Crystal Method looks different than it used to. Sounds different, too. It’s just Scott Kirkland now, since his longtime collaborator, Ken Jordan, retired.
But in some ways, everything feels new again, just like when the Grammy-nominated dance-based electronic duo took off in the late ’90s.
“In some ways it feels like it did when Crystal Method started all those years ago,” Kirkland said in a phone interview from his North Hollywood home. “Everything feels fresh.”
After Jordan left in 2017, Kirkland, 48, decided to keep Crystal Method going as a solo act. “The Trip Home,” his first project without Jordan, sounds like no other Crystal Method album.
“It was a transition since Ken and I have been brothers in arms since Crystal Method formed (in 1993),” Kirkland says. “We followed a dream and accomplished so much. ... He just wanted to lead a different life. I totally get it. What we did was a grind.”
Crystal Method will perform June 14 at Motorco Music Hall in Durham.
Kirkland and Jordan’s Crystal Method infused rock, pop and soul into its mix. “Vegas,” the tandem’s breakthrough album went platinum, thanks to hits as “Busy Child,” “Trip Like I Do,” “Keep Hope Alive” and “Comin’ Back.”
“Not a lot of electronic acts were that commercially successful,” Kirkland says. “I was thrilled about our success.”
But “The Trip Home” doesn’t follow the Crystal Method template. Instead of a collection of loosely connected dense tracks, the atmospheric cuts connect throughout the album. The collection sounds more like a moody soundtrack.
“I wanted it to sound more like music for a film,” Kirkland says. “It was something I could do since Ken was gone. Making this album was like starting over after a marriage ends. When you have a partner and say they hate Indian food, you don’t eat Indian food. But now with Ken gone, I can eat as much Indian food as I want. This album was like me hitting the re-set button. It’s been liberating having a clean slate.”
Kirkland has also tweaked the Crystal Method catalog. “I’ve switched up elements in the songs,” Kirkland says. “You’ll still know ‘Busy Child’ when it’s played live but I’ve made some fun changes. I’m changing tempos to songs. I’m playing the keyboards live. I’m revitalized.”
If Kirkland finishes some songs, he hopes to release an EP by the end of the year and tour next year.
“I have a lot to do to accomplish that goal but I’m motivated,” Kirkland says. “The past will always be with me. I’ll play the songs the fans want to hear but I want to continue to create new material. I’m in a great situation.”
Who: Crystal Method
When: 9 p.m. June 14
Where: Motorco Music Hall, 732 Rigsbee Ave., Durham.
Tickets: $20 in advance and $25 day of show.
Info: 919-901-0875 or motorcomusic.com