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(The Original) Crystal Haze Band
The Original Crystal Haze
Background information
Also known as Crystal Haze, The Crystal Haze Band, Dave Ellis' Crystal Haze
Origin Decatur, Illinois, USA
Genres Psychedelic Rock, Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Melodic Metal, Gothic
Years active 1975 - Present
Labels A & M Records (Distribution only, 1977) Sirus Records (America); Acid Nightmare Records (U.K.)(Bootleg Editions)
Website The Original Crystal Haze
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Crystal Haze Band - The Deeper We Dive

Crystal Haze Band - The Deeper We Dive

The Original Crystal Haze Band ;  or CRYSTAL HAZE BAND is a psychedelic/hard rock/ progressive rock group formed in 1975 originally by Dirk Tucker; and kept active by Dave Ellis, since 1976 and one of the few psychedelic acts from that era from Illinois. Originating from Decatur, the band would release at least one album in their original era; and many more in later years; with Ellis keeping the band active since in a career spanning well over forty years. Their music is self-described as eclectic Progressive Rock, and ranges from Prog Rock, to Heavy Metal, to ballads, to Gothic Doom Metal.

HistoryEdit

The Original Crystal Haze Band began in Decatur Illinois USA in the summer of 1975. The original bandleader Dirk Tucker, left for another project in early 1976. A couple weeks later, Dave Ellis joined the band after his prior band broke up, sharing lead guitar spots with lead guitarist vocalist Greg Bickers. The lineup at that time also included: Rick Beaman; drums; Mike Lambert: Vocals; and Bob Prust on Bass guitar and background vocals. The band at that time was playing hard rock covers like Zeppelin and Rush. Within a few days, Dave began introducing original songs to the lineup, several of which from senior year of high school, Truth of the Ages, Stop and D.N.J. made it onto the album a year and a half later. Dave Ellis came up with an original album of all original Progressive Rock in early 1977, and recorded it with/as the Crystal Haze Band over a three month period from May to July of 1977, releasing it in August of 1977.

Promoted by A & M Records but never signed by them, it gathered immediate constant radio play which built and solidified their Midwest audiences from that day up until now still. A changing cast of members, and New life was breathed into the band and the album when it became a sought-after rarity of the era. The band had a second album recorded and set for a 1979 release but ultimately remains unreleased pending remastering entitled DEAD OF NIGHT. The band describes that album as their own personal "Hemispheres"; or in other words, the most long-winded songs with lots of timing changes. 1990 brought a resurgence in popularity to the band when the afirst album suddenly took off again as a world-wide phenomenon for audiophiles. A third album TORNADO HOUSE, was recorded in the 90's, in Maroa IL and Decatur IL.The story of The Original Crystal Haze from there is on is, for lack of a better term, a bit hazy. However what is known is that the project is still very active via Dave Ellis to this day, with Ellis releasing a number of albums on the Sirus Records label as digital releases; and several singles via Bandcamp, Amazon,I-Tunes, Apple Music,Deezer,and Spotify.

After the beginning of the Operation Enduring Freedom, Crystal Haze Band recorded a new version of their original hit song "FLAME" and sent it to the troops at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan where it was played there for our paratroopers fighting the Taliban.

The beginning of the second decade of the 21st Century brought new and unexpected confusion for CRYSTAL HAZE BAND. Other latecomer bands began using their name or variations of it, not as as a tribute act, but just using it as "bar room Cover Bands". One band even went and trademarked a variation of the name, claiming that Crystal Haze Band had previously legally abandoned the name...but the mere continuous prescence of the band's main website (which has been actively online continuously since the early days of the internet) stood as a stern rebuttal to their erroneous claims. Bands from diverse places such as Pennsylvania, Mexico, and Europe have arisen using the name or variations thereof...but Crystal Haze Band still continues on, for Forty Five years now and counting.

(The original) Crystal Haze - Self Titled LP (1975)

(The original) Crystal Haze - Self Titled LP (1975)

The revitalized band continued putting out a string of albums of all original material. Then, in 2018; the double album by Crystal Haze Band entitled ROCKAHOLICS FROM DECATUR signaled what the band calls "a return to their core elements" with a determined harder edge than ever before, and still continuing overall to defy genre generalization, incorporating a gamut of influences from across the board. One noticeable thing is the lessening of the amount of synthesizer sounds on this  album, and more of a heavy guitar dominance, though they have been careful to avoid 70's and 80's sounding guitar nuances and have adopted for a more dirty heavy guitar tonality on the majority of the tunes, and the vocals also show a range from the previous London-type accents to a newer heavy squalling sound more reminiscent of the late Bon Scott, than of anything these guys have ever done before. (The prior album: SYMBIOSIS, seemed to be loaded down with synth and synthetic orchestration...at times almost like a movie soundtrack, and was pretty remote from their rock n roll fan base,so this new album should be quite a welcome return). Left with quite a bit of more recordings from the Rockaholics Double Album Sessions; two more albums have emerged: SURVIVORS IN A NECROTIC INDUSTRY; which continues most of the influences of the ROCKAHOLICS FROM DECATUR sessions; and includes a lot of original material, plus one cover version; a remake of the 1968 Pink Floyd song; JULIA DREAM; and another similar album:STICKY SITUATION.. And after that iis followed by a much more pensive album; STRANGE TAILS FROM A FORGOTTEN REALM; which explores moody and brooding themes, but also includes the true recording of their song: WITHOUT YOU HERE, which has appeared in various forms previously. And it also contains the title tune: STRANGE TAILS, which is a very prog rock piano piece reminiscent of Early Genesis. This album is all original material from writer Ellis.

2019 brought forth two digital album releases from the band. The first of 2019 was SPACE ANOMALY, which contains more rocked out tunes with some electronica mixed in, and the next one: THE DEEPER WE DIVE, contains self-described "BALLS TO THE WALLS" Hard Rock music, also with some melodic stuff thrown in that seems more derivative of the songwriting influence of Todd Rundgren, which contrasts very sharply with the heavy tunes and themes that pervade much of the album. The title tune: The Deeper We Dive, recorded outdoors on a windy day; seems more like something that Greta Van Fleet would have come up with...but it too is an Ellis Original with higher than usual vocals... Hopefully this indicates the permanent return of Crystal Haze Band into the realm for which they are known: SMASH OUT THE WINDOWS HARD ROCK!!! The Ghost of Gastman School and Live Like You're Dead are brooding Gothic tunes. 

A barrage of new songs have been released for tentative inclusion on an album entitled A NIGHT IN THE ASYLUM fpr 2020. As expected, the tilt runs from syrupy to down-right Macabre. 

The current plan for the band is to continue to write, record, and perform relevant new Original material. The band postponed all tour plans for 2020 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, and will "continue to put out new music while waiting for the Biological Warfare Virus to end" before resuming Live Touring plans, "in 2021 or whenever this crazy epidemic is over for real".

Labels: A & M Records (Distribution Only 1977), Sirus Records (America), Nightmare Records (U.K. Bootleg editions)

DiscographyEdit

  • Crystal Haze (As Crystal Haze) (1977)
  • DEAD OF NIGHT (1979)
  • TORNADO HOUSE (1996)
  • Rockaholics from Decatur (As "The Original CRYSTAL HAZE BAND) (2018)
  • REACTIONS
  • SYMBIOSIS
  • SURVIVORS IN A NECROTIC INDUSTRY (2018)
  • STICKY SITUATION (2018)
  • STRANGE TAILS OF A FORGOTTEN REALM (2018)
  • SPACE ANOMALY (2019)
  • THE DEEPER WE DIVE (2019)
  • NIGHT IN THE ASYLUM (2020)

MembersEdit

  • Dave Ellis - Lead Guitar, Piano, Synth, Vocals (1976 - Present)
  • Dirk Tucker - Guitar (1975 - 1976)
  • Greg Bickers - Bass, Lead Guitar, Vocals (1975 - ?)
  • Mike Stevens - Drums (1975 - ?)
  • Bob Prust - Bass, Vocals (1975- ?)
  • Dale Ross - Guitar, Bass (1977-?)
  • Brian (Bryant) Minks - Keyboards (1977- d.1988)
  • Rick Beaman - Drums (1975-1976)
  • Mike Lambert - Lead Vocals (1975-1976)
  • Donnie Holman - Drums (1978)
  • Brian Ward - Bass Guitar, Vocals (1978)
  • Keith Greene - Drums; Vocals (1978-1979)
  • Wade William - Bass Guitar,Guitar, Vocals (1978-1979)
  • Tim Tegge - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards (1979-1980)

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

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