when seven inches is considered a good thing
Before the summer of 2008 Crystal Swells began, formed as a cover band to play a shed party in Maple Ridge. “Yeah we’re from Maple Ridge, make sure you put that in bold,” says Nick (guitar/vocals) jokingly, “the defining sound of Maple Ridge! Nobody actually knows us here because we rarely ever play.” Nick shares vocal duties with bassist Joel who pipes up on the matter. “Our relationship with Maple Ridge and Vancouver is like that saying, we’re too much of a boy for crazy town and too crazy for boys town.” The next one to speak is drummer Ross, the ‘muscle’ of the band, “In Maple Ridge we’re freaks, but in Vancouver we have relatively short hair and shave sometimes.” Rounding out the foursome is the soft spoken Tim on guitar.
In the world of loud and distorted punk Crystal Swells adds a grungy garage aspect to the formula. “I just try to write Descendents styled songs and make them psychedelic and surfy,” Nick says. “Don’t give away the secret recipe!” Ross warns and the band laughs. They are all equipped with a great sense of humour and sarcastic dry wit that makes for great banter. “Another term I’d use to describe the band is casual,” Joel tells me. “Last night I saw a metal band play and the singer called out the drummer on stage. That would never happen in our band. We have no delusional dreams of making it.”
The band competed in last year’s CITR funded battle of the bands event Shindig. “We made it all the way to the finals, then placed third and won a big bag of rejected records from 1999,” Joel reminisced. “I think it was pretty hilarious to play in this renowned thing and just shit the bed in the finals,” Nick laughed. “Yeah, we had a guitar amp fuck up and it ruined everything. That was our big chance!” Joel cursed sarcastically.
With plans to hit the road and release a 7-inch the band will stay busy over summer. “We managed to fit two songs per side, so that’s pretty cool, and it’ll be our first vinyl release,” Nick says. “I’ve had two band goals my whole life, go on tour and release something on vinyl. We’ll do both this summer, so after that everything else is just a bonus.”