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Interview: Crystalyne

AS PREVIOUSLY SEEN ON ANCHOR SHOP-December 15, 2014

Over the past few years we have seen a number of female fronted pop punk bands (We Are the In Crowd, Paramore, Tonight Alive, etc.) rise to prominence. As a frontwoman, what do you think it is about this new wave of female lead singers and who has influenced you most?

Marissa Dattoli: I think it’s kind of really awesome to see any female lead bands! When I was growing up there weren’t any from the bands that I really listened to, so used to think, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I can sing these songs’. Growing up I, [laughs] this is actually so embarrassing, I was in an all-girl band and we used to play the supernova circuit, and there were always so many other people who were like ‘Girls can’t sing a 30 Seconds to Mars song!’ But, I mean, we liked the music too, right? So we just kept at it anyway. And in this genre it can be inspiring for other girls to want to sing their own music. It can only go up from here. I also think content wise, it’s a lot easier for girls to relate to female singers because we’re on the same side, whereas when you listen to a male vocalist, it’s a different sort of interpretation.

Your latest EP, The Remedy, has just hit the 1 year mark. Looking back now, could you have ever imagined things would have taken off they way that they have? 

Dattoli: Awe! That’s right! Honestly, no I wouldn’t have. I know we had a couple of haters when we released it, but that’s expected no matter what. Our first EP was more punk than pop, and The Remedy is definitely more pop in the sensibility of it, but it still maintains Crystalyne’s edge, so I felt it was perfect way to show our growth. It’s so weird to think it came out a year ago. It’s been a whole year! There was so much that we got to do, like playing The Molson Amphitheatre, which I thought we’d never play because it’s such a dream. To me that idea was on a pedestal and I just couldn’t reach it, but then we did it. Then we also got to go to Japan, which was huge ,and then we actually signed to a label there as well.

Your single “Punks Don’t Dance” was incredibly well received both by fans and the media alike. Is there ever any fear about crowd reception when releasing new music?

Dattoli: Absolutely. We’re at this point now where we’re starting the next cycle of new song writing, and it’s definitely scary. You want the people who follow you to like it, but at the same time, you can’t keep writing the same stuff. Cause really, you’re not the same person you were five months ago. I’m glad things went the way they did because we were in that pop-punk genre, but “Punks Don’t Dance” was a risk. Some of the comments on Youtube were things like, ‘What is this?’ and ‘This isn’t punk!’ but that’s the point! The song is supposed to be ironic, and I think at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. So, we really like how it turned out, and it resulted in a bunch of radio play which was great for the band. It helped to bring the band to a new level.

So, as you mentioned, the band recently ventured into Japan and will soon be expanding into the UK and the Philippines as well. Is it nerve wracking when you present your music to audiences who, some of which, don’t even speak English as their first language? How do you engage with fans in different markets?

Dattoli: Yeah, like it kind of started when we added content to our Youtube channel regularly, which has access to so many markets that are not solely just Canadian. People would comment saying ‘Oh, we love you from Brazil’ or ‘Come to the Phillippines!’ so going to Japan was so humbling. We got to meet people face to face that do not speak English as their native language, so there was obviously a language barrier. Luckily our label owner helped us out, actually, now that I think of it, the hardest thing was just ordering food [laughs]!

But really, with the fans it was so easy because some actually spoke broken English and some spoke it really well, and I tried to learn just how to say things like “thank you” and “hello”. Even though the language is totally different, the feeling is still the same. People would be singing along with us at shows, and the fans would write notes to us in English and I just, I didn’t understand because we’d never been there before! So, we’re definitely excited to go back in 2015 and expand into more markets. It’s scary too cause you’re taking a risk going into a different country and if you’re not familiar with the culture it can be a shock. As a band though, we want to connect with people so it doesn’t matter if you’re from Africa or Italy, we want to connect with you and meet you and if we have common interests, it can be even more exciting.

You guys have been known to have an excellent relationship with your fans, something that has been helped by access to social media. Why is that kind of interactive relationship with your fans so integral to the band?

Dattoli: I think especially in the year we’re in, in the society we’re in, it’s so present and important. At the same time though, it’s a little sad because when you’re spending some time with your friends, before the end of the night there is at least some point during which everyone is on their phone checking Instagram or something like that, you know? But anyways, for us it’s important to share experiences face to face with fans in different countries or cities, but you can still share those experiences online as well. Through access to our social media, fans can see us in the studio or watch our vlogs, as opposed to words written on a page. It’s a great way for people to see what we’re doing.