Although their imaginative music may resonate themes regarding the end of the world, Crown The Empire is surely at the beginning of what is to be a brilliant career. The Fallout has been unleashed through Rise Records to much acclaim and fanfare, and Crown The Empire now find themselves travelling across the country on the Take Action Tour supported The Used! Here is a recent interview we conducted with one of the band members to find out more about their thrilling new album, signing to Rise Records, their live shows, a rather gnarly donut comparison, and other crowning topics. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Crown The Empire, and how long the band has been together.
Hi I’m Andrew, I make weird noises for Crown The Empire.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We’re based out of Dallas . The scene is amazing. It’s a very supportive community. But we’re actually moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, so we’re definitely wondering what it will be like there. Dallas will always be home to us.
How did you end up signing to Rise Records?
With the release of our EP “Limitless” we were approached by a handful of labels. Rise wasn’t the biggest or the label throwing the most money in our faces, but that wasn’t what we were looking for. We were looking for a label that was stoked on what we had envisioned for the band and its future, and Rise fit the bill perfectly.
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title The Fallout?
Chronologically there isn’t much of a “story” to the album. However we definitely went in to the album, and tried to develop a “setting” or a “scene” for the album. We’re all greatly inspired by movies and their scores, so we tried to develop characters and a mood that we could write to. The theme we came up with was a love story at the end of the world. The Fallout means literally the apocalypse, as well as the end of these two lovers relationship, and we wrote about the things they would have seen in this apocalyptic world, what they would have felt towards each other as they try to repair the relationship, and sometimes, we wrote quite literally about the end of the world.
Select two songs from The Fallout and what inspired the lyrics.
The Fallout – This song is all about being torn apart by petty differences that people hold on to, and how it would take some cataclysmic event to finally make people attempt “Change”. It’s really a plea to humanity to try and change the world before it’s too late.
Memories of a Broken Heart – This is the first song on the record we wrote that really encompasses what the whole album is about. The song has two literal meanings. It’s about a character from the world of The Fallout standing atop everything he’s ever known that’s been destroyed, but concurrently it’s about standing on the ruins of a relationship that you cared deeply about. In the end the song is about overcoming the feeling that “your world has ended” and reminds everyone even when it seems like hope is gone, there’s always a way out.
What was it like working with Joey Sturgis and what was his overall contribution to the album?
Joey was an amazing guy to work with. Everything he does is perfect. There’s not a single thing we did that was like “Yeah, that’ll work”. We literally made sure every single part of this album was perfect. The most flattering part of the whole process was when he said he didn’t really want to change anything to the structure of the songs. We had heard he can be very hands on when it comes to that, but hearing him say we wrote a great record, and we’re gonna get our ass’s handed to us trying to top this was a huge honor. And we can’t wait to prove him wrong with the next one hahaha!
Who did the cover art for The Fallout and how much input did you have in it?
We went with Aaron at Sons of Nero. It’s funny, but we basically had the EXACT album art made as a concept that we just threw together using photoshop and google images. Aaron just took our design and literally drew it out, and we couldn’t be happier with it.
How does The Fallout compare to your previous EP Limitless and will Rise Records be re-releasing the EP?
Rise won’t be re-releasing it, but it is still available on iTunes. We learned a lot from the EP, and 90% of the process for this new album was weeding out what we didn’t like from the EP. We’re not looking to be a trendy “scene” band, and we’ve barely scratched the surface of our long term aspirations when it comes to our music, so The Fallout is really just a small step in a big direction.
What made you decide to cover Payphone on the Pop Goes Punk 5 comp and has Maroon 5 heard or commented on it?
We thought we could put a really cool spin on the song by switching it to a minor relative of the key of the song. I wish they had said something. We love that band.
What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming Take Action Tour?
The Used. They’re a huge inspiration to our band, and we’re honored to share the stage.
What could one expect from a live Crown The Empire show?
All out chaos.
If your music was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
It’d be really pretty on the outside. Pink, sprinkles, maybe a little candy on top, but when you bite into it, it’s filled with fucking nails haha!
While on tour, some drunk guy offers you $100 to play a cover of What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. He is serious and has the cash. What do you do?
Play that shit, and go buy a hotel room for all of the girls we’d undoubtedly attract by playing that.
What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most after hearing your music for the very first time.
We hope you’re taken back to the era of big choruses, theatricality, and personality in music.
Any final words of wisdom?
Stay thirsty my friends.
Crown The Empire is:
Andy Leo: Vocals
David Escamilla: Vocals
Brandon Hoover: Guitar
Ben V: Lead Guitar
Hayden Tree: Bass
Brent Taddie: Drums
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
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