An Interview with Shifty Shellshock of
Crazy Town, a seven man band out of LA, is upon us, and they’re kicking ass and taking names. Ink still wet on the deal, they’re already opening for the biggest and some of the best, including Methods of Mayhem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, and the Chemical Brothers. Shifty Shellshock and Epic Mazur are 8-year veterans of the L.A. rap scene, and have worked with the likes of Josh Abraham and KRS-One. You’ll be hearing a lot more from these boys.
So, from what I’ve read, Crazy Town was originally yourself and Epic Mazur, and then there were seven.
I met Epic while I was already performing around town, and we decided to make a group together, because we both had what the other one didn’t have. It just worked out.
And the other five?
Basically through knowing a lot of people in L.A. In the back of my head I was always organizing people as I met them. We rounded up some of the best musicians and put it together. We were in no hurry, it took a long time.
How long after the band came the deal?
Actually, it was the other way around. Epic and I produced the demo and started putting the band together as soon as we started getting offers. We knew we had to get a band together to perform. So we started going into rehearsals with the different musicians we knew. This guy would be good, another wasn’t so good, we went through about four changes, and we were done.
Oh, but it seems like you’re just getting started. What was it like playing with the Chili Peppers?
Yeah, that was hot. Nine Inch Nails and the Chemical Brothers were on that tour as well. It was cool, that was the Big Day Out festival, which was great. We did like ten other shows with the Chili Peppers.
Got any wicked tour stories to tell?
At the Big Day Out festival, our guitar player, who’s a freak, had some shit in his pocket like weed or something. We’re walking to one of the stages to check out a band, and they had all these police drug dogs. So this fucking police dog attacks us. Our guitar player has got huge bite marks on him now. The cops apologized to him and didn’t search his pockets, because I guess the dog had bitten somebody earlier that day, so he didn’t even get in trouble for it. It was kind of funny. Plus we were in another country, so it was cool that it worked out that way.
That’s a great story, that could’ve easily gone another way.
Yeah, you’re right about that. [laughs]
I actually caught you in Atlanta opening for Buck Cherry, cool show.
Yeah, they’re cool. Josh is a rock star. It was wild you know, I love them. I think they’re a great band.
Speaking of rock stars, I was looking at some of your lyrics, in particular at a song called “Revolving Door,” in which you sing “I’m sexually exploring, so many possibilities, It seems my life could never get boring.” Are you practicing what you preach on the road?
Are you asking if we’re revolving? You mean are we being promiscuous?
I guess I am.
No, we’re just doing our job.
I knew you’d dodge that one.
On to a question you will answer. What’s Crazy Town trying to say to the world?
We’re just having a good time. We’re not like political or anything. I can be very sarcastic just like a little punk, we talk a lot of trash. We have some points, like “learn from your mistakes”, “check yourself”, you know, “don’t get taken advantage of”. Real simple things, nothing too overwhelming.
Do you think your music is rock influenced, or rap influenced?
Our shit is definitely more rap influenced. I come from a hip hop background and we’re influenced by a lot of other styles.
Who do you think would buy your record first, a Limp Bizkit fan or a Beastie Boys fan?
I think it fits in with anyone who would listen to either of those bands. I think people want to hear something with guitars with a little bit more of a lyrical sensibility, and more multiple flavor to it. I think we step forward and aren’t afraid to try new things and take it into the future and be creative. We’re always trying to take it to the next level. I think we express that pretty well in our record. We’ve found fans from totally different genres like it’s ridiculous. I think people can relate to it.
So you’ve been on the road six months, is home anywhere in sight?
Yeah, tonight’s the last show with Tommy Lee, and we’re going home to L.A. tomorrow. Then we do Ozzfest, and the MTV tour.
Yeah, it’s going great.
As well it should. If the rest of the inhabitants of Crazy Town are as cool as Shifty, it’d be a great place to take a long detour.