Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Metal Advisor Interviews Camden Cruz of Seven Kingdoms

Back near The Metal Advisor's inception, I was just discovering Seven Kingdom's music and digging their sound immensely. Since then, the band has grown bigger and released an additional album, making a colossal splash in Europe while touring with Stratovarius and Amaranthe. The Metal Advisor talks to Camden Cruz to check in on Seven Kingdom's progress, and discovers the band's surprising eclectic tastes, along with their place in the modern metal world.


Camden Cruz
How has your tour of Europe with Stratovarius and Amaranthe been? Based on your Facebook page, you were very excited to embark and seem to get a very good response from the crowds!

Camden: Oh yes, the tour has been very good for us. The type of music we play is much bigger here in Europe, so we are just thrilled to be able and spread our music across the pond! The crowds have been exceptional for us. I think we are making a very good impact even as the opener!

I imagine you have your fair share of funny moments from touring with these bands, too. Any juicy stories you’d like to share?

Camden: Haha, it's definitely something funny every day, mostly maybe with the crew. Everyone seems to get along great, and there are lots of moments to cherish. Honestly, nothing busting-gut funny has happened, but everyone is for sure just having a good time every day. One crazy thing was the bootleggers selling shirts outside in Italy. It was almost like they are in some sort of mafia that can't get into trouble!

All three of your records are well-received, so I’m not surprised with the success you’re enjoying. Where are you pulling most of your live material from, and what are your favorites to play?

Camden: We are playing mostly songs from the latest release, The Fire is Mine. We also are closing with "Into the Darkness," a song from the self titled record. I have to say my favorite songs to play are the first two songs we have been playing, "After the Fall" and "Flame of Olympus."

Kevin Byrd and Camden
Sabrina’s first appearance with Seven Kingdoms was with the self-titled release. How does she feel about singing material from the prior record, Brothers of the Night?

Camden: Honestly, we have not played anything from that CD in years, so we haven't had to worry about that yet! Hahaha, ask me again when we get a really long set somewhere! 

How do you feel you have progressed as a band since your first record? Obviously, you've had a change of vocalists, but what direction have you tried to take your music in?

Camden: I think we have finally settled on this power metal sound that we have developed over the years. We have finally been able to write music together that sounds like 'Seven Kingdoms,' whereas I think some of our previous releases didn't have as much of a solid direction as we are now. This newest release is a direction we all really like, and there aren't many young bands playing stuff like this anymore, so it's good for us to stick out a bit in this new generation.

Aside from the polished production, do you consider The Fire is Mine more mature than your other output?

Camden: Absolutely! We were just more experienced at everything by the time we recorded. And even now we are gaining much more experience and confidence every day on tour, which I'm sure will reflect on the NEXT album!

For me, harsh vocals gave the self-titled a distinct flair The Fire is Mine doesn’t have. Why did you choose to drop them going into your third album? 

Camden: Honestly, we didn't want the whole beauty and the beast thing on this one. If we were to do that, we would fall in line with all the other female-fronted bands that do that. We want to be different than that. Also, I don't really care for them in this type of music... Not to say it will never come back, but we are not writing music for those type of vocal parts now or anytime soon it seems.

I’d put good money on you being a death metal fan because of those vocals. How do you feel about more extreme subgenres of metal? Have any extreme bands influenced you?

Camden: Actually, Aaron and I do like our death metal!!! I just think there needs to be a separation of that with our music. If I wanted to have harsh vocals again, I would probably just start another band that writes for that type of vocal. A lot of our music is written with the lead-line (sung) in mind. But some bands we like are Hypocrisy and Vader.

You've been in another band, which Metal-Archives lists as a hybrid of metalcore and thrash metal. What did you learn from playing with This Solemn Vow that helped you ease into Seven Kingdoms?

Camden: Haha, from a long time ago!!! I was just in highschool when that band was around. Honestly, I didn't really have much say in that band because I was so young and inexperienced. When we decided to start Seven Kingdoms, it was more of my baby, if you will. I could decide on a name with Bryan and all the ins and outs I couldn't do with that band. It was nice, though, our drummer, Aaron Perry, at the time gave me a crash course on how to get your band booked and just be professional. This was my grassroots training! Haha!

Sabrina Valentine and Camden
Most people view musicians as, well, musicians and don’t think of their other hobbies. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time off from recording, writing, and touring?

Camden: I work, work, work!!! I don't have very many hobbies besides the band, really. It's work, band, and spending time with Sabrina mostly!

As for happenings in the modern metal world—what are your thoughts on Black Sabbath’s upcoming record, 13? 

Camden: Honestly, I have not heard a single word about it!!! Hahaha

Do you prefer Sabbath with Ozzy or Dio?

Camden: Dio, because he was Christ in music form! Haha!

What are your top picks for metal (and other genres) albums released in 2013 so far?

Camden: Well, Stratovarius' new CD has been in constant loop on my iPod. So that and the new Hypocrisy would be at the top of the list. Once I get home and to an actual computer I have time to really dig into the releases so far this year. Just haven't really had the time to yet.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Camden: Thank you for the interview! We are really happy we are on tour right now with Stratovarius. We are going to try and make sure we conquer our homeland when we return!!!

Find Seven Kingdoms here:


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