What in the world does a band do for an encore after touring all across the country opening for the likes of The Used and We Came As Romans? How about another road trip across the wilds of North America on this year’s edition of the Vans Warped Tour? One of the final bands to be announced onto the line-up, Crown The Empire find themselves in the position of c0-headlining the Ernie Ball Stage the entire summer. Crown The Empire has thrilled fans and surely made new converts at their Warped shows, unleashing a rousing set of tunes from The Fallout, their critically acclaimed debut on Rise Records. We caught up with guitarist Bennett Vogelman and drummer Brent Taddie in the press area at the Ventura Warped Tour to discuss time spent on the noted cross country tour, shenanigans on the final show with The Used, what songs they enjoy playing live, and other reigning topics of the day. Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Crown The Empire.
Bennett: I’m Bennett and I play lead guitar.
Brent: I’m Brent and I play drums.
How has Warped Tour being going so far and what have been some of the highlights?
Bennett: It’s been absolutely fantastic so far. Some of the highlights have just been the crowds. This is our first time on Warped Tour, so having so many kids come out to the shows has just been crazy for us. We didn’t know what to expect coming into it. That’s definitely the best thing so far.
Brent: For sure, and the signings – getting to meet all the kids every day. I’m actually doing drum lessons on the whole Warped Tour via Bandhappy – so being able to do that has been exciting as well.
How has Bandhappy been going so far?
Brent: Great! I’ve only had a couple of days. I think a few of the other guys are going to start giving some lessons and everything, but it’s great! I kind of see myself in these young kids going back to when I was learning and just forming bands. So it’s nice to be able to tell them what I’ve been through and hopefully they could relate and take something away from it.
What could one expect from a live Crown The Empire show today on Warped Tour?
Brent: We have a brand new denim vests that we feature at merch table, so you could get those – they’re really sick! But yeah, we just go hard every night.
Bennett: A lot of theatrics – a lot of craziness – just expect a crazy show for sure!
What was it like touring with The Used? That must have been really interesting…
Bennett: Very surreal, to say the least. It was incredible! They were definitely a big, direct influence to our latest record The Fallout. So being able to tour with a band like that, that we all look up to was just incredible! It was an amazing experience!
Brent: They’re coming out on the second half of Warped Tour, so we’re excited to see those guys again. They’re super nice guys!
Didn’t they play a trick on you on the last show of The Used tour where they stole your drums piece by piece while you were playing towards the end of your set?
Brent: They took the drums away! It was funny for sure! But we got them back with the toilet paper afterwards. Tour pranks at the end of the tours are always fun. I don’t know what the end of Warped Tour is going to be like.
Bennett: Yeah, it will be interesting to see how that turns out!
So how confusing has it been to tour with a band called Capture The Crown?
Brent: We got that confusion just starting out right away on Twiiter and stuff. We were talking about calling it The Two Crowns / One Tour but that never happened – we tried to distinguish it a little bit. But they’re cool guys – they’re from Australia – we got to know them pretty well.
Bennett: Good dudes! There’s a little bit of confusion with the names – it’s understandable – but I think people are starting to get the hang of it as things go on.
What are your favorite Crown The Empire songs to play live and why?
Brent: Johnny’s Revenge and Menance live are two fun ones. Children Of Love also has a lot of energy live. I like the play the heavy ones live – especially playing drums, I like to play the heavy ones.
Bennett: Makeshift Chemistry is one of my favorites live. The crowd goes absolutely crazy for that one every time. And opening with Johnny’s Revenge is a lot of fun, because it’s just a different kind of song. It’s got that weird, creepy vibe. We walk onstage and it’s something different for the kids to expect – instead of opening with a breakdown. It’s just something new I guess.
I’d love to see you open with Oh, Catastrophe sometime…
Brent: We’ve tossed that idea around a little bit too.
Bennett: I’m sure we’ll come to it for another headliner in the future.
At this point, are you even thinking about another album, and what would it be like?
Bennett: We’re definitely looking at another album at the moment. I can’t say a lot about it, but I’m always writing and so are a couple of the other guys that write with me. Just be excited for that in the future.
Brent: It’ll definitely be very theatrical – just crazy – absolutely insane after this.
You guys became so big so fast. What advice would you give to another band looking for a record deal?
Brent: A lot of it starts with having a good product. You’re gonna want to have a band that’s going to have not just good songs, but a good image – a good look – it’s just the whole total package. And once you do have that, you have to make sure you pursue that. You’re gonna get rejections, you’re gonna get a lot of hardships throughout the way – but you just have to push through it, and eventually it pays off.
What’s up next for you guys after Warped Tour? Any plans?
Bennett: We have some dates following the close of Warped Tour that aren’t announced yet. Then we have a co-headliner in the UK with Issues – they’re also on Rise. We are packed full all this year – it’s all booked up for this year. So come out and see us and pick up The Fallout on ITunes and pretty much everywhere – Best Buy, Hot Topic, all that stuff!
And you won’t be going home anytime soon…
Bennett and Brent: Nope!
Bennett: We’re on the road for the rest of the year.
Do you have any messages for fans reading this now?
Bennett: We love you guys. Thank you for coming out to all of our shows. We love meeting you guys! We do a signing at Warped Tour every day, so come and say hi. Pick up The Fallout again at Best Buy, Hot Topic, FYE, pretty much everywhere. Thank you so much again! Love you guys!
Crown The Empire is:
Andy Leo: Vocals
David Escamilla: Vocals
Brandon Hoover: Guitar
Bennett Vogelman: Lead Guitar
Hayden Tree: Bass
Brent Taddie: Drums
(Interview and Highwire Daze Photo by Kenneth Morton)
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