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From Sketch Board To Spectacle: The Making Of Krewella's Crystal Volcano

The Creators Project goes behind the scenes of the band's newest incendiary live performances.

Enlisting the help of  V Squared Labs, the studio behind the visuals for ISAM, Amon Tobin's mind-blowing projection-mapped performance sculpture with fabricator Stefano Novelli, Chicago trio Krewella recently realized a two-year dream of creating a giant, first-of-its-kind glittering volcano for their live shows. As part their newest tour, the band, whose debut album Get Wet hit stores on Tuesday, worked in tandem with the studio to turn ideas and sketches into a full-scale light extravaganza. Above, we talked with the the masterminds behind the project about the massive crystal volcano, how it works, and the steps it took to get it from idea to installation.

Below, one of the bands earliest sketches of the volcano:

Below: How the band and V Squared Labs imagined the crystals lighting:

The finished result:

Inspired by past album cover art and the idea of a "crystalline explosion" the band set out to do a full-scale, first-of-its-kind explosion of LED lights and reflector crystals.

While from an audience perspective the lights can seem like total anarchy, they've actually been carefully planned by the team:

“Inside of each crystal is a strand of up to a hundred 160 individual DMX lights on a flexible tape that line the spines of each crystal shape," explains Director Vello Virkhaus."Then the crystals in between the taped crystals have a reflection channel...that we map the LED screen to so the LED goes into the crystal. Then you’ve got the moving light element, and the...video is in between the crystals, so whether it’s an extension of the set virtually, or a video element, or a texture of a color moving around, the idea is it all is revealed over time."

Virkhaus goes on to explain how the crystals continue to morph and change colors:

"Currently we’re running video inside the crystals as a back layer or refraction mapping." 

The results allow each element to switch from pulsating lights, to tracer lights, to video screens.

Courtesy of Tyler Hill Photography

“I’m pretty sure I we’re one of those acts that I can finally say has one of the craziest live shows," says Yasmine Yousef.

Courtesy of Tyler Hill Photography

Courtesy of Tyler Hill Photography

Below: a close-up of the illuminated crystals.

Special thanks to TH3RD BRAIN Management.

Krewella's debut album GET WET is now available for purchase, and you can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

The band is also currently on a 50+ date tour across the US

Krewella