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SHIFTY SHELLSHOCK of Crazy
Q: Your music sounds different than standard Hip Hop Bands ?
A: Yeah. That's what we were basically working on. You know we and
Epic have been working together for about 9 years on music together and we
started as a straight hip hop group. But we had influences from lots of
different places, so our songs always came out with an alternative flair to
them and as the years went by we never really got it together to make enough
songs to put out a complete CD or even to shop a demo deal, but the songs kept
going in that direction. My biggest influence is like the Beastie Boys first
record. That's like a blueprint to what I'm doing and I always want to
incorporate heavy guitars and stuff. When we put together this band, that was
the idea. It was that we are going to try to take our hip hop into other
Q: Does playing something slower, like" Butterfly" upset
the balance of your band?
A: No not at all. Its kind of like a band like the Red Hot Chili
Peppers. You know its totally natural for me to go from one mood to another,
cause like when I write the songs, I write most of the lyrics and when I come
up with a concept for a song, I usually write a song about something that I am
going through. So, depending on what I am drawing from, is what kind of sets
the standard of how I am going to do it. You know the mood.
Q: How did the song " BlackCloud"come together ?
A: When we went into Black Cloud, its kind of like that song is about
karma and superstition and stuff like that. Like when we sat down, me and Epic
were like, we want to do it without that, because we love to share. So when I
came up with the idea for this song, we wanted to make it sound like an 80's
song, but with rap vocals over it, you know. So we just went into the studio
and Epic started just from that idea, he came up with that beat, than Fado and
Rust Epique and everybody played their parts over it, while I was in the corner
writing lyrics to it and everything comes together really naturally. Like we
are all a punch of pirana and we all move on like a concept. And we all,
instead of ripping something apart, we kind of build it and we all put in our
two cents and when we are done we have this really cool song.
Q: How have you been writing long?
A: I have been writing since I was twelve years old. I mean I have
millions and millions of rhymes that I have written, but just like anything,
practice makes perfect. So, basically, I'm really happy with this stuff that I
wrote for this record and the stuff that I've been writing. Its like with every
song, I open another door in my mind. So I am always getting better at it and
getting more confident in the songs I am writing.
Q: How long has the band been together?
A: We've been together almost three years now.
Q: So LA is your home base, wasn't epic from New York?
A: Epic was born in New York, but he grew up out here (LA.), that's
just where his roots are from.
Q: So California definitely influenced you?
A: Definitely. I lived in Boston for a while, Brett came from New
York. So when we came from the east coast, we had brought hip hop with us, so
we already had this strong break dancing. Brett was break dancing. So when we
came to L.A., we were drawn to the kids that were into the same things that we
were and you know I was really into graffiti and skateboarding and there was
like a whole hip hop community of kids that did graffiti and skateboarding. So,
yeah, I think that no matter what kind of music you listen to, you can always
find the kids that are into that.
Q: What song is your favorite right now ?
A: Right now it is "Toxic". I think we are going to follow
up with "Butterfly".
Q: So whats your next single release, maybe "Dark Side"?
A: It's between that - Dark Side, and Butterfly for our second song.
Q: Have you worked on a video yet?
A: Yeah. We did the Toxic video and its out right now and showing on
MTV. If you go into our web site you can see it at www.crazytown.com. You can
see a documentary on the making of the record, see the video. Pretty cool.
Q: What were you doing before this band?
A: Epic was a D.J. I basically was getting into trouble. When I
found Epic I was an M.C. and it was my passion and that's what I did. I had a
skateboard and spray painted my backpack and a blond look and I'd just run
around writing my name on everything and get into trouble and writing rhymes
about what I was doing. When I found Epic, it was because it was because I was
starting - I knew Rollinex(??) from Napinclan(??) and I knew a bunch of M.C.
like Cypress and them and that inspired me to want to start making songs and
really recording my stuff. So I started working with producers and I got hooked
up with Epic and Epic really really like the rhymes I was writing and so me and
him decided that we'd start working on stuff, because he was a producer at that
point. Then we decided that we would start a group together - you know kind of
like Mugs and Be Real, or something like that, Premier and Gang Star. Then
Epic, who was rapping was well, decided to rap with me because we wanted to do
more of like an old school Beastie Boy type you know Run DMC flavor with
bouncing rhymes off of each other. So that's how it came of age. That's how it
was born. It's basically me and him like met each other. We both had what the
other one didn't have. So it rounded off the edges and we kept at it.
Q: After I start listening to your new CD, I notice your songs sound
different instead of the standard Hip Hop sound.
A: Yeah. We wanted to show that we had a wide spectrum of styles. We
didn't want to be just labeled as one of the heavy groups or another group. We
definitely showed that we can do whatever Limp Bizkit or Kid Rock are doing,
but then we like we went into realms of music with "Black Cloud" and
"Butterfly". I think that we made a good record and definitely has a
lot of good moves on it. It swings from left to right. There is different
things on there for people to find.
Q: When you first started out did you play at a lot of clubs?
A: Actually, we are fortunate enough that we knew enough people that
we never played out. I mean before and Epic did with our other groups. But with
Crazy Town, we basically had our own studio, we locked ourselves everyday for a
year - we just kept working on songs and we didn't get side-tracked. We got
about ten songs demoed and ever since we had about four songs recorded, we were
sending them to labels and having people listen to them and there was a point
when we had like eight songs and we weren't getting any feedback and I was
really getting frustrated and I was like "we're supposed to get signed
after four songs". And then, two songs later, everything fell into place.
It was like we put the right organization into the songs. Every label started
calling back. I think it was just a matter of paying our dues. I think it
happened when it was supposed to happen. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of
thought went into this.
Q: You know a lot about mixing and production work?
A: Definitely. I am learning more and more about it. Epic is the one
who's really been doing that, but I'm learning.
Q: Is the song"Revolving Door", a reflection on an bad
experience you have had?
A: Yeah. I think "Revolving Door" is about being single and
living it up while you are looking. In the middle of the song, I say "this
is what its like for me right now but this isn't necessarily how I want to be
for the rest of my life." It's kind of like that promiscuous having fun
period, but at the same time you are kind of looking for something, you not
just out there. You're like having fun but you always have that one eye open
looking around for that girl who's something.
Q: Anything new coming out ?
A: I have been writing a lot of stuff for the next record and I can't
wait to hear it when it comes out. There's a bunch of different producers that
I'd like to work with.
Q: This seems to be the banner year for combining Rock with rap. !
A: Yeah. We are rock-hip-hop. I like to think of it as punk-hip-hop.
Sure. We are combining a lot more than that. We have influences from all
different directions. We are unpredictable. One song could be one thing, but
the next song could be completely different, but at the same time, it'll still
be Crazy Town. It never loses that consistency of songs. Like all the songs
make sense together, but normally if you heard one song and then you heard
another, you wouldn't think it was the same group.
Q: The name "Crazy Town" was that selected by chance ?
A: I put some thought into it. Being working on the group for a long
time, we went through a few names, but when I thought of Crazy Town, I knew
that was it. It just had a ring to it and it was the name that best explained
where we are about and where are from.
Q: I like the cover of your new CD- looks like Betty Boop.
A: Yeah - kind of like a punk rock Lolita.
Q: Any added members of your group?
A: Yes. We do have two vocalists and D.J. that are add on members.
Q: Is there a organist in your group?
A: No there isn't. Actually, our D.J.'s can play support stuff like
on "Black Cloud" and on "Lollipop" he's going to have a
keyboard. We are incorporating all that stuff. So he is going to be more than a
Q: So your off touring with Methods Mayhem now ?
A: Yeah, we are going on the road with Mayhem, which should be cool.
I think it will be fun to be on tour with them. Hopefully I won't wind up in
jail with him. " Tommy Lee"
Q: I read you feel like Sid Vicious ?
A: I mean, when I'm explaining my versatility like Kurt Cobain and
Sid Vicious and Biggy Smalls. Those are a lot of my influences and they're all
gone now, but I like to think that they rubbed off on me in ways.
Q: Did you pick the songs on this CD ?
A: We picked it with our management. We made such a diverse record.
It's got so many different things on it, that it was like it was touchy, the
first song. We didn't want to put out the biggest hit song at the beginning and
lose all credibility. We wanted to build up a fan base and we wanted to slowly
get a following before we let out other kinds of songs. So to start with a song
like "Toxic" is kind of like its not too different from everything
else that's out right now. It's kind of like a good stepping stone for us. You
put that out. People get an idea of what you are doing and then they buy the
record and then they are like wow, and then they are ready for whatever songs
you choose to put out after that. So, it's like we are not like trying to get
real big real quick. We're trying to be one of those bands who are around for a
real long time. So to put out songs and make the right decisions with the
songs, we don't need to get big until our fourth song. We want the kids to
discover us and when we get big, happen naturally.
Q: Did you know Ice Cube and Everlast?
A: I never knew Ice Cube. Epic knew Ice Cube. I kind of got kicked
out of all the schools I went to. So I was like waiting outside of the school
for Epic to get out of school on my skateboard. Epic has finished school. I had
a problem with that. Everything I wanted to do had nothing to do with school.
After I learned the basics in about 10th grade, I think I took off.
Q: Are you working on the next C.D.?
A: You know, right now we are going to be promoting this album for
the next year and a half. But I am always working on the next record and will
never let my chops get dusty. I'm writing songs consistently. I have my eyes
and ears open and have a lot of material in the works. I learned so much making
this record, that I can't wait to see what we do on the next record.
Thank You for your time keep Rocking
Also check the new Crazy Town Interview
with Epic Mazur
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