Reggae band with a young and loyal audience. Fans come to hear creative vocal and guitar harmonies and clever syncopated rhythms of a band that simply likes to play together on stage. Original songs such as “What’s Supposed to Be”, “Sweet Cherrie-O”, “The Palms and “Slave Driver Man” never fail to bring their fans to the dance floor along with an exciting mix of unique cover song choices to really get the place rocking! Each musician contributes their own personal style and flare to the songwriting and stage presence while keeping the audience enthralled with sweet reggae groves and traditional rock breakdowns.
In 2009 The Empire won the Gorilla Productions Battle of the Bands, enabling them to finally get into the studio and lay down some of their original songs. In the following year they finished in the top ten among nationally recognized bands in the same competition. Since then they have shared the stage with nationally touring bands such as Ballyhoo, B-Foundation, Outlaw Nation and Lionize.
Herban Empire has played at many local venues in the Salt Lake area including Snowbird Ski Resort's Tram Plaza, Powellapalooza Festival, A Bar Named Sue, Lumpy's downtown, Liquid Joe’s, The Urban Lounge, The Star Bar, Park Silly Sunday Market, The Point After, The Avalon, Burt’s Tiki Lounge, and Five Monkeys.