Interviews: Sweet Crystal

This is a new interview with the Progressive Christian Rock band Sweet Crystal from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or came out just like that?

The name of the band reflects the message of our music and mission referring to passages in the Book Of Revelation that describe a river of sweet water flowing out from the throne of God, clear as crystal. Sounded like an amazing sight to see and place to we adopted it and never looked back!

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

We started out totally influenced by the progressive rock English music scene of the 60’s and 70’s: bands like Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Atomic Rooster, Uriah Heep all left their musical marks on our writing and playing. We also listened to a lot of American bands like Kansas, Journey, Rush and Spock’s Beard to keep our creative juices flowing. Basically, we are considered a Detroit progressive Christian rock band and have been since we started this journey. In the beginning, we opened up for such classic rock acts as Bob Seger, Foghat, Nazareth, Steppenwolf and many more before finding our true path into the Christian music field. Now, some 4 decades later, we continue to do what we love doing with no signs of stopping any time soon! To this day we get together every week to rehearse, record and just enjoy each other’s company. Does it get old after 4 decades together? Absolutely not! We just get better with age.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

We’ve all been playing since we were teenagers – actually, Bill (guitar) and Steve (drummer) played together during high school. I came along later, during our college years and we all set out to make it our full-time jobs (which we did for many years - 6 1⁄2 tons of gear, 4-man road crew). The three of us – the core-founding members – have never stopped playing together since then (although live touring did stop for a time).

4. Each band member's favorite band?

(Do you mean besides SWEET CRYSTAL?)

Marq Andrew Speck – lead vocals, anything with keys
Fave Bands: Queensryche, Pink Floyd, ELP

Bill Blatter –vocals, anything with strings
Fave Bands: UK, Umphrey's McGee

Steve Wieser – anything hit with sticks
Fave Bands: Spock’s Beard, Neal Morse, Porcupine Tree

Martin Kuchar – vocals, anything bass, and more bass
Fave Bands: Kansas, U2

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

The band has gotten together nearly every weekend to jam and rehearse for as long as any of us can remember and we still do. We used to record all our rehearsals on CD as we played just in case inspiration hit and made copies of each get-together for the guys to take home and review. Now it’s direct-to-thumb drive or computer, complete with multitrack and mix options as we go. That’s the good side of technology at work. Instant gratification and if it’s not a keeper... just delete! It’s really these jam sessions that have been the springboard of most of our songs and we have hundreds of hours we can go back to and patch together song fragments from across the years that all of a sudden fit together and make musical sense. That’s how the instrumental side of songs usually comes together...

6. Where was your last gig?

Even though 2020/21 were very tough years for us - and everyone for that matter, what with the closing of most venues and other places to play out - we had the great experience of Live Streaming a 30-minute performance from our personal studios Nightcrier Music here outside of Detroit. It’s up on our YouTube channel at along with a lot of other online and live event videos that give a pretty sweet view into all things Crystal. It turns out this was a great way for our fans and new audiences to experience who we are and what we offer musically while relaxing at home or anywhere they can get the web. We miss the live audience feedback of a concert appearance but this at least kept us smiling.

7. Where would you like to perform?

We’ve played across the whole Midwest United States. Would be fun to haed out west to California and of course making our way to the UK, Europe and Japan – that’s certainly a very sweet dream we continue to hold.

8. Whom would you like to perform with?

We find that we fit musically with pretty much everybody. Hard rock, praise-and-worship, and progressive bands – our catalog of original music spans a multitude of genres and we are lucky enough to be able to tailor our live shows to the venues and crowd types wherever we are booked.

9. Whom not?

Any artist or band that is divisive or hateful... because for us, our trademarked slogan Reaching The World, One Song At A Time TM pretty much says it all about our music, message, mission and ministry. We are here to reach out to a world with songs of hope and inspiration; a musical light at the end of every dark tunnel you might be going through because chances are good – we’ve gone through those very same tunnels ourselves and definitely have found a way out.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

If you are human, you get nervous before any public appearance, and especially if you are creative, it’s your very personal music that you are presenting in hopes of finding willing ears and open minds. Best advice – practice, practice, and then rehearse! The more you know your own songs and feel comfortable in your ability to present them, the less stage fright you will feel. Everyone may not become a fan but that’s not your concern – you just need to reach out to that one person who will connect with your music...and it will grow from there.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Kansas, Queensryche, and Pink Floyd – any well-produced progressive bands have left their mark on our musical journey.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Someone asked if I (Marq – keys) would give him one of my keyboards...because I had so many on stage and they only had one... that conversation ended pretty quickly...

13. What do you think of your fans?

One of the main reasons we are a 24 time (and counting – nominated for 8 more this year) Detroit Music Award winning band is because our fans have been with us for so many decades. We stay true to our musical course and they stay true to their support of us. We continue because they continue...a blessing to everyone in SWEET CRYSTAL.

14. What do you think of our site?

Lots of new and unknown bands – appreciate you introducing them (and us) to your readers. Great job with the design and presentation. We will certainly promote it to our fans as well.

15. Something to add?

We just finished our latest release ‘7th HEAVEN’ – which happens to be our 7th CD as well – and it dropped everywhere (digital downloads, streaming and physical CDs) on Valentine’s Day (2/14/22) making that holiday... even Sweeter. We previously released 4 singles from ‘7th HEAVEN’ during 2020/21 with video support (on our YouTube channel and other social sites) but thought waiting until this New Year (with the very challenging last two years behind us) might be just the spark our fans and audiences would appreciate to make 2022 a much happier New Year indeed. This latest album ‘7th HEAVEN’ continues where our last release ‘Got Your Six’ left off: songs of hope and inspiration featuring our signature guitar sounds, synth melodies, straight-ahead drumming with just a few chanting monks thrown in for good measure.

Our complete discography can be heard over at our Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages.

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