Steele had previously worked with Pnau on "With You Forever," a track from the band's 2007 self-titled third album, and the pair enjoyed collaborating so much that they started their own project, drawing inspiration from the likes of Phoenix and Daft Punk.
In fall 2008, Empire of the Sun released their debut album Walking On A Dream, which the musicians described as "a spiritual road movie." Featuring songs co-written by Pnau's other half, Peter Mayes, the album went platinum in Australia. The Steele-led band performed live for the first time at the Parklife tour in September and October 2009, while Empire of the Sun garnered 11 ARIA award nominations including Album Of The Year and Single Of The Year.
Live performance members include
- Luke Steele – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards
- Ian Ball – guitar
- Olly Peacock – drums
- Tony Mitolo - drums ( 2008-15)
- Surahn Sidhu - guitar / bass / vocals ( 2008-15)