Scene and Heard with LizM
The evening of Friday, June 10 at the Haven Lounge was no ordinary night. It was the night of great music and of course the Orlando METAL Awards showcase. After speaking to Matt Wagner (aka Mattdaddy), regarding the bands that played, there was one band that really stuck out. Matt and myself from LizM Photography in association with OrlandoBands.com decided that each month in Scene and Heard w/ LizM, will feature one band that brings together Matt’s idea of the meaning behind the OMA’s.
Allow me to introduce this month’s feature band, Seven Kingdoms. Formed in Deland in 2007 this band has shared the stage with well-known metal bands such as Sonata Arctica, The Agonist, Stephen Pearcey, Circle II Circle, and The Absence. Check out Seven Kingdoms on their official website to find out more of why they are the feature band of June. The following interview is a little insight into the band and what they are about.
- Liz M: How did you decide on the name of the Band?
- Camden Cruz: Back when we first started my buddy Bryan Edwards was the vocalist. He was a huge fan of the George R.R. Martin Series, A Song of Ice and Fire. The term ‘Seven Kingdoms’ is what they call the world they live in composed of, literally, Seven Kingdoms. He presented me with the choices Valaria, Dragonstone or Seven Kingdoms… I thought Seven Kingdoms was the coolest out of the bunch.
- LM: You have toured as far as Canada, what was that like for the band?
- CC: COLD. It was very cold in mostly western Canada. The Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton shows all had highs in the single digits. It was very cool though. Out of all of the shows, Toronto was by far the craziest! We sold a ton of merch that night and made a ton of fans. It was also our first time crossing a boarder, so we learned a LOT there too with merch, taxes and border patrol. They took my poor mom (who was our bus driver for the majority of our tour) twice, into the, “questioning vault” and did the whole interrogation deal. It was pretty entertaining to say the least.
- LM: I noticed that Sabrina came into the band in 2009 with the second album, what made you decide on a female singer?
- CC: Well, Bryan had decided to pursue other things at the point we decided to really be serious about the band. I had just basically met Sabrina and heard her sing. It was a crazy idea to begin with but we managed to give a little blonde country girl a crash course in metal and wah-lah! It’s worked out fantastic ever since.
- LM: Sabrina; What is it like as a female singer in a heavy metal band? What would you say is your biggest challenge as a female singer in the heavy metal scene?
- Sabrina: It’s a Man’s world and its more accepted to be a “man” in a power metal band. However most of my influences in singing don’t come from your typical operatic “sound” of how girls in this genre usually sing. Most of the bands I listen to (now) are powerful male fronted bands like Blind Guardian, Edguy, Hammerfall, Pagan’s Mind or Iced Earth. I think this is what makes me sound different too. I kinda like when we get looked at with a “what?!?!” attitude. People are so shocked to see me fronting Power Metal especially since I’m a short little blonde girl!
- LM: The band has made a couple of changes within the band in a year’s time, how has that effected the direction of the band?
- CC: I would say mostly for the better. We let Miles go right before the tour with Blind Guardian since we were having a few problems. Aaron came aboard like two months before we left and really stepped up to the plate. He also got a crash course with this basically being his first legitimate band as well. Now we have a very solidified lineup and we are continuing to grow together for a common love for the music we make. This should be the faces of the band for quite some time to come.
- LM: Where would you like to see the band go in the next year?
- CC: Intromental is doing a VERY good job getting things done for us. They just got two new booking agents on that are really busting their tails to get the Management’s bands on the road. We have a short tour coming up in August from NYC to Florida with Creation’s End, Widow and Artizan (that will stop at THE HAVEN on AUGUST 20th) so that will be a fun shorter tour. We have a few more things in the works but nothing can be announced yet.
As for ‘Bigger’ things, I’m really pushing to get on another big national tour like what we just did with Blind Guardian before we are able to record the next album. We are hoping to be able to do this sometime in the spring. We are hoping that another big tour would help the release of the new album that we’re currently working on. Since we are still paying for everything out of our own pockets just being able to save enough money to record and tour will push the new album back to next year. The good guys at Morrisound Recording Studios in Tampa (Iced Earth, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Death, Jag Panzer) have set up a crowd funding page for us much like Kickstarter.com, except the donations go directly to our account at Morrisound. Check it out. We have already received $850 in donations! CLICK HERE TO DONATE But yes, another big tour and the release of the new album is what we are really looking forward to J
- LM: If you could tour with any band who would it be?
- CC: HAHA, Well we were already lucky enough to tour with our MOST favorite band, Blind Guardian. I would love to see us tour with a band like Iced Earth here in America and then jump on another tour overseas with say Edguy or Helloween. Also we would love to play some of the big summer festivals over in Europe as well as a slot on the main nights of Prog Power USA right here in Atlanta.
- LM: What is the funniest thing that has happened while on tour?
- CC: There were tons of funny things on tour. Mostly is the stuff that happens due to boredom and being cooped away with 3 other guys and a girl for a month and a half! Haha, I think there is some pretty funny stuff in our “Seven Kingdoms tour” videos that are up on you tube. Its really hard to just pick one instance. ha-ha
- LM: Do you have any advice you could offer to bands that are just starting out?
- CC: We are still just starting out! Haha, really though, we would not be here if it were not for all the hard work and dedication that we have given this band. The band becomes your baby and the members your family. This is the only way to really take a young non established band from the ground, basically anywhere. Its also about treating your fans great and making sure that they are satisfied with everything you do with the band. After all they are the ones supporting the band by buying cds, merch and tickets to come see you! I would also encourage all the new forming bands these days to look for something different, something that will set you apart from the rest of the pack. I’m almost positive that we are the only “labeled Power Metal” band in the state other than maybe Artizan. And even then, we are a Female Fronted Power Metal band which is practically unheard of especially in the USA, especially hailing from Florida. We get compared to bands like Nightwish all the time but as far as the music and Sabrina’s Voice, its just more aggressive and not “operatic female vocal style”. I think this gives us something unique that everyone can say “oh ya, they sound like __________, but just different, sounds like Seven Kingdoms”……..Which is exactly what you want.
- LM: Is there anything you would like to add to Seven Kingdoms fans?
- CC: Thank you for your continued support! It’s very hard for young bands like us to get things done and rolling. It makes it worth everything when we see you guys at the shows having smiles on your faces! Please keep continuing to spread the word and eventually we can get to the top, and with you with us.