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The Crystal Method's Scott Kirkland on becoming a solo act

After 25 years, the performer releases new album "The Trip Home" without Ken Jordan.

Scott Kirkland released "The Trip Home" in September,

Scott Kirkland released "The Trip Home" in September, his first without former bandmate Ken Jordan.  Photo Credit: Tommaso Boddi

The Crystal Method turned 25 in 2018, a milestone made even more impressive by where it found itself last year: Ken Jordan retired from the music industry, leaving Scott Kirkland as a newly made solo act.

“He and his wife moved to Costa Rica,” Kirland says. “They’re happy, they’re milking goats, they’re off the grid.”

In a way, the Method’s new album “The Trip Home” is a love letter both to that relationship and the fans it spawned, going back to the duo’s roots.

amNewYork caught up with Kirkland to talk about the new album and turning his band into a solo act.

Was going solo an intimidating prospect?

For me, it was very natural. I was able to come to terms with the fact that Ken retired. He was happy; he was not in any way interested in making music anymore. That left me with this slightly daunting feeling of what’s next. But at the same time, I benefit from the great relationship I have with Ken: I’m not weighed down by the potential nonsense that’s usually relates to breaking up and moving forward, that kind of animosity of negativity. All of that was pretty effortless.

 What changed for you in the new production process?

When I got in here, I decided I didn’t want to have to deal with the current algorithm of the music industry, where so much is about immediacy, this new language. I wanted to go in a direction that wasn’t EDM, but was more of a reflection on where Ken and I came from and where we went, and this recognition of the foundation of our sound. "The Trip Home" is really a sort of cinematic version of the first 5-10 years of the Crystal Method. I felt like I was writing a story. I knew the narrative, I knew where I wanted it to go, but I didn’t go in and write too much content for a scene I was going to flesh out later. In the past I’d get anxious. Now it’s much more organic. I didn’t fill in the gaps until I had the right material with which to fill in the gaps. Thinking that way and being patient, but purposeful.

This is the first of two albums, right?

"The Trip" series, if you will. “The Trip Home” and “The Trip Out,” which is really a next step in the journey, and that will be out in July or August of next year. For me, with “The Trip Home” I wanted to re-establish a connection with people who have a connection with me. There’s a lot of people who loved “Vegas,” “Tweekend” and “Legion of Boom” and found something in our music that’s resonated with them. As a fan of bands of my youth or that I’ve made a connection to, I just wanted to reconnect with a lot of those people who were there in the early days. Getting the synthesizers out and putting away some of the stuff that’s in the [computer] … But the next step is to expand out. I want to get a little angrier, a little edgier.

The Crystal Method — Halloween Party! takes place at 9 p.m. on Wednesday at Good Room, 98 Meserole Ave., Greenpoint, $20-$25 


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