By: Shelby Lum
Pop Crash King’s Dark of the Daylight album into your car and let it spin for awhile (or mp3 if that’s how your roll). It doesn’t take long for it to become clear this isn’t the same band that debuted in 2009. The LA based rock band seems to have gone classic rock with their sophomore effort.
Guitar-less classic rock, that is.
Sounds counter intuitive to have a classic rock sounding album without guitars, the seeming defining factor of the genre, yet Crash Kings have done just that.
“The idea of not having a guitar for us is something very different and exciting and neat and the fact that I can take the place of a guitar with the keyboard is exciting for us,” said Tony Beliveau, lead singer and keyboardist and clavinet player.
Wondering what a clavinet is? It’s what makes the album sound guitar heavy without actually having guitars. More or less a clavinet is a guitar in a box, and is what most listeners who hear the album will assume is a rocking guitar solo.
Beliveau said that the idea behind the Crash Kings trio is less is more. The group has had guest guitarists, but Beliveau said it just didn’t sound like Crash Kings unless there truly was no guitar. With Dark of the Daylight, the group embraced more clavinet than in its debut.
“I think what happened was when we made our first record we were trying to create a piano centric album…and we really wanted to focus on featuring the piano as the lead instrument. The clavinet was featured on ‘Mountain Man’ which was our single and that was it…on this record we wanted to make a more clavinet centric album and make it sound like there were guitars on the album,” the singer said.
The move away from the piano heavy rock music was more than just a decision to change up the sound. ”We started using the clavinet more and more on stage and not only was that sound getting us off and getting us excited, but it was interesting to see the fans responding to it,” Beliveau said. “We also didn’t want to make the same album twice. The band hasn’t changed, but our sound has.”
The album, released in June has been finished for awhile as well.
“The record was actually finished in 2011 and we spent most of 2012 searching for the right home…and we didn’t really find it and when we realized we had the opportunity to reach out to our fans and look for support for releasing the record we decided to go with that route, because the music industry is changing so quickly and unless we change with it, it is possible we can be left in the dust,” he said.
Turning to Kickstarter, as many bands have begun to do, Beliveau said Crash Kings actually tripled their goal.
With groups and musicians turning to fans to support album releases and tours, the way music is produced and released is changing, and Beliveau and Crash Kings have began morphing in that direction.
Looking for recommendations off the new album? Beliveau said some of his favorite tracks off of Dark of the Daylight are “Six Foot Tall” and “White Wolf.”
Crash Kings are scheduled to play at Vinyl on Thursday, July 25th with Nico Vega.