Hometown heroes Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland of Crystal Method have come a long way since their days working at local college radio station KUNV. Their 1997 debut, Vegas, was the first electronic album to break into the American mainstream. With two more studio albums, a mix CD and countless commercial, television and movie credits on their résumés, the duo can now add the prestige of a debut Grammy nomination in the new category of Best Electronic/Dance Album for Legion of Boom—as well as being the only American group so honored.
Recently, the Las Vegas Weekly caught up with Jordan by phone in their LA studio.
This is your first Grammy nomination. How exciting is that?
Ken Jordan: It's very exciting to be in that group. We're very excited about going to the awards show. It's our first nomination, first year that we get to go to the show. We've been voting members for a few years now.
The company you guys are keeping with the other nominees is amazing. Paul Oakenfold, Prodigy, Basement Jaxx and Paul Van Dyk—that's a lot of talent. What's it like being nominated with these guys?
KJ: Good. We've been friends with them. Paul Van Dyk, the Prodigy guys—we get along with them. Everybody in the category is a friend.
How do you feel Legion of Boom measures up against the other releases?
KJ: We're very proud of that record. It's done very well for us. We're working on another mix CD now, and another studio album .... Yeah, normally we're not thinking about a record that's a year old so much, but the Grammy nomination—we're humbled.
Do you think you have a shot at winning?
KJ: Yeah, I think so. I think everybody has a shot at winning. It's one of those things where it's the first year the category is up for voting. If you're going to vote for the Grammys, you can only vote for nine categories. And there's what, 25 categories? So it all depends on how people may vote, and you never know how people are going to vote. We've got a 1-in-5 chance.
Since this is a first time for the award, do you find it a validation for the genre?
KJ: I think it helps with validation. It really needs it, ya know? There was a Best Dance Record for singles. But there was no real album category for electronic and dance artists before. So now the album category will hopefully raise awareness for people that don't know much about this genre.
Who are you guys most looking forward to seeing at the show?
KJ: I'd like to see Lil' Kim. I don't know if she'll be there. [laughs] And the live performances. It's going to be a fun night. There's going to be a lot to take in.
Who's presenting the award?
KJ: I have no idea. We're pretty sure that our award will be given out before the telecast. It's gonna be one of those, "and earlier ..." [laughs]
I have one question about Legion of Boom that I've been dying to ask. Todd McFarlane, creator of Spawn, did your inside art for Legion of Boom. Who's the comic-book fan over there?
KJ: We've got friends that are hard-core comic-book fans. But we're fans of Todd McFarlane. Ever since we did the sound track for Spawn back in '97.... He's been asked by a lot of people over the years to do artwork for albums, *NSYNC and Korn ... And he only does the bands he likes. He turned down *NSYNC and worked with us. It's an honor to have his talent on our artwork. It was a real honor.
What about the new studio album and mix CD? What can you tell me about those?
KJ: The mix CD is called Community Service 2 and it comes out in April. Our studio album probably won't be out until early next year. The mix CD is exclusive remixes that we've done of [songs like] the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" and New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle." There's a remix from this artist called JDS of Keep Hope Alive, and some other unreleased things that should make for a great package.
Are any of your old Vegas friends going to throw Grammy parties in your honor?
KJ: Actually yeah, a friend of mine from Vegas wants to throw us a Grammy party. I'm like, "Ya know, what if we lose?" [laughs]