Interviews: Sweet Crystal

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the 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 come 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 a 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 ’60s and ’70s: bands like Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Atomic Rooster, and 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 50 years 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 5 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?

Marq Andrew Speck (Q) – 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 still gets together nearly every weekend to jam and rehearse and has done so for as long as any of us can remember. We used to record all our rehearsals on CDRs as we played just in case inspiration hit and then made copies of each get-together for the guys to take home and review. Now it’s a 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?

Right before Christmas, we were invited to play (for the 4th year in a row) a very prestigious 2 day ‘Rock 4 Tots’ Goodfellows benefit event sponsored by a local radio station. 2 days, 50 bands, non-stop music, and the money raised and toys donated by the attendees for the families and kids in need outdid those amounts raised every year previously. The heart of people can be amazing and we are always glad to step in wherever our appearance can be a blessing...and it definitely was.

7. Where would you like to perform?

We’ve played across the whole Midwest United States. Would be fun to head out west to California and of course make 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. Nowadays we love the music of Neal Morse in any of his musical projects (Flying Colors; Transatlantic; Neal Morse Band; Spock’s Beard). His is a gift that just keeps on giving (to steal a phrase).

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

Someone asked if I (Q) 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?

Knowing that what you create as an artist can actually act, as a bridge between yourself and that person who listens to and hopefully likes as much as we a huge factor in keeping us moving forward. One of the main reasons we are a 26 time 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 cool bands to discover – appreciate you introducing them (and us) to your readers. Great job with the design and presentation. We will certainly promote it to our followers as well.

15. Something to add?

Thank you, yes! Our latest single ‘Whatever Is Needed, Whatever It Takes’ continues where our last year’s award-winning release ‘7th HEAVEN’ left off: it’s a song of hope and inspiration featuring our signature guitar sounds, synth melodies, straight-ahead drumming with just a few hundred fans joining in on the choruses for good measure. Our complete discography can be heard over at our Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages.

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