The American band Crown The Lost won't be known by every metal fan and I wanted to learn more about them, so I sent over some questions. Thanks to David E. Gehlke for taking the time to answer them!
A Suidakra song title became your band name.. I guess, you had no better ideas? Have ever regret to use this song title? And did Suidakra commented on it?
You hit the nail right on the head: all the good band names are taken. We had some pretty lame ones when we formed the band, but I just so happened to be listening to Signs For The Fallen and there it was, Crown The Lost. It stuck right away and we've never once argued about it, which is nice. Therefore, no regrets and yes, Suidakra did send us a message on Myspace a few years ago giving us support.
It seems that quite different bands influence you... Is your sound kinda sums up the influences of the different band members?
Not really, actually. We all listen to different things and Joe (lead guitars) and I have very similar tastes, so maybe that's where things come together. It's not like we sit down and ponder which band we'd like to sound like, although we do look to greats like Megadeth, Slayer, Priest, Maiden, etc., for inspiration, but we don't go out of way to sound like them. Heck, Renaldi (vocals) likes more classic rock than metal, so that probably gives you an indication of who we like.
Not just journalists need to label a bands sound, also the fans to get an idea. How would you describe your sound? Which label you feel comfortable with?
How about 'vertical metal'? There's about 10 million tags for metal bands nowadays and I'm not sure where we fit, although melodic thrash is probably the best description. I do disagree when people label as power metal, because musically, we have very little in common with that style. Then again, we have a clean, classic metal singer, so that's probalby where people make the connection.
Since you released your debut Reverence Dies Within its been awhile... Have you felt some kind of pressure when you started writing new songs? Perhaps put pressure on yourself...
Yeah, there was a little pressure, only because it was second album and we feared running into the dreaded 'sophomore slump'. We started writing the songs right after we released Reverence, so in essence, it took us roughly two years to complete the entire process for Blind Faith Loyalty. Luckily, we have two songwriters in the band (Joe and myself), making the songwriting process a lot easier. He usually has songs stockpiled, while I tend to be a little more deliberate and slow when composing. We work well together, though and it usually eases any type of tension when writing – there's no pressure on one person or the entire group to come up with the songs.
I guess you wrote more then the 10 songs since the debut... How many songs you had when you head into the studio? And was it hard to choose the right ones for Blind Faith Loyalty?
We had exactly 10 songs for Blind Faith Loyalty and looking back, it would have been a good idea to do more. We're happy with how the album came out, but there are some things we would have preferred to change and knowing that, we won't make that mistake again when writing for the third album. Plus, a lot of these songs were a few years old, so we were sitting on them for quite some time. Only Defame The Hypocrites, Finality, and Blind Faith Loyalty came later in the songwriting process, which probably explains why they're some of the better songs on the album.
You have a new bassist, what happened? You are from Pittsburgh, was it easy to find the new guy in your area? Or was it necessary to look elsewhere?
Yes, we have a new bassist, Dom. With our old bassist, Shawn, it was a matter of personality conflict. He never quite fit into the structure of the band and it became pretty obvious that he needed to go. Luckily, Dom is good friends with our drummer, Kevin, so it was a natural choice to enlist him in the band. He's a converted guitar player, but he's an excellent bass player and is the exact kind of player we need – someone that holds down the low-end, isn't flashy, but is rock-solid. And no, it's never easy to find musicians in Pittsburgh. It's not a very musically-inclined city, so we've often had to recycle members or just get lucky, which we did with both Dom and Kevin.
Can you tell us what inspires you? Musically? Lyrically?
We're inspired a lot by our general disenchantment with organized religion. I know it sounds a little short-sighted to have one singular agenda, but it's the source for a contention, especially with Joe and I. The bulk deal with that – how religion manipulates and deceives people, yet they're still very much willing to follow it blindly, hence the title. We could write songs all day on this topic, but I think we've exhausted this avenue and will be moving onto new topics with the next album. Not sure what it will be about, but it won't be about dragons and castles, that I can assure you.
The cover fits well to the title Blind Faith Loyalty. How did the artwork?
Jarno Lahti of www.Kaamos.com did our artwork. He's Finnish and he's done artwork for Insomnium, Imperanon, etc. He's great to work with, even though he's on the other side of the world. Any time we need something taken care of, he's on top of it. And he runs our website. Can't say enough good things about him.
If you get the chance to do a video, which track would you choose? And why?
It would be either Defame The Hypocrites or Bound To Wrath or Blind Faith Loyalty. One of the three, definitely, but metal music videos are tricky – how do you do something that looks cool and is affordable? It's something we're still debating at the moment. We'll probably just use some cool live footage if we were to ever make a video.
Your debut is available through your website, any talks about a label release with proper distribution?
We've had several small labels inquire about the Reverence album, but frankly, we make more of a profit by selling it through our site. I like being in charge of our stock and personally sending out the CD's as oppossed to someone else doing it for us. Surprisingly, we've sound a very large quantity of this album, which was the major reason why we were able to fund Blind Faith Loyalty on our own. Perhaps if someone comes along that is really into the album, we'll do some type of distro deal, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.
You just played a show with Exodus... How was the show? Lots of fun?
Yes, lots of fun. Good crowd, we played well, and sold lots of merch, which usually stacks up to be a good show. We hung around and watched Exodus and they were great. They're legends, obviously, and even their new material is strong.
I saw that most of your shows been at the weekend... If you would get the chance to tour, would it be difficult for you to make it possible? I assume you all have day jobs...
We've had some chances to do some very small tours, but like you said, we all have day jobs or are in school. Three of the guys are still in school, while the rest of us have day jobs and with the economy being what it is, it would be too much of a risk financially. I don't think anyone in the band feels like going into the poor house, hahaha. Maybe one day...as the band continues to grow, those opportunities may gradually open up for us, so we’ll see.
I think music is your drug, but what do you do to relax? Are you into sports? Or something else?
Yes, all of us in the band are into sports, especially American football. That's probably the most common shared interest in the band, actually. Before shows, we usually play catch, just as a way to relax and blow off steam before we go on. Beyond that, it's mostly metal for all of us. We're pretty simple-minded people, I suppose.
Anything you want to add?
Sure. Much thanks for the interview opportunity – your support is greatly appreciated and I hope your readers will take the time to check us out at: www.myspace.com/crownthelostmetal. Cheers!
It's true that their music isn't easy to label, but at the other hand it shows that the guys have already found their own style. It will be interesting to hear more from David and the guys - and perhaps they get the chance to tour... Even here in Europe.