Interview: Crown the Empire
Music Editor, Lareb Naseem, interviewed Crown the Empire lead singer Andy Velasquez with the company of band member Brandon before their gig at the O2 Forum, down in Kentish Town. Taking the time to discuss their new album, Post Malone, Kim Kardashian and a crazy story involving leading singer Andy’s mum being “robbed”
Let’s get straight to it! As we are a student magazine, do you have any memories/fondness of education or books?
Andy: Haha- I’ve been getting into reading Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, it’s a little bit sciencey, but we’re into that. Our album is based on film so it’s cool to use science in our songs for comparisons and stuff.
Your new album is great by the way, it’s beautiful.
Andy: Thank you, I appreciate it. Thank you.
Next question, you guys have done multiple world tours, do you have a favourite country or fan base?
Andy: I think Tokyo. We were just there for the first time and it was wild. Also, Glasgow in Scotland, for some reason the crowd goes so hard for us. Russia was weird though, [to Brandon] do you remember how weird Russia was? Russia was one of our biggest crowds as a headline act so we weren’t expecting so many people to know us, but it was really cool.
Other than the album which you have been working on, do you have any other projects in the works?
Andy: Just little ideas here and there as to how we can expand and get our music out there, such as short films.
Are there any filmmakers in particular which would like to work with?
Andy: Erm, you know what, there is a list of really cool film-makers out there, but things just haven’t worked out, it’s just as a case of bouncing ideas off each other at the moment.
So what is it like sharing the stage with Hands and Of Mice and Men as their support act?
Andy: It’s great, we have done a few runs together and there has always been a great vibe. They crush it every time, and it’s so interesting to see how we all take on this genre and express it in different ways.
Have you guys ever thought about where you would be now if you hadn’t gone down the music path?
Andy: For me, I have been in a band since I was 16. I have never had a job, so I have never done anything else, it is such a weird possibility for me that I can’t really picture it at all. But I dunno, maybe I would be in college. Brandon would be working at Chick-Fil-A- or the family business- a strip club [laughter]
Cause I heard that Post Malone auditioned to be in the band.
Andy: Oh yeah! It’s such a good story, and he has just released a song with Bieber which is pretty cool. What a weird story right? Every time I see him, he has new jewelry, new songs etc
And new grills, right?
Andy: Haha yeah, he told me that he could get me a set for free- so I’m definitely going to get some grills!
Can’t wait for the new look!
Andy: Oh yeah expect it [laughter]
I heard that Benn Suede recently left the band, how has that affected you musically?
Andy: He left right before we headed into the studio to record this album, it has definitely affected the dynamics of everyone. There was a pseudo-politics behind all of our decisions musically, and in the end it came down to the smaller issues becoming bigger than they needed to be, things just didn’t click anymore. He got an opportunity to do his thing and took it, we are happy for him, there are no hard feelings at all- we still hangout when I’m in LA.
So, are there any artists, musically, that you would like to work with?
Andy: Oh, yeah, hmm, I would love to do a collab with Post [Malone], I know we were just talking about him, just for the sake of how weird it would be, because he does have a punk rock vibe, I know that he does hip hop now but he was a Johnny Cash classic rock kid growing up so to see what he could do with us would be really fun.
There was a pseudo-politics behind all of our decisions musically
Do you guys have a favourite song or band at the moment?
Brandon: Yeah it’s fucking, [starts humming a tune]
Andy: Oh yeah! Cage the Elephant, the other band called CTE, I’ve started listening to Nothing But Thieves too, their intro is great. I was listening to it for ages last night.
Your intro is great too by the way, I was listening to it on the bus on the way here, and I passed like a million billboards of Kim Kardashian, and I felt like I had been transported to like some weird sci-fi world.
Andy: Haha yeah, thanks, ah the world loves a bit of Kim K.
Did you hear what happened to her?
Andy: Ah yeah she got robbed right? Weird, my mum recently got robbed not too long ago, fucking crazy she pulled out a gun out on the guy.
Brandon: Wait, what?!
Andy: Oh dude! You didn’t hear that story? My mum came home one day from work to find an imposter of a dog sitter lounging around our home. Literally had been everywhere – even asked who the guitars upstairs belong too. The girl claimed that she was from the company my mum was taken back and has always been quite paranoid so disliked the whole situation and fired the company. The next day, she was sat at home and someone walked through the front door- she knew because we have this security system installed- every time someone walks in a short ‘dibidibidi’ noise is played. She immediately grabs her shot-gun- walks towards the front of the house calling out- and is faced by a tall tattooed guy. By this point my mum cocks her gun aimed towards the guy asking what’s in his hand – he stated that he was the new ‘dog sitter’ to which my Mum exclaimed she had fired that company. At this point, my mum has led the guy out to the front yard, orders him to drop the key and lets him know that if she ever saw him again she’d fucking kill him.
Wow, that is so crazy, I’m glad your mother’s okay. And I’m afraid that’s all the time we have, but thank you so much for your time and good luck with the rest of your tour!
Brandon: Oh no thank you for having us, it was great!