Since forming in the summer of 2004, Crystal Castles, the Toronto-based duo of Ethan Fawn and Alice Glass have amassed a cult following through their uncompromising and intense delivery, a slew of limited edition singles, and shows packed solely from word of mouth. Their 7” singles have sold out almost instantly, they have toured extensively in the UK, Europe, and North America with artists such as the Klaxons and Metric, and remixed songs for Bloc Party and the Klaxons, among others. Crystal Castles have attracted much attention from those trying to pigeonhole the band as leaders for such media-hyped subgenres as “8-bit” and “nu-rave”, however their nihilist aesthetic and diverse body of work suggests their intentions and potential are worth much more. The following is a selection of frequently asked questions that the band would like to clarify, of which their answers are completely sincere and not contrived.
Q: How did they meet?
Alice (of the noise band Fetus Fatale) and Ethan (of garage-metal band Jakarta) met reading to the blind (it was
community service work). After discussing modern music, and how no one is doing anything new, they decided
they would try to create a new sound and genre as best as they could. Naming themselves after She-Ra, The
Princess of Power's fortress, they formed Crystal Castles.
Q: When did you start? How did your first microphone check become your first single?
In the summer of 2004, i put together a cd of instrumentals and gave them to alice to write vocal parts. When she
was ready, we went to a local studio to record our first 5 songs. When we were done, the studio gave us 6 songs.
They had secretly recorded the microphone test and included it on the CD. I called the extra track "Alice Practice".
Merok Records (London) heard the track and wanted to put it out on 7 inch, as the a-side. Our first microphone test
became our first single. Merok pressed 500 copies and it sold out in 3 days. 7 ruined lives later and now this is our
Q: Is it true your sound developed from mixing an old arcade machine chip with your keyboard or
something like that? No. I smushed a birthday cake into my keyboard.
Q: What sort of influences do you guys have? Listening to your work, I can genuinely say that it sounds
unlike anything else around these days. There are bits and pieces of other genres, but I think you
described it best by saying you "play rough." What sort of stuff did you listen to and enjoy to get to this
Our music isn't influenced by anyone. In our heads, what we're doing is completely original. If we're wrong and
someone else is doing this out there, that's fine too. We don't care.
Q: Describe your aesthetic. Large shiny chunks of vomit.
Q: Where did you come up with the name Crystal Castles?
We are named after She-Ra, The Princess of Power's fortress in the sky. The commercial for the toy version of the
castle includes the lines "The fate of the world is safe in Crystal Castles" and "Crystal Castles, the source of all
Q: Are you named after the Atari videogame "Crystal Castles"?
No, We didn't know about the videogame at the time.
Q: You don’t seem to care about how much press you get. Why? We're not doing this for anyone's approval.
Q: Are there artists you'd like to work with? The Stooges in 1969. Joy Division in 1976.
Q: In your opinion, do you think music like yours and what's going on in England at the moment has a
chance to spread in America? Why/why not? That question reminds me of herpes.
NOT AN ACCIDENT====================================
Q: Someone once misquoted you and said you started by accident. Explain what you really said. I told an
interviewer that the song "Alice Practice" was an accident (Alice was secretly recorded while testing the studio's
microphones). The interviewer quoted me as saying the band was an accident. As if we fell on a keyboard and 40
songs just appeared.
Q: Was there anything you listened to or experienced maybe when you were younger that has influenced
your sound? Nothing from our youth has influenced our sound. We are influenced by change.