Fine Melodic Hard Rock and Powerful Metal in a tasty mix.
PoM : Hi and congratz to the great album "Dawnbreaker"!
Crystal Ball: Hi! Thank you very much.
PoM : Can you tell our reader shortly about "Crystal Ball" and how it all began?
Crystal Ball: The band started out in 1995 as a cover band named "Cherry Pie". These formative years of stage experience became the foundation of CRYSTAL BALL. Our debut album entitled "In The Beginning" came out 1999. We recorded five other album for labels like Nuclear Blast and AFM Records and did many tours for example supporting Pretty Maids and Gotthard, Dokken, U.D.O., Doro and Krokus, Axxis, Pink Cream 69.
PoM: Is there one main songwriter in the band or how is the work divided with the songwriting in Crystal Ball?
Crystal Ball: I write most of the basic material, which is then finished and polished together with Steven Mageney and the other guys contribute their stuff too. However everybody in the band is welcome to write. And so the new line up already brought up some stuff from Markus Flury for example (Back for good, Powerpack).
PoM : Tell us how media has responded to "Dawnbreaker" so far?
Crystal Ball: We are very happy with respone the media gave us. We got pretty good reviews in the major magazines and the fans gave us the feedback that this is the best “Crystal Ball” record so far. The videos are well shared and are spreading across the internet. http://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialCrystalBall
Crystal Ball: We played around with the riff and verse in the rehearsal room. Our former guitarplayer (Hugi Berglas) came up with the riff and verse. Then I added some variations, made a few changes, Marcel came up with a halftime groove for the bridge and I came up with a new chorus. We sent the instrumental version to Steven how came up with the vocal lines for it. A Co-writing friend is his Ricky Gee, an Englishman, wrote the lyrics.
PoM: The heavy track ‘Break Of Dawn’ is also a great song, what can you tell us about that track?
Crystal Ball: This song was originally written for a worldrecord attempt for a swiss motorcylce freak called Heinz Saegesser. He still holds some speed-records in Bonville, USA. The song was featured in Swiss TV during a story about this guy: www.nakedbullet.ch. Anyway, we did that song originally with a guest singer.
But I sent Steven just a instrumental version of it, so he could come up with his own ideas. And he did. Me and Steven wrote completely new lyrics together and Steven made new melodies.
PoM: The brilliant rock ballads "Eternal Flame" and "Stranded" is also two of my favorites on the album. Can you tell us something about these songs?
Crystal Ball: "Eteranal Flame" came together quite quick. I bought a new accoustic guitar and started playing around. I had this picking figure that I was playing around for a while. I picked one variation and this was half of the song. The next day I did the chorus and the arrangement. Steven heard it and immediately had some ideas for it. He rewrote some lyrics of his that fitted the music very well.
"Stranded" is an idea that I carried around for many years. We did demo-versions of it years ago, but I was not satisfied with them. When Steven joined the band I knew it was time to pick up that song again. I made some changes (the song was about 8 years old at that time) and gave my finished lyrics to Steven and let him sing it with his own feeling. I’m very happy with the result, I think this is one of best ballads I’ve written.
PoM: Are there any other songs that means something extra or mean anything special for you on "Dawnbreaker"?
Crystal Ball: Each song has it’s unique story. Even the ones that did not end up on the album. Walls fall down was one of the first songs for the album, and I thought it might be the opener. But we changed the speed and the groove and then it was no longer an option for that purpose. But it’s very good live song.
Crystal Ball: We are looking for a tour a the moment. Probably in March 2014. We try to play as much as we can. Maybe there will be another video next year. Right now we concentrate on the radio promo in Switzerland.
PoM: Which bands or persons has been the biggest musical inspirations for Crystal Ball?
Crystal Ball: Each member has it’s own favorites. But since I write a lot of the material, I think it’s all kinds of bands from the 80ies and also some newer stuff that influenced me mostly. One of my favorite musicians was Freddy Mercury. But I also like some classical stuff.
PoM: Please tell us something about the cool artwork - who made it and how important is it for you with the cover art?
Crystal Ball: First I came up with the album title “Dawnbreaker”. Then I made some drafts for the artwork which were the foundation. The final cover artwork was made Thomas Ewerhard (who already did the artwork of our albums HELLVETIA and TIMEWALKER). He did a great job with the cover and the booklet layout.
PoM: Thanks a lot for your time and do you have any last words to our readers?
Crystal Ball: Thank you for the interview. We would love to play in Denmark someday. I remember some word from our tour with Pretty Maids;-).
Please check out the whole album. Everybody has it’s own favorites ;-)...
Interviewed by Patrik Skoglund