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Mat: For starters could you briefly introduce the band and when it was formed to the readers? Can you also tell us something about your motivation to start the band in the beginning?

  • Scott: The band was formed in 1995 as a cover band called Cherry Pie at the time. We played songs from bands like: Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Pretty Maids, Dokken, Malmsteen, Pink Cream 69, Krokus, Def Leppard, and so on. My original motivation to put up a cover band, was to get out on the road, because I couldn't find the right people for a "real" band. I thought if a guy is a jerk (like a lot of the musicians in Switzerland), I just replace him. But after a while of trying out, I got very lucky and found the guys that are still in the band now. There is a chemistry in the band that works very well. This was the reason for finally start writing our own material. So our first album "In the Beginning" (released 1999) came together. With the change to original songs we also decided to change the bands name to Crystal Ball.

Mat: Is there a special meaning behind the name Crystal Ball or is it just a "cool" name?

  • Scott: We were looking for a name that would not bind us to a certain cliché.
    It gives us room for development and we can play around with all kinds of cover concepts because it all can be seen in a crystal ball, so everything is possible.
    Besides I think anybody would love to look into a crystal ball and to his destiny.
    So people should get curious about the band.

Mat: From your homepage I know you have a history in other bands as well. Could you tell us something about which ones? Are there perhaps any more famous ones among these?

  • Scott: We all have been in different bands before, but none of them got more famous than a local band can get. So there is no band that would be worth to be mentioned except Cherry Pie which is actually the same a Crystal Ball, we just don't play cover tunes anymore. (see answer nr. 1)

Mat: Obviously you play "traditional melodic 80's metal" but what are your basic influences and which bands do you admire? Where do you get your influences when it comes to writing the lyrics?

  • Scott: Mostly bands from the 80's, but also some newer ones :Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Dokken, Pretty Maids, Helloween, Malmsteen, Queensryche, Stryper,
    Stratovarius, Royal Hunt, etc.
    Lyric-wise I mainly write about my personal experiences. Sometimes it also might be a mixture of fantasy and reality, or just what I watch on TV.

Mat: Who's responsible for the song writing in the band? Is it just a single person or do you all participate in the process both regarding music and lyrics?

  • Scott: It is me (Scott Leach) and Mark Sweeney who come up with the main ideas (for the music). Most of the time we bring in those ideas to the rehearsal room and then the band helps to finish it. That's the way it gets the Crystal Ball sound. But anybody in the band who wants to write is welcome to do that.
    So has our drummer Marcel Sardella, he came up with the riff of "Night and Day".
    Lyrics are also written by me and Mark.

Mat: Your previous album, Hard Impact, got great reviews. How would you compare Virtual Empire to that one and what new developments has the band made with this release in your opinion? What elements do you think have improved the most? Is there anything at all you feel you could have done differently or even something you want to improve in the future?

  • Scott: I think that the songwriting is more compact and has more variations at the same time. To me the vocals and the lead guitars have improved a lot. We also spent a long time on finding the right sounds for the keys to avoid sounding like anybody else. There are always things you would like to change, but these are mostly just details. We don't think to much about the future songs. We just write what crosses our minds and let it happen.

Mat: What do you think of the current European metal-scene and do you even think that the market is getting perhaps a little overheated? How do you think Crystal Ball fits into this situation?

  • Scott: Well, there are a lot of bands our there, that's for sure, and the market hasn't really increased. But who's to judge which band has the right to be there and which not? In a way it's a good thing, because for the first time it's not the record companies who decides who's hot or not. Nowadays everybody has the possibilities to make a record and to get some attention. With hard work and patience a band can climb up to more fame and better chances. This is what Crystal Ball is all about. We just go our way, without caring to much about what's going on in the scene. Otherwise we wouldn't be where we are now. Because if you try to follow a trend, you're always too late.

Mat: Is any of you involved in any side-project or is Crystal Ball the one and only for the time being?

  • Scott: At this time nobody has any side projects. This is mainly a matter of time. We are so busy with Crystal Ball that none of us could find the time for something like this. We're doing all of the management ourselves, so this is eating up all the time and energy. It's not that we necessarily want to have it that way. We just haven't found the right person, to do it for us, yet.

Mat: What can we expect from Crystal Ball in the near future? What are the major plans? Can we expect to see you on tour somewhere near or even within Sweden 'cause that would be really great?

  • Scott: Our plans are the upcoming tour with Dokken. Then during the summer we have a couple of festivals. For autumn we want to tour Switzerland much more intensive and we're also looking for another support tour through Europe, but so far nothing is confirmed. Maybe after the tour with Dokken more possibilities will show up. Hopefully we'll be able to come to Sweden. This is something I really would love to do and it's not just what I say in every interview with each country. I've never been to Sweden but I always wanted to come to your country.

Mat: Then I have a more personal question. According to the bio on your homepage Big Brother seems to be a big thing for Mark. Can you tell us something about this fascination? :)

  • Scott: This is more of a joke than anything else.

Mat: And before we end this interview some short questions:

Cinema favorite candy?
-Pop Corn (Salty not Sweet)
Recently bought CD?
-Dog face
Your personal favorite sports team?
-None, I 'm not into sports at all
Swiss army knife or light sabre?
-mmmh… it depends, light sabre. I like it big.
Truth or dare?
Adventures or stay at home?
Live albums or studio albums?
-Studio albums

Beer or wine?
-Neither of those, I prefer Coca Cola and Red Bull
Apart from metal, preferred listening?
-Hearbooks, Classical music
Latest read book or magazine?
-The dirt (Mötley Crüe biography). It's great you've got to read it.
Left- or right-handed?

  • Mat: And finally - any words of wisdom or funny facts about the nearest future
    you want to share with the readers?

Scott: My advice is to not to listen to advices.. which negates this, right?
Well….. listen to our new album anyway and make your own decision…., haha.
After the tour with Dokken in June, we're working on another tour in autumn, which will hopefully lead us to Sweden, too.

That was all I had for now, Scott - the staff at metalcovenant.com wish you all the very best for the future, and we sincerely want to thank you for keeping the spirit of Metal alive!

Scott: Thank you very much for the interview and your support

Best regards,
Scott Leach - Crystal Ball


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