Nicholas Crown
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Nicholas Crown

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Indie




"Nicholas Crown Interview"

If you have one album that you can listen over and over while you walk through the streets of New York City and have all your cares dissipate, well this could be one of them. Nicholas Crown’s first LP album “City Calling” was recorded out of his suitcase while backpacking through Europe. We chatted about how he first got his start at music, his music, and how technology has improved our lives in unimaginable ways.

1) So your sound is very awesome! What are some of your musical influences? How have they influenced your writing?

N.C: I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 7 years old, when I found a Stratocaster under the Christmas tree. I learned by practicing Hendrix and John Lee Hooker tunes; Delta Blues, Led Zeppelin, and of course folk giants like Nick Drake. Blues, minor scales and syncopation teaches you that you have to maximize whatever you have, make every verse count, with one voice and a guitar, if each phrase doesn’t break you into a million pieces, rewrite it.

2) Your song ” The High Line” really highlights the Chelsea’s beauty. What made you write about it?

N.C: It’s not necessarily an homage to the physical structure, despite the fact that I consider it one of our finest engineering projects. I was walking through Chelsea very early in the morning and I saw The High Line as not a train line, but rather a hurdle or water line. Something that if you could scale it, you could reach something profound and pure–maybe something like heaven, away from the imperfections and disappointment of living on the asphalt. If you can find an escape, or passage, even momentarily from sweat and disillusionment, what I conceptualized as “flying the High Line,” you should take it—especially if you can bring someone with you.

3) What’s one song that you guys love performing live?

N.C: I would have to say “New Amsterdam.” I am inspired by the idea of New York as it stood originally—a Dutch colony; it IS fascinating to overlay different time periods, considering what the city has become. I was surprised that these New York stories spoke to a lot of different people and it’s great to be contacted by people from all over the world to discuss music. Technology has made that possible.

4) What’s one of your favorite venue to play?

N.C: Playing Arlene’s Grocery was very special and Howard on the sound board was amazing; we’re also looking forward to play at Drom. (12/18)

5) Since we all love whiskey at Pancakes & Whiskey, what’s your favorite whiskey drink?

N.C: If I’m drinking beer I’m at the Corner Bistro. Teenage nostalgia and the Black Keys on the jukebox. I’m on a sake kick so I’m at Decibel, Kenka, and Rockmeisha recently. As for brown spirits, after all this is Pancakes and Whiskey, I’m drinking an Old Fashioned at Black Market and amaro at Amor y Amargo.

Pancakes and Whiskey will be covering Nicholas Crown’s Drom show on 12/18 as well so join us for some great tunes and get some drinks with us!! - Pancakes and Whiskey

"An Inside Look with Nicholas Crown"

Since I missed getting photos of Nicholas Crown during our interview with him a few weeks ago, I was excited to be invited to his rehearsal before the show. I was forewarned about the space being a tight one and they weren’t kidding, but size wasn’t an issue with the huge sound they blasted soon after I arrived. Being in a band for many years, it felt familiar, although I had just met the guys - they were beyond friendly and hospitable offering me cold beverages and warm smiles. I stayed for three songs but heard many influences in their music and at one point they went from jazz, to psychedelic, to funk and then to hard rock all in a span of 30 seconds – showing off their versatility in an extended jam.

Fast forward a few hours and over the east river in the LES, I arrive at Drom – a place you might just pass by if not looking for it, but surprisingly enough is a fine venue with nice sound and a large stage. Not long after, Nicholas Crown and crew ambled onstage to a fairly packed room and proceed to rock the place for 45 minutes with some harmonious electronic-indie. The band seems to have a fairly good following and they made their presence felt by shouting out remarks and dancing all over the place which in turn had everyone else there to do the same.

For a young band they were quite good, with few hiccups and had that amazing versatility during the live show that they had shown in rehearsal, but more polished – which is the true mark of a band of the rise. - Pancakes and Whiskey

"Video Premiere: "Fake It" - Nicholas Crown"

I flew to London to take a breath of fresh air after living inside the studio for the past five months recording and mixing the “New Amsterdam” EP. When I say “lived”—I slept there—with a bed inside the vocal room, against the wall, surrounded by sound baffles, spare drum heads, and the all-holy Neumann mic we used on a handful of the tracks practically dangling over my pillow. My engineer and co-producer on the record, Sean Kelly, would mix with me around the clock until we couldn’t tell the difference between synths and a car horns. We ate a shocking amount of hummus and also had a sneaking suspicion that the place was haunted after midnight. Tom and Caleb would visit the studio to rehearse for a show or re-track emergency bass and percussion. They hid Miller cans behind my couch and slept at home in Brooklyn like reasonable people.

I had an idea to do a song in the U.K. that was set apart from the EP—we want to release the EP with a label so have just trickled-out one track from it, “Kingston,” on Soundcloud. I did a bit of searching and wanted a smokier, looser sound. Maybe even something vintage and crackly, but not totally lo-fi, that’s way too hip for me. I found JB Pilon’s portfolio online who was working from Wax Studios in London, which is an odd, attic studio inside a far-flung loft building in Dalston. The only odd thing about the studio is the way it looks, the sound was really rich and natural, maybe due to the acoustics of the A-frame. I used JB’s Telecaster Thinline on the record with plenty of delay; the tone was super-clear and almost bell-like. We used a modified SG-style guitar made out of solid acrylic with custom humbuckers on the chorus, which really roared. We reversed amp feedback and manipulated old delay pedals for the intro. I usually do multiple takes of everything and I won’t share how many feedback takes we did—it’s embarrassing. The moodiness in the video is a product of the sole window, a skylight, letting in early, blue, dusk like a laser beam. We got lucky.

The song was a subconscious, automatic one for me, I wrote it in two days and edited over a week. I had another one prepared for the studio and tossed it last minute. I’m glad I did. In retrospect, I think “Fake It” captures the attitude about not quite being there yet—the finish line, the clearing in the woods—whatever. It’s a song that’s aware of loss and denial, maybe a too-late love song for someone who’s not listening anymore, but a stubborn plead to pick up your pieces, your bones, drag your suitcase up a fucking ladder in Amsterdam and turn up the amplifier. It’s a chant and a celebration of the in-between. It’s worth the sweat; we’ll all get there soon. - Pancakes and Whiskey


"Counting Lines" single released on iTunes and Spotify August 10 2015.

"New Amsterdam" EP recorded as a full band to-be-released winter of 2015.

"City Calling (Deluxe Edition)" LP, a re-master of "City Calling" with bonus tracks, by Nicholas Crown was released November, 1 2014 on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, Deezer, Rdio, Slacker, and iHeartRadio.

"Play" single by Nicholas Crown was released October, 8 2014 on Soundcloud.

"New Amsterdam" single by Nicholas Crown was released September, 12 2014 on Soundcloud.

"Planet Earth" single by Nicholas Crown was released August, 25 2014 on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, Deezer, Rdio, Slacker, and iHeartRadio.

"City Calling" LP by Nicholas Crown was released July, 30 2014 on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, Deezer, Rdio, Slacker, and iHeartRadio.



Nicholas Crown started from a suitcase--an AKG condenser microphone and a MacBook Pro dragged across Europe in the winter of 2013. Nicholas Crown brought these songs home to New York three months later as the self-produced, solo record, "City Calling." He promoted the demo, playing Pianos and Arlene’s Grocery, by layering synths, guitars, and vocals onstage as a solo act.

Nicholas Crown's dreams of a full band began to materialize as childhood friend, Thomas Stinchfield, joined him as bassist along with drummer, Caleb Spaulding, whom Crown met at a house party in Williamsburg. They called the band, simply, Nicholas Crown. Nicholas Crown, the band, debuted at The Delancey in the East Village in December 2014 and played DROM, The Kitchen, and underground events in Brooklyn before entering the studio in February 2015. Nicholas Crown completed recording their first studio EP, "New Amsterdam", in mid-June. They recorded in the legendary Water Music in Hoboken, NJ, are waiting to release the record with a label.

Crown's music, spanning from alternative rock to danceable pop, deals with the juxtaposition between grit and beauty in his native city or, “lovesick tales of New York.” Their music has the tension and yearning last heard in mid-90's alternative rock. Sean Hanley of the blog Pancakes and Whiskey remarked "I stayed for three songs but heard many influences in their music and at one point they went from jazz, to psychedelic, to funk and then to hard rock all in a span of 30 seconds – showing off their versatility in an extended jam." Nicholas Crown's performances have been featured in an Incase Designs web series shot entirely with GoPro cameras. The band recorded their first music video for the track "Kingston" in an industrial loft in Fort Greene. The video is to be released in November.

Band Members