Ahead of their show in Toronto last week, I got the chance to sit down with Crystalyne to talk about all things from anime obsessions and of course Canadian Music Week. See the interview below for more!
Kalem Mc Sween: How are you guys doing tonight? How is everything going?
Marissa Dattoli: Fantastic!
KM: Congratulations on winning the Bell Media Radio Star Competition. How does that feel to be voted for by the fans?
Justin Niece: Really crazy because it all seemed to turn around on the last day, like it kind of seemed surreal that it happened.
Josh Given: The night before I remember checking it and being like ‘oooh’ we’re behind by 100 votes then I remember checking it throughout the last day and being like ‘man I hope it picks up’ and then there’d be 20-25 more votes and then another 40 and we were just blown away – it was crazy. All of a sudden we ended up getting it and winning the fan vote part of it.
KM: You’re also getting ready to release your album in Japan, so how does it feel to know that people on the other side of the world are going to be jamming out to your music?
MD: It’s crazy! I’m a really big fan of Sailor Moon and it originated in Japan, so I really want to tour over there and meet all those crazy, cool people. The music is obviously really important to us because it’s been out here for a really long time and people over there probably haven’t heard it so to get that push on the opposite side of the planet is really cool.
KM: And are you guys going to go on tour there?
JG: I think so at some point.
MD: If they like us enough!
KM: Being Canadian, what does Canadian Music Week mean to you and what do you see in the future for Canadian music?
MD: I think Canadian Music Week is about a lot of acts and where they come from. Canada is a huge place and I feel like a lot of Canadian musicians don’t get the recognition they really deserve so this week is a great time to showcase any and all bands because every venue has shows happening all night. It’s really cool to walk down the street, too because they’re more packed than you’ll probably ever see it because of the amount of culture and pride people have.
KM: And who or what influences your music? Who do you guys look up to?
JG: For me personally, Tom DeLonge from Blink 182. I used to watch their DVDs and stuff all the time like behind-the-scenes music documentaries and he was the funniest dude ever. He’s just one of those rockstar guys where that’s who I wanted to be when I was little, and obviously Blink 182 was my favourite band growing up. I absolutely loved every song they ever wrote.
Scott Blake: Same here except for Travis, being a drummer, but I’m pretty sure we watched those movies together and we’d be like can we please just do that once. Other things like passion, love of music, sparking creativity and pushing boundaries inspire me.
MD: I find people inspire me. I’m moved to write because of situations that I’m in or people that I know,so sometimes a push in a bad direction will make an amazing song or it’s a push in a good direction like the songs on The Remedy were written more in a positive light because we all met each other and we’re in that happier place because of one another.
JN: I think I’m on board with Marissa – the exact same thing, but I came from a rap band prior to Crystalyne so there’s a lot of melodic stuff in there. But I just bank it on day-to-day things like if I’m happy or sad that’s what ‘s going to go into the music and what we think in our heads we’re able to put right onto the instruments so it’s really nice.
KM: Who haven’t you guys collaborated with yet that you would love to in the future?
JN: Kid Cudi.
MD: Childish Gambino. Just because I love Donald Glover so much.
JG: If we’re going rap game mine is Jay Z because he’s the man. He’s always been my favourite rap artist.
SB: A collab? I don’t even know. The writers of the Pokemon theme song. And Pamyu Pamyu. You gotta check her out, she’s like the Katy Perry of Japan.
KM: You guys should feature her on your next track.
JN: Maybe she’d want to tour with us.
KM: Hopefully. Now the lead single off The Remedy is “Punks Don’t Dance” so what I want to know is what can’t we catch Crystalyne doing?
MD: You’ll never catch me eating a banana – only if it’s in a smoothie, otherwise I will not eat bananas. For me it’s the texture, I’ll take a bite out of it and be like this is mushy…
SB: You’ll never catch me gardening, ever. I don’t have a green thumb, I can’t do it. I despise everything about shovelling and planting and everything. I appreciate it and love the scenery though.
JG: You’ll never catch me watching soccer because I don’t like it at all. It just drives me crazy and every soccer game highlight I’ve ever seen see someone fakes that they just got slapped across the face and then drops to the ground for no reason. I used to play hockey when I was little so coming from that sport and watching soccer it bugs the living daylights out of me.
JN: I’ll never have a mess anywhere. I’d rather be late for work than leave behind a mess.
KM: Tonight kicks off your tour until the end of June. Since I’m not a musician and have never been on tour I want to know what it’s like.
MD: For us it’s a little rough. We are driving around in a little Jeep and pulling a trailer and it’s a two- door Jeep so it’s definitely like limo…just kidding!
JG: It’s cramped, but it’s fun because we don’t ever feel apart when you’re literally on top of each other. That part’s fun because I feel like you gain more chemistry. It’s the same thing like having to share a hotel room when you’re in a tournament with four dudes and you’re like ‘oh this is going to be fun.’ More like a bonding experience.
JN: We’ve been together for a few years now and a lot of bands at this point may have vans and stuff…so to say that we’re still plugging away in that Jeep is awesome. We’ve paid our dues!
KM: Now if I’m correct, Marissa and Josh you guys are in a relationship so how does that work – that dynamic being in a band? Do you take any band issues and bring them into your personal time?
JG: I think it’s the same thing. We were in a band together before we started dating so the band is what brought us together, which makes it in the forefront of everything.
MD: I think in the beginning everyone was a little worried about what was going to happen to the band because when we started we met and two weeks later we were going on the road for four months and living together. I guess the whole thing was we were friends then and slowly over time we realized ‘oh no’ this is more than that… like what do we do? It was kind of awkward. “Secret” is a song inspired by true events in that sense. But we brought it to the guys, explained the situation and everyone understood at the end of the day that no matter what happens, we were a band first and that we’re going to make it work regardless of the relationship lasting or not. We’ve been together for a long time, almost as long as the band has been together so I think we’re doing okay so far. In terms of making decisions and hanging out within the band we’re always a 4-piece.
KM: For Scott and Justin how does that work for you guys?
JN: I think I can speak for the both of us. The way they are speaks volume with how they are, even apart. They’re both great, they both come from great families and I’m not even just saying this to lie. It’s all professional and I don’t think that any two other people would be able to do it like they do and make it last. We see bigger crowds and smaller crowds, but through it all they stay so grounded. We can approach both of them and ask them for advice and they come to us in the same way.
SB: Something that was very important from the beginning was a family vibe and that still remains true today and it’s always going to be that way.
JG: Honestly I think we’re like a sitcom. Like a How I Met Your Mother or a Big Bang Theory.
MD: Don’t say How I Met Your Mother because that show ruined my life because I hated the ending.
JG: I take it back. We’re like a Big Bang Theory because I like Star Wars and I kinda look like Lennard.
KM: Last question, what are you a BestFan of? It can be anything.
JG: The Toronto Maple Leafs. Seriously, I’ll just invite you to my apartment and you can check it out. My wireless up until two days ago was called Leafs Nation.
SB: Probably Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z. I watch that all the time, like every night.
MD: I’m a BestFan of Sailor Moon, always. I have a Sailor Moon costume in my closet and I have a tattoo of a crescent moon because of Sailor Moon.
JN: Cycling. Tour de France-style cycling. That’s my getaway from everything, just put the music in and go for days. And fashion.