On January 18th, 2019, The Crown Remnant’s new album The Wicked King: Part II is scheduled to arrive (pre-order here). The Los Angeles five piece outfit are known for mixing their love for entertainment and heavy metal as their influences range from metalcore, prog to thrash. We spoke to singer Geordy Shallan on the group’s latest effort, being part of all things entertainment, Bill Murray, and more.
Can you talk more about the new album, The Wicked King Part II?
Part II is the second and more thematically dark counterpart to our debut release. We’re still drawing from our melodic metalcore roots, but exploring more experimental ideas, drawing from genres like prog, melodic death metal, symphonic metal, and much more. We’ve still got our breakdowns, solos, and heavy vocals, but it spans into new territory like utilizing jazz chords, metric modulation, and we’ve even got a ballad on it! We went with the mentality of blending everything we love into one big new sound, and I feel like we’ve achieved exactly that.
What are some of the lyrical themes?
It spans a lot, but the major themes of the overall record, on part I and part II alike, are oppression and tyranny. As far individual tracks go, we cover betrayal, Hell, the failed search for immortality, a nuclear apocalypse, and even the disturbing backstory of the character you see on both of our releases, the very title of our record, The Wicked King.
How would you compare the album to part I?
Significantly darker thematically, and for the most part, a bit more complex musically. Part one lyrically dealt a lot with hope and perseverance in the face of struggle – things like the suicide of one of my closest friends and my struggle with anger issues I had through my childhood and early adult life. Part II contains minimal hope, if really any at all. Part II also contains a bit more of an orchestral influence throughout, which was so much fun to add in!
For those who are unfamiliar, can you explain more about your overall sound?
Imagine five crazy dudes in LA blending metalcore like early Atreyu and Killswitch Engage with literally everything they can think of – jazz, punk, classical, death metal, classic rock… everything. That’s us – we’re basically trying to be the mad scientists of metal, combining whatever insane thing we can think up next. If you like blistering riffs and crushing vocals mixed with everything from a full horn section to jazzy grooves, check us out!
We are facing a time where people seem to be taking offense to things a lot faster almost to the point that comedians have to censor themselves more each day. What are your thoughts on this subject?
Truthfully, my thoughts are very mixed. On one hand, I’m glad to see a light shown on the misogyny and bigotry scattered about our modern day society – people try to hide that sort of behavior is still occurring frequently, and that’s not only pathetic, it’s harmful. On the other hand though, holy hell are there people who need to calm down about the simplest things – if someone says a joke, or really anything that you disagree with or don’t like, they are not inherently evil. In fact, you might stand to learn something from hearing a differing view or opinion.
Censorship, forcing people to not say what they think or believe, is damaging to free thought and freedom in general.
Calling a**holes out for being a**holes though? I’m all for it.
What’s it like being part of all things entertainment from music, comedy to film?
It’s amazing! My love of the arts had always diverged into multiple forms, and the fact that I find myself involved in multiple mediums I love is something I’m insanely grateful for. I love how they all act as influences on one another too – like how our song Inferno’s lyrics came about from my re-reading of The Divine Comedy, which I dove back into for inspiration when I was writing a play back in 2016.
What’s really stunning about being a part of these communities is the support I see from each medium for another. Often times I’ll see something like my comedian and film friends coming to one of TCR’s shows, and it’s constantly inspiring.
For fun, if you could collaborate with Bill Murray to cover one song what would it be and how do you think Murray would react to it?
“Counting Worms” by Knocked Loose immediately comes to mind! The idea of Bill Murray screaming “ARF ARF” at the top of his lungs is quite possibly one of the most beautiful thoughts to cross my mind in 2018. Otherwise, “Sweating Bullets” by Megadeth, hands down. I would love to hear Bill’s take on that talked opening passage, I feel like he’d immediately make the line “nice story, tell it to Reader’s Digest” hilarious.
What are your plans for next year?
My main plan is to play as many shows as I can with TCR in as many places as possible, and secondly to keep producing and songwriting with a bunch of new artists. I’ll also continue working on some film content I’ve been keeping secret for a while, and pulling some more local stand-up sets around LA. It’s going to be an insanely busy year where I put out some of my favorite art I’ve ever made, and I cannot wait.
How would you summarize 2018?
It was the biggest test of who I am as an artist and as a person yet. I had to sacrifice so many things for my goals this year, but that showed me that I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to do. I almost went broke, lost contact with so many people I thought I was close to, but I wrote the best music I’ve written yet with some of the best guys I know, and achieved so much more than I thought I was capable of.
Truthfully, I think that 2019 is going to be an even bigger challenge, with an even bigger pay-off, and I cannot wait.