2014 has big news written all over it for the metalcore act Capture the Crown. Currently finishing up their stint on the Crowdsurf America Tour with I Killed the Prom Queen, Chiodos and Blessthefall, Capture the Crown has proved they are no one-and-done act after putting out their incredibly brutal sophomore full-length, Reign of Terror. While out on the road, we caught up with their hard-working vocalist Jeffrey Wellfare to pick his brain about the new album as well as his thoughts on Australia’s showing in this past summer’s FIFA World Cup™.
So, Reign of Terror is out. We’ve heard it. We love it. Can you touch on the writing and recording process a bit?
We started writing this probably around the end of last year when we were on tour. We teamed up with Taylor Larson, a new producer that we’re working with, and Matt Good came in from From First to Last. We had a few other people come in the whole writing process as well to give us a bit of idea and a bit of a direction because we wanted something new- something that sounds a little more mature than our older stuff. So we pumped out that and we actually had to go on tour half way through the recording process. It was interesting. Definitely a different experience for me and the rest of the band. To try and get the vocals for the real takes, we tried doing some pretty bizarre stuff in the studio.
Getting naked, feeling very uncomfortable…
Was that your guys’ idea?
Yeah, me and Jye [Menzies] sorta got stuck in the studio late at night, we were trying to do screams. We got the clean vocals out of the way and for the screams we wanted a lot of aggression and a lot emotion in them ‘cause we felt like they were sorta lacking at the time ‘cause I got sick and it fucked us up a little bit. So we went in the studio, we’re sitting there at 2 o’clock in the morning and were like, ‘Alright, this song’s about blah, blah. Let’s fucking put our hands on fire or let’s fuckin’ throw shit at me while I’m recording or stab yourself in the leg with a screwdriver.’ I’m not saying do that to get the best takes, but we just tried reliving moments of the songs and what the songs were about to get in that mind space and have that thought process to try and get the emotion and aggression out in every single take- which worked. It’s very cliché to say, but blood, sweat and tears were actually put into this album.
It sounds like you guys tried a few more different techniques than you did on your first album, ‘Till Death.
I think that we’ve grown as people and we’re sort of bro-ing down, getting along together and experiencing what it’s like on the touring circuit. We learned a lot of things from a lot of people, a lot of musically talented people on the road. We sort of took all that and put it into the album. And also, in saying that, the album, for the band, came from a dark place. I know it sounds very cliché and a lot of bands say that, but it actually did. Our band has been through a lot of shit. Like a lot more stuff than other bands would see in their whole career [we experienced] in such a short space of time.
Would you say some of the things you’ve been through is the motivation behind getting through the day-to-day struggles out on the road?
Absolutely. Being on the road is awesome. That’s the best part of it. Playing shows, like tonight’s show for instance, playing to 50 kids, 500 kids, 5,000 kids whatever it is; it means the world to me that people come out and actually enjoy our stuff.
I’ve heard that a lot that the time on stage is great, however the in-between time is the hardest to maintain.
Mentally, it’s horrible. You just think, “What the fuck are you doing with yourself? I’m not living a reality. Is there a future to this?’ No one wants to fuckin’ help you out. It’s just people stealing money, people just trying to get the best of you while you’re here in the spotlight or whatever it is.
Let’s talk about the Crowd Surf America tour. Has it been pretty cool hanging out with I Killed the Prom Queen, Chiodos and Blessthefall?
Absolutely. Everyone’s really nice. We’re very lucky to be on this tour. The shows have been awesome so far. They’re just picking up and picking up. Every single night it’s outdoing itself. We’re having a really good time. For the first time, I feel like we’ve come together as a band and we’re really bro-ing down and having a good time on stage. It’s apparent to the crowd and they feel that vibe and have a good time as well.
I Killed the Prom Queen is from Australia as well.
It’s so funny. I Killed the Prom Queen are a band we’ve all listened to and looked up to growing up. They’re one of the biggest metal acts in Australia. So, it’s very surreal being on the same stage as them. It’s crazy. We get along with them. They’re great dudes. We definitely have that connection because we’re from the same place.
I Killed the Prom Queen is from the Melbourne area and you guys are from the Sydney area. Is there any beef between the two cities at all?
There’s a rivalry, yeah. I think Sydney siders would say Sydney’s the best and Melbourne siders would say Melbourne’s the best. [Laughs:] But Sydney is the best! Sorry Melbourners!
Okay, okay. Well, speaking of Australia, were you supporting them in this year’s World Cup?
Yeah, dude I’m proud of them. They got a bad group. It was definitely cool to watch. I was down in Florida hanging with some friends. I don’t know where the other guys were. I know Maurice [Morfaw] was watching it somewhere. I was just stuck to the TV or at a bar with some mates the whole World Cup because I’m a fanatic.
Even after Australia was knocked out, you still watched the rest of the Word Cup?
Yeah, I supported Netherlands and then I supported the U.S; my other two soft spot teams. But yeah, I watched it till the end. Dude, U.S should have got further than they did. I feel bad for you guys. There are some good squads there. Their younger players will come up for the next World Cup and it will be a pretty good time I reckon.
So, did you play soccer when you were younger?
Yeah, in high school. I actually played soccer from when I was about five-years-old; probably for about 12 years. They got some pretty crazy soccer parents out there. I played club for a long time just with some friends then I got into representative level. It’s just like politics and families barking at each other. So I got out of it quickly.
How about Rugby? Did you play that too?
Dude, when I was playing it in high school I used to get slaughtered. I was a little tiny skinny kid and I would just get trampled by Tongans. It was a good time.
Okay, so last question. Back to Reign of Terror, the track “Beating the Blade” has a rap verse on it. Wanna touch on that?
That is the guest. It’s a feature. His name is Cheyne Truitt. We met him and he came into the studio and helped us out with a lot of things. I love his voice. He’s very talented. I met him through Taylor [Larson.] So he came on and did that and we’re completely stoked on it. It’s so cool.
Do you think the fans are going to be pretty open to that?
We’ve come to the point where we’re just like fuck it, we’re just playing music that we enjoy. If you wanna come, jump on board and if you don’t then it’s all good.