Crowned By Fire Are Prone To Destroy Seattle And You   Leave a comment

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If anyone thinks Classic Metal is dead, they better take some time out to listen to these 4 Metal Maniacs from Los Angeles known as Crowned By Fire. Not many bands can nail the true Heavy Metal style like these 4 dudes, blending everything from 70’s Hard Rock to Doom Metal and everything in between, they basically kick ass in live performance and in the studio. They recently took part in a show with the legendary Saint Vitus and that is just one of many killer live shows they have done. Their album “Prone To Destroy” is already causing a sensation with its killer riffage and blend of heavy styles and has already gained top reviews including one from yours truly. This interview conducted by Aleks Evdokimov is with vocalist John (The Impaler) Fitterer and we get some inside information on the Prone To Destroy album and the upcoming Doom Kvlt Festival where the band to poised and ready to destroy park-land in Northern Seattle.

-Hi John! What’s new? Have you impaled some unfortunate witch already? Your nickname “Impaler” wasn’t give you in vain, right?
-Nah… Being one who’s conducted tens of thousands of documented piercings, I think I deserve the title.

-And how do other members of your witchfinder pack do? You played free show in The Dragonfly club at 2 of May and there will be another show in Key Club. Are you ready? Why did you play free show? Was it in a name of philanthropy or you just wanted to seduce few more innocence souls?
-Seduction in the name of philanthropy… I like that! As far as playing a lot of shows and some “free” at that, -Just out there spreading the word man. Doin’ music for the music! If money comes from it then right on, -hopefully that would just give us more freedom to expand our craft. You asked: “Are you ready?” I try to live my life by the Masonic motto “Be Prepared”. Maybe I’ll change my name to John The Philanthropist. What do you think?

-Are there any innocence souls in LA now? What do you think?
-Souls? I think souls are making a comeback and I don’t think innocence has anything to do with one. The digital age has improved so many things and with it has come a slew of mediocre bullshit in the way of art and music and especially metal… Like cream, the stuff with soul “should” rise to the top if the hordes of shit don’t smother it to death along the murky path.

-You must say few words about you colleagues, John: who are with you in the band?
-Our current lineup is positively the most dangerous to date! Justin Manning on Guitar, JR Crampton on Drums and our newest clan member Micheal Jennings on Bass. Micheal is actually blood related to the pioneer outlaw country musician Waylon Jennings!, -so ya know he’s equipped with some blood-born badass! Anything could happen at this point!…

-Crowned by Fire first album “Prone to destroy” was recorded and mastered in Italy. Did no one in U.S.A. dare to record your sinful tunes? Or did you just ride there to meet your old two-horned friend and give him an interview? 🙂
-The universe called and we answered! The rest is the present history but we’re not guaranteeing a happy ending, just more massive metal… Italy was awesome and the entire experience was an important journey in  my life. I have a strong feeling we’ll be back in Europe soon despite our label setbacks.

-We need more information about Devil’s location in Italy for Vatican’s agents could not find him out for a long time… Though they maybe collaborate well enough to leave him be…
-When we recorded Prone To Destroy in Florence, Italy, JR and I took a trip to Rome and visited The Vatican. I’m sure I can speak for the both of us,… -we were totally blown away! It was like walking through Heaven’s Gate to the tune of Hell’s Bells! Maybe the stuffed mushrooms & peppers and the few rounds of absinthe aka the Green Fairy and the mugs of beer we indulged at the small Roman café prior to visiting had something to do with it, -nonetheless, between The Vatican and The Colosseum… Rome must have been an intense place to exist back in the day. Wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of the whip that’s for certain!…

-With which Italian mafia clans do you have relations? There are the songs “I am the Crime”, “Vulture with a Rifle” in Crowned by Fire stock, it’s time to confess in your crimes, John.
-I think Keith Morris of The Circle Jerks said it best: DENY EVERYTHING. All I know is snitches get stitches and loose lips sink ships man! -That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

-You have a song “Witch in the Window”, don’t you think that sometimes it’s better to deny such trends as “witch” for example? A damned lot of bands sing about witches and same stuff!
-Sure, I suppose man… All in all, -dark heavy music tends to embrace dark topics so to speak. Reminds me of an Ozzy interview when he was talking about the first days of Black Sabbath. He mentioned how they used to rehearse across the street from a movie theatre and said something like: “Hey, check out all these people going to these horror movies. Let’s make music for them.” Well obviously he was on to something because 40+yrs later, horror movies and Black Sabbath music pretty much rule the world! What if Sam Raimi never created Evil Dead or if Dario Argento never made Susperia on this same premise you’re speaking of?.. Whatever you do, just do it well! Bottom line man, the name of our band has the word “FIRE” in it. I intend to keep the lyrical elements of CBF pure to metal!  -And we all intend to keep the music Heavy As Hell!

-What’s about album’s title – what are you prone to destroy? Sounds like some anarchic slogan, but as I can suppose first of all, man, you’re prone to destroy yourself with such intensive way of promoting your band with gigs!
-Boris Karloff once said: “Nature is just as content to destroy as it is to create.”
It’s all about the process of destroying in the name of creation. -Or my own POE Theory, -life is a Process Of Elimination… Once one stops creating they might as well cease to exist! Death may not be the end, but life is a magickal enterprise…

-Your MySpace page says that with your CD “Prone to Destroy” Crowned by Fire are showing that you are not simply “southern/stoner metal” band and “you are in a league of your own”. What is a difference, John? What are the main characteristics of the band?
-We’ve said it many times before… The main vision of Crowned By Fire is to make classic heavy music period!… Whatever each song calls for is how we’re gonna write it… We write more for the song than the sound… Although, straight-up stoner doom sludge is the music I personally hold closest to my blackened heart. By far, we’re not the only ones that take this approach but it does make things a bit more difficult at times when booking shows or describing our sound. We definitely need more blankets and less blankets…

-Are you proud with this LP? What did you want to gain releasing it?
-Fukkin’ A man, -we joke about this shit all the time… Basically it took 20,000 miles and 18 months to finish Prone To Destroy and it’s still not packaged and on the market so to speak… As for the album itself, yeah I think most of us love it and we’ve been getting killer feedback. Unfortunately, we were literally “promised the world” from the label to support the album with major touring and distribution and a year and a half later we’re still dickin’ around in LA! Shit happens man, -just gotta keep on keeping’ on if that’s what you’re about. We’re planning a west coast tour right now based around the Seattle Doom Festival on August 1st total DIY style. Personally, I’d like to say DIY is a thing of my past but it seems to be all about the future.

-John, you have a wife and two kids – do they support your creative activity? Bloody heavy southern metal is not suitable for children, what do you think? How would you like to bring them up, to educate them?
-I’m an extreme enthusiast of free thinking/free doing and that’s a major lyrical focus in our music aside from just rockin’ the fuck out! My 6 yr old son Karloff is my biggest fan and I am his! I encourage art and respect within the family and I think we have a mutual understanding… I do my best to spend as much time with my wife and kids when I’m home. The toughest part right now is traveling on a low to no budget and making sure the bills are paid while I’m gone. Justin (guitar) is in the same boat I’m in as far as family, -we keep striving for bigger tours to get the opportunity to reach more fans, sell more product, feed the fire etc… Living the life of a successful musician is next to impossible but people do it! Living the life of a successful human is equally difficult to reach. All we can do is our best and hopefully the sacrifices and hard work will eventually pay off. If that’s what my children learn from me then I’m ok with that…

-Do you still have your piercing shop? What kind of services do you grant for fair citizens there?
-Man, when I first opened shop 16 years ago it was such a small community as far as professionals… There was a lot more respect and ethic in the business with both the piercers and the handful of mainly American jewelry companies daring to pioneer new tools and quality jewelry for this then blooming industry. The Modern Primitive movement seemed taboo and intriguing. I was infatuated with National Geographic Magazine as a kid and always felt close to the images of ritual and beauty it presented… Now… with all the years of so called popularity and the overabundance of shops, most all the quality American jewelry companies have disappeared from China’s spew of cheap product flooding the world market… As far as piercers, it’s kind of a joke these days. All of a sudden people spend an hour on YouTube, get hired to a shop and wave the flag of Professional Piercer! Similar things happened with music…

-Aleister Crowley is the one who inspired you, right, man? What would you like to say about inspiration which you draw from his works? Truly to say I hardly see difference between him and Lavey for example.
-They were both bald at one time so I guess I see the similarities, ha! Kinda like comparing the original Black Sabbath to Saint Vitus… Sure, they both feed the world with doom but Sabbath laid down the fundamental laws of heavy magick! Kinda like teaching a child to swim.

-Would you like to take Crowley in the band? What could he do in Crowned by Fire?
-Actually, I’ve never been one to follow instruction well and he seems to be quite a stickler for detail… I’m not aware of AC playing a musical instrument so that would probably put me out of a job! Bukowski is just as much of an influence to me and he’s used to working for beer,.. -So, for the betterment of the band I think we should bring Buk on board and leave the poetry of AC as wizardly enlightenment. Like most artists/musicians, -my influences are vast, but I can humbly say, -pretty much everything I create is an homage to someone or something, a tribute so to speak.

-Man, you very like gigs as I see. There will be Doom Kvlt in August, and you will be play there…
-If we had the support of the label with promotion, booking, distribution, merch etc., I could see our outlook a bit different as far as the tour goes… As far as the Doom Fest, we’re stoked and honored to be part of this piece of history in metal and plan on leaving a permanent mark! It’s gonna be a goddamn heavy day in the park that’s for sure.

-And the last question for today John. Which e-zines do help to the band? What kind of band’s promo is more effective from your point of view?
-All of them and everything man! It’s all about reachin’ out!… As far as band promo, playing live as much as possible, doing as many interviews (such as this one) and having your music reviewed… Doom Metal Alliance has been a fucking blessing to REAL heavy music these past few years. We salute DMA’s Ed and all his partners in DOOM! -And are proud to be part of this HEAVY metal community!

Interview By Aleks Evdokimov @

Check Crowned By Fire Out @


Posted July 7, 2010 by doommantia in Crowned By Fire

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