Friday 29 March 2013

Interview with CROWN

Psychurgy cover art

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing the brilliant CROWN – the awesome Electronic/Sludge/Post-Metal duo who I have featured a couple of times now. First with their excellent début EP – The One and most recently with their amazing début album – Psychurgy – Their major league début on Candlelight Records.

I recently described the album as:

“Trust me when I say you have not heard Sludge/Post-Metal the way Crown perform it. Psychurgy will change your perception of industrial based music. Crown take things apart and rebuild them in their own highly original way. Distorted riffs and vocals might be hard to distinguish at first but give this superb album time and it will have you in its wake”

Well this hugely talented duo has agreed an interview with me which I am pretty excited about since I have been a fan a while now. So lets get down to business with CROWN.

Q1 – Hi guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you Today.

Pascal : Things are going well & fast. We are very busy, with the upcoming LP, gigs, and all that stuff. But that's very positive, and we love it !

Stephane: Hey you're welcome Steve ! yeah we're busy as hell since the signing with Candlelight, interviews, rehearsals, preparing tours, merch , etc etc etc

Q2 – For people not in the know, can you give them a brief bio on how the band came about.

CROWN is born in the summer of 2011. We're a duet, two bearded guys, two guitars and a machine. We released 2 EP's in 2012.We're playing some heavy music, low guitar tuning, industrial, intense and dark.

Q3 – How would you describe your sound. Sludge, Post-Metal, Electronic and Industrial genres feature heavily but how would you guys call it.

Stephane : yeah we're mixing a lot of styles, we can maybe call it Industrial sludge doom. Let's call it sludgypopyindustrialyglam hahaha.

Pascal : It's just a mix between all those kind of music and many more things we listen since many years. Some people says it's more industrial, or more sludge, doom, i think it doesn't really mater !

Q4 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as a musician.

Pascal : I love bands like Neurosis, Cult of Luna, Isis, NIN, but things like The Bloody beetroots, Death grips for their incredible sound !

Stephane : Definitly : Neurosis, NIN, Killing Joke, Ministry, The God Machine, Godflesh, Black Sabbath, Motley Crue, Eisenvater, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack,Treponem Pal, and so many more …

Q5 – Your about to release your début album – Psychurgy - Bet your looking forward to finally having the album released upon the world. Brilliant album.

Stephane : Thanx a lot ! Yeah the album will be released on april 22nd in Europe and June 11th in north america via Candlelight Records and yeah we can't wait to spread the disease hehehe.

Q6 – Can you tell us what is the overall theme of the album. 

Stephane : it's all about occult, paranormal and black magic. Aleister Crowley is a big influence as well. But nature and elements too. Nihilism and misanthropy , a big mix of all of that in fact. I'm on the dark side definitely.

Q7 – Was it an easy or hard album to write and record for. And are you happy with the final result.

Stephane : it was a real instinctive and painful process, we had about 2_3 demo songs and the album was written in 2 weeks. I am the most unsatisfied guy on earth so i'm happy of course but not satisfied as well hehe.

Q8 – How did you guys hook up with Candlelight Records. Congrats on that one by the way.

Pascal : We send some demo songs to many labels, and Stephane send them to Candlelight during Christmas time, i told him that it was a bad idéa, nobody is working usually at this time. But we get a quick positive answer, and that was like a present !

Stephane : yeah since that Pascal owns me tons of beers hehehe.

Q9 – France seems to have a lot of great bands making a name for themselves across every scene such as Stoner, Doom, Post-Metal and Sludge. Have French bands been hiding away over the past decade or so. As the last few years there has been a mini-explosion of great bands and talent to choose from. 

Pascal : There was always great bands in France on different scenes, like electro, hip-hop. There is still great project like SLEEPPERS, GOJIRA, CELESTE. 

Stephane : Yeah Gojira is maybe the most famous metal french band, i love Hangman's Chairs, Kickback, Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, Monarch, etc , so many good bands !!

The One cover art
Q10 – I first noticed you on your excellent EP – The One – which received a great response within the Sludge/Post-metal scene. Were you happy with the response you received for The One. Though now I think you guys will be getting a whole lot more for Psychurgy.

Pascal : The one got a lot of great reviews, but all the professionals and reviewers were waiting for an excellent album, so we had a kind of pression. We did our best on Psychurgy, hope it will work.

Stephane : We didn't expect to have so much cool reviews but it happened and now we're under pressure with Psychurgy because all of you guys are waiting for the LP, finally we did it hehe, we've put heart and soul in it. 

Q11 – I have “used/borrowed” the next question from my colleague Aaron before. But I think it's a cool one to ask your band. – I’m assuming all musician like to talk about the gear they use, so with that in mind what do you use in terms of guitars, amps and why? Also what tuning do you use?

Pascal : We both used TRAYNOR combos amp. Great Canadian manufacturer. We recently signed with Schecter for 8 strings (blackjack SLS C-8) tuned E-A-E-A-D-G-B-E. Actually we are working with "Arts In Bloodshed custom effects" to build and design 2 signatures distortion pedals, and it's very exciting !

Q12 – What is the live CROWN experience like. Can you describe it in 10 words or less.

Stephane : beards, bellys, heaviness, absynth, downtempo, video, evil, loud, 16 strings, no drummer.

Q13 – Do you perform regular gigs in your home town or country. Or do you have to travel further to perform live.

Pascal : We do some shows in Switzerland, because we love this country and the people here ! We toured one week with our friends from ZATOKREV in Germany last year, and we have lot of fun together ! Of course we play in France too, and we will soon be on the road to support Godflesh for some shows and of course at mighty Roadburn on april 18th !

Q14 – How big a help has BandCamp been in getting your music across.

Pascal : It's a fantastic way to sell around the world safety and easily.

Stephane : yeah it"s definitely an excellent tool to sell your music and for promo when you're not signed on a label.

Q15 – What are your favourite bands around at the moment. Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner/Sludge/Doom/Post-Rock/Post-Metal. 

Pascal : Personnaly, i've got the same pleasure to listen to Seven son of a seventh son, or the last Cult of Luna.

Stephane : actually Motley Crue, The God Machine, Kvelertak, Ken Mode, Coilguns, Clutch, Generation of Vipers, Portal , The Casualties, Tragedy, Nails, Baptists, Primitive Man, Batillus, Colt Silvers, Nate Hall, David Lynch, and so much things, oldies like Thin Lizzy, iron Maiden, Scorpions, Wasp, Pretty Maids, White Lion, in fact a lot of hair metal etc etc . 

Q16 – What are your views of blogs featuring and reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines?

Stephane : I'm no more into mainstream magazines since 4-5 years, even if it's always a good thing for a band to appear in these magazines for promo etc etc . I prefer undergrounds blogs because people who own them are really passionate and everything is coming from the underground so we have to keep it alive and support these blogs !

Q17 – Do you have any future plans for the upcoming 12 months or so. Anything we should be excited about.

Pascal : Lots of secret plans.hahaha. Seriously, we planned to be on tour end of this year. Some shows will be announced soon, for this summer.

Stephane : touring with Kiss and Motley Crue !!

Q18 – We all know that being a band can be a very expensive business. How do you cope financially and emotionally. It must take a lot out of you at times.

Pascal : For sure, we do many things ourself, so we spend a lot of time on the band, but it's exciting anyway, because all is working fine actually. We work both in a venue together, so we are very close, like a couple :)

Stephane : being in a band is having good time, having sex with chicks with big boobies and earn a shitload of money ? am i wrong ? hehehe

Q19 – When your not performing with the band, how do you relax to get away from the pressures of being with the band.

Pascal : I don't like to be relax. Anyway, when i need a break, i take my motorcycle and ride around. We have nice places in our area, and some mountains too !

Stephane : i like to have a walk in the forest or mountain, watching films, watching some silly programs on TV, listening to creepy music and be with my family and of course drinking beers with fellas and eating tons of cheese, really, i'm addicted …

Q20 – If you could provide any advice to people wanting to start a band, what would it be.

Pascal : Choose the right line-up, with people who wants the same things, and are ready so spent time and money together. It's important to make good music But on some scenes, it's hard to find a place because there are so many bands doing the same kind of music.

Stephane : choose the right bearded guy yeah, not too old not too young, and be prepared to not get any chicks and boobies with this kind of music, stay humble and honest, because there are a shiploads of good bands behind you, before you and in front of you . Touring and playing in a band is a real job.

Q21 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

Pascal : We love you :) Hope we can meet more and more people, we really like it ! It's was amazing in some small club we did in Germany, when people came told us, they bought cd and t-shirt on band camp, and knows some songs.

Stephane : yeah ! come to our shows and drink beers with us ! We're looking forward to see you on the road !

Well thanks for doing this. I really appreciate it. Good luck with Psychurgy. That album is going to create some major waves for you guys. It's a great fucking album. Hope to see you guys play live one day.

Pascal : We hope it too ! Thanx

Stephane : Thanx a lot Steve, yeah we hope too ! Take care !

Thanks to Stephane and Pascal for the great interview. And Thanks to Darren for setting everything up for me. 

Check Crown from the Links Below.