The Crystal Method in town this Tweekend
Some Reno music fans may be surprised to learn that an emerging band in electronica music has ties to the Silver State.
Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland, the sole members of The Crystal Method, met in the late 1980s in Las Vegas. At the time, Jordon was a DJ at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, radio station, KUNV. Both had similar musical tastes and began spinning records at various locations around town. They helped to create the club culture in Las Vegas by playing small venues, although the band recalled that it was difficult to get the exposure they needed because Las Vegas is a gambling town.
“Back then, it was such a big deal when a major band would come,” Kirkland said in a phone interview. “Now, the [club] scene in Las Vegas is definitely thriving.”
The two moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s, lured by its underground club culture, and began recording and remixing their own experimental music full of beats, grooves and ambience. They soon found themselves being compared to the likes of The Prodigy and The Orb. In fact, they have been referred to as America’s answer to The Chemical Brothers.
“We take [the comparisons] as compliments,” Kirkland said, noting that they opened for The Chemical Brothers for their first live show in L.A. “[But] we think our music is so completely different.”
It wasn’t too long before the TCM was talking to major labels and releasing singles and EPs. In 1997, they released their first full-length effort, Vegas—an acknowledgement of their roots—and have tracks appearing on the soundtracks of Spawn, Lost In Space and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, as well as music on some video games. Their single “Busy Child” was used in a GAP commercial.
With a name like The Crystal Method, many have assumed a reference to amphetamines, but Kirkland said it was a cool name meant to be taken as a joke.
“We were not trying to start an amphetamine movement,” Kirkland said. “It should not be taken literally.”
The duo is set to release their second full-length album, Tweekend, due out in stores July 31. The new album is the result of hours working in their converted two-car garage studio, nicknamed the Bomb Shelter, where they perfected their sound.
Jordan explained the title of the new album in a press release.
“We were just constantly tweaking the songs and mixes,” Jordan said. “We were almost thinking it was going to take another five years to get it done.”
Tweekend, which is darker and more bass-heavy than the duo’s last full-length release, features Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who co-wrote and co-produced “Name of the Game"—the first single of the album.
“This one is definitely a darker, more patient, more sparse album,” Jordan said. “It has bite.”
TCM, who played in Reno in 1998 at the now defunct Rodeo Rock Cafe, promises an elaborate stage and lighting set-up for their upcoming appearance in Reno, the third stop on their Seven Day Tweekend Tour.