Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Northern Crown.
Zach Randall: Northern Crown was formed by Leona and I (Zach) back in 2013 after out black metal band fizzled out. We were originally a power trio with me on vocals. That lineup fell apart and I began working on new material which was essentially going to be a solo record. These are the songs that ended up on the debut EP.
As they were evolving, I realized the tunes deserved better vocals than I could provide. I was introduced to Frank by his now wife, Stephanie, as a potential vocalist. Frank brought Josh, our drummer, on board. Leona returned to the band in time to record the new album.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for The Others.
For the first two albums, I’ve written them largely in isolation. I frequently bring completed songs to the band and then have them demo their parts. We’re spread out, so the process tends to be very asynchronous. For The Others, we flew Josh into town so he could track his parts. Leona tracked her parts remotely and Frank and I work together on our parts. We’re both audio engineers, so we’re both easily able to put on the producer hat.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Me, Frank and Stephanie doing the crowd chants on “Les Autres.”
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
It’s heavy metal and doom metal with prog and experimental elements.
What are your expectations for The Others?
I’d like to grow awareness of the band, hopefully to the point of getting label interest.
How come you haven’t played live since 2013, and do you have any upcoming shows planned?
No shows planned at the moment, but it’s a constant conversation. The live lineup from 2013 fell apart and since then the band has been largely scattered about.
How did you first get started in music?
I come from a family of musicians. I spent much of my childhood hanging around my dad and uncles playing.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
None of this happens without my parents. They’re both music junkies, music was always on in our house, it was a passion for all of us. Musically speaking, the first bands I loved were KISS, Deep Purple and The Beatles. I think the Deep Purple influence shows in the music. Once I rolled into my teens, my brother introduced me to Dio and Sabbath, which completely changed my perspective on music.
What was the first metal show you attended as a fan?
Ozzy Osbourne/Filter/Prong in 1996 at the War Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne, IN.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
I’m a big doom-head, so something slow and heavy. I’ve had the entire Orchid catalog on constant rotation. The newest releases from Blood Ceremony and Witchcraft are big with me right now. I also have Mars Red Sky, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Graveyard (RIP) on often as well.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Firstly, big thanks to everyone who has helped promote and support us. Seeing people get excited about our music is one of the few things that makes me truly happy. Also, several of the band members have cool projects that deserve shout-outs as well. Frank is presently working on a new solo album. Leona is playing bass for a cool power metal band in Seattle by the name of Weaponlord. Josh and Evan (who did guest solos on the record) are lighting Nashville on fire with their band Dark Hound.
(interview published October 15, 2016)