The Sword's J.D. Cronise is resigned that most people who pick up the Austin, Texas, hard rock band's fourth album, "Apocryphon," will figure "it's still just about wizard castles and riding dragons and whatnot." But he hopes they're surprised when they actually listen to the music.
"It's a little more serious kind of record in a lot of ways. It's much more kind of mature and personal than our previous records," explains Cronise, 36. "I'm still a big fan of science fiction and fantasy literature, and that's definitely where my main influence came from on the first couple of albums. But we're a little older now and a little more mature and seasoned.
"I don't want to talk down our old records at all, but this is the album that was in our DNA to write at this point in our lives."
Cronise says there was some concern about how The Sword's burgeoning fan base might greet somethign different but says that "you have to ignore that and think about how you react to it and feel about it." And the fact that "Apocryphon" debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 and in the Top 5 of assorted rock genre charts, the group's best showing yet, has given Cronise and company's instincts a bit of affirmation.
"It's pretty awesome," he notes. "Our manager sent an e.mail to tell us, and we were excited. It was definitely a nice thing to wake up to.
"But to a certain degree, it's just a number to me. As soon as I can afford to buy a house and Kyle (Shutt) can open a club and we have supermodel wives or something, when there's tangible results out of this, then I'll get a little more stoked. It gives us something to work for, you know?"
The Sword performs Sunday, Nov. 11, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $16. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.
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