Interview with Vincent Crowley
Vincent Crowley – singer, songwriter
Interview by Kira Levine
Let’s start with your early days as a musician. What was the first instrument you learned to play?
I started playing on guitar when I was 16 years old. I remember trading a some vinyl albums to a friend of mine for a cheap Hondo Les Paul copy. And I played through a terrible ARB amplifier my father owned.
Were you given any advice by experienced musicians at the beginning of your career?
When I was 18 years old, I met Ben Meyer, the guitarist of the band NASTY SAVAGE. We became pretty good friends and I learned a lot from him. They were on METAL BLADE RECORDS, touring and huge in Tampa Metal scene. Then a couple years later I joined NOCTURNUS with Mike Browning (ex-MORBID ANGEL) and Richard Bateman (ex-AGENT STEEL). Playing and recording with them taught me so much in the year I was in the band.
Talk a little bit about how the solo project Vincent Crowley began.
I wouldn’t really call this a solo project. The group is under my name, but this is an actual band with a active line-up that all contributes to the making of the music. Very much like King Diamond did after MERCYFUL FATE. After playing in my past band ACHERON for 30 years, I felt it was time to move on and do something else. While still being in my other band INFIDEL REICH (featuring ex-members of ASPHYX) that is Old School Death Metal with a Punk-like attitude, I knew I needed another musical outlet that was dark in nature and could touch on my other lyrical interests. I also wanted a band to play live shows, since INFIDEL REICH has been just recording albums since the other members live in Holland, and I am in the United States. Ex-ACHERON guitarist Art Taylor and I had been writing new music for awhile and tried several times to get something together after ACHERON, with no success. I had plans on doing live shows under the VINCENT CROWLEY name and even played one show in Texas in 2019. I decided to make an actually band using my name and Art agreed that would be a good idea. So we finished writing the songs, found a killer drummer named Ryan Arter and went in the studio and recorded the debut album. And things have been going great ever since.
What was it like recording Beyond Acheron in the middle of 2020? Did the pandemic and resulting lockdowns impact any of the original plans you had? If so, how did you adapt?
There were a few limitations with rehearsing at first, but we found a way to do it. Luckily, we didn’t have any issues after that. And the recording went very well when we entered SONIC LOUNGE STUDIOS with engineer Joe Viers. 2020 was a very productive year for us, even with COVID-19 madness.
Once it is safe to do so, do you think you will ever perform live shows as part of this project?
Absolutely! Since shows are slowly coming back, we decided to concentrate working on material for a second album and wait to do any live shows. But live performances are indeed set for the future.
Two-thirds of the band line-up for the Vincent Crowley were also in Acheron, which disbanded in 2018. How did you meet drummer Ryan Arter, and the guest musicians (Aaron Werner and Ludo “Evil” Lejeune)?
Ryan used to played in a band called CHURCH with a friend of ours. He was just going to help us out in the studio, but since the band chemistry was so strong, he ended up being part of the band. And Aaron and Ludo have been long time friends of mine.
How different or similar would you say Vincent Crowley is, when compared with Acheron?
VINCENT CROWLEY is a totally different beast than ACHERON. ACHERON was a Black/Death Metal band. VINCENT CROWLEY may have that as an influence, we also have more of an expanded outlook on song writing, which is also influenced by Doom, Heavy Metal and even Dark Rock & roll. Lyrically, the new songs are stories based on Death, Horror and the Macabre, While ACHERON was mostly straight forward Satanic, Anti-Religious and Occult ones. But both bands are dark, but in different ways. And since I still do a lot of the song writing with Art Taylor, my style is still present.
Beyond Acheron is described as a concept album. What influenced the songwriting process?
The whole album is based on topics of “death” from beginning until end. Since ACHERON had ended and the VINCENT CROWLEY band began, the underlined theme was “From death comes Life”. And since I wanted the new material to be what I like to call “Macabre Metal”, that subject matter seemed to be the ideal concept to work around.
Who was responsible for the album cover artwork for Beyond Acheron and the Vincent Crowley logo?
German artist Timo Wuerz did the cover artwork and Moonroot Art did the logo.
Beyond Acheron will be released through underground label Odium Records. What has it been like working with a record label based overseas?
We have several labels in different territories releasing this album. ODIUM RECORDS is our European one. They have been a pleasure to work with and have been doing a great job. HELLHAMMER RECORDS is doing the USA release and BLACK SEAL PRODUCTIONS is doing a special limited Brazilian version. All the labels have been doing great jobs promoting the new album. It just goes to show that big labels are not always the best ones to be on.
Are there any other music projects that you are currently involved with that you would like to speak about?
I am still in the band INFIDEL REICH. We also finished an album this year, which will be called “N.W.O. (New World Outrage)” and will hopefully be released by the end of the year on RAW RECORDZ. It is also somewhat of a concept album about all the madness that has been going on the last few years.
Tell us about your interests outside of music.
The Occult, Horror, traveling and working out. I’m pretty anti-social, so my wife and I like to travel to odd places such as infamous haunted places, graveyards and places to hike.
What is the current underground metal scene like in your part of the US? What would you say has changed about it since you were first a part of it?
I’m living in Columbus, Ohio now, and the scene has never been very good here in the 21 years I’ve been here. In fact, I think I have only played about 7 or 8 shows here. I moved here from Tampa, Florida, which was a big culture shock! Tampa had a great Metal scene.
Are there any well-known metal acts that you particularly enjoy? Or any up-and-coming musicians you admire?
I’m a huge fan of bands like BLACK SABBATH, MERCYFUL FATE, DANZIG, CARNIVORE, MOTORHEAD, CANDLEMASS, VENOM, TROUBLE, ALICE COOPER, MARDUK, BATHORY and the mighty KING DIAMOND. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t really heard many new bands in the last couple of years. Most of the bands I have been listening to are at least 5 years old.
New or old, which records have you been listening to recently?
These past week I’ve been playing TRIBULATION “Where the Gloom Becomes Sound”, TYPE O NEGATIVE “Dead Again”, DEICIDE “Legion”, MISFITS “Walk among Us”, BELPHEGOR “Bondage Goat Zombie” and THE PLASMATICS “Maggots: The Record”.
Personally, are you inspired by or a fan of non-metal music?
Metal is the main form of music I listen to, but I enjoy other types, such as Rock, Industrial, Punk, Gothic, Classical, Outlaw Country and Southern Rock.
What does the year ahead look like for the Vincent Crowley project?
We are going to continue to work on material for our next album, which will be called “Anthology of Horror”. And in we plan to start doing live shows.
Thank you so much for your time! Is there anything else that you want to add for our readers?
It has been my pleasure. As for the readers, make sure to pick up the new VINCENT CROWLEY album “Beyond Acheron” and the upcoming INFIDEL REICH album “N.W.O. (New World Outrage)”. My work is far from being done!
1. Intro: Beyond Acheron
2. Where No Light Shines
3. My Eternal Vow
4. La Muerte
5. Bring Forth The Dead
6. Masquerade Du Macabre
7. Farewell (At Death’s Door)