First of all, while doing some research on Crowned, I didn’t come across a single band name, not even a pseudonym. Is Crowned trying to remain anonymous for a specific purpose. If so, how has that been working out for the group?
Crowned remains anonymous so the music speaks for itself. The nameless facelessness helps to achieve a transcendental atmosphere where your mind is free from your earthly body. It has been part of the Crowned ethos from the start. Most fans of our music would be quite familiar with many more bands doing similar things, so they respect it and don’t care to invade our privacy.
Crowned is Australian. You formed in Toowoomba, Queensland, and now reside in Brisbane, Queensland (per metal-archives.com). Granted it’s not a big jump, only about an hour and thirty, maybe forty minutes away, but Why the change? Was it related to the music scene in the area, or perhaps a personal reason?
The change was unrelated to the band entirely. We all moved down for individual educational reasons, as the university options are greater in Brisbane and the surrounding areas. It has helped being a part of a larger music community, but this wasn’t the initial reason.
Crowned signed with Séance Records to release your debut album, Vacuous Spectral Silence. I’ve never heard of the group before and see you’re one of five bands on their roster at the time I’m writing this. What made you sign with them, and were there any other labels out there that showed interest?
We were more than happy to work with Séance Records because of their dedication and enthusiasm towards the music. Already being supporters of their work, once they contacted us the choice was simple, and we are very grateful for their continuous support.
Prior to Vacuous Spectral Silence, Crowned issued a three song demo in 2011 called Ainulindale, but don’t appear on this album. Why did the band decide to not re-record them, and are there any plans to issue the demo further down the line?
We didn’t feel a need to record them because the songs appear on the demo as they are supposed to, we don’t view our demo as an incomplete work if thats what you mean. The demo is a good representation of the band at that time, and is purposely separate from the album. Presently we do do not have plans to re-record the songs from the demo.
Between Ainulindale and Vacuous Spectral Silence, do you feel there has been a good deal of growth within the band as far as writing material has gone in such a short amount of time, perhaps what the group is going to strive to continue to put out? Or is this simply the foundation for grander things to come from everyone?
We have certainly matured (for lack of a better word) as a band greatly in the last twelve months, as to how we approach writing, recording and performing the material. We will always strive to improve where necessary.
There’s a bit of a raw sound to the recording, though far from an analog approach. Why did Crowned decide to go with something more akin to an early or mid nineties second generation Black Metal offering instead of something a little more modern sounding? Was it to benefit the atmosphere of the song’s themes?
The music was largely influenced by the mid nineties Black Metal material, so it made sense to record it in the same vein. It was definitely to benefit the atmosphere of the song, as should be the case with any recording. We chose to leave things untriggered or sampled as we were looking for a bold, thunderous sound that could only be reflected by the genuine loudness of the instruments, rather than the sometimes sterile nature of sound replacement.
It’s obvious Vacuous Spectral Silence is geared towards emotion and atmosphere. Sometime I can hear chords one might expect of a Depressive Black Metal album, and sometimes keyboard are used to set a certain mood. Are there other ways to convey an environment the band intends to explore at some point, or perhaps regrets not doing this time around?
There is definitely more experimentation to be explored, we don’t set limits on what we can or should not do. Regrets; there are none.
Does this sort of experimentation leave future albums open to tread into various differing Black Metal genres, or perhaps even the production quality or methods you record your instruments with?
Yes, to put it simply there is no method or algorithm we follow to create our music, and hence there remains every intention for further variations.
The Black Metal realm is often quite a personal one. Is that the case with Vacuous Spectral Silence? Do the lyrical themes and music reflect what you or the others in the group feel or believe on a personal level, or perhaps just a lot of research to something that intrigues you?
VSS constitutes a conglomeration of each members individual interests, each of us wanting to express something important to ourselves, while simultaneously mutually complementing one anothers’ visions. Obvious themes revolve around cosmology, and mythology, combined with intense emotional expressions. The title identifies most of what needs be, that there is only a vacuous spectral silence.
Finally, considering the anonymous element of Crowned, is it safe to say that the band does not perform live on stage? IF YOU DO, how does it work? Would you mind giving those who may never have the chance to see you guys live a taste of what the visual presentation of the group is during a show?
Crowned does perform live, channeling our songs live is an important part of our music. As previously mentioned, our pervading focus is on music, thus our live performances, incorporating robes and dark lighting, are oriented to reflect this, through the removal of ourselves, allowing the audience to engage almost entirely with the music. Of course, our physical presence is noticeable, yet determined such as to portray introversion, and speculation of the unknown exemplified again by our anonymity.
Thank you very much for your time, I really appreciate it. I hope all goes well for Crowned, as well as the release of Vacuous Spectral Silence. Take care!
Interview conducted thanks to Séance Records.