Last Saturday at Escape Music Festival on Governor’s Island, I got the chance to interview “one of the best live dance acts on Earth,” that entered the music industry. THE CRYSTAL METHOD with Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland have been known for two decades for their enduring dance floor anthems (Now Is The Time, Keep Hope Alive), airwave smashes (Trip Like I Do) and a willingness to collaborate with an array of talent. Including huge names like Scott Weiland, Matisyahu, New Order’s Peter Hook, Emily Haines of Metric and Filter’s Richard Patrick. The duo has dominated the remix, film soundtrack, television, gaming and advertising worlds, most recently helping Victoria’s Secret drop jaws with music for a TV commercial campaign and collaborating with soundtrack heavyweight Danny Elfman for several contributions to Hollywood blockbuster Real Steel. Their platinum-status debut album Vegas (released in 1997) is one of the biggest-selling electronic albums of all time, landing them in the top five of best-selling electronic acts in America.
The Crystal Method was one of the best interviews I could ever ask for, they asked me I needed anything to go along with my interview. Before my interview I was making friends with Ken’s wife, I started telling her that my favorite song of theirs is Name Of The Game. Then she yells to Ken “Hey Ken, her favorite song is Name of the Game.” I couldn't believe she did that, it was great because they said “yeah! thats awesome.” Even after my interview, his wife asked me how it went and then she gave me a Kandi. In the interview we talked about performing in New York City, from zombies to new music.
We sat down for the interview, first I asked them how does it feel to be back in New York City and to play at a legendary venue like Governor’s Island? “Great! Its our first time on this Island, Oh Really? yeah I love the view, the views are gorgeous. Yeah its pretty cool here.” You have been around for a long time, but do you still get the jitters? “When Tequila doesn't show up. That’s true, yeah like right now. Yeah you still get that exciting feeling every time. I'm very excited to be here.” You've been for 20 years now, and your new album recently been released, are you excited about that? “Yeah the new album came out earlier this year, Im really excited about it. Um yeah, were putting out new videos and new singles. We're playing some of it tonight. And at the end of the year were putting out an extended edition and remixes on it as well.” When you perform do you play your new music or your old music or do you mix it up in your sets? “Its a little bit of everything, tonight our sets going to be an hour, hour in a half. So yeah you just want to please the crowd, you want to get a good vibe from the crowd as well too. Its like anything goes, you can't just go HEY PLAY FREE BIRD! But yeah we definitely we try to figure the way to play with flavor and keep with some of our classics.” Since its around Halloween and Walking Dead is coming back, “Oh Yes! Walking Dead is coming back” Whats your bullet proof plan for the Zombie Apocalypse? (In the background Scott is hysterically laughing) “I'm assuming I'm not going to be a zombie, I'm probably going to end up as one. Because most of the people are zombies. You know its like planning to win the lottery, its seems like 100 times more zombies than people, Yeah if you weren't a Zombie, yeah if I was a zombie I don't know I try to find smart brains. And then on the side we got the rules of engagement, are they going to be fast zombies? Can they grab cars? Are they into comedy or music, once we figure these things, how they die if they die easily. So yeah do we have stockpiles, we have a lot old knives around the house, seems like I've been holding on them for some reason, so that would be one reason. Im not really a big gun guy. So yeah defiantly planning things before that, yeah lets just hope that never happens, they don't care about turning people they just want to eat brains. CHEW HUMAN BRAINS!!!!”
So you've done many collaborations with big names like with Matisyahu and other big names, If you could pick to do a collaboration with anyone, alive or dead who would it be?
Yeah lets see um oh we really wanna do one with Bill Withers, he’s still alive. We would like to do one with Stevie Wonder, from the mid 70s. (Scott turns to Ken and asked him) Who else is on the list? TJ Harvey like around in 1999, yeah as long if the people agree to the collaboration. You it seems like it could be a perfect match, then if the chemistry doesn't mesh well with the artist. You definitely need that its very important.
I've been asking this to a lot of music producers, but I'm curious what they have to say, how do you feel about the new music scene rising up?
I think its great but this music is so popular right now, its great because you got all these young artists with amazing talent you know? Also you have a lot of people making like the same records that sound exactly a like, and they play the same thing over, over again. But what can you do about it.
After the interview, I enjoyed their incredible wild, and crazy set. Half way through their the set, I heard my favorite song of The Crystal Method. Name of The Game! I was the happiest person in the world, I saw Ken’s wife dancing in the crowd, I go to over her and said “oh wow! I can’t believe they played Name of The Game Im so happy” Then she said to me, I told Ken play it in their set, I told him that you love that song and that they should play it.” I felt like a boss after she told me that. I told her thank you so much for that, you have no idea, you just made my day. I hope Escape Music Festival returns next year to New York City!