OCTOBER 8th 2015

Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal Worldwide, we are here with Scott Leach, guitarist for "Crystal Ball", out of Switzerland. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us.
1. What was the inspiration behind the band back in 1998 ?

We started out as a cover band in 1995, played a lot of shows in a short period of time, about 150 in the first three years. These formative years of stage experience became the foundation of CRYSTAL BALL. But we always wanted to do our own material and so we took the live experience and tried to incorporate that into our own music. And we didn’t want to mix covers and original material, that’s why we chose the new band name “Crystal Ball“!
2. The genre that you are listed under is Hardrock/Melodic Metal, has this always been, or were you something else before, curious as when I listen to your music, I hear some power metal as well.

Yes, it has always been that, but people can label it as they like. Record companies try and tried to sell us as power metal.
I guess a power metal fan would expect something else, even though we might have such songs or influences as well. But that is not the main influence or sound.
3. For some who do not know the band, tell us how each of your members came to be in Crystal Ball...
Steven Mageney -
He’s the singer we’ve been looking for. He joined in early 2012 after we looked for a singer like him for almost 2 years. He’s the from Wuppertal, Germany.
Scott Leach –
I’m one of the original members and founder of the band since the early days as a cover band in 1995.
Marcel Sardella –
He’s the other original member from Crystal Ball. Me and Marcel go back even further when we played in a hard rock band called Fallen Angel.
Tony "T.C." Castell –
Tony came in to replace Markus Flury who had do quit because of his job wouldn’t allow him enough time. I know Tony for a long time though. He was in Krokus as a bass player  for a long time and we toured with them  (and him being in Krokus) several times.
Cris Stone –
Cris joined in 2012 before recording the Dawnbreaker Album.  I met him in a bar and I knew right away that he would fit in very well.
4. Do you have music that was an inspiration to you when you first started ?

My inspiration was all the music I heard up the that point in life. Queen, Dokken, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Pretty Maids, were some of the main influences back then.
5. "LifeRider" is the name of your 8th album to be released June 23rd through Massacre Records, how did you come up with the name for the album ?

The title LIFERIDER stands in the  tradition of our albums Timwaker and Dawnbreaker. It was actually an idea from Steven and it has a concept which is the journey of life analog to a train ride. So like on a train ride some people join you for a little while, travel with you and then get off  again. You might stop at some station  and get back on the train later on.
6. The cover design was done by Thomas Ewerhard, tell us how the artwork came together, did you give some ideas, or did Thomas create the image on his own ?

We had a lot of input on it. I came up with the basic idea of a symbol and the initials CB and then we kept exchanging thoughts and drafts. It’s a stylized “Tree of Life“, a celtic symbol. Thomas is a great guy to work with. He worked on it until we were happy.

7. You have a new frontman, Steven Mageney from Wuppertal Germany, how did you find him, and was it easy to convince him to join Crystal Ball ?

He actually found me on Facebook. But he didn’t know that we were looking for a singer. I checked out his stuff. He was working with J.R. Blackmoore (The son of Ritchie Blackmore) at the time, and I liked what I heard and saw. So I got in touch, drove to Germany to see him perform with his cover band Bourbon Street. This convinced me also very much and we invited him to a session to Switzerland where we played some older Crystal Ball songs and also did some studio recordings of new material. We got along very well and he must have liked it too, haha. So we kept it going and here we are two records later.

8. Was it an easy process from start to finish for "LifeRider" ?

Yes, and a pretty quick one. The writing was finished within 3 to 4 month. The studio was already booked and the release of the album was scheduled, so there was a clear deadline for the songwriting. But it worked very well. Some details were changed or finished in the studio, which is always the case when we record anyway.
It certainly helped that this was the second album with this line-up, so we knew how everything and everyone works. And it was the same studio, the same producer Stefan Kaufmann (ex-Accept, ex-U.D.O.), same method, etc. That helped also to reduced to time-pressure.
9. Do you yourself have a favourite song on the album ? If so, why that one.

They are all my children, haha. One of my favourites is “Hold your flag” and “Mayday!”
10. After the release of the album, do you plan on doing a tour to support it ?

Absolutely, we already did 5 shows. We have some festivals coming up (for example 2 with the Scorpions and 1 with Thunder) And we will definitely do more show in autumn, probably a full tour. But I don’t have any details yet.
11. What can the fans expect to hear on this album ?

Fresh and melodic hardrock/metal tunes that will make you tap your foot and sing along.
Modern heavy sound with traditional good songwriting. Best Crystal Ball record so far.
12. Is it easy to get recognized in Germany for your style of music ?

It’s never easy to get recognized when you’re not trendy, and we are not. May it be in Germany or Switzerland or anywhere. We do what we love and we’re passionate about it. When people see us live, they are convinced of that too. There is no radio playing this music (expect for some internet Rock stations), but you can’t hear that in your car. So it is very hard to build up followers.
13. Tell us something that we might not know about Crystal Ball ...

On the track it’s not love from the secrets album, the main solo was played by Leo Leoni from Gotthard.
 14. You have been on tour with some big names, did you learn anything while on tour with them ?

Yes, quite a few: Krokus, Dokken, Doro, Gotthard, U.D.O., Pretty Maids, Axxis, Pink Cream 69, The Poodles and many more. You do always learn something, even it is what better not to do. But we definitely learned positive things from many bands, yes.
 15. Do you think you would ever do anything else in your life, or being in a band is just where you want to be ?

We do a lot of things outside of the band. It would be about time to able to focus 100% on that.
 16. Is there anything you would like to add to this interview that you want people to know about your new album ?

We with a duet on the album with Noora Louhimo form the Finnish band Battle Beast. You can check out your videoclip on youtube.
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Danke, for taking the time and doing the interview with us here at Metaltitans, and we wish you much success with "LifeRider".
Thank you very much for your support. It was a pleasure.
Scott Leach