By Jamie Goyman
VANCOUVER – The ’90s were thick with the buzzing underbelly of the electronic music scene bubbling up into mainstream culture with acts like The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim and the Prodigy leading music charts worldwide.
Making waves of their own was The Crystal Method, formed out of Las Vegas between two friends, Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland, creating a lasting impression with their first release, Vegas, which captured the energy and music stylings of the time the two had helped create, and went on for five more album releases.
Fast-forward more than 20 years, Kirkland has adopted The Crystal Method as a solo moniker, finding his footing in the new studio layout with the question of what the future has in store for him.
“I had those moments of a little apprehension,” says Kirkland. “Wondering if I was going to do a different act or do The Crystal Method form. I listened back through the years at the albums and got kind of wrapped up in some of the processes we would use in those early years, not knowing what we were doing, just making music for nobody but ourselves.”
Taking that steam from the very beginnings, Kirkland has reinvented The Crystal Method into where he is today with his own creative exploration, keeping himself open to the process while working with collaborators who bring their differences to the studio. The latest release, The Trip Home, had Kirkland working with many talented names who all laid their own influence out on the table, aiding in creating an album that demands to be played from start to finish.
“I thought, do something organic that tells a story,” says Kirkland. “Music is sometimes the balance that brings everything together, the score or back story to everybody’s daily existence. There are sometimes so many different narratives going on in someone’s head that you just need something that brings you in and lets you go at the same time. Let’s you find your way through the day.”
This new album has the uncanny ability to do just that, the way “The Drive Inside” and “Chapter One” come together is captivating, pulling listeners into the ethos created alongside Teflon Sega’s liquefied vocals. The idea of building off the embers of the previous track in cue – creating a story, is prevalent through the album and can be felt with the chaotic disassembly of “Ghost in the City” dissolving into the combustible and aggressive sounds that kickoff “Turbulance,” showing that sequence is key in the process for Kirkland. The Trip Home is a series of segues built to captivate listeners while bringing them on a non-stop ride full of talent built to make magic.
“[Collaborations on the album] brought this humanity that I wanted to find. I wanted to hear something that is and hard to put your finger on. It’s humanity, it’s life experience, it’s soul, it’s a combination of do you believe what they’re singing and does it make you want to hear more. The great magic of music is that connection it makes with people and its continuation through the years. It’s one of the beautiful things I’ve always enjoyed about music.”
Keeping that positive light well lit above him Kirkland is set to continue pushing forward in the new direction he has been working toward the last two years and shows no hint of slowing down anytime soon. Filled with that perfect amount of passion and drive to continue in an industry that chews up and spits out more names then can be remembered, Kirkland has found that perfect balance between embracing where the music came from and working towards where he sees it in the future.
“For me this was really just embracing the core of what the band was all about,” says Kirkland. “The youthful enthusiasm that brought us through the years of touring and grinding it out and believing in ourselves; I think the album is an adult version of that. It’s confident, comfortable, and contributes in a positive way to the things that go on in everyone’s life. The distance that’s there, the ups and downs, pressures of what goes through their lives kind of solidifies the fact that we’re all going through the same shit and we’re in this together and will get through it one way or another.”
Avid listeners keep your head up as Kirkland has confirmed that his second album, The Trip Out, is looking to see a release date near the end of 2019. The album is meant to be a continuation of what he visited in The Trip Home while featuring a lot of the same collaborators.
The Crystal Method performs at the Imperial on January 12The Crystal Method, The Imperial