Frontman, Atari Teenage Riot
Alec Empire is the frontman of iconic Berlin-based digital hardcore band Atari Teenage Riot (ATR). As well as being a distinguished solo artist, producer and DJ, he was the driving force behind the creation of the digital hardcore subgenre and the record labels Digital Hardcore Recordings and Eat Your Heart Out. Empire is fascinated by politics and ATR's song Black Flags, from the recent album Is This Hyperreal?, was originally written about Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks. The song was also featured in the commercial for the Sony Vita handheld game console. This led to the start of a dialogue between Empire and the Anonymous technology activist group (anons). Empire later decided to send off all the royalties he received from Sony to support the Freeanons.org — a legal defense and support network for people arrested for participation in the collective. The video of the song Black Flags that talks about corporate control, suppression of journalists and the ongoing “class war” was also later dedicated to Anonymous. This wide ranging dialogue about internet freedom, the music industry and the role of technology activism continues to date between Empire and a cross section of participants in the Anonymous collective.