Artist Spotlight: A Q&A With Crystalyne

Crystalyne has two things I love – a strong female voice and lyrics with a “hey! Listen up!” attitude. This four-piece alternative band from Toronto, Canada recently popped up my radar and after spending a good amount of time on the group’s Youtube channel, I was hooked. (Anyone who successfully covers Paramore and The Story So Far is good in my book!)

When the members started jamming together a few years ago, they realized they were a great fit for each other not only as a band, but also as friends. After receiving an offer to tour across Canada, they took a chance and hit the road. “Needless to say, we never looked back,” said lead singer Marissa Dattoli.

The band released a new single, “Secret”, at the start of summer and will be filming an official video this month!

Enjoy this Q&A with Marissa where she talks about sharing her vulnerable side, being a self-funded band and Paramore!!

Which artists have influenced your music from the get-go?

When we were growing up, we listened to a lot of The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Blink-182, and Underoath. I feel like those bands had a huge influence in shaping us as people, and in turn shaping our songs, especially our song content. For me, Paramore came into the mix a little later, and it really inspired me to go after my dream of being the front-woman of a band.

What are the pros and cons of being an up-and-coming band in Canada?

Being an up-and-coming band in Canada is really tough these days. We’ve toured across Canada once, and did a few southern Ontario tours, but financially touring isn’t always the easiest thing to do…actually it’s NEVER easy, especially if you’re an independent band. We self-fund all of our endeavors, and since we’re not signed to a label for future releases, we have to do a lot of self-promotion. All we want to do is reach new people, and connect with them, and a lot of the time that means hanging out at other bands concerts with an iPod and headphones stopping every person and saying “Hey, wanna check out our band?”

You can only imagine how much rejection we face in that aspect, but on a positive note, we really believe in Crystalyne and we want to do everything possible to propel ourselves into the limelight. In terms of the pros of being an up-and-coming band, I guess the biggest one would be that we have something fresh to offer people. We’re not trying to imitate any other artists, we’re just being ourselves, and I think a lot of people really enjoy that about us.

Which aspects of life are you most drawn to writing about?

Breakups…hahaaa I don’t know why, but I’m a very angsty person! I’ve been through the ringer with guys and my past relationships never ended well. I’m also the type of person that bottles up a lot of my emotion, and the only way I can express myself is through singing. You probably hear this all the time, but writing songs and singing my feelings is the best therapy. There were so many times in the beginning where I’d start crying in the middle of a song on stage, because my feelings were just so raw. It’s been a few years since we put out “Navigate”, and I don’t cry anymore, but I still very much feel that betrayal deep in my heart, and I don’t think I’ll ever fully let that go. So, I’m always drawn to write about it.

Is it ever tough for you to share your lyrics with the guys or your fans?

With fans, never. At least not yet. With the guys, sometimes! Haha. For the most part, I tell them everything anyway, but “Wolves” was a little bit on the tough side to share. It was the first song that we fully wrote showing my vulnerable side about my last breakup. I had shown my anger a lot, but I tried to keep my depression at bay. It was the first song where I let my walls down and was like, “***Insert Ex’s Name here***, you suck so much, but lose sleep over you and want you back, even though we’re terrible together'”. I was afraid to say all that in a song, but the guys never judged me and supported me through my recovery.

Will you be releasing any new music and/or have upcoming gigs?

We’re currently working on another EP. It’s been a little bit of a slow process, but we have new songs coming your way (hopefully late 2013/early 2014). In terms of gigs, we’re playing the Grape & Wine Festival in St. Catharines and Koi Fest in Kitchener in the fall.

Scenario: Any band in the world will say yes to touring with you. Who would you call?

PARAMOREEEEEEE. Hahaha. I think we’d all be stoked to meet those guys, since they’re the embodiment of where we want to be in a few years.

Can you spill any details about your upcoming video shoot for “Secret”?

I’d like tooooo, but it’s Top “Secret” 😉

Are you a fan of Crystalyne?

Who’s on your band radar?

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