Reaching the World one song at a time
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR
MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
I’m Marq Andrew Speck, lead vocalist and keyboard player for 24-time Detroit Music Award
winning band SWEET CRYSTAL (www.sweetcrystal.com). Along with founding members
guitarist Bill Blatter and drummer Steve Wieser and now joined by newest member and bass
player Martin Kuchar, we have been at the forefront of the Christian rock scene here in
Michigan even before this genre had its own radio and broadcast outlets.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?
We just finished our latest release “7th Heaven” – which happens to be our 7th CD as well –
and it is slated to drop everywhere (digital downloads, streaming and physical CDs) on
Valentine’s Day (2/14/22) making that holiday… even Sweeter. We previously released 4
singles from “7th Heaven” during 2020/21 with video support (on our YouTube channel and
other social sites) but thought waiting until this New Year (with the very challenging last two
years behind us) might be just the spark our fans and audiences would appreciate to make
2022 a much happier New Year indeed.
Our complete discography can be heard over at our Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages.
WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE?
Our trademarked slogan “Reaching The World, One Song At A Time” ™ pretty much says
it all about our music, message, mission and ministry. We are here to reach out to a world
with songs of hope and inspiration; a musical light at the end of every dark tunnel you might
be going through because chances are good – we’ve gone through those very same tunnels
ourselves and definitely have found a way out.
CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS?
Uplifting and definitely sweet!
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
We started out totally influenced by the progressive rock English music scene of the 60’s and
70’s: bands like Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Atomic Rooster, Uriah Heep all left their musical
marks on our writing and playing. For me personally – when I heard the first ELP album
(Keith Emerson in particular) with that iconic Moog synthesizer lead in ‘Lucky Man’, I knew
that was a sound and direction that would be a perfect fit for me.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER
Even though 2020/21 were a very tough years for us - and everyone for that matter, what with
the closing of most venues and other places to play out - we had the great experience of Live
Streaming a 30-minute performance from our personal studios Nightcrier Music here outside
of Detroit. It’s up on our YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/AW776sHKAes along with a lot
of other online and live event videos that give a pretty sweet view into all things Crystal.
It turns out this was a great way for our fans and new audiences to experience who we are
and what we offer musically while relaxing at home or anywhere they can get the web. We
miss the live audience feedback of a concert appearance but this at least kept us smiling.
WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
It varies with each band member: I am big time into acting with four feature film roles and
various television appearances. Guitarist Bill is into competitive marksmanship and was
recently endorsed for ISP Technologies, a high-end music merchandiser here in Michigan.
Drummer Steve takes to the golf course to release the extra energy he has and has gotten
good enough to start competing in the professional circuit. Marty works with mentally-challenged adults, giving back in a way that the rest of us admire more than he knows.
DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
Not too much anymore – we have been doing this for a very long time. What I personally
worry about is if the gear (my many keyboards) will all work. If the equipment fires up, so will
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
The three of us that started Sweet Crystal (myself on keys and lead vocals, Bill Blatter on
guitars and Steve Wieser on drums) met right out of high school and became fast friends for
life. The newest (and youngest for that matter) is Marty Kuchar on bass and as of today, has
been with us for nearly 5 years – I guess we passed his audition.
To this day we get together every week to rehearse, record and just enjoy each other’s
company. Does it get old after 4 decades together? Absolutely not! We just get better with
HOW DO YOU WRITE? - DO YOU HAVE A KEY SONGWRITER, OR DO YOU ALL WORK
I am the main source of starting songs. I have musical and melodic ideas that I present to the
guys at every rehearsal (and we still rehearse after all these decades pretty much every week
at our private studio) and then they all add their input and expertise to make every song a
real band production. We constantly record every rehearsal and jam session because you
never know when a new riff will open up the creative juices.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Not what – who. People overcoming physical and mental handicaps on a daily basis. All my
personal problems are of no consequence compared to those who have been injured in
military conflicts. You don’t have to support any war, but you have to support every warrior…
and Sweet Crystal does!
WHAT IS NEXT?
New songs already being recorded for our next release ‘8’ this time around featuring more
lead vocals from (guitarist) Bill. A new promotion company (Rogue PR) taking the reins for a
while to get the Sweet Crystal brand into more markets. Booking shows and benefit concerts
to play again as we all get back to normal.
Basically we plan to remain exactly who we are for as long as can.
PLEASE TELL US ANY SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS SO WE CAN SHARE.