In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with CRYSTAL BALL. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
CS: As a kid, of course, there was all about fame and money, with no clue that it is the same hard work as a regular job. Because that is what it is: to be a musician means a lot of hard work, just like any other blue collar but also white collar work. Nowadays we know that, but still appreciate to be able to be a musician.
SL: The main thing is still the same after all these years: The passion for music and enjoying with great friends and the audience. This is what keeps us going.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
CS: Absolutely not! The band’s roots are originated from the coolest place in Switzerland, which is Lucerne. People all around the world know this place, if only from hearsay. But still: they like Switzerland, they like Lucerne, and thus, they like us.
When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
CS: Doing an album is always realising a vision. We would never dare to write a song just for other people or because anybody forces us to do so! All we do, we do because we like to do it. But of course, still we hope that there will be many people out there who like what we do. As long as people like our music, we will continue to put out more records.
SL: We don’t plan to give an album a certain vibe or sound, it just happens naturally. It’s like a photograph of that moment in time.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
SL: The biggest challage is always to write the best possible songs. We try to do something a little different without leaving our own style and our history. That’s not an easy task. We try to open up for new stuff but “crystallize” in our own sound.
CS: Already mentioned, it is always realising a vision. The challenge is to create this vision into focus on one single album (as the next album will probably be a different vision). All our ideas we have to put together: the music, the lyrics, the artwork, the live shows… Just everything.
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
SL:Yes we did record analogue for the biggest part on our frist 3 records. We feel that the digital recording gives you a lot more freedom. Especially in the process of writing an evoling the songmaterial.
I guess I know what Dave Grohl meat by that. Because it’s not so easy to edit, you have to focus more on a performance in one piece. With unlimited studiotime and money (like Dave has) that’s a cool thing. For us, the digital way makes way more sense.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
CS: Of course, we always hope that our fans will like what we do. But this thought comes only with the finished album. We never sit together at the beginning and try to find out how the album must sound like only that the people will buy it. Mainly we have to like it ourselves. Only like this it is possible to put out the maximum. But then, yes, when all is finished we hope that our fans will get what they are waiting for and that we can convince new people of our work.
SL: It’s always funny and interessting to hear the different reactions towards the same songs. Different listeners have different favorits. I guess depending on their musical background they hear different influcenes and vibes.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
CS: In all our songs we want to tell a story. It is quite a challenge to put as much information as possible into a four-minute song! Yet, everybody must be able to understand what we want to say. Of course, there is room for interpretation and we want to give our fans something to think about. The messages we want to deliver can vary from light entertainment to complex hidden messages about our vision of life and the world.
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
SL: It’s the same with me, I always reacted strongly to the artwork of an album. We spend a lot of energy to create the right idea for the artwork. Finally we had a great artist (Thomas Ewerhard) to visualize our vision.
CS: The cover and the pictures must always go together with the spirit of the record. It’s all one thing: music, lyrics and artwork.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
CS: It definitely is our intention to come back to a place where we have played before and to welcome the same people again, but this time together with their friends. With every show we hope to spread the word. So, each time we come back we would like to party with more people than the previous time.
SL: Yes, we do definitly notice that. Especially when we play a new region our country.
What do you see in the future?
CS: As long as the fire burns we will continue to make records, play live and try to entertain as many people as possible with our art.
SL: Look into the CRYSTAL BALL