Interview Outtakes: Crystal Method's Scott Kirkland

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In this week's paper, Diana Benanti spoke to Crystal Method's Scott Kirkland. He and collaborator Ken Jordan will be in town on New Year's Eve, spinning at Europe Nightclub. Below, read on to find out about DJ sets vs. regular music performances, potentially new music and what St. Louis can expect.

click to enlarge Crystal Method
Crystal Method

Diana Benanti: There's a mentality when fans hear about DJ sets -- we had Ladytron in town for a DJ set a couple weeks back, and I heard people say, if they're coming here anyway, why can't they just play live? Do you guys ever get that at all -- and can you sort of shed some light on that dichotomy? Scott Kirkland: Especially for bands like Ladytron -- or like ourselves who have toured as a band for a long time -- it's just so difficult and so expensive to tour. It's hard to do a one-off show on a tour, because the costs are so high these days, with the crew, and bringing in your own sound and lights, and buses, it's just so expensive and so it's difficult. Our front of house sound guy [who knows what he's doing] lives in Spain, and our lighting guy is on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins. Sometimes it's not financially worth it; even just to break even would be great.

We'll hopefully continue to tour and do some live shows when the next album comes out. The DJ environment is easier, it's easy to sort of adapt into different markets and clubs with little production costs from what it takes for us to produce the music on-stage. We want all the production to be top notch, with lights and all the other party favors they have for an event like New Year's Eve, and I'm sure that's going to happen in St. Louis.

Long story long there, that's why we can't come in and just do a one-off live show. We've had a lot of great ones in St Louis, and I can understand that's why our people would want to see it. That's why we try to bring as much energy into the live experience as possible. We're not just back there looking at CDs or staring at a computer, we're participating--I'm jumping around like a complete maniac, I'm always a complete mess the next day from bruises or limping from some fall I've taken the night before. It's really about creating a vibe where people can feel like they're part of it.

Most of 2010 has seen you guys doing DJ set on your Divided by Night tour. Do you prefer one over the other? There's something magical about getting the live tour rolling, the cameraderie, setting up a show, sometimes 5, 6, 7 shows a week, and traveling with our tight-knit family and crew. But there's also something really cool about flying in and hitting a club that has a great sound system and great lights and just going for that and having a good time with it. Each thing we get a chance to do, whether it's touring or in the studio, we're very fortunate to have it. We try not let any of the negatives of any of it creep in our minds and always try to have a positive influence on the city we get to play.

You mentioned the new album briefly. Have you started recording or is that still in the works? We've had these other projects going on right now, we're definitely going into that sort of mode the first of the year, we're getting back into that album mindset. We hope to have an EP out by spring, but it's definitely a goal to get some new stuff out by spring or summer of next year.

Any insane fan encounters you'd like to share? [laughs] It hasn't really been anything too crazy lately. I think for the most part we try not take ourselves too seriously, we try not to project anything that's perceived of what we are or what we do, we're just two guys who've spent a good chunk of their lives making music and that's an opportunity most people don't get. We have a lot of fans out there who have supported us for a long time, so when we get a chance to go and hang out with them, we have a great time. There have been some weird things, maybe if we get a chance to hang out there in St. Louis I could tell you a few of them, but for the most part there were just a couple confused people that really liked us.

I have so much fun playing for people and hanging out with a new crowd every night from everybody from the security guys to the bouncers, to the bartenders and doormen, to the kids that show up, there's a lot of people that make a lot of effort to come out and see us and make it happen. We just try to make sure we don't fail and have fun in the process. We actually are going to be there a day early, we're flying in from New York on the 30th, so we'll be well rested so hopefully all those in St. Louis will be prepared for a big night. Our goal is to come in and kick some serious ass on New Year's.

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