If rock ‘n’ roll was a fable, it would be Hansel And Gretel.
For the past decade, the world’s most popular musical genre hasn’t been able to find the path of breadcrumbs it laid down. They’ve been sucked up by saccharine bands only interested in immediate gain. There’s no substance; no reason to care.
“Over the years, I think rock has really lost its way,” says Krome guitarist/vocalist Shawn Meehan. “There have been great expressions like how grunge was a rebellion to the ‘80s but rock started out being young and rebellious. It was all about pissing off your parents and having a good time. It hasn’t been like that for a long time.”
Krome is about to change that. Formed by Meehan in 2004, the Vancouver, B.C. quartet has become one of Canada’s most hard rockin’, relentless bands. Two albums, countless tours and a host of bewitching tunes have certified them as dedicated independent rockers.
And now, they’ve made it their mission to bring this bereaved scene back to a point of essence and power. Krome is the new trail of stones shining in the moonlight thanks to the simple sincerity of tertiary full-length Kronic Rock (Cordova Bay Entertainment). Forged on the fires of spirit, genuine enthusiasm and dedication, Kronic Rock’s prowess reinstates rock’s primal, engaging path, evidenced by powerful lead single “TMZ” currently racing up radio charts across the nation. Still, despite its humility, Kronic Rock is no small feat.
“We really dug deep into our influences to create this album because of rock’s dilemma,” Meehan continues. “Slapping a song together and banging it out so you can recognize it isn’t good enough for us. We go the extra mile; fight to always get that magic, that spark, that pocket in a song. It’s not about playing it. It’s about improving and expanding, making it better, especially live.”
While that dedicated introspection, analysis and passion has always been a crucial aspect of Krome, even Meehan is surprised by just how severely it has affected Kronic Rock. From internal reconfiguring to revising their modus operandi, its realization has been a long time in the making. However, thanks to the inclusion of guitarist Derek Merrel, bassist Adam Reid and drummer Scott Aquino, Krome attains a previously unheralded solidarity, power and brute strength on Kronic Rock.
“We’ve morphed a lot,” Meehan declares. “After being a club act for a number of years, I really wanted to take it to the next level. We broke it all down and rebuilt it to what it is today. It’s basically new and improved; a new sound, new vibe and a step beyond the post-grunge attack we had in the past. It’s a fresh sound.”
Invigorated by their own intent to revive rock’s fading corpse, Krome inject an adrenalized shot of vitality, virility and vehemence into Kronic Rock. Culled from a deep pool of influences ranging from AC/DC and Van Halen to Chris Cornell, the band channels that inspiration into monstrous foundation, hook-filled melodies and gritty drive to deliver Kronic Rock’s basic goal: revelry.
“Kronic Rock was created to bring back that fun to rock,” Meehan says. “It’s about getting laid; throwing your fists in the air, forgetting about conformity and your day job. That’s what rock has always been there for. It’s fist-pounding, balls-to-the-wall rock but we want people to take their own interpretation from our lyrics. Music should be a very personal experience. People feel like they own a part of their favourite bands because they invest so much into them personally. So this is whatever they want it to be.” Meehan also reveals that aside from a revised roster, Kronic Rock also benefits from the creative influence of outside forces. For the first time in their six years, the band wrote with artists including award-winning Juno nominee Ryan Stewart (Carly Rae Jepsen, Suzie McNeil, Laurell) and handed production over to accomplished duo Adrian Lock and Sam Ryan (SOS Music).
“It pulled stuff out of me that I never knew was there,” he beams, noting how every participant had a common vision. “The songs come first and everything is built around that from the artwork to the show. In rock, that sometimes gets overlooked. The songs is where we thrive to excel.” Still, Meehan asserts that despite ensuring each song on Kronic Rock is a powerhouse of jollification unto itself, it’s still the live show where Krome thrives and the belief in rock’s mastery will be justified. Anticipating the album’s forthcoming tour, he notes that everything boils down to the personal connection made between band and audience, an experience that is exclusive to each person.
“The songs are what bring people out to the show…and that’s where we’re gonna blow ‘em away. We work really hard to elevate the live aspect of this band and I think we’ll do that if you come see us,” he notes, laughing. “I’m confident enough in how primed we are that I’ll dare to say that.”