Here at Soundscape we’ve really been enjoying the new release from Black Crown Initiate, The Wreckage Of Stars (our review of which can be read here). Eager to find out a bit more about the band, we caught up with guitarist/clean vocalist Andy for a chat. See what happened below!
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
My name is Andy Thomas, and I play guitar and do clean vocals in the band. We have been together for about a year and a half. We have toured with bands such as Behemoth, 1349, Goatwhore, The Faceless, Fallujah, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Rivers of Nihil. Rounding out our lineup are RikSteltzpflug, James Dorton, Nick Shaw, and Jesse Beahler.
Your new album The Wreckage Of Stars is rather good and I like the way you seamlessly blend aggression and melody together – how do you go about constructing your songs?
Thanks! Rik, Nick, and I usually get in a room together and brainstorm our individual ideas. We develop them and reinterpret them until they feel like complete songs. Then, we give them to Jesse to write drum parts for. Last, I develop the melodies, lyrics, and vocal patterns.
Can you tell me about the recording process of the album?
After we got home from the Metal Alliance Tour, we got together and really focused on finishing the album. We went to Atrium Audio in Lancaster, PA for ten days and recorded with Carson Slovak and Grant Macfarland. We love those guys.
Were there any songs that were more challenging to perfect?
For me, Withering Waves was quite difficult, as the song is very technical. It is like one long solo. Also, the title track gave me trouble, as the song has some strange time signature stuff going on.
Withering Waves is actually one of my favourites! Can you tell me a little more about that one?
Like I mentioned before, it is a difficult song; even more in a live setting because I sing a great deal. I wrote the middle section in a dream and it was very strange. I woke up immediately and knew how to play it. Because of this, I wrote the lyrics to it about a recurring dream I have where I am on a barren shoreline and the tide is way out. It sounds boring, but the dream is eerie and vivid.
Do you have any interesting stories to share from the studio?
The most interesting part was watching Jesse nail the drums in nine hours or so! The man is incredible.
When it comes to live shows, what can fans expect from a Black Crown Initiate gig?
Intensity. For me, playing live is a destructive act. It sounds cliche, but I am dealing with my demons and trying to hurt myself when I am onstage. That being said, we also try our best to deliver our songs with precision and finesse. You can expect many notes and copious amounts of headbanging.
What would you say the best show you’ve ever played has been?
That’s a tough call. One that sticks out to me is a sold out show at the Chicago House of Blues on the Metal Alliance Tour. The show was packed and the crowd was insane. People were jumping off of balconies into the pit for Behemoth. It was a great deal of fun.
And perhaps the strangest or weirdest?
We just did a show in Pittsburgh where James, our singer, was very ill and couldn’t play. We had to rush him to the hospital. After we dropped him off and he was in good hands with the doctors we raced back to the venue to play the show. It was an uncomfortable show without our frontman and lead vocalist, but we forged through! After the show we packed up and speed back to the hospital were we waited until 4 AM when they let him out. Crazy shit.
And finally, if Black Crown Initiate could put their name to a product, what would it be?
Hopefully an amazing beer. We love amazing beer.