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
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
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? :)
Mat: And before we end this interview
some short questions:
Cinema favorite candy?
-Pop Corn (Salty not Sweet)
Recently bought CD?
Your personal favorite sports team?
-None, I 'm not into sports at all
Swiss army knife or light sabre?
it depends, light sabre. I like it big.
Truth or dare?
Adventures or stay at home?
Live albums or 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
Left- or right-handed?
Scott: My advice is
to not to listen to advices.. which negates this, right?
.. listen to our new album anyway and make your own decision
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
Scott Leach - Crystal Ball