Crown the Empire is an American rock band formed in 2010 in Dallas, Texas. They have released one EP and three full-length albums.


Formation, Limitless and signing to Rise Records (2010–12)

Crown the Empire was formed in July 2010 by Andrew Velasquez, Austin Duncan, Hayden Tree, and Brandon Hoover during their time together at Colleyville Heritage High School. The band was formed when "Brandon and Austin decided to start jamming together."[2] The band's ultimate goal was to "be heavier than most bands in their area," while "bringing huge, poppy choruses to a genre that can become pretty stale." Originally, drummer Alex Massey filled the drumming position in the band, but he was soon replaced by their current drummer, Brent Taddie in May 2011. During 2011, the members of Crown the Empire also held an extensive search for another guitarist to join their band. One person to audition was Austin Post, now known as the rapper Post Malone, who had allegedly broke a string during the audition and was not hired on. They soon welcomed Bennett Vogelman (Benn Suede) to the band as the new lead guitarist.

The band started recording their debut EP, Limitless, in 2011. Limitless was released on iTunes on November 29, 2011.

On December 5, 2011 the band released a behind-the-scenes look at the filming for the band's then-upcoming music video for their song, "Voices", from their EP Limitless. During the video the band announced the release date for the music video to be on December 11.

On December 11, 2011 as announced by the band premiered the music video for the song, "Voices", via their YouTube page.[5]

On December 24, 2011 the band released their cover of the classic holiday song, "Let It Snow" for streaming on their YouTube page.[6]

On December 31, 2011 the band released a video of the band acoustically performing the song, "Wake Me Up", from their EP, Limitless.[7]

On January 17, 2012 the band announced their first US tour with A Skylit Drive. The tour went from March 3 to 7, beginning in Arizona and ending in Arkansas.[6]

On March 21, 2012 the band was rumored to have been signed by Rise Records after the label posted to their Facebook page, "We're announcing a new band on Friday. Here's a hint, they are from Texas!". Shortly after Crown the Empire posted a statement of their own, "Big News coming by the end of the week. Any guesses what it might be?!"[8]

On March 23, 2012 the band announced that they had in fact been signed by Rise Records in their "Viva La Rise!" video, along with the video the band released a free cover of the song, "Moves Like Jagger" in appreciation for support from their fans in helping get them signed.[9]

Second vocalist and The Fallout (2012–13)

On August 26, 2012, the band announced that they had recruited an additional vocalist, David Escamilla, to share vocal responsibilities with Andy Leo. Along with the news of Escamilla joining the band, they announced that they would be heading into the studio with Joey Sturgis to begin recording their debut album.[36] On September 6, the band released the music video being the first release by the band with new vocalist David Escamilla[36]

On August 27, 2012 the band was announced to be a part of Motionless in White's Infamous Tour beginning in early November,[36] but by November 2012 the band had canceled their participation.[36]

On October 25, the band released the first single, "Makeshift Chemistry" from their album, "The Fallout", which was released on November 20 through Rise Records.[36]

On November 8, 2012 the band released the second song from their album called "Memories of a Broken Heart".[36] On November 14, the band released part one of their two part extended music video beginning with the intro track, "Oh, Catastrophe".[36] The following day the band released the second part of their extended music video with the title track of their upcoming album, The Fallout.[36] On November 15, 2012 the band streamed their debut album in its entirety five days before the official release of the album.[36]

January 18, 2013 Rise Records announced their Spring Tour beginning in mid-April to early May with fellow acts Like Moths to Flames, the Color Morale, Palisades and My Ticket Home.[36]

On March 11, 2013 the band announced their first headlining tour called The Generation Tour, which kicked off on May 7 in Toledo, Ohio, and wrapped up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on May 26 with supporting acts Capture the Crown, Palisades, Heartist and Famous Last Words. The band also played South by South West Tour and then will be hitting the road in April with Like Moths to Flames.[14]

On March 23, 2013 the band was announced to be playing Warped Tour 2013.[4] Later that day the band released a live version of their single, "Makeshift Chemistry".[38] The following day the band released their own Warped Tour announcement.[23]

On June 6, 2013 the band released a live version of the song, "Menace" from their debut album, The Fallout.[24] On June 25, the band was announced to be joining Asking Alexandria on their headlining tour coinciding with the release of their new album, From Death to Destiny with fellow supporting acts Motionless in White and Upon a Burning Body.[25] Also on June 25, the band announced that they would shooting a music video for a song from their 2012 debut album.[26]

On August 2, 2013 the band released the last single from their debut album called "Memories of a Broken Heart".[27]

Crown the Empire performed at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour.[28]

The Fallout reissue and The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways

A reissue of The Fallout (including a re-recording of Limitless) was released in 2013, with David Escamilla providing vocals.[29] According to the band, "EVERYTHING" was redone.[30] On November 28, 2013, "Breaking Point", a single from the re-release, now with Escamilla handling all the non-singing vocals.[31]

On July 21, 2014, Crown the Empire won Alternative Press Magazine's award for best breakthrough band and their second album reached number 1 on the iTunes Rock Charts. Then on July 22, 2014, the band released their second album The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways, which debuted in its first week at number 7 on the Billboard Top 200.

On July 24, 2014, the band announced their music video for the song "Machines" to be released the following day and in under 48 hours it got over 100,000 views.

On July 26, 2014 Crown the Empire announced their new headlining tour supported with Volumes, Secrets, Ice Nine Kills, and The Family Ruin which starts on August 30, 2014 in Anaheim, California and ends on September 20, 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama.

On September 8, 2015, Crown the Empire released a new single, titled "Prisoners of War" on digital retailers as part of a deluxe reissue of The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways. The deluxe reissue was released on October 30, 2015, including "Prisoners of War", another new track titled "Cross Our Bones", an alternate version of "Machines" and an acoustic version of "Millennia".[32]

On November 6, 2015, Crown the Empire revealed to Alternative Press that their lead guitarist Benn Suede was no longer part of the band.[33]

In late 2016, Crown The Empire covered the My Chemical Romance song "Welcome to the Black Parade" for a collective cover album.[40]

Retrograde and Escamilla's departure

Crown The Empire released their 3rd studio album Retrograde on July 22, 2016. The album debuted at number 15 on the Billboard 200. On November 2016, the band announced that vocalist Dave Escamilla was going to be on a hiatus from touring. On January 8, 2017, the band announced that vocalist David Escamilla was no longer part of the band through their Facebook page. [41] Later the same day, Dave Escamilla made statements alleging most of the band's music to date was written by outside sources, which was eventually confirmed by the band. On the 2nd of October David Escamilla announced via Instagram that he has been working on a new project with a singer/songwriter named Paul Bartolome from the U.K [42]

Band members