Vocalist Danny Knight of Philadelphia’s Crown Of Earth Interviewed

American progressive, classic heavy metal influenced band, Crown Of Earth has exploded onto the Philadelphia music scene and has rapidly established a very strong fan base across the U.S.

Influenced by all the heavy hitters in Rock and Metal, history has created an exciting and energetic new band that consistently produces melodic songs packed full of powerful guitar riffs and memorable vocal “hooks” that will stick with you forever. Crown of Earth always engages their audience during every high energy performance. Vocalist Danny Knight filled us in on his musical upbringing and his band Crown Of Earth.

 

How did you first get into music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?

I first got into “music”, rock music, when I saw a special on T.V. about Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. I remember sneaking downstairs late at night to watch this show, and my dad was yelling to “turn it down!” I’ll never forget that experience, as Jimi Hendrix says… “Are you experienced?” Well…. I am.

 How did you become a vocalist and are you proficient in any other instruments?

I always joke around that I play the radio very well. I do have some formal training and I attribute the power and my capabilities to a vocal instructor at the local music store back in Detroit where I grew up. I was in a band throughout high school and I guess I sucked as a vocalist because my peers who I thought I would take over the metal world with, kicked me out of the band for another singer. Well, that gave me motivation to do something about it. That’s when I took vocal lessons for a short period of time. Soon after those lessons with Davis Gloff, I went back to my previous band and they saw a huge difference in my capabilities, and we continued to rock for another 4 years. That’s really where I developed my style and contribute my power and range to. That band was called Medieval Metal based out of Detroit. I had the best time of my life with those guys…..and gals! Shelly Barron was our female bassist who actually was considered just one of the guys. I remember how she rocked a cover of “Dark Avenger” by Manowar! You know that Chorus saturated Bass line at the beginning of the song, she pulled it off perfectly. She was fun and easy on the eyes, too!

What was the local scene in Philadelphia like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?

Pretty interesting question. The beginning of the local scene for me in Philadelphia was just around the time that grunge music was born. I moved here around that time, I’d say that I had a tough time with it. I immediately got into a band called Broken Toys with Doug Perry on guitar, Keith West on guitar, Chris Jesperson on bass, and Robbie Boyer on drums based out of Collegeville, PA. I considered our style to be more commercial metal at that time. Not Glam Metal, but commercial. Kinda like Skid Row and such. We played all the local clubs and I felt like we had a shot at doing something big. However, grunge music just took roots and that was that. I really didn’t know of any Philly bands that inspired me but there were a lot of good original bands at the time. The scene was happening for a little while. We played all the cool clubs like The Galaxy, Bonnies Rox, and The Cellblock. Many other clubs in the area, too. Some of my favorite bands these days are the bands we play shows with. There are a ton of cool bands and it’s always a great time when we play out like ​Corners of Sanctuary​ and I really like our friends in ​Mach 22​ who are really making a name for themselves lately. Damian and Jaron are very cool guys, alongside is Sebastian, Rick and Lamont, who are equally cool. I also love playing with a particular band who is a little more like our style… they’re called Inferno Opera. We play a lot of shows with them because our music is very well suited for them. Big props to Michael Alberque for always booking great shows. They have one of the best metal vocalists around here and, she… yes, I said “she” always does a great performance. Volpe Vertano is a great singer. I really do recommend checking them out! ​Infernal Opera​ 

How would you best describe your sound?

In a nutshell I would describe the sound of ​Crown Of Earth​ as Classic Heavy Metal! I always tell people that it’s hard to be original. It’s nice to have our influences, but just don’t rip them off note for note. Thus, it makes it hard to sound original. I’ve always thought that the best compliment is from the people who say that they don’t really listen to our kind of music, but it’s very good for what we do.

Is doing pre-sales the same thing as pay to play?

Pretty much yes it is the same thing. Some places want money up front just to get the tickets to sell. I think that’s wrong to ask that of a local independent band. People just don’t come out to local shows like they used to.

What was the first music you bought and what have you bought more than once?

I remember hearing Run to the Hills on Headbangers Ball and I rode my bicycle to the mall and purchased the cassette tape. I’m pretty sure I bought that Iron Maiden album (The Number of the Beast) more than once.

DIY forever or signing with a label at first opportunity?

I’ve always been a DIY’er my whole life with everything, mainly because my dad taught me to be thrifty. However, I’m pretty sick of doing this music business stuff. I just wanna be an performing artist! If the right deal comesalong…. Where the fuck do I sign?!!!

Whats the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?

Personally, I’ve sung the National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner) in front of 30,000 people at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia for the Advance Auto Monster Jam. I couldn’t believe how comfortable I was. On the other hand, I’m always running around before a local show. Just scrambling to get on stage between other bands, rushing to get our gear on and off. That makes me more nervous than anything. But once I’m on stage, I’m right at home.

Is commercial rock radio dead?

I don’t believe commercial rock radio is dead. I mean, take Avenged Sevenfold for example. Come on? Great band.

Favorite songs on the new as yet to be finished album and why?

We have a handful of kick-ass tunes coming up. I can’t wait to record the new album. I’m very proud of the guys and how the songs are going. We have one in particular, it’s called “On The Edge Of  Time”. It’s very well put together. Marky Z wrote some great words for the song. It just rocks and I love playing it. It works for me.

Out of all your songs which one touches you the most when you perform it?

I’d have to say that ​Born Again Warrior​ has a personal connection that stems from my patriotism and love for my home country, The United States of America. I’m proud to be an american. I’ve been abroad and I’m pretty certain that even with all of our home grown problems, In my opinion, we’re still the greatest country in the world. I have a great admiration for all the men and women past, present and future, that continue to put their lives and limbs on the line for my freedom and for this country. You should always thank a Veteran for their service.

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Are there any political or social issues hidden in Crown of Earth songs ?

Naaaa. I’d have to say that our songs are just songs that come together by a feeling and the lyrics are dictated by the mood of the music. No real philosophical agenda in this band. However, I am a very science driven person.

What was the process of putting the songs in order.

I believe that the songs should take the listener on a ride. Start off aggressively, mellow out in the middle, and bash them out at the end. Much like a live set-list should do.

What endorsements do you have and what endorsements do you still want?

Crown of Earth would like some endorsements if they come along. However, most companies just give the artist a hefty discount on the products. If they want to give us free gear, then I’m all in. I would still like to get some free SHURE mics. They work well for me on stage and as a hammer!

Bands you would love to tour with and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?

So many great influential bands from the past…. Would love to tour with Maiden, Priest, Sabbath, Manowar, Megadeth…even current bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Ghost, GWAR, Black Dahlia Murder, Mastodon… just way too many to list.

Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?

I’m sure everyone answers the same thing but just in case, I’d like Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, but I’m sure the speakers will be blasting out, Highway to Hell. 3 albums would be Jimi Hendrix – Bold As Love, Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast, and the soundtrack to the Zeppelin movie – The Song Remains The Same.

Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?

Well, I just want to thank you at Capital Chaos TV for helping out bands like ​Crown Of Earth! I can speak for all the members of ​Crown Of Earth and I know we truly appreciate your support! Thank you very much.I just want to pop a few links here to help the audience locate the things I love and mentioned. Please visit our web site crownofearth.com for updates and links to our music and merchandise. Follow us on Facebook ​ Also, if you want an awesome recording, re-mix or mastering of your next album, please check out my buddy’s studio at domesound.net Listen live to our favorite DJ on ​Digital Revolution Radio​: THE DJ TITAN SHOW Make sure you check out the bands I mentioned above in the article for some good music. I hope to see you at our next show!

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