I’M starting off the week by speaking with Kyle of KROWNS…
who has been telling me about the band’s new track, High While the World Ends. I ask whether there is more material coming in the future and the sort of sounds that influence KROWNS; if there are any new artists we should get involved with – he reveals the gigs coming up for the guys.
Kyle tells me about Calgary and how supportive the city is; the advice upcoming artists should take to heart; how he manages to relax away from music – the band members each choose a song to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Sup. We’re stoked after releasing High While the World End and appreciate all the support.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
My name is Kyle McKearney. I sing and play guitar. My brother Shade McKearney is on bass and sings (and provides samples). Adam is on drums; he sings and plays keys.
High While the World Ends is your debut single. What is the story behind the song?
There’s a lot going on in the world. Sometimes, we need to set aside all the bullsh*t and just be humans together. We wanted to come out swinging and High' was the best fit for that.
How did KROWNS get together? When did you start playing together?
Shade and I are brothers and have been playing together since we were young kids. Adam was with us in a previous band and has been a third brother for years. KROWNS was birthed when I started writing down my story and started getting right with my past.
Is there more material coming from you guys? What are you working on?
We’ve got more songs ready: we’re in it for the long haul.
Can you give me a sense of the artists who inspired you all to get into music?
We had to sneak music. Our parents were very strict regards what we listened to. We sneaked Eminem, Nirvana; Green Day, N.W.A.; The Offspring, Marilyn Manson; Metallica, lots of mixtapes. We loved The Beatles anthologies.
Shade: Misfits, Lauryn Hill; Rancid and Sublime.
Adam: Michael Jackson, Nirvana and Punk bands like Bad Religion.
How supportive are the people and venues of Calgary? Is it a great area to make music in?
People have been super-supportive of KROWNS. I wouldn’t say Calgary is easy: it’s a conservative city and most people don’t care about original music. There is some great support from venues like The Blind Beggar but it’s honestly like most cities. Some good some sh*t.
What do you hope to achieve before the end of 2018?
We wanna have a tour schedule set up and have a few more songs released. We wanna go play in Germany and Australia.
Have you all got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
That’s a tough one. It seems like the hard times stick out - the bus breaking down and a trailer flying off, rolling through the ditch. The suffering is always memorable and enjoyable when you’re grinding with your boys.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
We’d love to open for Post Malone. His shows are fire and the crowds have such a good vibe. Drake, 21 Pilots and Imagine Dragons would be sick as well.
Our rider would have a bottle of Jameson’s, a box of IPA; a box of Cubans and whatever else.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Just be honest. Don’t pander - and keep writing till you don’t suck.
Where can we see you play? Do you have any gigs approaching?
We just finished a single release show in Calgary but only pending shows at this point. Nothing else has been announced.
Might you come to the U.K. down the line? Do you like British music?
I love British music. I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting and writing with Roger Taylor of Queen. Amazing dude. We’d love to come if you’d have us.
IN THIS PHOTO: Dermot Kennedy
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I build relic Fender replicas as something to focus on while I’m not busy with KROWNS. I love it. We’ve had a bit of time with the release happening and it’s always nice but we can’t wait to get to work.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Hurt to Look - Swae Lee (ft. Rae Sremmurd, Slim Jxmmi)
Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz
All Apologies - Nirvana