2011, Features, Interviews — October 13, 2011 at 10:15 am

Alex Johnson of These Kids Wear Crowns


So there was a rhyme to the reason of posting the video clip first…yes These Kids Wear Crowns are the band who sing THAT song, yes the song you have probably had stuck in your head one way or another for the last few weeks!  Well the boys from Canada are coming to Australia in November to play some shows, so get ready to be hearing this song a lot, lot more.  We caught up with the bands singer Alex to chat about the upcoming Aussie shows.


Hey Alex, thanks for taking the time to chat with May The Rock Be With You!  So where do you find you today, you guys are out on tour right now aren’t you?
We are on tour, we are just starting our Canadian tour before we come down for our Australian tour!  We are actually on our way between Toronto and Munkton right now and it’s cold!

You are headed out to Australia very soon to play a bunch of shows.  You guys were out here earlier this year weren’t you, what was that all about?
We had actually come down to Singapore for the Music Matters festival which was pretty cool and we had a chance to play with Simple Plan there and to top it off we got to come to Australia and do some press and meet our EMI label so it was some quick press and a little bit of hanging out and sightseeing.

So the single Jumpstart wouldn’t have even been released then when you were first out here?
No, it wasn’t even out then, we just came down to talk with a bunch of people and heard what the plan was for releasing our album.  Once the single got released, thanks to everyone in Australia, because it has done so well down there.  It definitely gave us an opportunity to look at coming back and this tour opportunity came up and we were like, hey, why not, we’d love to come back and play some shows before the end of the year.

You are going to be out here for a over a week, what are you looking forward to most about being in Australia?
Well the girls of course haha!  We really enjoyed the people, everyone was so nice down there and friendly.  We didn’t really get too much of a chance to soak up the nightlife or even go out in the day and see everything.  But this time we have some days off in between shows so we really hope to get out and see the main attractions and meet some cool people and hang out with some people in each city that we play in!

What can your fans expect from your set, how would you describe your live show?
Well, something will always be on the verge of breaking and we respect that haha! We love to have fun and to be a little wild up on stage and for everyone down there to feel like they are part of the show and part of this party and not just standing there watching us play. We try to be super inclusive and jump around, it’s kind of like the energy builds from the crowd and the crowd gets energy from us and it’s a great thing.

I have to ask, when you were starting out These Kids Wear Crowns, what did you set out as the main musical mission of the band?
We just wanted to make music that we enjoyed and wanted other people to enjoy.  I know it’s clichéd but that’s the honest truth, we wanted to have fun making music and we never wanted to lose that.  If we are making music and not having fun, then there’s other jobs we could be doing.  Being a musician can be a lot of fun, but there’s a lot of travelling and you are away from your family a lot and in a van a lot and there’s so many ups but also a few downs that could deter people from doing it.  We chose to do music because we love it and thankfully the music we chose to do goes over well with a lot of people.

Who handles the main song writing duties in the band, or is this something that is shared?
Me and Alan tend to write the majority of the songs and get them to the point where we bring them in the studio and then go through a recording process and the other guys put their own little touch on there. We don’t really do a lot of group writing, Alan and I have written together for six or seven years now, maybe even a bit longer, so it’s almost natural that we continue to write together and everyone fills in different voids within the band.  Writing songs is obviously a very important part, but there are other things that need to be dealt with that the rest of the guys do a great job keeping up with.  Once we are in the studio that’s when we come together and make the songs feel like they are ours.

Looking back now, how would you describe the experience of making your first full length album?
It was fun, it was confusing, it was trying, it was the first time we had ever worked with anyone outside of the band as well.  We were kind of just a bunch of yes men for a few things, not that I think that came out bad, because there is nobody out there who wants to write bad music, or in the business to make music that people won’t enjoy.  So you do need to have a certain amount of trust and I think we totally gave our trust over.  I can’t remember who it was but there’s a great quote “you never finish a song, you just abandon it”.  That’s so true as you can never really get that song to how you hear it in your head and if you try to get it exactly as you want to hear it, you’ll just drive yourself mad!  You have to just kind of abandon a song at a certain point and say there, I’m content with this.

So out of all the songs you could have chosen to cover, you went with a Whitney Houston song on the album…what made you choose that one?
Yeah, that’s our newest single out there now isn’t it!  We liked that original video clip of Whitney’s so much, we just wanted to do the song.  It kind if started out as our inside joke and the we sent it to the label thinking nothings going to happen, but we will see what they think anyways.  They sent it to the writers and the writers wrote back and said they loved the energy and that we are happy for you to perform this and put it on your CD.  It didn’t really start off as this big idea that this could be our second single, but that’s what it turned into!

And the concept of the Neon Army what’s behind that?
Yeah, there’s people who enjoy our music and the there’s people who are part of our whole ideal and those people are our Neon Army.  It’s kind of like a whole mentality, the whole positivity creates positivity, these are kind of slogans that we spread and have on our blogs and tweets and stuff and it’s just a whole positive message for people to get out there and do something out of the ordinary and become an individual yourself.  Be very inclusive and receptive of other people and their ideas because everyone’s different.  One thing we can all enjoy is music and we hope that our concerts are a place people feel they can come to and feel part of this big family, The Neon Army.

So what’s on the horizon for the next six months or so, just lots of touring, touring, touring?
Oh yes, oh yes.  We have pretty much the next 6 months set up for us, so it’s going to be a busy one, but I think we get Christmas off at least haha!

Essential Information

From: Canada

Band members: Alex – Lead Vocals, Alan – Bass/Vocals, Matt – Vocals/Keys, Joe – Guitar/Vocals, Gypsy – Guitar/Vocals, Josh – Drums/Style

Website: www.thesekidswearcrowns.com

Latest release: Jumpstart (2011, EMI Music Australia)

Tour dates:

BRISBANE, THE HI-FI – Under 18 afternoon / 18+ Evening

SYDNEY, THE METRO – Licensed All Ages

MELBOURNE, THE HI-FI – Under 18 afternoon / 18+ Evening

ADELAIDE, FOWLERS – Licensed All Ages

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