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Interview: A Quick Catch Up With Crystal Castles

Interview: A Quick Catch Up With Crystal Castles

Wednesday 17th May, 2017 12:00PM

Electro-punk darlings Crystal Castles are hitting New Zealand shores next week to show off their latest album Amnesty (I) along with their newest member Edith Frances. UTR got the chance to chat with beat-master Ethan Kath, live drummer Christopher Chartrand and vocalist Edith Frances to shoot the breeze about music formats, working with Robert Smith of The Cure and how the newest iteration of the group came to be. Check out the video for pumping tune Concrete from Amnesty (I) and scroll on to read the interview...

UTR: Your early career included several limited releases of vinyl singles.
What are your feelings on the present revival of formats that were previously thought dead, such as vinyl and cassette?

CC: I exclusively collect vinyl, I hope vinyl outlasts every format.

Conversely, what are your thoughts on Kim Dotcom and the filesharing movement of the internet generation?

CC: Music is art and art should be free for everyone to enjoy. Fileshare forever.

You visited sunny wee New Zealand back in 2013, what were some highlights?

CC:Yes! We played NZ and met a group of punks who took us to a great squat. We hope they've been doing well.

You’re notorious for raucous live performances. What can we expect from your imminent appearance?

CC: I expect we'll be courteous, exceedingly well-behaved. We’ll keep our elbows off the table, sit with good posture, and not interrupt others while they are speaking.

In 2008 there was a controversy about Crystal Castles using an image of Madonna with a black eye on some shirts. Are you not a fan of the queen of pop?

EK: I adore her. It's an image of a powerful woman who, even though battered, stands and stares at her attacker defiantly. She can and will withstand anything.

‘Not In Love’ from your second album featured the incomparable Robert Smith of The Cure. How did you hook up a collab with the object of every teenage goth girls desires?

EK: He asked if he could remix a song on (II). I suggested instead of a remix, he replace my vocals on the album version of ‘Not In Love’. I had recorded the vocals as a scratch demo and never thought of them as final. My inner teenage goth girl still can't believe...

For those who don’t know, can you tell us how Edith came to be in the band?

EF: I knocked a guy over in the pit at a Negative Approach show. Hours later I went to a friend’s house to stay the night. The same guy I knocked over answers the door "Hey I'm Ethan". He was staying there too.

Describe in your own words what last year’s Amnesty (I) means to you.

EF: Amnesty (I) is a product of our mutual distaste for injustices to innocent people. The world is in a state of chaos. A lot of people feel voiceless, or think their voice is too quiet to help. No one is ever too small to make an impact - everyone counts. Amnesty International is a good place to start.

You’re quoted as saying your harsh production on early songs was to weed out the wimps, do you still feel this sentiment echo through your ethos at all?

CC: Yes, certain people still continue to not understand the band, and we like that. We don’t want them to.

Crystal Castles

Thursday 25th May, The Powerstation, Auckland

Head over here for ticketing information


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Crystal Castles
Thu 25th May 8:00pm
The Powerstation, Auckland
CONCRETE - Crystal Castles Afterparty
Thu 25th May 11:00pm
Whammy Backroom, Auckland