CRYSTAL BALL has one of these names that seem so familiar yet you’re not really sure that you have heard their music. So read this interview first and then check if you are familiar with this band. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
How important is the band name? What is it that makes a band name great?
-It’s quite important I guess. The name is great when it fits the music and image. Of course it’s cool to have short and easy name like KISS or Queen. But most of those names are taken. So we had to look further, haha. Crystal Ball gives us plenty of room for new concepts. And it’s not a typical clichee metal bandname.
Just so we know what we are dealing with could you please give us a short introduction to the band?
-The band started out in 1995 as a cover band named “Cherry Pie”. These formative years of stage experience became the foundation of CRYSTAL BALL. Our original debut album entitled “In The Beginning” came out 1999. We recorded five other album for lables like Nuclear Blast and AFM records and did many tours for example supporting Pretty Maids and Gotthard, Dokken, U.D.O., Doro and Krokus, Axxis, Pink Cream 69. After a creative break with some line-up changes, the original members Scott Leach and Marcel Sardella reformed CRYSTAL BALL with fresh blood and a great new frontman, Steven Mageney from Wuppertal, Germany. Steven is a experienced singer and the perfect match for the new CRYSTAL BALL Sound.
How do you find your sound? Do you take a whole bunch of influences and mix them together to make it your brew?
-You tell me, haha. How does it sound? We have plenty of influences. But creating the sound is not a thing that we do on purpose or on paper. It just happens when we work on songs. I guess there are quite a lot of 80ies bands that influenced us, but also some new stuff.
Does it become easier with time to write songs or is it a much more difficult process in that you don’t want to repeat what you’ve already done?
-For me it becomes easier, most of the time. But you’re right, sometimes I’m stuck because I want something that I haven’t done before. I’m sure the new line up will bring up some more fresh ideas in the future. We already had much more songs than we could record.
What would you say is a great album cover? What does it have to contain for it to be great? I love the really big, colourful ones from the LP days. The ones you could sit for hours looking at discovering new details.
-A great cover grabs your attention and makes you want to look at it for longer.
And it should have a connection to the band, the sound, the lyrics or something else. Best thing if it connects to all those aspects. And it should give you plenty of possibilities for Merchandise.
What are your feelings on the latest album? How pleased are you with it?
-We are very pleased with it. It’s a new area and a restart. It feels very fresh and grown up at the same time. To me this is the best album as a whole. The sound, the songs, the performance, the concept, etc.
How has the internet changed the feeling of community in being a local band playing local shows? Does it still feel that you are a product of your surrounding area?
-We never really were a local band. Even in the beginning we never focused on one town or area.
We always drove far and soon the shows in other countries. Of course it’s very helpful to have internet. It makes the whole world available, but at the same time you’re competing with the whole world.
What ways has been the best for you in order to promote the band? What do you do to reach as many interested as possible?
-It’s always a combination of many things. I think playing live is still the best promotion.
But of course it’s not possible to play everywhere. The internet opened up many new possibilities, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, became very important. We also did 2 videoclips.
This was really important to us, since we have a new line up. For this new album we came up with a very special idea. We’ve made Crystal Ball temporary tattoos and a Facebook photo-competition. https://campaigns.halalati.com/contest/crystalBallFotoContest
Everybody is welcome to join. You can get a temporary tattoo by sending us self-addressed envelope with a repley coupon. Crystal Ball, CH-6000 Luzern, Switzerland
How do you best utilize the interest you get on social media to actually have it mean something in real life?
-We use it to inform and invite people to our concerts for example. An other way is the interactive competition I was just telling you about. People can hear our music, see our videos and pictures and they can give a immediate feedback.
What lies in the future?
-We want to play as much as we can. We’re planning a support tour, probably in march 2014.
Maybe we’ll also do another video in 2014. And of course we’ll continue writing songs and prepare for a new record.