Crisis R.I.P.: The last interview
OK, listen up. All you out there you have
not supported Crisis in the past, hang your heads cuz you all suck! The
band decided to take an indefinite hiatus a few weeks back, leaving a small
but vocal following reaching for the Kleenex. Alright maybe I was being
a bit harsh with the first statement but to see somebody like Clay Aiken
or any of the other American Idol puppets (not to mention countless emo
posers) get so much attention and that Crisis would have to struggle over
the years to survive is just laughable to me. Maybe if they had reached
a bigger audience, the outcome would be different.
This band toiled away in relative obscurity
after starting up over 12 years ago. Along the way, they released four
genre-shearing records, most notably 2004's Like Sheep Led to Slaughter,
which was my introduction to them. Crisis had a sound that was equivalent
to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre presented as a ballet. Crisply executed
with abrupt but deft shifts in musical passages, all the while being driven
by a sound that was as visceral as it was mind warping. They broke barriers
by being the first big band to have a woman singer who was doing a mix
of hardcore and metal.
Leading the charge was the dynamic appeal
of Karyn Crisis. Her phenomenal vocals were central to the band's sound,
going from a growl to angelic purring in a heartbeat. I last spoke to Karyn
last year when the band was gearing up for a studio session following a
late fall run of shows with Exodus. At the time, she was pleased with the
shows they had just done and was anxious to start the new record. I spoke
to Karyn again this week and it was a far different conversation. She would
not comment on the band situation and the enthusiasm towards music was
missing in her voice. Instead she was glad to have the chance to work on
her painting and her Leather Works business.
I'm sad to say, this might be the last
Crisis interview. Here's my conversation with the amazing Karyn Crisis:
antiMUSIC: So, what happened to the
Karyn: I really can't get into that
because everybody just decided to make their own personal decisions. For
now there's an announcement on our website if you need an official statement.
antiMUSIC: Is this an amicable parting?
antiMUSIC: Was there one defining moment
which helped form this decision?
Karyn: Out of respect for everyone,
I'm not making any comments on it. You know what I mean?
antiMUSIC: What about the material that
you were working on?
Karyn: There was some music we'd
started working on, so we'll see what happens in the future. You never
know. If we're meant to write another album we'll definitely do that.
antiMUSIC: So what are your plans?
Karyn: Right now I'm actually painting
which is something I haven't done in quite a while. So I'm working on a
collection of paintings. I'm going to start working on my new website so
I'll have a gallery up there. I'm just going to concentrate on doing a
little bit of leather, but mostly I'm concentrating on my art. So, it's
exciting for me, something I haven't done and I'd like to try and get into
galleries and into the whole art circuit. So we'll see. I'm painting, and
painting and painting and it feels so good. Other than band artwork I haven't
really time to do much else. Really don't have the time, so it's something
I haven't done in a long time. All sorts of new things are coming out that
I didn't even know that I could do. (laughs) So it's really exciting.
antiMUSIC: Might we see your long-awaited
Karyn: I hope. Who knows? At the
moment I'm just working on that.
antiMUSIC: What about the DVD that was
pushed back to 2006 from last year?
Karyn: I don't know what's going
on with that right now actually.
antiMUSIC: It's out of the band's hands?
Karyn: No. It's in the band's hands
but I don't know what's happening with it. There are no immediate plans.
antiMUSIC: What about your label, Children
Karyn: That's actually Afzaal's
label. I don't know if he has plans to work on that now or not.
antiMUSIC: If this is it for the band,
what do you think its legacy will be?
Karyn: Hard to say, I mean. The
whole music scene for me right now is really disillusioning. It's just
style and trend and a lot of crap that I don't find intellectually stimulating
or emotionally stimulating in any way. I don't know if…I really don't know
…we were pioneers in the sense that we were ahead of our time and I don't
know if anyone will ever catch up with us or not. I don't know if anyone
antiMUSIC: Do you have any regrets,
band-wise --- not personal or personality-wise but anything that the band
didn't get to achieve?
Karyn: I don't have any regrets
as far as the band is concerned. I mean, we worked our asses off and we
sacrificed a lot of things to be in a band. I mean, bands these days have
it a lot easier, they live at home or they have easier financial situations.
We literally had no one backing ourselves up other than ourselves. And
you know, we had a real rough road of it in the earlier days. In terms
of things we would have liked to accomplished, some of the things are not
in our control. They have to do with the business side of things. And you
know, Crisis always wanted to do a lot of big things, but the industry
was always just like "no you're too extreme, no, you're too weird, no,
you have a woman singer." And of course as we've seen along the way, labels
have literally, like you know how the Backstreet Boys were formed…put together
a lot of female-fronted bands in our image so they didn't necessarily want
to take a gamble on what WE were doing because that was something they
couldn't quite understand. But hey finally came around to the idea of the
concept that a female-fronted band was a good thing. But you know these
people control a lot of your fate and unfortunately the industry never
really backed up Crisis. We were like a thorn in everybody's side, except
for The End Records, which was an amazing label. But in terms of getting
Crisis to a bigger level, we were more of a thorn in everyone's side because
we were so different, and so unique. We just refused to be fake and stylish
for the sake of selling records so, I have absolutely no regrets with the
way the band has done...you know we've done everything with our sense of
integrity. I wish we could have done a lot more but that was not in our
antiMUSIC: What is your favorite memory
from that whole part of your life?
Karyn: Oh man…I mean I have so many.
I basically grew up in the band. I had always wanted to be in a band and
this was the ideal band. I never wanted to be in another band, I was in
Crisis. I grew as a person, met amazing people and discovered things about
myself, strengths and nerves that I didn't know I had. You know it was
kinda like climbing Mount Everest for me to do what I did. It was a real
test of self. You know, don't join Crisis and change Crisis. Crisis changes
you. It's a very powerful, powerful entity. It continues to inspire me.
antiMUSIC: You've spent time in other
forms of music prior to Crisis. Can we expect a return to different musical
areas in the future from you?
Karyn: No. I don't think so.
antiMUSIC: So this whole experience
has changed your musical direction.
Karyn: I was just in music before
I joined Crisis, because I wanted to be in a band. It was more like experimentalism,
on my own, trying to find the right band. And once I found Crisis, that
was it, that was home. And I really don't feel, I mean…I can't predict
the future. But at the moment I don't have an appetite for any other music.
antiMUSIC: So what you're saying is
that we won't hear from you musically again.
Karyn: I seriously doubt it. I can't
say for sure. But my current mind-state, is that no…no. My current mind-state
is no. I'm just doing art, but I don't know what the future holds. I have
no way to predict that.
antiMUSIC: Any last words.
Karyn: no. (laughs)
antiMUSIC: Well, this is a sad day,
Karyn. But I wish you all the best with your art and hopefully we'll hear
from you again soon.
Karyn: Thank you so much, Morley.
antiMUSIC and Morley Seaver thank Karyn
for speaking with us. If this is really the end of the band, we want to
thank Karyn and company for four excellent records and for their very important,
if not often overlooked, contributions to metal.
and Purchase Crisis CDs Online
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