Troubled experiences often produce artists, with music being their voice and creative outlet for their demons. However, Crim Nguyen, a 21-year-old guitarist for Bay Area band Koruscant Weekend, has decided to use that negative energy as the driving force of inspiration behind his art.
Crim Nguyen, whose real name is David, nervously sat in his bed during our interview. His room was the epitome of a nerd’s cave. Super hero action figures, The Walking Dead comic books, and his electric guitars surrounded his room. He talked about the first moment music became such a big part of his life. When he was four years old, his father, who passed away from a heart attack in 2010, played one of the first songs he’s ever heard, “Help!” by The Beatles. Since then, music has become the love of his life.
Nguyen, and friend Ryan Finney, started Koruscant Weekend in early 2012 in the hopes of making catchy indie-pop. The lineup was completed with the addition of Josh, the bassist, and Justin Scord, vocalist and keyboardist. After just four months, the band wrote and recorded an album entitled Wives’ Tales, which consists of ten catchy, indie-pop tracks.
“ I wanted that lifestyle of touring and being able to see all the nice things around the world,” said Nguyen. “I wanted to play music for people and make a difference.”
Getting there hasn’t, and won’t be easy for Crim. In 2009, his mother suffered from a stroke and is disabled. A year later, his father passed away from a heart attack, leaving Nguyen responsible for his sister who was only 9 at the time.
Nguyen said that he is also pursuing music in inspiration of his little sister.
“ I want to get out there, and give her the life she couldn’t have because she lost both of her parents,” he said. “ My step mom, her mother, died when she was four. I just want to give her a role model, someone to look up to. I’m the only tie that she has to her dad and her mom.”
Currently, Crim resides in Cupertino, California and is living with his friend and his family. He explained that after his father died, he didn’t have much of a bright future ahead of him, and became very depressed.
“ I got drunk every day, was doing drugs…I lost a lot of friends. Eventually I just snapped myself out of it, got my shit together, and starting this band has really helped,” he said. “ I didn’t know how to really express myself, and music has given that to me.”
He explained that his life right now is solely focused on Koruscant Weekend. They just booked their End of the World tour, which will take place all up and down the West Coast.
“ We don’t want to put on local shows anymore. We want to give an actual environment for people. We’re just a whole bunch of nerds, and hopefully we can just bank on that,” he said.
Alanna Williamson, a fan of Koruscant Weekend, said that she won’t be surprised if they become more famous. “ I love their songs. I listen to them everyday…walking to class, at the gym,” she said.
“ My favorite song on their album is BMA, because its not only catchy, but relatable. I think that is what makes a band talented. To be able to speak to their listeners.”
Jonrey Domingo, another fan of Koruscant Weekend, also agrees with Williamson that there is hope for this band to go big and get somewhere.
“ A lot of their songs are pretty upbeat and melodic,” he said. “ Note the lead singer, Justin Scord, includes many of his talents during their live shows by playing keyboard, using synth, the harmonica, and adding drum parts in some of their songs.”
Crim expressed how thankful he is to be where he is now with Koruscant Weekend, and have such a supportive group of fans. When asked if his father would be proud of him, he said that he would be a little skeptical with the lifestyle of a musician.
“ But, in a sense I feel like he might be proud of me. But I feel like that only way that’s going to happen is that if I get out there in a big enough market,” he said.
“ Creating music, I’ve learned, that you have to choose your battles. There is four other guys in my band, and we all have different opinions,” he said. “ You learn to compromise.”
“ Writing music though, it has changed me in every way. I’ve learned to let go, and be more open minded towards things…not just with my life situation, but with my band, and with music,” he said.
Crim said that he is hopeful that Koruscant Weekend will get out to a bigger platform, but is prepared for the latter.
“ With a band it’s kind of like a relationship, anything can happen. But I know where I want to be, and that is in a band that I’m on tour for the rest of my life.”
A sneek preview to what will be on their next album. Love, by Koruscant Weekend.