By John HoodRReading off a list of guest stars who’ve lent their voices to The Crystal Method’s music over the many moons of the duo’s ultra dynamic run must be akin to pulling names out of Tristan Tzara’s hat at Zurich’s Cafe Voltaire. Like Tristan (the Daddy of Dada), TCM (the Godfathers of Electronica) find both delight and enlightenment in the element of surprise. Just as ol’ Tristan did lo those hundred-plus years ago, they never miss an opportunity to turn chance into poetry.
According to TCM’s Ken Jordan, not a moment of any of it was planned beforehand.
“We prefer to do things organically,” Jordan says, when he sat down with ADANAI at The W during this year’s Miami Music Week. “We’ve never been interested in having a record company pair us with someone they think would be advantageous. That’s not our kind of premeditation.”
Over the two decades of TCM’s floor-shattering existence, that reliance upon happy accidents has brought about collisions with everyone from Matisyahu to Martha Reeves of The Vandellas. While Jordan admits to seeking out the Motown legend, the fact that the band managed to land such a figure was more fluke than planning.
“It was one of those things where we knew someone who knew someone who learned of our desire to work with Martha Reeves,” remembers Jordan. “But until we actually got into the studio with her, we thought it was all talk.”
The result was, of course, “I’m Not Leaving,” a track that gives one of Motown’s mightiest voices an opportunity to bring back the might of Motown’s heyday.
Another happy accident involved Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, who made the first move himself. Though there was a moment when that crash almost didn’t happen.
“We were playing some big radio station show in Indiana or somewhere,” recalls Jordan, “and when we got offstage our roadie cum security guy came running up and said ‘I had to keep Scott Weiland from jumping up onstage — the guy was nuts.’ Turns out Weiland had prepared lyrics to go specifically with one of our songs! Boy, were we pissed at that techie!”
Some months later however TCM did get with the flamboyant frontman, and the resultant “Murder” is one of the most, well, killer songs in the band’s extensive catalog.
With 2014’s eponymous longplayer, which they’ve released on their own TinyE imprint, TCM goes even farther afield, teaming with the likes of LeAnn Rimes, Franky Perez of Scars On Broadway and mau5trap artist Le Castle Vania, as well as “The Voice Season #2” contestant Dia Frampton (she of indie duo Meg & Dia), who appears as the featured vocalist on the album’s current single “Over It.”
And who might still be on TCM’s wish list?
“Stevie Wonder,” says Jordan. “Though I really wish there was a way we could channel early ‘70s Stevie. That would be fantastic.”
Knowing TCM’s propensity for inadvertently causing some of the happiest accidents to ever be heard, one wouldn’t be surprised if somehow, some way, some day, the two might just get their wish.