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Volume 91, Issue 44

Friday, November 14, 1997

calling wood


Crystal Method set to get Busy Child

©Katrina Dickson
"I'M NEVER TALKING TO HIM AGAIN." The members of Crystal Method are seen here having a bit of a spat, but they're guaranteed to be in top spirits when they play The Embassy this Sunday night.

By Jamie Lynn
Gazette Staff

A hot musical catch phrase this year is the term "electronica." While it may not have been the saviour of the slumping music industry as predicted, it has turned some serious heads towards a music that has been perceived as new – but is it? Not really.

"Electronica" is simply a term record companies have used lately to recognize the fact much of rave culture and music is being recorded and becoming more readily available to the general "music buying" public. Yet, while the Chemical Brothers spent the year droppin' their "block rockin' beats" and Keith Flint and crew were busy starting fires, a Nevada duo called Crystal Method recorded and quietly released one of the year's most diverse and exciting dance records entitled Vegas.

"We wanted to release a record that would sound as good on the dance floor as it would in your walkman on the way to school," explains Method member Scott Kirkland from his Philadelphia hotel room. "I think the reason this music has caught on is because so many artists like the Prodigy and the Sneaker Pimps have made amazing records, but the trend will go back and forth. I mean, a band like Radiohead put out a great sounding record that was more guitar and drums based and people can enjoy that just the same as they can enjoy an album from the Crystal Method."

So while Crystal Method have been showered with praise for their latest release, many are surprised when they become aware of the band's origin. The band has been placed within a genre of music which has been completely dominated by artists from the U.K.

"A lot of people still don't know we're American. Even the people at MTV thought we were British. We still get great press in the U.K. but there are some writers who take offence to white American guys coming up and stepping on their territory, but I think that's just a bunch of bullshit. You talk to some band like the Chemical Brothers and they'll tell you that all their influences come from America. It's just about giving things back and taking things and borrowing things."

The band is always looking for ways to branch their music out into new places, thus keeping the sounds interesting and fresh. Just this past summer the band recorded a song with Filter and have expressed interest in working with Canada's Sarah McLachlan. Some, however, feel that such collaborations should not occur, for fear it may dilute the purity of the music. Kirkland has strong words for such individuals.

"I don't like purists. I think music purists need to be taken out of the equation. They're not really lovers of music. I think if you really love music, then you welcome all kinds of different sounds and changes and types of music. If you call yourself a techno purist or a rock purist, well then you're just a dinosaur. I think it's great when artists like Bowie and U2 take a chance on new sounds because the music industry needs bands that aren't afraid to take chances."

As for their "kickin" live show, Kirkland insists it is an extraordinary experience for all. "We set up our stage show like a band and we just try and get that intimate vibe that most people relate to. I mean, you see the performer, you see us pounding on our keyboards, much like a rock show. It creates an environment where all are welcome."

This is Crystal Method's first headlining tour and it is their first stop in London. The band seems very excited about expanding their audience, while turning more people onto their special groove. After all, it's important bands like the Crystal Method that are going to continue to screw with the norms and keep music interesting for years to come.

We want you to go to this show! The first person who comes up to Rm. 263 of the UCC at 2 p.m today will win a pair of tickets to see the Crystal Method.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997