Five Questions With Crown Lands

Photo Credit: Josh Pitre

We had the chance to chat with Kevin & Cody from Crown Lands in our newest segment of Five Questions With! You can also check out our review of their new album, Rise Over Run HERE! Enjoy!

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hey, it’s Kevin & Cody from Crown Lands. We’re from Oshawa and we have been a band for two years now, most of which we have spent on the road. Travelling & playing live is what we live for. It’s magic. We play heavy psych rock with hints of prog and a healthy dose of blues.  We won the 97.7 HTZ FM Rock Search this year, which has helped us in so many ways. They have become amazing friends of ours!

Tell us a bit about your writing style.

Kevin: As a duo, we try to approach all of the songwriting together. We don’t come to each other with completed ideas – we may work on riffs or lyrics on our own but nothing concrete happens until we meet up.  It all grows organically – usually, we write the music first with a concept in mind. Lyrics come later and we share writing duties.

Cody: We draw inspiration from a lot of older prog rock – Rush in particular. Their music is timeless and we hope to make something retro and modern – classic yet relevant to our current musical and political landscape.

We just released our EP Rise Over Run.  We recorded it at Chalet Studio in Uxbridge, ON – the studio Rush used in the late 80’s & 90’s.

Do you have any upcoming shows? How would you explain your performance?

Kevin: We are definitely a live band. Playing live is the best thing in the world! Since it’s only two of us, we have to work overtime to convey our music. We try to value dynamics – knowing when to bring it down and when to absolutely let loose is a fun challenge.

Our live show is defined by multitasking… Cody is singing and drumming like an animal the whole time and I am juggling guitar & keyboard duties. I play my keyboard parts with my feet so our whole show is a balancing act.

Cody: We tour with our best bud Justin Meli who runs our Front-of-House Sound for us – he produced, engineered and mixed ‘Mantra’ and ‘Rise Over Run’ so he knows our sound inside and out!

Kevin: We just finished an Eastern Canada tour in support of ‘Rise Over Run’ and we are about to embark on an Ontario tour with our good friends One Bad Son who are killing it! They just released their new album Made in the Name of Rock n Roll. Their single ‘Scream For Me’ just hit top 10 on the active rock charts.  We are honoured to be supporting them on the road! You can check out our dates with them below:

Nov 7th Sudbury, ON – Townehouse
Nov 9th Waterloo, ON – Maxwell’s
Nov 10th Windsor, ON – Dominion House
Nov 12th London, ON – Rum Runners
Nov 16th Toronto, ON – The Phoenix
Nov 17th St Catharines, ON – Warehouse
Nov 18th Oshawa, ON – The Music Hall
Nov 21st Corbyville, ON – Signal Brewery
Nov 23rd Peterborough, ON – The Red Dog
Nov 24th Kingston, ON – Merchant Ale House
Nov 25th Arnprior, ON – John Street Pub

If you were asked to suggest one song to hear, what would it be?

Cody: If you could only hear one song, it would be ‘Mountain’. It not only represents who we are musically, but ideologically as well.  ‘Mountain’ is about the horrors of Canada’s colonization. The mountain that the song mentions is a metaphor – a physical manifestation of hope for my fellow Indigenous Canadians.

Kevin: Cody is Mi’kmaq and brings that influence on ‘Mountain’. He can understand and relate to what’s happening on so many reserves in Canada right now – our own people lack basic resources.

Cody: We try to bring that perspective to our music.

We’re talking right now about rearranging ‘Mountain’ with traditional Indigenous musicians to create an even more powerful message.

Kevin: Eventually we’d like to use proceeds from our music to help the National Inquiry into Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women. Canadian authorities are still brushing off these cases but we have hope that these forgotten people will get the justice they deserve.  We want to be a part of what’s happening in our country right now and help in any way we can.

Who are your current favourite Canadian bands?

Kevin: Rush is our absolute favourite band ever. Cody & I became friends because of Rush and whenever we’re feeling down we put on a Rush album and it brings us back to why we play music. They are Canadian legends.  Our favourite Canadian artists right now are One Bad Son, The Glorious Sons, Arkells, Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs, Ascot Royals and The Dirty Nil.

They have all recently put out amazing albums that we listen to every day.

We have been lucky enough to play with a lot of these amazing bands who we look up to!

Cody: Gord Downie was a hero for other reasons and we look up to him and what he stood for.  Gord was a champion for indigenous rights and reconciliation in Canada. He may be gone but his heroism remains.  We call ourselves Crown Lands because of how tightly interwoven it is to our identity as Canadians.

The majority of Native Reserves are on Crown Land.

Our own people go without clean drinking water today.  The horrors of Residential Schools are still fresh in our recent history.

Intergenerational suffering is very real.  Gord spent his last years fighting to have these silenced peoples’ voices heard. We hope to follow in his footsteps and do good.

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