Interview with THE CROWN REMNANT

Los Angeles-based project The Crown Remnant, a brainchild by singer and multi-instrumentalist Will Ash, tags themselves as a “genre-bending metal outfit.” The newest single “Storm’s Edge” is certainly a journey into the vast regions of variety of music styles that emerge under the broadness of the metal genre.

In a new interview for Rocking Charts, Ash sheds light on his project’s upcoming full-length release “The End of Days.”

Hey Will. How are you doing?

Feeling good! Man, this year has been crazy. It started off with just an overwhelming number of depressing events in such a short period of time, but I’m the kind of guy that likes to stay positive and bounce back. I’m glad I’ve been able to devote the free time and silver linings from this pandemic into creative output, and this brand new project coming up with The Crown Remnant.

You are about to launch a new album with The Crown Remnant entitled “The End of Days.” How do you feel about the release?

I’m so excited about “The End of Days”. I’ve worked on a few albums before including 2017 and 2019’s “The Wicked King” with The Crown Remnant and I’m just really proud of how smoothly the concept, writing, and recording process for this album has gone. It’s got a really solid design behind everything; kickass guitars, vocals, all of it came together. Handling the other elements of record production can be a bit of a pain to manage – marketing and materials etc. – but I’m really confident that this will be the best record I, and The Crown Remnant, have ever put out. I’ve already got some great reception to the album’s lead single “Storm’s Edge”, available now.

How much of a challenge was to work on the album?

I really feel like this album came together as smoothly as it could have. Having more experience completing and releasing albums now at this time in my life really helped. When I knew I had an opportunity and was inspired earlier this year to create something new, everything seemed to come together and be really cohesive within just a matter of months. The most challenging part for me was after pre-production. You have a vision for how things go, and you create the demos, but bringing them to life in the studio is a whole other ball game, and we had limited time to get the recording process finished. It was a big test of my skill to track the vocals, guitars, bass, and engineer the drums among other things within a matter of something like 7 days. Thankfully, the engineers and I achieved that goal!

What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from Los Angeles are you friends with?

We’ve met a whole lot of great artists while on the road and locally – playing shows throughout California and with 2019’s “The Wicked King Tour” supporting our earlier release. Some of the coolest guys I’d have to mention would be Critically Disturbed, Altered Revelations, Celestial Ember, and Farewell Winters. Go check those LA, SoCal scene guys out! 

What is your opinion about the current metal scene?

I think there’s a lot of inventive, progressive, metal players and groups coming out and that’s always great for the genre. Throughout the modern music industry, metal is no exception to the sort of corporatization or industrialization that we’ve been seeing – but for every action, there’s a reaction. We’re seeing a lot of cool, independent, metal groups that are embracing sounds outside of the genre, and allowing metal to grow instead of staying stagnant. I’m really happy with what I’ve been seeing on metal becoming not only more accepted, but less exclusionary and sectionated. Don’t let genre wars stop you from hearing cool music!

Can you tell me something about your influences?

I grew up in the early 2000’s, born a 90’s kid, so it’s no secret that the new wave of American Heavy Metal that came through at that time really influenced me. Bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, Killswitch Engage, and more got me into making my own bands, and my own music. What I’m really proud of though is how diverse my environment was at the time – I played in jazz bands throughout middle school and high school, blues rock was heavy in my playlists, and I eventually ended up in classical ensembles, pop punk bands, and more. That diversity really influences The Crown Remnant today – I love being able to take my love of thematic composition and score for example, and bring it into the themes and layers in “The End of Days” and earlier projects. To me, bringing sounds outside your main genre really adds to the depth of the project and I have to thank my influences, and musical environment for allowing that since I was a kid.

What are you listening to these days?

You’d be surprised. I’ve always been a big fan of Mike Patton, so recent years showing up with Dead Cross and new Mr. Bungle has been awesome. I’ve found myself listening to a lot of hip hop recently too! It’s been great to revisit the 90’s as I follow up Nas with Tribe Called Quest, Pharoahe Monche with Wu Tang, and more modern groups like Run the Jewels. In the metal world, I found myself listening to Black Dahlia Murder a lot more with their new “Verminous” release. 

Will Ash

Your 5 favourite records of all the time?

Tough question! It’d have to shake out something like this:

  1. Avenged Sevenfold – City of Evil
  2. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
  3. Mr. Bungle – Mr. Bungle
  4. Atreyu – Lead Sails and a Paper Anchor
  5. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper

Order not set in stone!

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you used to record “The End of Days”?

This was the part of the process that made me giddy with excitement. We had so many tools down at the studio in Burbank. “The End of Days” was recorded with the engineer team ‘We Make Noise’, known for their work with Joey Sturgis Tones, Gear Gods, and more. We played around with a lot of sounds, but the most consistent thing you’ll hear across the album is the awesome chorus sound of the Roland JC120 Jazz Chorus amp for the clean sections. No matter what other cleans we used (Bogner, Marshall), I kept coming back to that one in a major way.

I’m incredibly comfortable with my ESP Horizon III MIJ LTD Elite guitar, I’ve had it for a few years now and tracked the entire album with it. It provides a nice consistency, and a huge range of sounds with my custom Seymour Duncan Nazgul, and Sentient pickups.

The vocals were tracked through the legendary Telefunken AK47 mic, and Shure SM7B. The amount of clarity and high end fidelity from the Telefunken blew me away, and made a huge difference in the finished product. We ran the mics through a series of compressors, EQ’s, and general outboard gear in the chain that included Empirical Labs popular Distressors, LA-2A style compressors, SSL EQ’s, and more. The combination of ingredients made for a really great sound pre-mix, just straight out of the box. It’s something I, and the engineers, are really proud of.

Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?

The state of the world is still pretty crazy right now. The Crown Remnant always has its finger on the pulse, I’m watching really heavily to see when an appropriate time to bring back live shows and experiences might be. Right now, without that happening, we have a pretty interesting opportunity to expand however we can into the digital world of livestreams, and more. There will be a lot of video content coming soon through our channels. More info on upcoming TCR news and projects can be found at our website, at www.crownremnant.com!

Any words for the potential new fans?

I just want to thank all of you new listeners and old for checking out “The End of Days” coming soon and our latest single “Storm’s Edge” out now! As an independent band, everything is self funded, self produced, and thousands of hours and dollars are put into making this creative dream and vision come true. Every time you stream a song, or follow our channels, it supports that, and it means the world to me. Thank you guys so much, and keep your eyes on TCR! There’s still so much more to come. “The end is coming, don’t be afraid.”

The Crown Remnant’s new single “Storm’s Edge” is out now; get it from Bandcamp. Follow the band on Facebook and Instagram.