Crown the Empire

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Crown the Empire
Crown The Empire On Stage.jpg
Background information
OriginDallas, Texas, U.S.
Years active2010–present
  • Andrew "Andy Leo" Velasquez
  • Brandon Hoover
  • Hayden Tree
  • Brent Taddie
Past members
  • Alex Massey
  • Brandon Shroyer
  • Zac Johnson
  • Austin Duncan
  • Bennett "Benn Suede" Vogelman
  • David Escamilla[1]

Crown the Empire is an American metalcore band formed in 2010 in Dallas, Texas. They have released one EP and three full-length albums.


Formation, Limitless EP and sign to Rise Records (2010–2011)[edit]

Crown the Empire was formed in July 2010 by lead vocalist Andrew Velasquez, keyboardist Austin Duncan, bassist Brandon Shroyer, drummer Alex Massey, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Hayden Tree, and rhythm guitarist/backing vocalist Brandon Hoover during their time together at Colleyville Heritage High School. A few months later unclean vocalist Zac Johnson joined the band, so Andrew Velasquez became the clean vocalist. The band was formed when "Brandon and Austin decided to start jamming together." The band's ultimate goal was to "be heavier than most bands in their area," while "bringing huge, poppy choruses to a genre that can become pretty stale." Originally, drummer Alex Massey filled the drumming position in the band, but he was soon replaced by their current drummer, Brent Taddie in May 2011, at the same time bassist Brandon Shroyer left the band, Zac Johnson took the bass. During 2011, the members of Crown the Empire also held an extensive search for another guitarist to join their band. They soon welcomed Bennett Vogelman (Benn Suede) to the band as the new lead guitarist/backing vocalist, Hayden Tree switched to the bass and didn't concentrate to do backing vocals, Zac Johnson focused only on perform unclean vocals.

The band started recording their debut EP, Limitless, in 2011. Limitless was released on iTunes on November 29, 2011.[2] Before recording, Zac Johnson left the band, clean vocalist Andrew Velasquez was now the only one vocalist at this moment.

On December 5, 2011, the band released a behind-the-scenes look at the filming for the band's then-upcoming music video for their song, "Voices", from their EP Limitless. During the video the band announced the release date for the music video to be on December 11.[3]

On December 11, 2011, as announced by the band premiered the music video for the song, "Voices", via their YouTube page.[4]

On December 24, 2011, the band released their cover of the classic holiday song, "Let It Snow" for streaming on their YouTube page.[5]

On December 31, 2011, the band released a video of the band acoustically performing the song, "Wake Me Up", from their EP, Limitless.[6]

On January 17, 2012, the band announced their first US tour with A Skylit Drive. The tour went from March 3 to 7, beginning in Arizona and ending in Arkansas.[5]

On March 21, 2012, the band was rumored to have been signed by Rise Records after the label posted to their Facebook page, "We're announcing a new band on Friday. Here's a hint, they are from Texas!". Shortly after Crown the Empire posted a statement of their own, "Big News coming by the end of the week. Any guesses what it might be?!"[7]

On March 23, 2012, the band announced that they had in fact been signed by Rise Records in their "Viva La Rise!" video, along with the video the band released a free cover of the song, "Moves Like Jagger" in appreciation for support from their fans in helping get them signed.[8]

Introduction of Escamilla and The Fallout (2012–2013)[edit]

On August 26, 2012, the band announced that they had recruited an additional vocalist, David Escamilla, to share vocal responsibilities with Andy Leo. Although Escamilla had performed with the band as an official member earlier in June, his membership status was not made known until late August. Along with the news of Escamilla joining the band, they announced that they would be heading into the studio with Joey Sturgis to begin recording their debut album.[9] On September 6, the band released the music video being the first release by the band with new vocalist David Escamilla.[10]

On October 25, the band released the first single, "Makeshift Chemistry" from their album, The Fallout, which was released on November 20 through Rise Records.[11] One week later, Austin Duncan left the band and Andrew Velasquez took the keyboards. November 14, the band released part one of their two part extended music video beginning with the intro track, "Oh, Catastrophe".[12] The following day the band released the second part of their extended music video with the title track of their upcoming album, The Fallout.[13] On November 15, 2012 the band streamed their debut album in its entirety five days before the official release of the album.[14]

On March 11, 2013, the band announced their first headlining tour called The Generation Tour, which kicked off on May 7 in Toledo, Ohio, and wrapped up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on May 26 with supporting acts Capture, Palisades, Heartist and Famous Last Words. The band also played South by South West Tour and then will be hitting the road in April with Like Moths to Flames.[15]

On March 23, 2013, the band was announced to be playing Warped Tour 2013.[16] Later that day the band released a live version of their single, "Makeshift Chemistry".[17] The following day the band released their own Warped Tour announcement.[18]

On June 6, 2013, the band released a live version of the song, "Menace" from their debut album, The Fallout.[19] On June 25, the band was announced to be joining Asking Alexandria on their headlining tour coinciding with the release of their new album, From Death to Destiny with fellow supporting acts Motionless in White and Upon a Burning Body.[20] Also on June 25, the band announced that they would shooting a music video for a song from their 2012 debut album.[21]

On August 2, 2013, the band released the last single from their debut album called "Memories of a Broken Heart".[22]

Crown the Empire performed at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour.[23]

The Fallout reissue, The Resistance: Rise of The Runaways and Benn Suede's departure (2014–2015)[edit]

A reissue of The Fallout (including a re-recording of Limitless) was released in 2013, with David Escamilla providing vocals.[24] According to the band, "EVERYTHING" was redone.[25] On November 28, 2013, "Breaking Point", a single from the re-release, now with Escamilla handling all the non-singing vocals.[26]

On July 21, 2014, Crown the Empire won Alternative Press Magazine's award for best breakthrough band and their second album reached number 1 on the iTunes Rock Charts. Then on July 22, 2014, the band released their second album The Resistance: Rise of The Runaways, which debuted in its first week at number 7 on the Billboard Top 200.

On July 24, 2014, the band announced their music video for the song "Machines" to be released the following day and in under 48 hours it got over 100,000 views.[citation needed]

On July 26, 2014, Crown the Empire announced their new headlining tour supported with Volumes, Secrets, Ice Nine Kills, and The Family Ruin which starts on August 30, 2014 in Anaheim, California and ends on September 20, 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama.

On September 8, 2015, Crown the Empire released a new single, titled "Prisoners of War" on digital retailers as part of a deluxe reissue of The Resistance: Rise of The Runaways. The deluxe reissue was released on October 30, 2015, including "Prisoners of War", another new track titled "Cross Our Bones", an alternate version of "Machines" and an acoustic version of "Millennia".[27]

On November 6, 2015, Crown the Empire revealed to Alternative Press that their lead guitarist Benn Suede was no longer part of the band.[28]. Brandon Hoover switched to lead guitar, while David Escamilla took over rhythm guitar duties, as Hayden Tree returned to perform backing vocals.

In late 2016, Crown The Empire covered the My Chemical Romance song "Welcome to the Black Parade" for a collective cover album.[29]

Retrograde and Escamilla's departure (2016–2017)[edit]

Crown The Empire released their third studio album Retrograde on July 22, 2016. The album debuted at number 15 on the Billboard 200. In November 2016, the band announced that vocalist/rhythm guitarist Dave Escamilla was going to be on a hiatus from touring. On January 8, 2017, the band announced that vocalist/rhythm guitarist David Escamilla was no longer part of the band through their Facebook page.[30] Brandon Hoover and Hayden Tree took their vocal duties, and now the band has three vocalists instead of two. Later the same day, Dave Escamilla made statements alleging most of the band's music to date was written by outside sources, which was eventually confirmed by the band. On October 2, David Escamilla announced via Instagram that he has been working on a new project with a singer/songwriter named Paul Bartolome from the U.K. On December 1 David Escamilla released his first single "Save Me" with his new band Bad Fortune.[31]

Sudden Sky (2018–present)[edit]

In January 2018, the band began playing a new song called, "20/20" while on their tour with Asking Alexandria and Black Veil Brides. The song is the first new song without former vocalist/rhythm guitarist David Escamilla and has bassist Hayden performing screaming vocals and guitarist Brandon Hoover performing clean vocals.[32]

The band began working on writing new music before embarking on Warped Tour 2018. While working on the new album vocalist/keyboardist Andy Leo released a demo of a song that he had written that was deemed "too sad" to be on the new album. The song, "Everything Breaks" can be found on Dropbox for free download.[33]

On July 13, the band released an official version of their song "20/20" which they had been playing live since January along with an accompanying music video starring Vered Blonstein[34][35] and Jonny Preston.

On September 20, that same year, the band released a new track titled "What I Am" along with a music video. On April 5, 2019, the band released another track, "Sudden Sky".[36]

On June 19, the band released another new track, titled "MZRY" and announced their album Sudden Sky set for release on July 19, 2019.[37]

Band members[edit]

Current members

  • Andrew "Andy Leo" Velasquez – lead vocals (2010–present); piano, keyboards, synthesizers, programming (2012–present)
  • Brandon Hoover – lead guitar (2015–present); rhythm guitar (2010–2015, 2017–present); backing vocals (2010–present); clean vocals (2017–present)
  • Hayden Tree – bass (2011–present); backing vocals (2010–2011, 2015–present); unclean vocals (2010, 2011–2012, 2017–present);[38] lead guitar (2010–2011)
  • Brent Taddie – drums, percussion (2011–present)

Former members

  • Alex Massey – drums, percussion (2010–2011)
  • Brandon Shroyer – bass (2010–2011)
  • Zac Johnson – unclean vocals (2010–2011); bass (2011)
  • Austin Duncan – piano, keyboards, synthesizers, programming (2010–2012)
  • Bennett "Benn Suede" Vogelman – lead guitar, backing vocals (2011–2015)
  • David Escamilla – co-lead vocals (2012–2017); rhythm guitar (2015–2017)




  1. ^ "Did Crown The Empire Just Fire Dave Escamilla". This Is Not Your Scene. January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  2. ^ "Debut EP Limitless - Release Date And MORE". Crown the Empire.
  3. ^ "Behind The Scenes - CTE "Voices" music video shoot". Crown the Empire. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  4. ^ "MUSIC VIDEO: Crown The Empire – Voices - Under the Gun Review". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Crown The Empire - Under the Gun Review - Part 3". Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  6. ^ "Crown The Empire Performs "Wake Me Up" Acoustic - Under the Gun Review". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  7. ^ "RUMOR: Crown The Empire Sign To Rise Records - Under the Gun Review". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  8. ^ "Rise Records Sign Crown The Empire, Give Away Song - Under the Gun Review". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  9. ^ "Crown The Empire Welcome Vocalist David Escamilla - Under the Gun Review". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  10. ^ "Crown The Empire debut 'Johnny Ringo' video - News - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  11. ^ "STREAM: Crown The Empire – "Makeshift Chemistry" - Under the Gun Review". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  12. ^ "MUSIC VIDEO: Crown The Empire – "Oh, Catastrophe" - Under the Gun Review". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  13. ^ "MUSIC VIDEO: Crown The Empire – The Fallout - Under the Gun Review". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  14. ^ "FULL ALBUM STREAM: Crown The Empire – The Fallout - Under the Gun Review". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  15. ^ "Crown The Empire Announce First Headlining Tour - Under the Gun Review". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  16. ^ "Crown The Empire, Volumes, Driver Friendly, more announced for Warped Tour 2013 - News - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  17. ^ "All Entries Tagged: Crown The Empire - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  18. ^ "Crown The Empire post Warped Tour 2013 announcement video - News - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  19. ^ "Crown The Empire release "Menace" live video - News - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  20. ^ "Asking Alexandria Announce Brief Run of Summer 2013 U.S. Tour Dates". June 26, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  21. ^ "Crown The Empire shooting new music video - News - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  22. ^ "MUSIC VIDEO: Crown The Empire – "Memories Of A Broken Heart" - Under the Gun Review". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  23. ^ "Crown The Empire - Vans Warped Tour". Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  24. ^ "Crown The Empire Prep 'The Fallout' Deluxe Edition With Re-Recorded "Limitless" EP | – Metal, Hardcore And Rock News, Reviews And More". November 8, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  25. ^ "Crown The Empire's 'The Fallout' Has Been Completely Re-Recorded". Under the Gun Review. November 14, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  26. ^ "Crown The Empire Streaming Re-Recorded Version Of "Breaking Point" | – Metal, Hardcore And Rock News, Reviews And More". November 28, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  27. ^ "The Resistance (Deluxe Edition)". iTunes Store.
  28. ^ "Crown The Empire guitarist Benn Vogelman leaves band (exclusive)". Alternative Press.
  29. ^ "Introducing… 'Rock Sound Presents: The Black Parade'". Rock Sound. August 8, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  30. ^ "Crown The Empire". Retrieved July 26, 2017.[non-primary source needed]
  31. ^ "Crown The Empire Fires back at David Escamilla". January 8, 2017.
  32. ^ nedrixx (January 20, 2018). "Crown The Empire preview new song 20/20". Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  33. ^ "Crown The Empire Leak New 'Anti-Love' Song "Everything Breaks" / the NOISE". the NOISE. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  34. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved March 9, 2019 – via YouTube.
  35. ^ "Crown the Empire: 20/20". IMDb. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  36. ^ "NEWS: Crown The Empire drop new single, 'Sudden Sky'!". Dead Press!. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  37. ^ "CROWN THE EMPIRE To Release 'Sudden Sky' Album In July; 'MZRY' Video Available". Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  38. ^ kissmyash0600 (July 11, 2010). "Crown The Empire (live)". Retrieved March 9, 2019 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]