● ‘The End of Days’ has an epic output really. Well done! The band started as a group but you decided to go solo, am I right?
Thank you so much! I’m really proud of the project. Yes, you’re right, The Crown Remnant was a more traditional band structure before “The End of Days” but all of that changed in 2019/2020. I ended up writing most of the material for our debut and follow up “The Wicked King” (2017-2019) and as the vision for “The End of Days” ignited, taking the project solo was the best way to get the music and the art realized. When it comes down to it, I think that’s what’s most important.
● Tell your fans about the musical differences between the two parts of The Wicked King and your 2021 album, The End of Days.
“The Wicked King” was such an explosive debut. We threw everything creatively we had at the wall to see what stuck. There’s lines upon lines of counter-melody, oppositional harmonies, layered voicings, and thematic orchestras. The beauty in that is also its danger – it’s saturated with depth. With “The End of Days” I set out to create an art piece, fully crafted around a concept much like the previous album – but this time with more carefully created sounds. I wanted there to be more meaning behind everything – every guitar line, every lyric, and every space. For example, the swelling of orchestral elements at the end of the record reflects the growing tension in the storyline in acts 2 and 3 of the album – notice how you don’t hear any strings in the first act!
● The album tracklist sequence is really amazing. Was it planned during the songwriting process?
Everything was planned in the writing phase, and I’m really glad you picked up on it. The 3 act storyline provided me with a structure to write on, to the effect that tracks were built to explicitly carry the track-listing and emotions forward if you listen from start to finish. I’m a big fan/believer in listening to records from top-down on your first time. It’s what I like to do and I write music in the way I’d like to listen to it.
● I loved the three different ACTs of the album, I believe each was like an overture for what’s coming next, right?
Exactly! There’s some classical inspiration in the “movements” of the piece. Each act sets the stage for the themes, instrumentation, and purpose of the upcoming tracks. It’s a really nice way to move the story along I think, without taking away from the individual tracks. A lot of the albums I listened to as a kid had these great thematic intros and interludes – from hip-hop to heavy metal – and I always liked that.
● It’s rare to find these days two music videos of the same track, was the main reason for making two versions of ‘The Fall,’ just based on the song long-duration?
Hah, yes! ‘The Fall’ is one of my favorite tracks on the record because I love these 7-8 minute epic tracks you hear in metal, so I knew it needed a music video. I recognize 8 minutes is a big investment for a lot of other people and I had a great opportunity with the radio campaign to take the radio edit and get the music video/song out to more people. Plus the radio version just blasts in: sometimes that’s exactly what you need!
● Would you consider filming a music video for ‘The End of Days’ album title track?
There’s already one in the works! I feel like I can safely say that, although it’s in the early stages. My biggest regret is that there’s so many songs on the record that I think deserve a music video, but only so much budget to go around. My immediate thought after putting out ‘The Fall’ music video, was “the next one has to be ‘The End of Days’!”
● Well, I cannot deny you’re doing marvellous work by going solo, still, would you consider adding other guests someday?
I really appreciate the compliment. There’s so many ups and downs in the traditional band structure that the pandemic really forced a lot of us to deal with. For the future, I can’t really say. At the end of day, I love playing with other musicians – you can’t really take “The End of Days” on the road without a band, can you?
● Miami Dolphin and Mazen Ayoub had a great impact on the album on the mixing and mastering process. Was this based on specific remarks from your side, or do you prefer to give them full access for such processes?
The album was definitely a collaborative project in the mixing room. Both Miami and Mazen are great at what they do and they had tons of input sonically on how the record came out. At the same time, I was very involved in all the decisions. They were both amazing at taking my notes and making it work in the final product. It’s really important for me that we balance the correct sound that fits the vision/concept but also just sounds damn good!
● Based on the previous question, did you have any direction for Aoub’s drumlines?
We had an interesting process for drums. When I write these songs, I use a few programs to write the drums into the demos, based on my limited experience playing drums and percussion. Mazen Ayoub, who’s a fantastic drummer in his own right, was able to take these pre-written drums and basically keep the intent, but make them more like how a real professional drummer would approach it.
● The way you handle your publicity is very neat. Do you make it all independently or there’s an agency that handles it?
Thanks so much! I’ve worked with a few publicity agencies on campaigns but to be completely honest, haven’t had good experiences across the board. I take a really active role in everything (as you can probably already see), and that includes all of the marketing materials, ads, website/EPK, management, and outreach. Anything you see under The Crown Remnant brand including social media and more is me – working hard behind the scenes!
● Thank you again for the chat, man! Tell your fans more about your 2022 upcoming plans.
Thank you for the questions! I’m constantly working on new and exciting things for The Crown Remnant. This is my passion project, so you can expect lots more down the line. I’m hoping to get a new music video and a new single out before the end of 2021! In 2022 I’ve got big plans depending on the state of travel and the pandemic, so I guess we’ll see! Just keep an eye on the project by following The Crown Remnant everywhere @thecrownremnant. Can’t wait to show the fans more!