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Boca Band Kingdoms & Crowns Is So Not a Christian Band

Put away your rosaries and put those prayer candles out, people. Kingdoms & Crowns is not a Bible-toting, kingdom-of-heaven-lyric-writing gospel band. 

They're an alternative, blues-rock group from Boca Raton comprised of talented members Stratis Washburn (guitarist, keyboard, lead vocalist), Kenneth Washburn (lead guitarist), Sean O'Neill (bass guitarist), and Michael Murphy (drummer). Kingdoms & Crowns will have you saying "Oh, my Lord," and not in a J.C. way neither. 

Originally called Black Ops, the band assembled in 2009 after a Coldplay concert Stratis attended. "Seeing that many people watch four people play was pretty fucking cool," Washburn recalls. After approaching brother Kenny and best friend Sean about the idea, the band was assembled. Four drummers later, and Murphy is now holding the drumsticks. 

The band has numerous influences including Maroon 5, Coldplay, U2, Kings of Leon, and Jimmy Hendrix. Although Washburn states that he has indeed, "written songs because of all these bands," one of the main inspirations of his writing is Casey, a girl who attended high school with the members of Kingdoms &Crowns. 

"She was cool," reminisces Washburn. "I didn't have a lot of cool friends in high school. We didn't have a thing, we were never together." Guess she was the image of rock and roll cool, 'cause the band named their EP after her. And yes, she does know she has a song and album written about her.  

"When I was 19, I thought songs would make her listen," says Washburn. He now knows, "a song won't. I moved on in a sense, but I'll never forget why I wrote those songs."

In regard to goals for the band, long term isn't significant in Washburn's eyes: "You have to take things day by day and take circumstances that you're dealt with." In the meantime, Kingdoms & Crowns looks forward to playing their first gig with their new drummer, striving to be the best they can to ensure more gigs.

Kingdoms & Crowns. 11 p.m., February 16, at Dada, 52 North Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach. Call 561-330-3232. No admission fee to attend.

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Natalya Jones