I’ve been working with Chris and Paul at Imperative PR on the release of Metempsychosis. In addition, I’m already working on new compositions as I’m constantly writing new music. I’m also in the thought process of putting a live line up of the band together!
2.In January you has released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I would describe ‘Metempsychosis’ as a Progressive Space Jazz Rock album! There is much more depth to the songs than on earlier recordings due to the further prog related sounds. For example, if you listen to the first Crowned In Earth album it sounds nothing like the new one. I like that though as I always planned Crowned InEarth would continually expand musically!
3.The earlier material was more doom metal and the new album goes for more of a pure style of progressive rock, what was the decision behind going into this musical direction?
After the release of ‘A Vortex of Earthly Chimes’, I was feeling very bored musically. I actually lost interest in playing music for a while as I felt like I was treading water and when I tried to write riffs they sounded a little doom by numbers.
My favourite parts of the ‘Vortex…’ album were the proggier elements as I felt I could stretch my wings a bit more. I took that excitement and feeling of adventure into the composing of the new songs which eventually made up ‘Metempsychosis’.
For me as a musician, there’s nothing more boring than to keep playing the same things and style over and over again. I like how the sound of CIE has opened up where there’s no boundaries and anything can happen.
4.This is the first album to be released in 2 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
It took me a while to write this album and get the compositions to flow. It’s great to have lots of different sections to the song but there has to be some sort of continuity to make each track work. Once I have these tracks finished I then demo them and send them to Darin. We don’t live in the same country so we can’t get together and rehearse them. So, I have to give Darin time to learn the songs and record the drums. This time around I invited Pug into the line up to record bass. Again, there is a time frame there for him to learn and record. Then the tracks get sent to Brian Anthony to work his magic on them.For me there’s a lot of waiting!
5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
The lyrics in CIE are almost secondary to the music as I’m no Peter Gabriel or Peter Sinfield. My lyrics are based on everyday experiences. For example, the lyrics to ‘Morning Light’ came into my head one frosty morning when I was out walking my dog watching the sunrise.
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Crowned In Earth'?
The name Crowned In Earth has a specific spiritual meaning to me. I tend not to share my view on this as different people who have spoken to me about it have their own thoughts about what it means. I quite like this, and I wouldn’t want to change anyone else’s thoughts on what it means to them.
7.Originally the band was a solo project, what was the decision behind forming a full lein up?
CIE is still a solo project at this stage. To all intents and purposes, they are Kevin Lawry solo albums. I think that Crown In Earth sounds more exciting than Kevin Lawry!
I enjoy having Darin on the records as I love his style of playing. He is a key part of the rhythm section and more than just a session member to me. I bounce lots of ideas of him when I’m writing. I invited Pug to play on the album as I wanted to try and introduce the idea of having another musician play on my songs.
8.Has the band done any live shows or is this strictly a studio project?
As yet, CIE has not performed live and remains a studio project. I have aspirations to play live but I also have my hesitations. I would have to find the right session members to do it. Also, I’d need to work with a good promoter who could make it worth my while. When I say worthwhile, I’m not speaking money but it needs to be in front of an audience that will appreciate what CIE does. This isn’t a band that can play to your average audience at your local bar! The other part I wrestle with here is that my favourite part of music is the creation of it! I love being in my studio and creating new songs. I prefer this so much more than live performances. I’ll be giving this a lot of thought over the coming weeks but if the interest is really there with the release of ‘Metempsychosis’ then I shall do my best to get a live line up together!
9.The new album is coming out on Sonic Mermaid Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Sonic Mermaid is my own label solely for releasing my music through. I’ve been let down by a few labels now and had people makes promises that haven’t been met. I decided I couldn’t be bothered with labels etc anymore and I would put my record out myself. I have Chris and Paul at Imperative PR handling the promo side of things for me which is great as that is a massive part of an album release that former labels have done badly! I’m very excited be working with them as they are fantastic at what they do!
10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom metal and progressive rock?
Prog fans who like their music on the slightly heavier side enjoyed ‘A Vortex of Earthly Chimes’ and more open minded Doom fans liked the proggier elements of the record too! So the feedback has been very positive. Hopefully, there will be something in the new record that people will like.
11.What is going on with some of the other musical projects or bands these days that some of the band members are a part off?
Darin has formed a new band called Righteous Bloom and they’re recording an album at the moment. I believe that more Pale Divine material is on the horizon too.
12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
As I mentioned earlier, I’m writing new material all the time and already have a new record in mind. The sound of the songs have a lot of jazz fusion energy about them and some very expansive sounding parts as well as some nice folky sounds going on. There are no boundaries as to where CIE might end up on the next album!
13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Influences on CIE are the more musical prog bands like Camel, Genesis and Pink Floyd along with Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever and of course Mike Oldfield! I tend to listen to older music from the late 60’s and 70’s as there are very few modern bands which I like these days.
Although, Opeth’s ‘Pale Communion’ has been on constant rotation on my stereo since it was released at the end of last year! I thought that Pink Floyds ‘The Endless River’ was really good too! It was much better than I thought it was going to be actually!
14.What are some of your non musical interests?
When I’m not writing or listening to music, I can generally be found out walking with my German Shepherd through the local countryside and woods. This is where a lot of inspiration for my music comes from as there is a lot of beautiful scenery. I’m an active person so I cycle a lot too!
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks you very much for the interview and I hope you’re listeners enjoy ‘Metempsychosis’!