NEW YORK The Crystal Method are one of the few acts around that takes pictures of its fans rather than the other way around.
In the nearly four years since the dance duo released their gold-certified Vegas, they have played seriously diverse bills ranging from the rock-heavy Family Values Tour to their own Community Service road trip. After finishing up Tweekend (due July 31) in the Bomb Shelter, their SoCal studio, Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland emerged to face a local club crowd late Thursday.
The gig was one of a few shakedown appearances the duo will make prior to their 7-Day Tweekend Tour, which kicks off July 29 in Petaluma, California.
During a nearly unpublicized DJ set at the club Centro-Fly, the Crystal Method announced their reemergence with a blazing set that ran well into the next morning.
Kirkland, with an armload of vinyl, and Jordan, lugging a backpack, wandered into the newly opened Pinky Room at 11 p.m. They mingled with fans, sipped drinks and appeared to be in no great hurry. Kirkland was even briefly denied access to the backstage area by a security gatekeeper who told him it was for agents and other business people, "not the band."
A high-energy techno remix of Dr. Dre and Eminem's "Forgot About Dre" began blasting out of the club's speakers around midnight. Spotlights flashed rhythmically as pink and orange wall lights pulsed in unison. Exactly when Jordan took over the boards was difficult to ascertain the act went on unannounced and without fanfare yet everyone knew their flight had just taken off.
About two hours later Kirkland produced a camera and snapped a few shots of the crowd bouncing to Jordan's mixes.
The set consisted primarily of techno-heavy blends that sounded much like Vegas and offered tantalizingly few previews of the more rock-inspired Tweekend. Fans were twice offered snippets of the album's first single, "Name of the Game," and were treated briefly to "P.H.D." at one point.
Tweekend's collaborators include Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland. "Morello put a work ethic on us during the weeks he was with us," Kirkland said. "It was like, 'OK, let's move here, let's move there.' We just tried to keep up. It pushed us to get a lot of good stuff done after that."
Morello brought more than a strong work ethic to the project. His distinctive guitar sounds including, according to Jordan, one "tricked-out guitar that short-circuits on command" are audible on "Name of the Game." He enjoyed himself so much he stuck around to work on two other Tweekend tracks and another, tentatively titled "Do It," that may appear on the Method's next studio effort.
Working with Weiland was a different experience, they said, mainly because the duo has not seen the Stone Temple Pilots singer face-to-face in two years.
"We sent him a CD of some extremely undeveloped ideas he could choose from," Jordan explained. "He picked the most undeveloped idea and we sent him the tracks." The musicians volleyed digital files back and forth, each side pulling their end of the "production tug-of-war." The finished product, "Murder," will be the next single and video from the album.
"The original version and finished product of 'Murder' are like two completely different tracks," Jordan said. "We got really excited about it after Scott added vocals and guitars. That's when we put in the good drum and bass and all the extra production work that really brings it to life."
The Crystal Method, with openers Uberzone, will bring their tracks to life in 29 cities across North America during their 7-Day Tweekend Tour, in addition to previously announced appearances at the Creamfields, Cyberfest and the Mekka packages.
Crystal Method tour dates, according to their publicist:
- 7/27 - Petaluma, CA @ Phoenix Theatre
- 7/28 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Palookaville
- 7/29 - Reno, NV @ Pioneer Performing Arts Center
- 7/30 - Boise, ID @ Big Easy
- 8/1 - Calgary, AB @ Metro Nightclub
- 8/2 - Edmonton, AB @, The Joint
- 8/4 - Bremerton, WA @ Kitsap County Fairground
- 8/5 - Estacada, OR @ Estacada Timber Bowl
- 8/6 - Vancouver, BC @ TBA
- 8/8 - Ventura, CA @ Sun Theater
- 8/9 - Los Angeles, CA @ Mayan Theatre
- 8/11 - San Francisco, CA @ Cyberfest
- 8/13 - Sacramento, CA @ Crest Theatre
- 8/15 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
- 8/16 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Galaxy Plaza
- 8/17 - Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
- 8/19 - Minneapolis, MN @ Quest Club
- 8/20 - Fargo, SD @ Playmaker's
- 8/22 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
- 8/24 - St. Louis, MO @ Pops (Mekka )
- 8/25 - Chicago, IL @ TBA (Mekka)
- 8/26 - Detroit, MI @ State Theatre
- 8/29 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
- 8/30 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
- 9/1 - Riverhead, NY @ Creamfields
- 9/6 - Jacksonville, FL @ Edge 2000
- 9/7 - Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
- 9/8 - Boynton Beach, FL @ Orbit
- 9/12 - Birmingham, AL @ Sloss Furnace
- 9/14 - Atlanta, GA @ DeKalb Atlanta Center
- 9/15 - Charlotte, NC, @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
- 9/22 - Houston, TX @ Cyberfest
- 9/29 - Las Vegas, NV @ Creamfields