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INTERVIEW: CRYSTAL TIDES

Crystal Tides: For a band who told everyone in their hit, new single ‘Courtney Love’ that they’re taking over – it’s not a lie.

 “We have seemed to have hit the nail on the head with this release”

Sometimes Zoom calls aren’t the most ideal way to sit down and have a chat with a band or an artist – there seems to be awkward silences and half-arsed smiles at each other because we’re lagging and we’re not comfortable but with Crystal Tides, I was sat with my fluffiest fleece on, feeling chilled in their presence.

Just less than ten days ago, South-Coast’s finest band, Crystal Tides [consisting of Billy, George, Harry, and Joe] released their brand new single ‘Courtney Love’. With hints of pop-punk sounds and some rather guitar-heavy licks, it’s a song that is nothing shy of perfection. It’s a song that has an upbeat tempo and a loud aura – listening to the lyrics, there’s a slight hint of anger.

We wrote it about a particular character in our lives growing up around the area we’ve been creating music, it’s not solely about said person, it’s about what that person represents and a lot of people in the music industry that take advantage of younger acts that are just starting out and they abuse them for their own gain.” They put their pen to paper and wrote a big ‘fuck you’ to someone who had clearly gotten them riled up.

The boys natter away, murmuring about how the said character had used them, but also, that this song goes out to all of the promoters in this industry who don’t care, the ones who line their pockets with cash and leave the music makers with nothing. “It’s a case of using the naivety of young bands to their own advantage and not giving anything back.”

‘Courtney Love’ is a testament for all of the younger bands, the ones who are just starting out – this is for them to take note and to learn from it. But, to also stay clear of the ones who want to pick on the younger bunch. The four-piece are glad they haven’t fallen into this dangerous, toxic trap but they seem to sympathise with the ones who have: “There is a lot of people that have felt that way in music, in one form or another, where some sort of promoter or different companies offer things.”

Their most recent offering isn’t the first song to have captured my attention to have been an angry song with strong lyricisms to point out the flaws in the music industry. Coventry’s finest, Candid had written a song that captured the sheer ignorance of the music industry. ‘Numbers Game’ became a truly honest story about numbers being the main priority and not the music itself. It’s becoming extremely common for this dangerous mindset to engulf some of the big music industry powerhouses. It must be overwhelming.

Ever since their first single ‘Lifeline’, Crystal Tides have made the most impressive progression, their sound has gotten smoother and their confidence is sky-high (in the least arrogant way possible). They’ve found themselves in the midst of a pandemic; this year being one of the most successful years for them in terms of progression, “regardless of the pandemic – this has been our best year to date which is quite strange really. It’s been 98% of bands’ worst year and we were pretty convinced for a long time that it was our worst year – but, the day or two after our release we sort of sat back and looked at what we had achieved and what songs that could come next and what we’ve written, [our future EP] and we just sort of said, ‘this has probably been our best year by far’”.

The indie-rockers have had a busy run with their press campaigns for their most recent tune: five weeks on Virgin Radio which is impressive, a stream of glistening reviews, and a feature on This Feeling’s ‘Track of The Day’. It’s all seemed to have looked up for the band, it’s all smiles in the Crystal Tides camp.

It’s been a little bit of a shame not being able to play shows and back it up with a run of cool shows, where we can sort of getting it out there, but the reception has been amazing. In terms of getting write-ups and getting it out there, it’s felt like growth and that progression we were talking about. It’s just felt normal for us to be honest, maybe because ‘Fitz’ [their manager] is doing it all – he’s doing all of the hard stuff.

Image Credits: Rhona Murphy

It seems like nothing can stop them from working on their music. Lockdown was a massive slump for a lot of bands in terms of writing and being able to be creative during such uncertainty, but Billy announced to me that they had written a lot over that period. They almost got carried away with writing new material and it’s something they pride themselves on a lot. It becomes apparent that they love what they do, they smile when they talk about everything they’ve achieved so far.

We were literally saying the other day, it’s important to always just have those songs ready, you never know when someone is going to come along and ask us what else we have got other than the ones that are already out there and if you haven’t got anything then it could really scupper your chances… Writing music is the fun bit as well!

With the slight mention of an EP on the horizon and its release next year, we will see them broadening their music in the sense that they have tightened up. “We think we have honed our sound more in this EP – so, it’s broadening in a sense that it’s slightly different from our very original stuff. You can see it changing over time – this EP focusses on the real Crystal Tides and what we sound like, and what we will be sounding like in the future.”

As we come to an end of our pleasant chat about their latest release and their progression as a group; they started from the bottom and they’re working their way to the top and it’s always interesting to see what they’d say to their younger selves or small bands who are just starting out. “Get out before it’s too late” they joke. But, in all seriousness: “We think a lot of it is to just not listen to critics that put you down and just do you!”

And of course, they conclude “in relation to this song – if people believe in you and you work really hard for yourself and don’t let people take advantage of you!

GEO BLACKMAN
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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