The Crown Remnant – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

TCR: The Crown Remnant is such a wild project for me. It’s all about being creatively fulfilling – the “no holds barred” approach of writing your thoughts, your fears, and your dreams without limits. It’s what I appreciate the most and what I hope my listeners can hear in the music. I try to think outside the box – to implement musical, lyrical, and thematic ideas that have meaning and add something to our existence. There’s this great cinematic quality to the stuff too, like I’m making a movie that you’re personally invited to.


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

TCR: I’ve always been drawn to music, I think that was apparent to everyone around me. I grew up in a small town in Iowa, the classic homegrown Midwestern story. I got an electric guitar for my 9th birthday as a gift from my mom – she recognized my connection to music and I had expressed interest in learning. I remember as a kid it was tough, especially in the beginning. We couldn’t really afford lessons, so I was figuring everything out on my own. There weren’t a lot of resources to help so that consisted mostly of me tinkering in my bedroom until high school where I finally got some formal education. I remember even in the beginning making up little songs, stringing chords and riffs together as a way to learn the instrument since there wasn’t much else around me, and I’m sure that constant songwriting practice ended up helping me get where I am today.


PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

TCR: My earliest memories are of enjoying old school music from the 70’s, and then this huge awakening in classic rock that eventually led me to metal. The first guitar solo I learned was You Shook Me All Night Long from AC/DC and a few of my first guitar riffs were One by Metallica and Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne. I think it’s evident with my current projects that I’m inspired by a wide variety of artists – from bands like Atreyu, Trivium, and Avenged Sevenfold, to more alternative sounds like Radiohead, and Muse. I’m also inspired by movie & game soundtracks, so you’ll hear a lot of Danny Elfman, John Williams, and even Japanese composers like Motoi Sakuraba from the Dark Souls game series in my works.

I like to write about themes with a sort of “epic” narrative – my catalog includes songs about religion and fanaticism, nihilism and existentialism, humanity: love, loss, life and death. You get the picture. Sometimes I tailor these around personal experiences so the subject is more approachable and relatable, but I always have an eye on a deeper meaning.


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

TCR: I think deep down, it’s all about my love of being creative. At the end of the day, I want to add things to the world. I want to induce deep thoughts and feelings in listeners that relate to me, or inspire perspective from those that don’t relate to me at all. Everyone wants to be heard as an artist, but I would continue to speak even if no one was listening. To me, it’s thought that affirms life – so I aspire to have good things to say.


PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

TCR: There’s been a lot of special moments for me – going on my first tour, playing my first shows, writing my first album. The proudest moment in recent memory is completing my album REBIRTH, while releasing this new single “Horizon”. I made a commitment last year to write for two very unique and different projects – “The Crown Remnant” and my self-titled project “Will Ash”. I’ve been writing for TCR for years, but “Will Ash” is debuting with REBIRTH on March 20th and that makes 2023 the first year that I release both heavy metal, and cinematic acoustic records that I’ve written, recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered entirely on my own. I’m proud that I’ve been able to accomplish that, considering it’s a monumental amount of work!


PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

TCR: You are a slave to the algorithm, and that can be a huge burden. There’s lots of resources, but the strategies and platforms are constantly shifting – and it’s ALREADY hard enough on the artistic side. Marketing, promotion, PR – it all requires a completely different mindset and it’s rare to be good at both. My biggest hurdle is cutting through that noise, but we all do our best.


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

TCR: I’m pretty much a one-man show. I book my own performances, reach out to venues and promoters personally, and entirely plan my own tours. I’ve been lying low recently with all this writing I’ve been doing – an upcoming TCR album, my REBIRTH album, and multiple singles alongside some collaborations with other artists this year. I’m looking towards another tour soon, but I can’t say any dates yet. These things have to be booked pretty far in advance, so for now, enjoy all my current and upcoming releases!


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

TCR: It’s inescapable in the modern era. Like everything, you could write a list of positives and negatives, but at my level it’s futile to think about. Everyone will have access to download my music in multiple ways entirely for free, and music is a commodity that for the most part, people don’t pay for any more. That’s great for the consumer, and increases access for the small artist, but at the same time mostly kills the dream of living off your music. With the way that the music business is looking, the money is entirely in shows and merchandise, and all we can do is encourage the general public to share or search out new things.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

TCR: This is an interesting question. Off the top of my head, I wish that I could write pretty much any song from Mike Patton – his unbridled creativity and unabashed personality comes out in every track. “Quote Unquote” from Mr. Bungle is a favorite of mine and its signature jazzy, metal, avant-garde sound is everything an alternate universe me would love to be writing.


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

TCR: Every gripe from the artist’s perspective is going to be about the pay-to-play aspect of the industry. At every level people take advantage of musicians and bands to the point where if you’re poor, it prevents you from opportunities – regardless of how good your music is. This is pretty reflective of the modern world as a whole. This can mean everything from predatory shows and ticket sales, to a massive race of who has more money to get on playlists, or to compete for ad spots as every platform becomes more and more incentivized to push promoted posts above all else. If I could change anything, it would be to have the main goal of industry movers be to connect artists with their potential fanbase, to work as a bridge rather than a gavel that decides what happens based on the highest bidder.


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

TCR: I’m always busy with music! I just released “Horizon” for The Crown Remnant which is an insanely awesome song you should go listen to. On March 20th, I’m releasing an incredibly creative album called REBIRTH finished entirely on a reel-to-reel tape machine, under my artist name “Will Ash”. Further in the year, you can expect a new album coming from The Crown Remnant, new singles, and even a folky album I did guitars for with another artist.


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

TCR: You can keep up to date with all my projects, releases, music videos, shows and more by following me @officialwillash and @thecrownremnant! All my links are on Linktree at or I have a website where you can purchase my music at There’s also Bandcamp which is a great way to support artists – they give the biggest cut! Check it out at Thank you for having me!

The Crown Remnant links:
Band/Artist location – Los Angeles, CA
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