We are pleased the next segment of our Music Magic Series, an exclusive Q&A with Loren Pratt, the bass player and back up vocalist of the alternative rock band Crush of Empires. Loren is just one fifth of this fantastic group of musicians. His fellow bandmates are Steven Cimino (guitar), John-Paul Baker (drums, percussion, and back up vocals), William Mercado, (lead vocals), and Jafar Mahumd, (guitar). Crush of Empires play at several venues across New York City, including but not limited to: Arlene’s Grocery, the National Underground, Gramercy Theater, Pianos, and Tammany Hall. Their EP is on iTunes NOW, and their upcoming shows are always listed on their website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Be sure to check them out, you know we never steer you wrong.
LP: I started playing bass at 15. To be honest, I really don’t know how to sing. How about today? Today will be the day I start singing.TWT: When did you first start playing the bass? When did you first start singing and playing music?
TWT: Can you tell our readers more about what drew you to the type of music that you do?
LP: I just love playing music. Our music, (Crush of Empires) is vary raw and emotion driven. Every time we play a show it’s like intensive therapy.
TWT: What’s your inspiration for your songs?
LP: I think the best way to answer that is simple: life experiences.
TWT: What’s the songwriting process for Crush of Empires?
LP: All five of us have a pretty good part in writing the music. For instance, someone will introduce a riff they’ve been working on, and then we’ll jam on it and let the song evolve. Of course, William writes all the lyrics, and then we figure out backing vocals afterward.
TWT: Growing up, what type of music did you listen to?
Growing up there was always a strange collection of music being played in my house. My dad would play folk music every now and then. And my mom, being an avid Jazzercise enthusiast, always had the latest pop hits. My brother would be rocking out to Anthrax and Metallica. Ha, and I remember playing Ace of Bass over and over again. That is until my brother let me have his cassettes of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince and Green Day’s Dookie. So, for a while I really just listened to what was available to me. When I was around 12 years old I remember hearing Bad Religion’s “Infected” on the radio. That’s when I started listening to music that I was really drawn to.
TWT: What can fans expect from Crush of Empires this year?
LP: A whole lot of kick ass new songs.
TWT: What advice would you give to aspiring singers/songwriters/musicians?
LP: Practice. Practice every day. And then find some other musicians to practice with.
TWT: What was your music education like?
LP: When I first started playing bass I had a very chill, laid back, blues style guitar teacher named Johnny Dz. Very cool guy. He taught me for about 4 years. On top of that, I also took a music theory class in high school. I believe in was in some sort of band class as well. But every time I play, I learn something new. There is always something new to learn when it comes to playing an instrument.
TWT: Who has been your greatest teacher?
LP: Every body I have ever played with. I know that is kind of a vague answer but, I learn something new or pick up a new style from every person I play with.