Interview with Singer White Crone

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.

White Crone: Thank YOU so much for the interview!

CV: Do you feel that it's still possible for an unknown band today to be plucked out of obscurity and make it to stardom? Can a dedicated core of fans sharing their music make that possible or has the internet and social media changed the game?
White Crone: Well, it seems much of the time, when a band comes out of obscurity to great fame in a short period of time, they have proper financing behind them.  Most bands won't make it to a very large scale without having money behind them.  However there are a few stories of bands that simply had massive fan support, but those bands eventually got picked up and backed.  There's only room for so many at the top, so I like to remind people that it shouldn't necessarily be their goal.  There are plenty of working artists out there who are making a living at it, have a loyal fan base, and are enjoying happy careers. If smaller artists learn to put the internet and social media to work for their music, and use it to stay engaged to their audience, then it will be to their benefit. Plus there is a wealth of information about being successful as a small, independent artist, thanks to the growth of the internet and social media. We need to take advantage of whatever knowledge is out there.

CV: Do you feel that given the accessibility and social awareness of modern times that a music underground still even exists today as it once did?
White Crone: Good question.  I recall the days of tape trading.  It was done through Maximum Rock & Roll and underground zines.  There was no internet, but there definitely was something similar to file sharing going on.  It was slower and smaller.  But in those days, there were still local scenes with strong local sounds.  Once accessibility opened up on the internet, it served to soften the boundaries of local, state and international borders.  Now bands can have the Gothenburg or Bay Area Thrash sound without being from those places.  But there is definitely a metal underground that I stumbled into once I decided to produce my first metal album.  I am a blues artist by trade, and have been in that scene for many years.  It's like a big family.  I found out that there is a big family of underground metal on the internet, encompassing many styles, and it's very supportive.  I've made a lot of connections on "Metal Twitter" for instance.  And there's a cool scene bubbling below the surface of Bandcamp as well.

CV: What do you see as the biggest difference in music and how it is perceived from back say 35 years ago compared to music today? Has both the music and the artist evolved from your point of view?
White Crone: I have a somewhat unique point of view.  I started out in metal and hard rock, then moved on to make a career in blues music.  For a long time, I wasn't paying attention to the metal scene, I just listened to the old school stuff I grew up with while driving in the van to my blues gigs!  So I have come to call myself The Unfrozen Cavewoman of Metal.  The main thing this Cavewoman notices about the metal scene especially is this bizarre subgenre business.  It's like craft beer... IPAs, lagers, brown ales... dammit, it's all beer, isn't it?  Why do we have to subdivide everything into smaller and smaller categories?  I think that can be restrictive to artists, who may be inwardly moved to write and record music that spans multiple subgenres, but they may shut themselves out of that (or be shut down by their label, perhaps) into narrowing their vision.  I think musicians and music in general suffers from that, and I think listeners suffer from that process as well. 

Also, with the advent of the playlist, people aren't listening to whole albums as much as they used to.  That's why I appreciate the underground metal scene, which seems to be more album oriented.  Bandcamp itself is album oriented in the way it delivers music and I think that's a good thing too.  I love it when artists make an album that has something to say from start to finish, rather than just making a collection of songs.

CV: Do you believe bands and artists who have the biggest impact on fans and other artists are aware that they are or is there more of a tunnel vision sort of process for them keeping them somewhat in the dark? Can influential artists see past their own work to be aware of the ripples they make?
White Crone: People in any line of work have different personalities.  Some work with their nose to the grindstone and don't look up much.  Others are more in tune with connections with the people around them.  The difference between the very public Geddy Lee and the very private Neil Peart is a case in point.  I don't know a lot of very influential artists, so I can't know what's inside their heads.  I do know that there are some artists who are extremely influential that aren't so well known.  I saw Brian Tatler and Diamond Head last year in a small club, for instance.  To me, they should be playing in arenas!  These are musicians’ musicians.  I think it's important for musicians, and fans alike, to let unsung influential artists like them know exactly how much they mean to them.

CV: Does music need to be influential to be considered worth listening to in your opinion? Or can music simply be just an enjoyable auditory experience devoid of substance?
White Crone: Music is worth listening to if you like it.  If it's good!  The substance is the inner experience of listening.

CV: The world has been rocked by the COVID pandemic.  The economy has been sent into a tailspin in its wake, unfortunately.  Bands worldwide have been restricted from performing live, and for some it seems, restricted from earning a living.  How has the pandemic affected your band? Are you hopeful that 2021 will see many of the restrictions lifted?
White Crone: I mostly work in the blues scene and I had almost 90 gigs get canceled within a few weeks when the pandemic hit.  My husband is a bass player too, he plays with Grammy nominee Sugaray Rayford- they had a European tour cancel, and a trip to Curacao, canceled in a blink of an eye.  Even this year it has been hard to get back on the road, as it has been too hard for venues to plan ahead with the changing restrictions.  I know a LOT of people who lost loved ones to COVID, so believe me, I'm not saying they weren't needed.  But I'm glad we are at a point with vaccinations that bands can start planning to hit the road at least.  But at this point, much of 2021 will be written off as well for us.

I have also been singing and writing with a band called Splintered Throne.  I joined the band in 2019.  We have an album written front to back that we will start recording soon, but we are far behind where we imagined we would be.  We couldn't get together for proper rehearsals and songwriting sessions for a long time, so everything has been delayed.  But we are looking forward to recording soon, and hopefully hitting the road for some shows!

CV: What do you feel artists and bands can do right now to stay relevant, especially in an environment, such as the present, where performing in front of a live audience is being restricted? What immediate options do you see available?
White Crone: I've been doing a live stream on my Facebook every Tuesday for much of the pandemic, and it has kept me connected with my audience, and oddly enough, allowed me to connect with even more people around the world.  I have blues fans in the UK, for instance, and I don't get to go over there are play for them in person very often.  But I decided to live stream at 2pm on Tuesdays, so my UK fans could tune in.  And they have multiplied, FAR more than if I had been touring over there.  It's pretty amazing.  I have also been doing Zoom interviews with lots of publications, metal and blues related.  I hope this way of connecting continues into the future.  Of course it can't take the place of live shows.  But it can sure compliment it. 

CV: As an artist, what have you learned from the events of 2020? Are those lessons learned different for you as a person than as an artist or are they one in the same in your opinion?
White Crone: Many artists have done a lot of soul searching over the pandemic, I'm among them.  I also have personally.  You get to know who and what matters in your life, like family.  Many artists don't want to slog it out on tour or playing lots of regional gigs anymore, because they see how it takes them away from family.  I can see that as well, also I recall how I was burning myself out before the pandemic.  In the near future, I would like to play fewer gigs just to pay the bills, and focus on the gigs and tours that I enjoy.  I also would like to continue doing live streaming so I can keep those connections I've made over this past year, and not burn myself out.  I owe it to myself and my family.  I also would like to record more music.  There's a lot of overlap for myself, and a lot of the artists I know, between those personal lessons learned, and the professional.

CV: What's next? What can fans expect to see coming in 2021 and beyond?
White Crone: Right now I have a new White Crone single, a cover of Rainbow's Stargazer.  It features Vinny Appice on drums, Blues-Rocker Alastair Greene on guitar, and Eric Lawrence on keyboards.  It's a long track, almost 9 minutes, but Vinny played some incredible fills at the end that I just couldn't leave on the cutting room floor!  It's available after July 9 in digital format for streaming on all the major platforms, as well as for download at my website,

Also, keep your eyes peeled for a new Splintered Throne album; it will deliver the traditional metal goods, with some thrash influences as well.  It's going to kick ass, I promise!

CV: Thank you again for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. It was such a pleasure. I wish you all the best.
White Crone: Thank you for asking such interesting questions!  May the future hold good things for you and yours.

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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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