Psychedelic Noise
(1976 - 1978)

The Band who's infamous merging into DESTROY ALL MONSTERS took place circa spring 1977


2018 BREAKING NEWS:  Laurence Miller has joined forces with identical twin brother Ben Miller to form New Band!

Laurence Miller: Standard Guitar, Uniquely High-Strung Guitar, Electic Wholetone 4-stringed Mandolin, Bb Clarinet, Vocals, Electronics, and Prerecorded Soundscapes
Ben Miller: Baritone Guitar, 12-string Guitar tuned individually, C Tenor Saxophone, Electronics, and Prerecorded Soundscapes

Possible third member yet to be found...






Fan Response: "Brilliant. Claustrophobic and odd and charmingly ingenuous all at the same time, which is quite a trick to pull off.  Love your song writing Laurence." Jon B. 


Friday June 8th @ Dreamland Theater
26 N. Washington, Ypsilanti MI 48197

DEBUT CONCERT celebrating the release of their 1st LP "Do, Did, Done"
7:00pm Doors Open
7:30pm Music
$10.00 Admission

August (TBA) @ Book Beat
26010 Greenfield Rd, Oak Park, MI 48237

Fall 2018 (TBA) @ Mexicains Sans Frontieres / 
Avenue for the Performing Arts
120 S. Division Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Feeding Tube Records will be releasing a full length LP's worth of
original Empool recordings from the late 1970's,  early spring, 2018.

EMPOOL DOES  do, did, done

Front Cover                                                                                                 Back Cover

A few audio samples below from this new record for your listening pleasure.

~ Fall 1976

Conceived by Laurence Miller

Laurence Miller: Guitar, prerecorded soundscape (highspeed pianos)
Andre Cynkin: Organ
Roger Miller: Electric Piano

Empool - Computor World.mp3 Empool - Computor World.mp3
Size : 4.069 Kb
Type : mp3

REPERCUSSION (excerpt) ~ Fall 1977
Conceived by 
Laurence Miller
Laurence Miller: Prerecorded Soundscape, Household "percussive sound", electrified voice

Andre Cynkin: Farfisa
Ben Miller: Guitar, microphone feedback
Roger Miller: Bass

Empool - Repercussion.mp3 Empool - Repercussion.mp3
Size : 4.813 Kb
Type : mp3


Written by Laurence Miller
Laurence Miller: Guitar and voice
Andre Cynkin: Guitar
Roger Miller: Bass
Ben Miller: Drums

Empool - Opaque Mystery Live.mp3 Empool - Opaque Mystery Live.mp3
Size : 4964.515 Kb
Type : mp3



     ORIGINAL BAND MEMBERS:  All who ever participated in rough order of significance

                                                                                           LAURENCE MILLER: composer,  guitar
voice, and prerecorded analogue sounds-capes
                                                                                           ANDRE CYNKIN: guitar, bass, and organ
                                                                                           BEN MILLER: "electrified" alto saxophone, guitar, voice, bass, and drums  (Ben composed several pieces with recorded sound-scapes)
                                                                                           ROGER MILLER: drums, bass, guitar, and occasional voice
                                                                                           MAT SMITH: light-man (homemade color organ key triggered light system)
                                                                                           RICK SCOTT: electric piano
                                                                                           PETER (last name?): drums
                                                                                           ERIC (last name?): drums
                                                                                           T.R. "prepared" guitar
                                                                                           MARTIN SWOPE: guitar
                                                                                           DAVID SWAIN: Tenor Sax
                                                                                           LESLIE ORLIN: Viola

EMPOOL was Ann Arbor’s experimental existential psychedelic noise band with its own literary arts rag counterpart, EMPOOL III. The band survived in various battered forms with a mix of schooled and not-so-schooled musicians from 1976 through 1978 until finally merging with Ann Arbors’ Art-Punk band, DESTROY ALL MONSTERS. 

The group formed in August 1976 as a trio: two musicians and a “light man”. Miller had been introduced to Andre Cynkin and the two hit it off right away, forming the central hub of the group, with Matt Smith playing “the lights” by hammering on his homemade color organ system, keyboard operated. The three improvised thoughtfully over prerecorded background tapes which Miller would create, using sound on sound analog recording equipment. These multitrack collage soundscapes were an integral part of each improvisation employing SFX records (and other obscure vinyl pressings), guitar feedback, screeching wet rags rubbed hard against a window, etc. NOTE: These backing tapes were often treated during the recording process with the same analog foot pedals that EMPOOL members performed with; Tape machine echo, MXR, Electroharmonix, Echoplex, etc. Miller mapped out working guidelines to the various improvisations for the three to feed off. Matt’s “aurora borealis” enhanced Miller and Andre’s musical performance as they all improvised together, and always under the influence. This delightful cacophony proved to be an impressive sight & sound experience for a garage band at that time. Plans of a flexi-disc single were on the back burner, sadly never brought to fruition.

As fall 1976 progressed, a drummer was introduced to the band forming the only actual rock combo version of EMPOOL. Matt & Andre and the prerecorded soundscapes were temporarily shelved as EMPOOL experimented with a new bastardized fusion of the group. The excitement didn’t last and by late 1976 EMPOOL had launched its way back into psychedelic free-form improvisations once again – though Matt Smith was no longer involved.

Actual band mates came and went through EMPOOL’s carefree revolving door, with Andre & Miller always holding the fort. This collective was playing at higher volumes now, improvising with little or no attention paid to any mapped guidelines as before. Drums and bass were employed from time to time, though never acting as a traditional “time/tonal based” rhythm section. EMPOOL’s sound developed a densely layered wall-to-wall chaos, self-described as a “3D atmospheric collage happening”.

April 1977 brought about the long awaited publishing of local literary arts rag EMPOOL III with an in-house performance to celebrate the publication, as well as the band’s eventual demise. It was at this time that Cary Loren & Niagara (the nucleus of another local outfit from Ann Arbor, DESTROY ALL MONSTERS) began dropping in unexpectedly during EMPOOL’s jam sessions. Though some of EMPOOL’s members had jammed with them before on occasion in 1976, this was the official meeting of the minds as it were and instigated the eventual morphing which became what is referred to as Destroy All Monster’s punk years. For whatever number of reasons and explanations affordable, in a very short time, EMPOOL was now improvising over tunes written by Cary & Niagara, exclusively. Though far more linear and conventional by all standards, EMPOOL enjoyed the distraction because Cary & Niagara afforded them full artistic freedom to interpret their songs however they chose. With the rumor of Ron Asheton joining ranks, soon to be followed by MC5’s Michael Davis, and talks of financing a vinyl 45rpm single, EMPOOL and DESTROY ALL MONSTERS were soon to melt as one.

EMPOOL enjoyed a couple nice final sessions over the course of the summer and into the fall of 1977 with a few spare moments in 1978, but for the most part had fizzled out altogether as the year passed out into the world of punk rock music, gigs, studio work, and 24/7 pardy-hardy life style. The rest is D.AM. history. In closing, EMPOOL did not amount to much in the so-called Real World, with only three house party performances. Those days didn’t really offer coffee shops, loft hangouts, and house performances as in the case of today’s alternative scenes. Thankfully, EMPOOL recorded nearly all their sessions, if not poorly, and was certainly ahead of its time in the use of found sound, plunderphonics, and open ended free form improvisation – chuck full of innocent naiveté.

NOTE: In 1994 Miller reconvened the band for a one-time recording project, using what few original players to whom he was still in contact. Brothers Roger, Ben, Rick Scott, and Lincoln Yaco (a friend who never actually played in the band but was a major player in the EMPOOL III arts rag).  Sadly, Andre Cynkin (mainstay of Empool) was not present, though Miller did sample and use feature segments of Andre's playing, pulled off the master tapes. In this bastardized version of EMPOOL, they recorded their two avant garde rock songs; OPAQUE MYSTERY and AT GAME WITH THE LOGO. Plans were to get it pressed on vinyl to accompany the 20th anniversary publication of EMPOOL III, neither of which came into fruition.

ROGER MILLER  "... I always considered Empool to be WAY ahead of it's time: in plunderphonics, in noise music, etc.  EMPOOL was doing what is now called "noise music" years before that name was coined. I consider that in some ways Empool predated Byrne and Eno's MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS, due to Empool's reuse of material.  And it was active the same time as, say, The Residents were starting up ..."

BEN MILLER  "... Empool had a significant influence on my musical sensibility ..."

December, 2014    CARY LOREN:

"Laurence Miller had a band called Empool, playing free-psychedelic music -- very experimental ‘out there’ space jazz, and
worked with a revolving group of musicians. This was the only band we knew of doing anything similar to D.A.M. in 1976. 
Niagara and I essentially merged our songs into that scene which was a short-lived middle phase of D.A.M."


The Band's Arts Rag Counterpart

1st Issue (c) 1977

                                                                            Editor: Doctor Zero
                                                                            Joint Editor: Larry Miller
                                                                           Asst. Editor (Production) Debbie Randall
                                                                           Typography: Paul Remley and Julia Goodman
                                                                           Blood Donors: The Patients
                                                                           Cover: Linc Yaco and Carol Mohr

                                                                           CONTRIBUTORS (alphabetical order):
                                                                           Ingrid Good / Artist
                                                                           Julia Goodman / Artist
                                                                           Jimm Juback / Writer
                                                                           Arnold Lelis / Artist
                                                                           Cary Loren / Photography
                                                                           Ben Miller / Writer
                                                                           Larry Miller / Writer and Artist
                                                                           Roger Miller / Writer and Artist
                                                                           Carol Mohr / Caligraphy
                                                                           Mike Mosher / Writer and Artist
                                                                           Niagara / Model
                                                                           Paul Remley / Writer and Artist
                                                                           Jan Schnoor / Artist
                                                                           Curt Schultz / Artist
                                                                           Martin Swope / Writer
                                                                           Link Yaco / Writer and Artist
                                                                           Dr. Zero / ?

2nd Issue (c) 1998

                                                         Joint Editors: Laurence Bond Miller and Link Yaco

                                                         CONTRIBUTORS (alphabetical order)
                                                         Orin Buck / Fractal Artist
                                                         Jimm Juback / ?
                                                         Arnold Lelis / Artist
                                                         Cary Loren / Photography
                                                         Benjamin Rush Miller / ?
                                                         Laurence Bond Miller / Writer and Artist
                                                         Roger Miller / Writer and ?
                                                         Michael Raymond Mosher / Artist
                                                         Link Yaco / Interviewer, Writer and Artist
                                                         Larynx Zillion / Interviewee
                                                         Cover and end piece by Mark Homola

                     The original idea of pressing an Empool 45rpm for this 2nd issue was scraped for reasons unknown.
                     The idea changed in favor of a flexi with my current band of the day, LARYNX ZILLION'S NOVELTY SHOP.
                     That was never fully realized either...

1994 Reunited Studio Session
EMPOOL recorded two songs in 1994 with all available members; Laurence Miller, Ben Miller, Roger Miller, Andre Cynkin, Rick Scott, and special guest Linc Yaco sitting in on lead vocals.  
These were to be released as a flexi single sandwiched into the 2nd publication of their EMPOOL arts magazine, a publication which never truly came to pass.

Composed by Laurence Miller

Dr. Zero: Vocals
Laurence Miller: Drums, drum machine, castinets, bass, guitar(s), engineering production

Ben: Alto saxophone
Rick Scott: Keyboard
Roger Miller: Keyboard sampler
Laurence Miller: Guitar
Andre Cynkin: Keyboard and Guitar


Written by Laurence Miller

Dr. Zero: Vocals
Laurence Miller: Drum machine, bass, guitar(s), engineering production

              ORDER OF SOLOS same as above

Written by Laurence Miller

Laurence Miller: Drum machine, bass, keyboard, guitars, lead mosquito, and vocals

EMPOOL STUDIO 1994 - Opaque Mystery.mp3 EMPOOL STUDIO 1994 - Opaque Mystery.mp3
Size : 3180 Kb
Type : mp3


Written by Laurence Miller

Laurence Miller: Snare drum, Drum machine, bass, keyboard, guitars, lead mosquito, and vocals (different vocal track using the original lyrics...)

Opaque Mystery (original lyrics).mp3

Original cover art for EMPOOL's 1994 single, which again, never came into fruition.
(1977 Artwork by Laurence called SUNKEN GARDENS, and mid 80's Band Name Graphic)


 EMPOOL "live" New Years Eve performance at OLIVIA HOUSE campus party
Dec 31st 1976 

                                                                                                                                                 Here we see EMPOOL in the opening bars of their first number, OPAQUE MYSTERY.

    Roger Miller on bass                                                                             Laurence Miller on guitar and voice

 Andre Cynkin on guitar                                                                                               Ben Miller on drums
(clipped at the left there)                                                                                                (behind Laurence)

Ben Miller on drums, keeping a keen eye on his chart...


EMPOOL seen here as a duo, along with a prerecorded soundscape performing a piece called DADA DATA
Ben Miller on guitar                                              Laurence Miller on guitar

 Andre Cynkin on "treated" organ, tweaking the dials.
(Leslie Orlin to the right, playing the viola)


                                                                                                                 REHEARSAL PICS Spring 1977

Andre Cynkin and Ben Miller, proudly displaying a freshly broken bass string...

Ben Miller and Andre Cynkin sharing a thought, with drummer Eric, back in the shadows, setting up.

Rick Scott (later of BIRDS OF THE MESOZOIC fame) double checking the
reel to reel tape recorder, while Andre Cynkin sets up his Farfisa...

Laurence Miller with cigarette and beer in one hand, clearly prepared...

Laurence Miller seen here, staking an "Emplic Salute".

Andre Cynkin carrying gear down stairs while Laurence is seen behind, hiding in the furnace room for a lark.

Laurence's gear: An Epiphone Casino w/Echoplex and various MXR, Electro Harmonix, and Dan Armstrong FX pedals hooked up through his double chain of bass amps - Kustom 200 / Gibson 100

Ben Miller blows his brains out on his C-Tenor saxophone solo for the 1994 recording of AT GAME WITH THE LOGO.

                                                        Last but not least, something only just read about on the Internet while googling the word, EMPOOL

                                                       EMPOOL (The Water Treatment Works) WATER INDUSTRY ACT 1991: SECTION 19(1)(b)
                                             THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD, AND RURAL AFFAIRS:
                                              is satisfied that Wessex Water Services Ltd "the Company" is supplying water from the Empool water treatment works which may be at risk of exceeding the standard for the prescribed concentration of nitrate.
                                             This means that the Company  is likely to contravene its duty in respect of supplying water which meets the  Regulations under Section 68(1)(a) of the Water Industry Act 1991and meets 
the  requirement set
                                             in regulation 4(2)(c) of the Water Supply (Water Quality)  Regulations 2000.