Crystal Castles are the coolest, trend setting electro band right now. The girl, boy duo's 16 track debut album was released to North America this week and will hit the UK at the end of April to coincide with their mammoth UK tour through April and May. The album will feature their extensive single catalog, many previously sell-outs as ultra rare 7″ releases. Crystal Castles have stormed Myspace racking up well over three million hits and a full length release could send them to the mainstream success enjoyed by best friends The Klaxons, ending their time as a cult, specialized outfit. Ethan is the creator, producer and multi instrumentalist who crafted songs destined for the most exclusive, chronically trendy dance floors from LDN to NYC. Alice adds the distorted, icy, almost computerized words to the strangely addictive tracks.
The pair are the least approachable and elusive of any buzz band at SXSW and that just adds to the allure for many. Most photos obscure the pair's faces, more mystery to an other worldly outfit. They recently played themselves, performing 'Alice Practice' in Series Two of UK teen, fad show Skins . Crystal Castles perfectly fit Skins' fans lifestyle, or at least the one they wish they had. For them this is the must have accessory right now; from the music to the clothes to the “fuck off we are hipsters” attitude. For Glasswerk and the NME it led to much waiting and even instructions from management not to ask questions about Alice's recent car accident. “We hate doing interviews, don't you know that? We don't want to do this!” You get the impression the pair are playing up to this detached, super-hip attitude to satisfy the fans as they then preceded to talk non stop of the accident and the Crystal Castle history.
Is this your first year at SXSW? It seemed you were going to have to cancel after the car accident?
Alice: We played five shows last year and we're back for more. I couldn't move after the accident, I just had to lie in bed. It sucked! I was supposed to stay there for months but two weeks later I'm back playing shows. We're so excited for this. We love playing live.
You've toured the UK extensively before but this time return as headliners for the Topman NME New Noise Tour; the UK has really taken to you, how excited are you to be going back?
Ethan: We've toured the UK seven times. It's special for us. We are so happy to be over there again. In 2007 we opened the NME tour, this year we are headlining in May. So, it's getting bigger all the time. It's been a crazy year from smaller opening and support spots to headlining the NME tour in the space of a few months.
You are friends with the Klaxons and These New Puritans and have toured extensively with many electronic bands – do you see yourselves as part of a scene?
Ethan: It's not about being in a scene with anyone. We were friends with the Klaxons before either band signed or released anything. We were just creating and enjoying each others music.
Klaxons released their Seven Inch record and then us. Both sold out straight away and got the labels interested. Merok came for us. They were taping us while we were setting up. We recorded five songs and the set up. It was sent to Merok and they chose the set up and told us it had to be our single! We hadn't even listened to it. 'Alice Practice', from some mike test we did a year ago but it sounded good. Everyone wanted to hear it at our gigs and we were like 'We don't even know our first single. We remember the loop but don't remember this and this…
Do you play 'Alice' to satisfy your fans or is it a song you like to include? And you have learned it all now, right?
Ethan: Yer we've learned it perfectly; we play it every night! It sends our fans wild and we're not going hold it back. We love playing 'Alice' and at this stage the fans demand it. Who are you going to see tonight?
I tell them the Whip as the crossover to Crystal Castles isn't huge and the Manchester lads' show was the bomb that night, without any agenda or posturing.
Ethan: Oh, I know the Whip. I remixed a song for them. No-one knows about it but they payed me lots of money to do that for them. I used to produce loads of music, but we're concentrating on the band fully now.
They are going to have to as the demands of big fame take a hold. They may not like doing interviews but they better get used to it.
For more information on the upcoming UK tour and tips on how to become seductively distant visit the official Crystal Castles Myspace page: link