Publication on The Web
Representing The Bay Area Best
||* 2003/ San Francisco
This is my third time interviewing Crazy Town trying
to get the message out to their devoted fans that they are not going to give
up. It's been a hard road for them. Thanks in part to their breakthrough
single, "Butterfly" off their multi-platinum album, The Gift of
Game" Crazy Town have gotten a taste of that elite Rock N Roll lifestyle.
However, while "Butterfly" shot to number 1 It became quite apparent
that the band have no desire to score monstrous hits, but to simply make music
that moves them and not worry too much about what happens after that. November
12th, 2002 saw the release of Crazy Town's follow up to 1999's The Gift of
Game, Darkhorse, a diverse recording and decidedly more of a group effort than
their previous album. The band has seen a few changes - turntablist DJ A.M.
departed and drummer James Bradley J was replaced by Shuvel's Kyle Hollinger -
and their touring schedule has been grueling, The band discusses the new album,
the ups and downs of sudden fame and the new additions to the Crazy Town
Q: So you guys are coming back with Darkhorse now. I like a
lot of the songs, especially Drowning.
A: Yep. It's funny that you mentioned Drowning, because that was our first
single and that's not even one of the stand out songs as far as we're
Q: I just mentioned that because of the way the ballad went.
A: We still think of it as like an entire record we were trying to make. You
know what I mean. Not like both the songs I love. I really love the whole
record. And that's what we were trying to do. Like we all got together. We made
this record as a band and just wrote as many songs as we could write and ___
with the ones that weren't on there. But it's pretty cool, because some of them
are really old and some of them got done right toward the end of the record.
But to me at least, it sounds like a cohesive record made by the same guys. And
on any given day we can have like five different people and say five different
songs. And say this was good. That was kind of cool to make a bunch of songs.
It seems like it's always that case if I ever dare to ask anybody what they
think. It's usually something I wasn't expecting or not what I heard from the
Q: Every song has it's own flavor to it. I hope your fans see it that way too.
A: That's our favorite compliment And that's the best compliment you can give
us. That was really the kind of record we were trying to make. It's just cool
that our fans will each come away first and foremost, even if anyone tries to
talk about a specific song, it'll be I love the fucking record. I mean which is
really cool. Then everybody will have their different tracts that are their
real favorites off the record, but they're all different. We're still trying to
let them all know that the album's out.
Q: When I got the call, I needed to check you guys out.
A: Nobody in this area is trying to help. So, we're having to fight and scratch
and really work hard for every little bit that we can get. Which is fine,
because we know that's the only way that Crazy Town - we would have a better
shot at this point if we were a brand new band. Coming out with our first
album, we had the benefit of nobody knowing who we are and no preconceived
notions and now this time we have the benefit of a hit record that we're coming
off of, but at the same time, like one of radio motion people at Columbia said
she has never seen a band be a victim of their own success so much. And it's
like it kind of just makes us mad and makes us say to radio stations like KRock
in LA - which is our home town - makes us just want to say well fuck you then.
Not like we're going to cater to you or what can we do. What possibly can we do
so we can get some air play around LA now. This thing that anyone who would
hate on us understands that The Gift of Game was made and all those songs like
the band felt really strongly about, nobody tried to ram pop songs. No one
tried to make Butterfly go to the top. Butterfly was number one all of the
radio stations. Then it crossed over and it did because of the power of the
song. And then people like ... we catch flack for that because it ends up being
on _____ Z100. That's just that many people fell in love with that song.
Q: I remember when that happened too. It was like a year later you made it.
A: But I can also understand if I was a 14-year old kid and I was really into
Crazy Town when I got it on Toxic and Dark Side and I still love Butterfly, but
then it flew up and all of sudden it was on like pop radio stations, I would
have to take ownership of it, because all of sudden it was like, oh, that's
pop. I'm listening to all my cool bands - like System of the Down and Crazy
Town and now Crazy Town is just successful. Now with this record and through
this tour I can see that it's really validated to people that believed in us
from the get go. Because when they went out and got this record and they were
like "hell yeah." Because we didn't go pull a Sugar Ray and just copy
Butterfly. We stayed true to ourselves and did what we wanted to do. And so,
it's like our true fans have been showing up at all these shows. Like thank you
so much, this fucking record is just loving the record. And we're going to do
the same thing again. If this album is a success, nobody can say shit to us
anymore. We're Crazy Town and we're going to do what we do. If the song crosses
over, it's because that's how good the song is. We kind of in that little
purgatory right now. Having made what we believe is a great record and just
getting as many people to hear it as possible. But that's where we were on The
Gift of Game too. It's the same thing. I love the Darkside. You know what I
mean, it came out against bad timing. Just the way Drowning came up against bad
timing. Coming out in the fourth quarter against all the serious records that
all came out and we're still out here and every week ... I think our management
just thought we were a lot bigger than we really were.
Q: Because of the Oz Fest and everything?
A: No. As far as them thinking that it would be a good idea to release
Darkhorse in the fourth quarter. But that's just like The Gift of Game was
released in the fourth quarter. But now you see every week our sales are going
up, even though like there's nothing really going on. It's just kids hearing
the record and running out and telling other kids "have you heard this
fucking record?" So, it's like growing the same way the "The Gift of
Game" grew and I think in the end it'll win and it'll be alright. All I
want is for everyone to hear the fucking record. We really poured our hearts
out over a year of our lives in making the best record we could possibly make -
no boundaries - we do whatever we wanted to do. We're really really happy with
it, so if everyone gets a chance to hear it, then that's it, we're stoked.
Q: So that's where you guys have been for a year.
A: That's where we were. Locked in our studio.
Q: I asked your publicist. Where are these guys, where are these guys? I want
to know what's going on. I hope they didn't disappear.
A: No, we were pounding it. We just kept away from it for awhile. We needed
some time to just let the whole Butterfly thing fall out. At this stage, before
the next record, especially the way the difference between the two - the sound
of the records, it was a pretty big change. We needed time to let it settle.
Q: Now that you're blossoming through this album, are you going to do the whole
stage thing? A: After this, we're going to wrapping it up in six more days back
in L.A. Then about two weeks after that we're going to Japan to do some shows
with Blue Lighters (sp?), and then at that point when we come back our next
single should be coming out and our next video. And then if that doesn't fly,
then we'll probably just break up and go away. (laughter).
Q: Where was the Video done at?
A: We did it in L.A. on a soundstage. We figure it looks good and is a good
representation of us. Nobody can sell this record better than we can. We made
this record all together and it's a live record so it's performance oriented.
But this next video is very big looking. Because at this point, at the end of
December, we had to take over the rainbow. And Crazy Town as a name as a band
is never going to be something obsure and cool on a really underground level.
We just have to continue write great songs and Crazy Town is really something
that will have to be very big because that's the expectation level and that's
where it's at. We've got six people in the band. We've got to have a couple of
those busses if we're going to be on extended tours. It's a big operation. We
have big plans for big shows and songs that can really cross-format. We don't
write for a particular style of radio station or anything. We write to touch
emotions and to touch on something that's really inside of us. And if whoever's
listening to it doesn't believe that or doesn't hear that, then that's a
personal thing, but that's part of the battle we're fighting now. It's the
hater syndrome and also the promotional syndrome. The economy has screwed
things up a lot. It's a lot harder to get notices. The record industry has
changed a lot in the last two years. There's only there the most successful one
and nothing else and so it's creating an industry where bands really have to go
out and tour. Record sales, if you are a hugely successful band, record sales
is really probably the smallest part of your income. So, if once we can figure
out a way to overcome that hurdle, not just us, but any band in our position -
whether it be Tap Root, any band that's kind of known has a possibility of
getting really big ... selling your own merchandise ... bypassing the labels
and getting underground music out ... just for the sake of having cool music
that you did just for the fans to hear. Anything to get kids to come out to the
shows. Unfortunately the only people with any forward thinking in this business
right now are the artists. It's like we're never getting anybody from the label
coming with some great new idea of how to answer the problem. It's us calling
screaming about the way things were getting done and now we've gotten it around
to where we've just made this great video "Hurt You So Bad" and
really had to take control of our own careers, even though we have what
everybody would think is great management and everybody would think ... I do
love Tim Devine and Columbia and everything ... but it's like we are the ones
who are outside in the bus thank God. You know what I mean. If it wasn't for
us, then we just rode old ways that things used to get done. That ain't working
anymore. You know it's like you got to do more. Things have to be done
differently. You've got to give kids more than just 12 songs on a record to buy
a record. Otherwise I'll down load it.
Q: You guys have a really good insight.
A: We've been thinking a lot.
Q: You keep going with the flow and hit a wall.
A: You have to be. We don't have another choice. We've put ourselves in the
situation that we're in ... it's not that I'd ever want to change because
there's that whole current that you're fighting against when you want to just
make the kind of record you want to make and when it's ... I don't think it's
really possible for us to make a bad record. For us, the only conscious effort
maybe in the studio, is maintaining a cohesive element in the records, because
we don't have to worry about going from one song to the next and having the two
songs sound too much alike. And that's the situation I'm talking about - is
putting yourself in, which is a ballsy move. I mean I'm going to say it,
because the band is a ballsy move to do. You're swimming up current to a
certain degree. But that's all we can do. That's who we are and what separates
us. And if it all works and then we're that much more separated from everybody
else, because we're definitely not following anyone else. We're going to do
this or we're not going to do it. I think it's interesting that our next single
doesn't have one stitch of rapping on it. I think that's a really good thing
for us right now.
Q: Just flat out rock and roll?
A: Yeah. Pretty much. "Hurt You So Bad." It's a pretty rock song.
It's a pop rock song. It's a definitely a radio single, but nothing we're
thinking about when we were playing it. It was on acoustic guitar for months.
Just straight notes, no distortion on anything for months until it went into
the record, and all of sudden, the producer Howard ... the melody had a
Beatles/Weaser melodic run to it and then when we put in these heavy guitar
tones in it, it became this really cool like Weaser sounding song. That's why
we asked Herbert to do it. Because without even trying to do it, we ended up
... it's reminiscent of that. And that's just one other cool thing about Crazy
Town. Instead of us just writing Butterfly's all day, we're going and try to a
song like "Hurt You So Band."
Q: I hope they read this right and the press don't get weird on you.
A: People on the press have gotten weird on us.
Well, I really appreciate you taking the time out to let your fans know whats
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official Rock Publication web site @ 2003