Heavy Is the Head: Crown The Empire Celebrate A Decade of Life On the Road
Though it's common for bands to begin their formation while still in high school, Crown the Empire have spent their entire adult lives as a touring outfit. On July 10, 2010, the band would play their first show and within two years, the collective had already signed to Rise Records and was touring the country.
The band's meteoric trajectory has resulted in a decade of life on the road and catalog of work that has secured a legion of fans on a global scale. To celebrate the anniversary of the band's very first show, Crown the Empire have released a comprehensive collection of acoustic renditions spanning their entire career appropriate titled, 07102010. The album is punctuated by a new track. "everything breaks".
Coupled with the album, CtE have pieced together a mini-documentary that traverses the years since that very first show and how their career has evolved in the subsequent years. Out Of Focus is an intimate look at the band's start, their strides since, and their ambitions for the future as Crown the Empire.
To mark the occasion, guitarist Brandon Hoover and vocalist Andy Leo took some time to reflect on the last decade and some of the memorable instances that have stuck.
The Tour Story That Never Gets Old HOOVER - Back when we first started touring, we were driving down the highway heading to a show and our trailer straight fell off our RV and crashed in a ditch. We were going like 60 mph too. Thank god (or whoever the fuck is out there) that the trailer didn’t hit any cars behind us. There was another time when we were touring in a van and we got stuck on the train tracks. We were in traffic and this train was coming straight towards us...somehow our bassist Tree managed to inch his way around cars in our van and trailer and we barley made it out. We’ve had a lot of close calls in touring vehicles, there’s a million more stories that I won’t get into right now!
LEO - Someone once drank a full 16 ounces of someone else’s piss as a-drunken-sip-turned-point-to-prove for no reason.
The Best Song Crown the Empire Ever Wrote
HOOVER - I think “BLURRY (out of place)” as a whole is the best song we’ve ever written. I think the lyrics just really hit home with anyone who listens to it. I see that being one of our staple songs for the rest of our career.
LEO - Too hard to pick! But one of the our babies that doesn’t get enough love is "Under The Skin."
Something Fans Never Knew
HOOVER - I’ve had a severe speech impediment my entire life. Some fans know, some don’t. We just put out a documentary where I finally come out and talk about it while stuttering my ass off so maybe more people will know about it now.
LEO - The acoustic album was recorded entirely in Tree’s bedroom.
Hidden Song References
HOOVER - I don’t know if this is a reference or not but when we were writing the melodies/lyrics for “what I am,” there’s this whispery part in the pre choruses inspired by “Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men. I hadn’t listened to that song since I was a kid so I don’t know how that came out of me. It’s weird the things you store in your brain and when they decide to come out for inspiration.
LEO - There are too many to count! All of our records have been riddled with references to movies and video games. Game of Thrones and The Matrix come up off the top.
The Crown The Empire Show You Will Never Forget
HOOVER - We headlined a festival in Mumbai, India to 10,000 people and we had never played there before...it was fucking crazy. We had no idea anybody even knew us out there. No one told us there was gonna be pyro, sparklers and C02 and we walk out on stage during the first song and everything just goes off. That was scary as fuck, but it was the first time we had real production so we were stoked.
LEO - At a time where everyone wishes they could be out playing shows, I’d say the one that feels the most important was amongst the last few shows we played in Southeast Asia in March before we were sent home amidst the initial spreading of Covid-19.
The Most Important Moment for Crown the Empire As A Band. HOOVER - I think the most important moment was when we put out our last album Sudden Sky. It was the first time we had had real adversity as a band losing members, people on our team...it seemed like the world was against us those 2-3 years. But we came out stronger and putting out that piece of work meant a lot to us.
LEO - The most important moment for Crown thus far was the completion of Sudden Sky, after so much turbulence and uncertainty, being able to come together and make something really special let us know the potential we had and continued to build upon! The future isn’t so scary when we can continue to push each other to make each album better than the last.
STREAM/DOWNLOAD 07102010 from CROWN THE EMPIRE HERE
Watch OUT OF FOCUS from CROWN THE EMPIRE below.