The Mic member, Jason Powell, managed to catch up with Crown The Empire ahead of their gig at Rescue Rooms last week. You can hear from lead guitarist, Benn, who gives us the lowdown on what the last few years have been like for the band and how grateful they are of you, the fans.
Q: What’s your name, and what instrument do you play?
Benn: I’m Benn, I play lead guitar.
Q: Can you give me a brief bio, like how you met?
B: Well Brandon, Andy and Hayden went to high school together and formed in a garage. When they started getting more serious they picked up their drummer and needed another guitarist, so they found Taddie (drummer) and I on YouTube doing covers, then we needed another vocalist later on so we found Dave in the local scene is Dallas, Texas. And we’ve been a bad ever since.
Q: What does making music mean to you?
B: I think it’s just music got us through a lot of hard times when we were younger and it’s something we’re all passionate about and really enjoy, so we just wanted to do that as our career one day and fortunately we were able to.
Q: Do you have any inspirational bands?
B: Our main inspirations are Slipknot, Panic! At the Disco, My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park.
Q: I understand you’ve got a story behind your latest album, based 150 years in the future. Would you mind explaining?
B: Well it’s a continuation of our last record (The Fallout) in a post-apocalyptic world where there is Scarecrows and the Raven who leads them, who are like an oppressive force in this world, and the rebels, Runaways as we call them, are fighting against him. That’s the basis of the whole story.
Q: Do you try to send a message across in your music?
B: Overall our music has a positive message, we’ve all gone through some hard times and our music is about that. Some of it may seem negative and on the sadder side, but it’s all like a positive, uplifting, believe-in-yourself, work hard for what you want message.
Q: What do you do to make your music sound fresh, not the same stuff over again?
B: The biggest thing that sets us apart is out theatrics, we’re a very theatrical based band, like having violins, strings, creepy voices, a lot of crazy production and the intensity of our live show. That’s probably what sets us apart most from other bands.
Q: Do you have a favourite set song you play?
B: Personally I love playing Millennia, it’s the first time we’ve played a song that isn’t the hit you in the teeth with a baseball bat type thing. It’s so fun to just sit back and play a song.
Q: Are you surprised at how far you’ve come as a band? Like, we’re you expecting to become this big and have your own headline tour?
B: We’ve always had these goals but we never knew what it would turn into, so it’s really cool for us, but we’re not stopping for anything, we’re very fortunate to be here and we have our sites set even higher now.
Q: I was looking at a previous interview and I read how one of your members wanted you to be more than just a band, like having the image and something like a film…
B: Definitely, we talked about doing a lot of short films and we have some new videos coming out that are very… dramatically saturated I guess. I don’t know, there’s a lot of storytelling going on, a lot of imagery, a lot more than just a band playing a song. We want our image, our story and the music to all reflect one another in the best possible way and for it to be an all-encompassing thing.
Q: Are you currently writing more music?
B: We’re always, always writing, all the time; but we’re super busy touring at the moment, we have like the next five/six months booked completely for the most part, finishing up this year doing Australia and a full US tour after that. Super busy, but always writing music.
Q: Do you enjoy it? Would you change it at all?
B: Yeah, absolutely. Obviously we want to progress as we move forward but I’m really happy with how far we’ve come and where we are right now and we’re super-stoked to be out here right now on this tour of the UK, it’s been awesome so far.
Q: Do you have any memorable gigs?
B: France on this tour was incredible, we sold out the show, it was our first time playing there and it was amazing. Last time, and this time we played in London were both absolutely unbelievable. Getting to play across Europe was really cool, headlining in general over here was a really cool experience for all of us.
Q: Any messages for the readers?
B: Thank you for your undying support, picking up our records, coming out to our shows and whatever ways you support us. We really appreciate it, we love you guys.
By Jason Powell