Crowned by Fire Gets Signed to Chrome Mountain Records
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A ferocious five piece hard rock/metal band from Los Angeles that’s been relentlessly crushing American stages since early 2006, Crowned by Fire is set to release their new album, “Space Music for Cave People.”
Justin Manning, lead guitarist, remembers the discovery of their current singer, John Fitterer.
“The sound of his voice was monstrous,” said Manning. “It was original, something we could do something with.”
Fitterer also had a great sense of business, which kept the two artists together through the loss of several members until they were able to form a solid band.
They took advantage of social networking, a fairly new phenomenon at the time, and were able to land a record deal within two years. This took them to Florence, Italy to work on their “Prone to Destroy” album, which they spent five weeks in the hills of Tuscany recording.
Unfortunately for the band, the label imploded on itself and they were left holding an album without any tour or release dates. Never ones to give up, they turned to the radio for publicity, which soon put them in touch with Trev McKendry, the Vice President of Digital Media Records, who helped them release “Prone to Destroy.” Since releasing the album McKendry has continued to manage the band as well as founding Metal Nation Radio.
McKendry remembers hearing CBF for the first time. “I initially heard their cover of Blue Oyster Cults ‘Burnin’ For You’ and thought they nailed that song perfectly with their own style. Then I reached out and got the rest of their music. John’s vocal style and his ability to write songs that were so profound along with Justin’s ability on the guitar told me that they really had something going,” he said.
Manning’s music career began around the time he started working for Zakk Wlyde as his guitar technician. He was able to tour around the world and work with greats such as George Lynch, Tommy Victor and Danzig.
“I cut my teeth with guitar heroes. I didn’t necessarily want to continue as a guitar tech, but I wanted to learn from the best,” said Manning.
He and Wylde soon became friends, and it was Wylde that taught him the realities of the music industry. When looking to record their second album, “Space Music for Cave People” Wylde offered his newly finished studio, Black Vatican for their use. CBF is the only other band besides Wylde to record in his personal studio.
With the recording taken care of there were still other expenses the band had to contend with. A new chapter in their career came with the inking of a contract with Chrome Mountain Records, an independent label in Southern Arkansas owned by Stephanie and Aaron Shaw of Arkansas Rocks! Entertainment.
After a CBF performance that “blew the doors off,” Stephanie Shaw started Chrome Mountain with the band in mind.
“We think we have found the perfect fit for our new label and have high hopes for the release of ‘Space Music For Cave People,’ and look forward to our relationship with Crowned By Fire and the future of metal,” said Shaw.
With final touches and edits scheduled for next week and a release date in May, CBF is hoping to work in a tour to bring metal to the South. There is also talk of releasing the album on vinyl due to it being the highest selling physical form of music out currently.
The album contains artwork by Sam “Mister Sam” Shearon and a feature on their song “Buried Away” by Tommy Victor. Victor is best known as the lead singer and guitarist for Prong, as well as his collaborations with other musicians including Ministry and Danzig. CBF was offered the opportunity to play on the Danzig/Misfits Tour.
“All our industry friends leant their talent and guidance to this project,” said Manning.
Manning discusses how Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas weren’t known for metal by the rest of the world until Pantera burst onto the scene in Texas. Pantera was also very influential on Manning’s guitar playing.
“Crowned by Fire is a California band with a big Texas attitude,” said Jesse Poole, owner of Compound Digital in Natchitoches, LA.
Manning describes the LA music scene as “goofy,” with pay to play venues and copycats that just want to sound like whatever metal band is big at the time.
“We stray away from that and celebrate the classics including Sabbath, Motörhead, Guns & Roses and Pantera. We do our own thing. We seem to fit better in the South with our ‘f— you’ attitude. Eight years of striving in LA will do that to you, but hard work pays off,” said Manning.
CBF is ready to push their music and continue rocking out their own way. “I truly believe that they will make it in this dog eat dog world of Heavy Metal,” said McKendry.