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My Interview With Crystal Bright

Interview By Rebecca Kane

Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands are from Greensboro, NC and really making a major impact in the music scene. Crystal’s newly released video for “Drowned Out”, has already been nominated for the HearNC Music Video Festival Awards. The official release date of her new album “Muses and Bones” will be January 25, 2012.

Crystal’s background in Anthropology and Ethnomusicology is strongly incorporated into her songs. She plays all types of music from Mariachi to Ugandan folk songs. She is proficient on many instruments; she plays an accordian, adungu (Ugandan harp), concertina, bombo (Argentinian drum), a saw (yes, you read it right), and the piano.

I showed up to the venue early to catch Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands before their set. I walked into the bar and Crystal’s face was the first thing I saw. Her eyes twinkled and she got up warmly from the table.

“Great to see you,” she smiled and gave me a hug. I felt instantly at ease and slightly enamored. She is genuinely beautiful and has this great aura. My mind flashed to that scene in Dogma with Alanis Morissette, where everyone that looks into her eyes feels peace and love. I took a deep breath, looked into her eyes and this is what I asked her…

RK- “How did you get into music originally?”

CB-(chuckles) “A piano teacher moved down the street when I was seven. I remember riding my bike to my lesson with all my books in the basket. I took some guitar lessons in middle school, then I started listening to Tori Amos and wanted to write my own songs.”

RK- “What prompted you to use a saw as a musical instrument?”

CB- “I saw a french movie called “Delicatessen”. There’s a character that plays a saw with a cello player. I had a roommate that had a saw in the garage. I watched youtube videos and learned how to play.”

RK- “What did you want to be when you grew up?”

CB-(laughs) “I wanted to be a veterinarian, then a marine biologist. I loved anything to do with orcas and dolphins. By the time I was in high school, I wanted to act. I ended up spending enough time in the acting department to realize they were all crazy and it wasn’t a healthy place for me.”

RK- “What is on your ipod right now?”

CB- “I actually don’t listen to much music. I feel it interferes with writing. I have gone through some phases where I’ve listened to Tom Waits, Yann Tiersen (he wrote the Amelie Soundtrack), and Lhasa.”

RK- “Do you have any pre-show rituals?”

CB- “I usually just do a vocal warm-up in the car.”

RK- “Why did you choose to name your band the Silver Hands?”

CB- “It is modeled after a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm called “The Girl Without Hands”. A girl loses her hands after her father makes a deal with the devil. She escapes home, only to be found eating fruit out of the King’s garden. The King falls in love with her and they marry. He makes her these beautiful silver hands. Right after the King goes to battle, the Queen bears a son. The devil tricks the Queen into thinking the King wants her killed, and the Queen flees into the woods with her son.

The Queen is met by an angel, with a house in the woods, that cares for them. During that time, the Queen’s hands grow back. The King, meanwhile, comes back from battle and is devastated to learn the Queen is gone. He searches for her for seven years and comes across the angel’s little house. He is given respite there and finds his wife, whom he denies, since she doesn’t have her silver hands anymore. The Queen gets her silver hands to show him and then he knows for sure it’s her.

What I took away from the Girl With the Silver Hands, is that when she needed help, she was given a set of silver hands. I see them as an extra pair of musical hands. I had come to a point where I had written all these songs and I needed help in creating a band and taking my music to the next level. The Silver Hands help me create something bigger than my own hands could.”

It was time for Crystal to take the stage. Her voice is ethereal and eerily haunting. Her music is a symphony of influences that ranges from dark and broody to carnivalesque. It’s hard to pigeon-hole such a unique sound, and from the front row, I can tell you that Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands are a breath of fresh air.

This Coolgrrrl is officially enraptured, and as I reflect upon that magical night, I can’t help thinking that Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands might just have the Midas touch.

Visit the official website at CrystalBrightandtheSilverHands.com.

Rebecca J. A. Kane

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