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Crown Lands Fearless: Context Pt. 1 | Right Way Back Interview

By Phjoshua @thereviewsarein

Very good things are happening for Crown Lands.

When we received the news that Crown Lands would have their next two songs premiered on Rolling Stone, we couldn't have been happier. The music industry magazine's headline read "Does This Young Canadian Duo Pull Off Their Gutsy Rush Tribute?" we have to reassure Rolling Stone readers that yes, they absolutely do pull it off.

Our readers will know that we've been supporters of the band for almost five years. From an opening set at Toronto's Rivoli to opening up for some of the biggest acts in the music industry, including Jack White, Coheed and Cambria, Primus, The Hu and Monster Truck, the band have been continually working hard, doing the right things, and putting together a catalogue that dips into blues-rock territory.

With this last release, they've taken a turn and are giving us their best prog rock, music that's very close to their hearts. Fearless: Context Pt. 1 and Right Way Back are the result of the band being encouraged to let their prog flag fly. Let's talk about the details.

The music of Rush helped cement the connection between the two from very the beginning. With both new tracks, long-time fans Kevin and Cody have delivered a beautiful hommage to Rush.

Crown Lands Fearless: Context Pt. 1 | Right Way Back Interview

The recording process was very different from their previous outings. This time they started by recording an early demo of the song with Terry Brown. Brown is known for producing Rush's early classics. In the Rolling Stone piece Brown was quoted saying, "And there is definitely a likeness in some ways, but in more ways, they're nothing like Rush. The register that Cody likes to sing in is very reminiscent of Geddy [Lee] in his younger days. And certainly, some of the guitar riffs and the bass playing from Kevin, who also loves the old synths. But when you put them all together, it adds up to Crown Lands, and I think, something unique and special."

Next, they brought in another Rush connection, Nick Raskulinecz. Raskulinecz produced Rush's final two studio albums and was the logical as well as the emotional choice. The session happened in January of last year. Having just found out about the passing of Neil Peart, they drove to Nashville through a snowstorm to meet up with Raskulinecz. They commiserated, Nick shared some Rush stories, and then they got to work. Cody told us, "And then he [Nick] took me aside and mentioned that he had a kit that Neil had used for the Snakes and Arrows live tour, and he'd donated it to him." It was in his studio and when he asked if I wanted to use it. I said yes, absolutely, without hesitation. And that was probably one of the most surreal experiences in my life. You know, a spiritual moment for me to have my hero's kit set up before me, and to play it.

We also went into the studio there with another song called right way back, which was just a demo there didn't really have any vocal direction or a chorus or anything. And we worked on that with Nick. And we penned it in tribute to Neil and, and the legacy that, you know, he, he gave to me like to be left behind and, you know, picking up where your heroes left off, and, and hoping that they're, you know, they're good wherever they are."

Kevin then interjected, "Yeah, the pain of missing out on meeting Neil and getting his blessing and his smile, you know, I think that's what Right Way Back talks about. Knowing we're never gonna get that but hoping that maybe he's looking down smiling right now, hopefully."

While both songs hum with this new sound, next came the decision of which piece to create a video for. Having learned to be pragmatic over the years, Crown Lands figured they should go with the 3-minute song vs the 7+ minute song. However, their team stepped in to push the band to be true to themselves and instead, we've got an epic 7:47 concept video.

Crown Lands Fearless: Context Pt. 1 | Right Way Back Interview

Fearless: Context Pt. 1 takes us to another world where space travellers embark on a diplomatic mission to spread music. The video feels like Lord of the Rings meets The Walking Dead, Mad Max, and Star Wars. The poster for the video looks like a classic movie poster and suits the video to a tee.

"The final recording for "Context: Fearless Pt. 1" is an epic, hydra-headed beast of a song, complete with a full-scale, Mandalorian-style sci-fi music video." - Press release

Crown Lands worked with Blake Mawson, their collaborator on the Leadfoot video, to help them realize their concept. Mawson said, "When Crown Lands approached me about working on a second video together, I was blown away by the scope of the vision they had in mind for their upcoming release. "

Crown Lands - Fearless: Context Pt. 1

Crown Lands - Right Way Back

You can get your copy of Fearless: Context Pt. 1 | Right Way Back with the sweet lava swirl now.

Just days before the release of Fearless: Context Pt. 1 | Right Way Back, Cody and Kevin were surprised by two Juno nominations, one for Breakthrough Group of the year, and the very heavily loaded category of Rock Album of the Year where they go up against the big guys with their self-titled album. They'll be fighting it out with JJ Wilde, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Sam Roberts Band, and Silverstein. We'll be watching the award show with our fingers are crossed.

Cody said, "We were so surprised when we got those Juno nominations. You know, we were invited to watch the nomination ceremony. And it was amazing what they did and how they adapted to the format switch. And, and then we saw our names, and it was like, oh my god. Whoa, what? It wasn't until our team was flooding us with messages that it really sunk in and hit me. It's like, Oh, damn, okay, so like, this happened. It's not like fake, you know, it's like, it's really wild."

Kevin responded with, "Yeah, I thought the first round was over. So I stopped watching the things. Rock record. And then all sudden, again, our phones start blowing up. We've got this awesome group chat with everyone on the team. And I was like, Oh, shit, you know, we got two, and that's huge. I mean, most artists don't get multiple nominations, the first time coming through the Juno system."

It's always a pleasure chatting with Crown Lands. We're always excited to see what's next. Keep your eyes on this Canadian duo. They're working on something new.

Crown Lands Fearless: Context Pt. 1 | Right Way Back Interview

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