Crystalyne is a new band from Toronto fronted by Marissa Dattoli who you might recognize from her participation on the MuchMusic show DisBAND with Good and Broken.  As things didn't work out with that band, Marissa put together her new band Crystalyne.  They are now ready to unveil their most recent work with the EP Navigate on June 5th, 2012.  Marissa comes across as a very positive and mature artist for her age.  She sing from a place that is real and a mix of beauty and edge is reflected in her vocal delivery. For more info on this band and tour dates, visit:
Interview by: Valerie Bastien
Valerie: Please introduce yourself!

Marissa: Hi guys, I’m Marissa, and I’m the lead singer of Crystalyne :)

Valerie: We know you from the MuchMusic show DisBAND; how has your experience on the show contributed to how you have been able to reinvent yourself with Crystalyne?

Marissa: DisBand was definitely a roller coaster of emotions. It was my first glance at the music industry from an inside perspective and I definitely learned a lot. The most important thing I learned was to be honest with myself as an artist. Moving forward with this new project, I kept that as my main focus and started from scratch.  I spent 2 years writing songs and figuring out a new direction that really suited me as an artist, and once the band formed everything else kinda just fell into place. 

Valerie: As a young artist, what was the most valuable advice you have received from the team working with you on DisBAND.

Marissa: The most valuable advice I got from DisBand was to put your best song forward.  Starting off as a young/new band or artist is difficult. You want to catch someone’s attention right off the top. The first song they hear should be the best representation of you and your music.

Valerie: When I first found out about your band, I thought that you look and sound like Lacey Sturm of Flyleaf.  Who are your musical influences?

Marissa: Aww.., thank you!  I’m a huge Flyleaf fan, so that means a lot. Their song Circle off of Momento Mori got me through a really rough patch last year. Uhm, but musical influences...  Let’s see.  As a band, we take a lot of our influence from other bands like The Used and Taking Back Sunday.  Their melodies and lyrics are just insanely good, it’s unfair haha!

Valerie: Your first EP as part of Crystalyne, Navigate,  will be released on June 5th, 2012.  What makes you the proudest about it?

Marissa: We are SO excited to finally get this EP out there.  For me, the part about it that makes me the proudest is that it’s lyrically so honest.  I went through a really rough break up last summer, and these songs were my way of venting and getting all of my emotions out in the open. I had so much bottled up inside of me, and I found it so hard to speak my mind.  Writing was my therapy and way of getting closure over the whole situation.  My hope is that at least one person out there will hear our EP and say “Hey, I can totally relate to that.”

Valerie: Explain why you chose the title track Navigate to represent the overall delivery of the EP.

Marissa: We chose Navigate to be the title track because we thought it was the one song on the EP that really encompassed the lyrical concepts of the EP.  It’s super reflective and empowering, which I think represents us well as a band.  We don’t like to write songs about partying, and hooking up.  We want to promote positive ways of life, encourage change, and hopefully inspire people to move forward and navigate through the risks and hard times of their lives. 

Valerie: The first video for this album is Wolves.

Marissa: Yeah! Wolves is probably one of my personal favourite songs on the EP.  We had so much fun shooting it, and I ended up having a ton of blisters in my back and arms from being in a box for most of the shoot :P.

We’ve recently shot 2 other music videos that we’re super excited to release; one for our first single Weapon, which will hopefully be coming out within the next month!

Valerie: Tell me about a song that wrote itself up very quickly and of another that took ages.

Marissa: Hmmmm... Weapon was a song that definitely wrote itself. I was at home one day, when I found out my romantic relationship was full of lies. I felt so many different emotions. I was angry, sad, and confused.  The only thing that made sense was for me to set up my microphone and start singing...  The words and melody just came out and really helped me put my thoughts into perspective.

The one song that took AGES was Navigate. It took us a really long time to get that song exactly how we wanted it. We changed the key a million times and had 3 different choruses!  We’re super happy with how it ended up though.

Valerie: Is there a song on the album that always puts you in a good place and makes you smile?

Marissa: There’s a song on the EP called Just Fine that’s all about looking for light in your life and reassuring yourself that no matter what, you’ll make it through anything.  It always puts me in a good place because it brings me back to my moment of clarity and closure on my last relationship.  It was really nice to finally move on and move forward in my life. It’s also one of the most fun songs to perform live, so that always makes me smile.

Valerie: What are you touring plans for this summer? 

Marissa: We are releasing our EP on June 5th, so we’re super excited to be touring for the entire month of June!  Since it’s in celebration of our EP release, it’s called the “Navigate Tour”. All of the dates are posted on our website, including Hockeyfest in Brantford on June 3rd, and S.C.E.N.E. Music Festival in St. Catharines on June 24th! :)

Valerie Bastien is a vocal coach, teacher, musician and freelance journalist.
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