If you have one album that you can listen over and over while you walk through the streets of New York City and have all your cares dissipate, well this could be one of them. Nicholas Crown’s first LP album “City Calling” was recorded out of his suitcase while backpacking through Europe. We chatted about how he first got his start at music, his music, and how technology has improved our lives in unimaginable ways.
1) So your sound is very awesome! What are some of your musical influences? How have they influenced your writing?
N.C: I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 7 years old, when I found a Stratocaster under the Christmas tree. I learned by practicing Hendrix and John Lee Hooker tunes; Delta Blues, Led Zeppelin, and of course folk giants like Nick Drake. Blues, minor scales and syncopation teaches you that you have to maximize whatever you have, make every verse count, with one voice and a guitar, if each phrase doesn’t break you into a million pieces, rewrite it.
2) Your song ” The High Line” really highlights the Chelsea’s beauty. What made you write about it?
N.C: It’s not necessarily an homage to the physical structure, despite the fact that I consider it one of our finest engineering projects. I was walking through Chelsea very early in the morning and I saw The High Line as not a train line, but rather a hurdle or water line. Something that if you could scale it, you could reach something profound and pure – maybe something like heaven, away from the imperfections and disappointment of living on the asphalt. If you can find an escape, or passage, even momentarily from sweat and disillusionment, what I conceptualized as “flying the High Line,” you should take it — especially if you can bring someone with you.
3) What’s one song that you guys love performing live?
N.C: I would have to say “New Amsterdam.” I am inspired by the idea of New York as it stood originally-a Dutch colony; it IS fascinating to overlay different time periods, considering what the city has become. I was surprised that these New York stories spoke to a lot of different people and it’s great to be contacted by people from all over the world to discuss music. Technology has made that possible.
4) What’s one of your favorite venue to play?
N.C: Playing Arlene’s Grocery was very special and Howard on the sound board was amazing; we’re also looking forward to play at Drom. (12/18)
5) Since we all love whiskey at Pancakes & Whiskey, what’s your favorite whiskey drink?
N.C: If I’m drinking beer I’m at the Corner Bistro. Teenage nostalgia and the Black Keys on the jukebox. I’m on a sake kick so I’m at Decibel, Kenka, and Rockmeisha recently. As for brown spirits, after all this is Pancakes and Whiskey, I’m drinking an Old Fashioned at Black Market and amaro at Amor y Amargo.
Pancakes and Whiskey will be covering Nicholas Crown’s Drom show on 12/18 as well so join us for some great tunes and get some drinks with us!!
Article by: Karen Silva