The local, almost cult-like, following around newly formed four-piece Crown the Humble has been nothing but astonishing. Their rise to fame is a – mind the pun – humbling story at the least and one that’s riddled with truncated searches for the remainder of the band and tales of songwriting ease. The group sat down with Jake Wilton at the just-relaunched Burleigh Brewery to discuss all this and more.
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Hearing about this band in the lead up to our interview, the phrase flung around frequently was “rapid rise”. In context, Crown the Humble has only been operating under that name since mid-2015. Considering the peak in expert-class quality with the band’s two new singles and consistent southeast Queensland touring schedule, “rapid rise” no longer seems appropriate.
“We’ve just released two songs,” says band front man Jimmy Brine, proudly.
“Next plan is to get an EP out with five, maybe six, songs. Would have to get the funds together and give it a proper crack.”
The songs Jimmy speaks of? The newly released Gypsy Girl and Rubber Arm have been getting flogged on local radio stations and national community stations too with Jimmy mentioning that Dubbo local radio wanted to have a chat with the group.
Crown the Humble champions a tantalising earthy and raw quality of folk-rock that feeds effortlessly into its organic, almost-stupidly, catchy melodies. Gypsy Girl, for example, tells a story of man trying to hold on to a lover who’s about to leave his life forever.
“Getting into the studio for that one was heaps of fun. We just experimented a little more with it,” recalled Jimmy.
“That song has come a long way from when it was just a live track; before taking it to the studio. The crescendo used to be so minimal, in comparison, but is really awesome, and so much fuller, now on record,” detailed Vinnie [Heke, bass].
Jenny [Rulfs, keys / vocals], having only just joined the band at the moment they went in to record Gypsy Girl and Rubber Arm, gave the track plenty more undertone and folk authenticity with her casual, unobtrusive vocal underlays.
The song, so simple in design, rides true to Crown the Humble’s graceful approach to song crafting – making their local reign equal to their potential national domination.
“It’s all fallen into place so quickly,” boasts Jimmy speaking about the, also prompt, formation of the group.
“Jenny, Warwick [Chipman, drums] and I all used to hang out with none of us really speaking about playing music or instruments. The realisation came when I played an open-mic night and asked Chip to bring his drum box and for Jenny to jump on keys.”
With Jimmy now understanding his friends’ hidden musical abilities, he thought it unjust for it to go to waste. Vinnie was the final piece to the – another pun incoming – humble pie, with him being discovered through an advertisement on Facebook.
“He was the only person who responded,” laughed Jenny.
A huge amount of experience resides in the Crown the Humble collective with Jimmy and Vinnie playing in and out of groups and solo gigging for years. Jenny, on the other hand, hasn’t played music since high school but saw the potential in pairing up with her mates to enter the fray again.
Now legitimised with a rehearsal space and full membership of Crown the Humble assembled, Jimmy said there’s plenty more songs to come in the near future, which will also see the band taking the same approach to crafting their art since the beginning.
“We’ll take the songs into rehearsal and allow everyone to find their groove and their part in the song. Essentially find the music element of the song then adding lyrics to it,” formulated Jimmy.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Lamp Photography