After leaving Alaska, Bastien began writing new material and reworking old in preparation for his new project. The goal was set to create a truly minimalist rock band, one that would interpret well around a campfire or on stage. *Returning to Rhode Island in mid 2010 Bastien created one of the bands major focal points, The Bare Drum. Keeping with his minimalist dream he combined Bass & Snare Drum tones into one single drum. Fixing it with a mounted shaker and splash cymbal for accompaniment, the new “Drum Kit” was the final piece in Bastien’s puzzle.
With the Bare Drum completed and new material in hand, he enlisted long time friend El Hefe LaVallee to take a crack at his newly created invention. What transpired became The Congregation of the Traveling Empire. Later adding another long time friend and ex-band mate, Frenchy DeSilva, rounding out the bunch on bass. In January 2011 Bastien’s second self release was the first for The Traveling Empire. “Roadside Attraction” a combination of new material and revisits of songs from his first album lay the ground work for the future of The Empire.
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