To hell with all the negativity. Well, sometimes even us moody folks at NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION should stop moaning around and focus on the pure positive aspects that life can offer from time to time. And what better band could their be than British indie-pop heroes CRYSTAL FIGHTERS. These guys clearly live the principle of love, unity and optimism. If you ever happen to visit a concert by these guys you will experience it immediately. They will disarm your negativity with such an honest amount of love that even the most cynical heart might melt. The band clearly did last weekend with their powerful performance at the soldout Astra in Berlin.
Before the endorphin-pumping show we had the chance to talk with frontman Sebastian Pringle and guitarist Graham Dickson about their spirit, their latest album Cave Rave and all the good things that make you miss summer.
To me you are one of the most positive bands around the industry. So full of love and spirit. How do you manage to keep that fire alive?
G: I think if you believe in the power of positiviy and love and you experienced it by yourself it’s much easier to exist in such a way. Better than with a negative outlook on things. Although I think it’s much easier to do so, considering how much negative things are on earth. But we love playing music and we’re lucky being able to do this. So that’s what keeps us fired up.
Any good advice how to keep up the optimism in such a cynical world?
G: Closer your eyes, focus on your breathing and see how that feels.
Good one. To me it feels like you guys are almost constantly touring…
G: It’s not just you, it’s us too… (laughs)
Do you ever make bigger breaks?
S: It’s like a constant thing. Writing an album is kind of taking a break but on the other hand, well, it is not. But anyway, we got a break coming up in January which will hopefully result in another album by the end of next year.
What’s your favourite thing to chill out, besides the music?
G: We love physical activity. I love skateboarding and surfing… basically anything where I’m moving faster than the normal pace. And, well, friends of course.
Did you record the songs of “Cave Rave” with your live show in the back of your head?
S: Yeah, they all worked very well live. We learned a lot from the first album, when we played these songs. We had that in our heads when we started recording the new one.
And “Star of Love” was quit diversified, ineed. “Cave Rave” sounds more coherent, more like you found your sound. Would you agree on this?
G: To be honest, I think our sound will always be evolving. I don’t think our sound is a certain fact, it’s more of a mixture of things that we’re enjoying at the moment. I’ll guarantee you the next album will definitely not sound like this one.
Especially on such a grey autumn day listening to your music really makes you miss the summer. What are the things you associate with summer? Perhaps a good wine?
G: Oh, yes definitely. But I think more of Tequila. (laughs)
S: Chillies, wine…
G: Yes, chilli pepper. Plus ice and Tequila. That’ll make you feel tropical.
CRYSTAL FIGHTERS: “Life can be full of awesome opportunities”
Any favourite spot during the summer?
G: Yes, good call. I’m going with Rio De Janeiro. (short pause) But I’ve never been there. (laughs)
You wrote parts of the album in the Basque Country and also did an actually Cave Rave there. How did it go?
S: It went down very well. An amazing group ensembled from all around the Basque Country and internationally. People were flying over to see us which was awesome. It was a really niche event, we were in the middle of nowhere. We had a great soundsystem, brought in two of our favourite bands. Amazing setting for a rave, stunning scenery.
How many people fit in there?
G: A bit less than a Thousand.
I can imagine such an event is quite a challenge for the sound guy.
G: Yeah, but I listened to a few of the recordings from the crowd and it sounded fine. I was sure it would sound like a stereo in an empty warehouse but it didn’t.
I know you are originally based in London… but with all the touring I can think that the term “home” might have become a bit more global for you.
S: Well, the home is the tour bus, really. It has been for us in the past three or four months.
G: I’ve been on tour for my whole live pretty much. So that doesn’t make a difference. This is my home.
S: And his wash bags.
G: When I think of ‘home’ know I think of my parents and the place I was raised.
On tour is it possible for you to get to know these different countries better and soak in their cultural atmosphere?
G: That’s one of the main pleasures when you are on tour. Seeing places, meeting people and other bands and all these things.
S: And culturally it is good as well. I’m trying out a lot of vegan restaurants. (laughs)
G: It’s cool to hit some museums before you go to soundcheck.
You seem to have very passionate fans. What marks the connection with you and the audience?
S: I think we put a lot of effort into the writing of the songs, so they sound passionate and arousing. And the people bring that feeling with them into the show. The initiate feeling they had when they first listened to the songs. That’s a good thing.
Usually we end with the question of hope and passion. But you already made quite clear that you’re both – hopeful and passionate. So, I asked differently – what motivates you when you’re lacking of these two things?
S: Hope and passion is what an artist is about and keeping that alive is basically what keeps the artist alive. It’s what drives us and it gives us more opportunities to spread love and positivity.
G: Just keep on going, than life can be full of awesome opportunities.