Posted on September 20th. 2017
Questionnaire by Jason Houston on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
Jason: Hello and welcome Danny to Metal To Infinity. I’d like to thank you for taking time out of your very, busy schedule to speak with us. I understand that the band is based out of Philadelphia. Is there much of a Rock scene there these days?
Danny: Thank you very much for having an interest in what Crown of Earth has going on. We really appreciate people like you that help promote bands to keep Metal alive! That’s why I have to answer your question with a question. Is there still much of a Rock or Metal scene anywhere in this world? I would have to say yes, but I always hear the same complaint about how bad any band’s “home town” music scene sucks. It’s the same everywhere, you just have to make the best of it and keep pushing onward! So, to follow up with that, Philadelphia has a ton of great bands that constantly play the same loop over and over. We’re just one of many.
Jason: Could you please share with us what year was it when the band was formed and could you tell the story of how the band first got together?
Danny: Well…. Crown of Earth started out in 2012 when Michael Ellis (Rhythm Guitarist) and Nikki Shannon (Drums) recruited our lead guitarist, Christopher Graziola to play some lead solo’s on a song they had recorded. It has since been re-recorded and is on our release and it’s called Pile Driver. I’ve known Chris for many years and he kept asking me to check out his project with Mike and Nikki. So, I finally and reluctantly I might add, went over to check out what he had going on. Next thing you know, I’m the singer for the project. I asked my friend Matt Harrigan to play bass on the album that you have which is our self titled debut, CROWN OF EARTH. Eventually we had some personal changes which lead to the present line-up to be currently made up of Marky Z on Bass and Vinny Corrado on Drums.
Jason: For people who have never heard of Crown Of Earth how would you describe the overall sound of the band?
Danny: I really love this question. I always refer to our biography and say that we have a sound like that of American progressive, and a classic heavy metal oriented band, influenced by all the heavy hitters in Rock and Metal. Based off a rich history kick-ass music which shaped our sound.
Jason: How many albums/CDs has the band released to date?
Danny: As I had mentioned, this is our first album and it is our Debut album of 8 songs released last year (2016). We are very pleased with the outcome of it. Check it out here. CROWN OF EARTH.
Jason: In regards to the current state of the music industry many bands and understandably so because they believe people are not buying physical albums like they once were have made the decision to just be a live act and live off the catalog of music they already have. With that being said We have a pretty large. I have to ask what motivates a band like Crown Of earth to continue to write/record/release new music?
Danny: I can speak for all of the guys in Crown of Earth and tell you that we play music for the love of making music. Period. I’m not going to lie about it. We know it’s tough to make a living at it, and it’s very discouraging at times because of all the hard work and energy we put into it. We just keep the faith and our passion to pursue what we love to do. Pretty simple, really. Keep moving forward!
Jason: Could you tell the story of how you came up with the band’s name Crown Of Earth?
Danny: Hahaha, this is a good one. You must know what a tough road bands go down to ask this question? It’s always difficult for bands to find that “right name”. Well, Crown of Earth started out as Megalon. You know the creature that fights Godzilla? Well, I contacted the Japanese company who owns the rights to “Megalon” and the politely asked me to choose a different name. So we went back to the drawing board and started throwing names at each other again. One day I went to the local library and came across a children’s series of books, so I brought my list of suggestions to the guys at rehearsal and Mike Ellis noticed Crown of Earth on my list and really loved it. He said it reminded him of Black Sabbath’s original name “Earth”. We did the typical domain name search and to me, if a .com was available, at that point, I would have selected any name. Everything fell into place and was available, now here we are. So for me, the main reason the name fit us is because it had an available .com that we could use. Check us out at www.crownofearth.com
Jason: Being that you’re the Lead Singer, I have to ask you Danny if you’re the band’s primary Songwriter in the band or does everyone in the band get to take part in the songwriting process?
Danny: No, I am not the primary writer in COE. For this album release, part of the charm and interest I had in joining the band was ease of use. Michael had all that material rip-roaring-ready-to-go and Chris and I just hopped on board and took off with it. However, for the next album, which we are in the process of working on, the band has been collaborating to bring a new flavor and edge that represents all of the current members. Everyone is bringing a portion of themselves into the new songs. I must say that I’m very happy with how things are going.
Jason: Has the band had the opportunity to tour much outside of your local area and if so where’s been your favorite place to perform?
Danny: The “local area” that we tend to play is between New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, the state of Pennsylvania and Delaware, I’d say that we cover a good portion of the North Eastern U.S. We have gone outside of those places and we met a ton of cool people. For example, eating huge Lobsters in Maine and the woman behind me was laughing her ass off because I kept complaining about how messy it is. I’m sorry, but I really didn’t like it.
Jason: Danny do you remember what was the point in your life where you knew you wanted to take a shot at being a professional Musician?
Danny: I can’t say for sure if it was the point about being a professional musician, but I do remember when I made the commitment to become a musician. I remember staying up late one night to watch a program about the first Woodstock concert and I loved watching Jimi Hendrix’s performance. That is what did it for me. I think I was around 13 years old.
Jason: Not only do I think Crown Of Earth is a great name but I have to tell you I think the band has a really great looking logo! Who designed the logo?
Danny: Wow! Thank you very much. I’m glad you like it because I made that logo for us. I became proficient in Photoshop out of necessity. It goes back to the previous question and being a starving artist, we often tend to do things ourselves to save money. Well, that’s one of the advantages of being artistic. We can make things like that. Thanks again!
Jason: Who are some of the bands/Musicians who really influenced you when you were growing up?
Danny: It’s really a toss up for me and a bit of a loaded question, but to break it down I’d have to say Led Zeppelin really pushed me into the performers domain after seeing the movie they made, The Song Remains The Same. That was it, But bands Like KISS and performers like Jimi Hendrix were definitely inspirational. Then came Boston, Queen, Journey. Soon after that there was Iron Maiden, Manowar, Queensryche. Basically, if you notice, all those bands have serious and excellent singers. They are who I modeled my vocals after. Someday I would like to be close to their caliber of talent. One of my favorite singers is the late great Ray Gillen of Badlands. Such an awesome singer! No relation to another great singer from Deep Purple, Ian Gillan. Notice the minor spelling difference there?
Jason: Being a Musician that writes/records/releases your own music do you ever get tired of playing any of your own songs over and over or in that regards do you make a habit to change the set list from time to keep the show fresh both for the band and the fans?
Danny: I would have to say yes to that. We do get tired of playing the same songs. That’s why we have been throwing songs into the set list that aren’t even completely polished and ready to be played. We just like to mix it up. It’s almost like rehearsing the songs live onstage. To be honest, who the hell knows anyway?
Jason: How important is it for you to interact with your fans on-line. I mean I’m sure fans leave comments on your Facebook page or send you personal messages, do you feel it’s important to respond to those fans?
Danny: I have to be honest here. I’m a grumpy-fuck. I do like when we get people that are genuinely interested in our band and I totally appreciate them for doing so and I give them my full attention, but there is a lot of crap on Facebook and I’m pretty tired of sifting through it. I just like to see the people at our shows and put on a good performance for them, well, as best we can. Normally, we seem to do that and people become fans. It’s great!
Jason: In regards to having an on-line presence many people go on-line and will discuss their views on everything from Politics to current news events. My question is when you go on-line and inner act with your fans would you rather just discuss the band and your music or do you like to discuss your views on other topics as well?
Danny: You nailed it! I don’t care to talk about the band on my Facebook page at all. I like funny MeMe’s and videos. Light hearted stuff. I rarely talk about music topics. I don’t want to seem like a salesman. So I stay away from music unless it’s just to promote an upcoming show with a Facebook event flyer. I’ll just post it once or twice before a gig.
Jason: While I do believe Danny anyone has a right to post whatever they want on their personal sites how do you feel about fans going on-line and reacting in such an angry/negative way to what someone has posted simply because someone has a different opinion than they have on a given topic?
Danny: Yeah…That’s a BIG No-No for me. I steer clear of that! I will read the post, but I rarely comment on it. For one thing, I’m in the public eye as a performer. I can’t afford to piss off this half of the opinionated population, in order to agree with the other half of them. It’s better just to stay away from people’s opinions and onions. I find that they are one in the same. They both could make you cry.
Jason: What is currently going on with the band?
Danny: Keep an eye out for our next video which will be produced for the song: Why Should I Care.
We have a facebook page which is probably more current and up to date because as you know, keeping up with an actual website is so much fun…Ha, yeah right. Please check out the social media sites as follows:
Dome Sound Recording Studio for any mixing task worldwide! – www.domesound.net
Traditional Artwork fused with Digital Rendering: www.captfroggerz.webs.com
CROWN OF EARTH Official Website: www.crownofearth.com
Booking and other info please contact us at: email@example.com
Jason: Is there an album in your collection Danny that you could point to and say even after all these years that’s the one album that really rocked my world and played a major role in me doing what I’m doing today!
Danny: A simple answer to that would be the first 5 or so albums from Iron Maiden. Life changers for me.
Jason: Are you currently involved in any other bands/projects that you’d like to mention?
Danny: No. I’m not in any other bands. I am dedicated to Crown of Earth. I have a great feeling about this band. I’m happy and proud of what we have accomplished. There are some good things in store for 2018. I know every band says that, but I’m pretty sure something is looming around the bend in our favor. Hope to hear from you soon and don’t forget…
UP THE CROWNS!
\m/ – – \m/
Danny Knight (Vocals – Crown of Earth)
THANKS AGAIN DANNY!