The Crystal Method: Inside The Legion of Boom

The Crystal Method is the closest thing to a European dance club group that America has to call their own. Their four albums have created a sound like no other. Many call them psychedelic, many call them groovy, but no matter what you call them, their sound has left a mark on the club circuit of America. In fact, it has left such a mark, that their recent release, Legion of Boom, has earned them five nominations from the 2004 DanceStar USA Awards. They include Best Act, Best Album, Best Single, Best Video, and Best Use of Music in a Television Show. I'd say that has left quite the impact.

The Crystal Method formed in Las Vegas where Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan met. Scott a DJ, Ken a producer, they joined together to form the resurgence of American club music. With a touch of Rock, Hip-Hip, and electronic, the two began to mix beats and record together. After a move to Los Angeles, their careers began to move with their single, 'Now is the Time', which appeared on the City Of Angels soundtrack. Since then, they have had three albums, (Vegas, Tweekend, and Legion of Boom) numerous singles, and enough tours to make them know around the world.

Legion of Boom was released on January 13, 2004. The album has gained much praise by many, including Maxim Magazine saying “Their basic formula, waist-deep in electronica cliches, is nonetheless appealing: one part slinky female vocal loop, one part buzz saw synth riff, and four parts steady, ass-shaking beat's. It also gained respect from retailers, as Best Buy and Target had the album included in their weekly advertisement. Most importantly, the fans, have given it great success already, making it the number 1 album downloaded of itunes the day of its release. The 12 track album has a touch of everything combined from the last three records. 'Born Too Slow', the lead single has a rock feel to it while maintaining the dance club feel. Meanwhile, songs like 'Starting Over', 'True Gift', and 'Bound Too Long' have that true Club feel. Still songs like 'American Way' have the Hip-Hop feel. The variety on this album is unmatched by any other artist in the world and success has shown that through its first week.

I had a chance to talk to Ken recently, and here is what he had to say.

Brian: First of all congratulations on the recent nominations. Do the awards have an impact on how you decide to go about your careers?

Ken: I guess it doesn't effect what we do really, you know, we always try to make the best records for our self and for the fans before we start worry about any awards or anything, but we are real excited, we've been to the last two DanceStar's, the first one we won something, Best Act or something, and last year Scott and I presented last year, and this year we are going to perform live at the show so it should be fun.

Brian: How do you compare the new album Legion of Boom to your past albums?

Ken: You know I think it is a little closer sounding to Vegas, than Tweekend. Tweekend ended up being a little, little darker and heavier than we had wanted and so we went into this wanting to get away from that darker and heavier sound this time and have something a little more familiar closer to Vegas.

Brian: What inspired this album?

Ken: Well that's was one inspiration. We are always looking forward to making records since were done touring to promote the one before. That and things going on in the world and in our lives.

Brian: What are your plans for the next year?

Ken: Our tour starts the end of this month, no end of February. We will be touring through the summer and hopefully we will put out a new mix CD by the end of this year or early next year.

Brian: With the success of your album on itunes, how do you feel about the internet and music?

Ken: We were really excited about that, we beat out a lot of big name people. Yeah, we have always been net users forever, we really like itunes. We both like, we both buy songs off itunes and I think it is really helping artists that were being hurt from all the illegal downloads so we thought that was really great.

Brian: As a whole, what is the main goal for the crystal method in music?

Ken: We just want to keep making good records, records that Scott and I are happy with and that are fans are happy with.

Brian: If you had your choice, would you prefer studio work or live performances?

Ken: We are always going to make new studio albums, and we still really like touring, and we like eating it to, so for right now, we are just going to keep on doing everything.

Brian: With people like Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Scott Weilard of Stone Temple Pilots appearing on your records, how do you decide who you want to work with your records on your records and has anybody turned you down?

Ken: We usual pick people based on, first of all what we need for the record or for a song. Also, we want to know the people now and we want to make sure they are into our music and we get along with them. All that is really important to us. I'm trying to think, has anybody every turned us down? I can't think of anyone that has turned us down before.

Brian: Is their anything you would go about differently on any of the albums?

Ken: No, I don't think I would change anything. Everything is a learning process and I think things are going pretty well so I don't have any regrets over any of the music or anything yet.

Brian: Is it hard to tour with Scott when he is married and you aren't?

Ken: No, it doesn't cause any problems.

Brian: How was performing for the first time opening for The Chemical Brothers?

Ken: I remember being so nervous, my hands were shaking. Like there was a spotlight and I could see my hands shaking so much. What I really learned, when your really nervous, drink a lot and you get less nervous.

With the release of Legion of Boom, and the upcoming tour which begins, The Crystal Method has a busy schedule in front of them. However, the busier you are, the most successful you are, so look for Legion of Boom to be a big seller, as well as earn them some respect in the music community. Tour Dates for the upcoming tour will be announced soon, so make sure to check www.TheCrystalMethod.com to see when they will be near you. Finally, expect 'American Way' to be the next single form Legion of Boom

by: Brian Kostek

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