tilllate.com Interview: Crazy P
...a few words about CrazyP
With one of the best live dance music shows on the planet, Crazy
P have been leaving their mark on the landscape of British dance
music for the last 15 years. To trace the origins of Crazy P
we have to go all the way back to 1996. This was the year
that brought together James Baron and Chris Todd. It was the era
of Ataris, Akais and bedroom studios and, through their love of
bending and reshaping old records from many different
genres, a production partnership was born in the backstreets of
After a couple of releases under various different monikers, the work attracted the ears of deep house label Paper Recordings based in Manchester and the creature that is Crazy P was born.
We won’t bore you all with and year by year history of what happened next and how we ended up with a name like Crazy P as rumour and speculation are far more interesting than the truth.
Their first four albums ‘A Nice Hot Bath With’(1999), ‘The Wicked Is Music’ (2002), and ’24 Psychedelic Freakout’ (2003), and ‘A Night On Earth’ (2004), coupled with the addition of live band members Tim Davies, Matt Klose, and the vocals of the inimitable Danielle Moore saw Crazy P gain acclaim, record sales, DJ gigs, and most pertinently, live shows, across the world.
Equally at home on huge outdoor festival stages in Australia or basement sweatboxes in East London, Crazy P have made their name with a unerring combination of lushly structured songs and live power, whilst never forgetting their roots on the dance floors of the late 90s’ house, disco, and soul clubs.
2008 saw Crazy P sign with 2020 Vision – a natural fit for the band with their their roots in early house and techno, and an eye to the future of both.
‘Stop Space Return’ (2008) was the superb first fruit of this new label hook up, with the album’s title track becoming something of an anthem for both DJs and as part of the band’s live show
.Preceding the return to fashion for disco and boogie by about two years, ‘Stop Space Return’ showed a new breed of producers that Crazy P were right on top of their game – with the ‘new school’ of Artists like Jamie Jones, Wolf and Lamb, Reboot, and KiNK on the phone for remixes, alongside pop acts such as VV Brown, Empire of the Sun, and Sam Sparro who all wanted a little bit of discoid magic
All of which brings us bang up into 2011. The start of the year saw them releasing ‘Crazy P presents MTS Vol.1’ a two track EP of ‘bangers’ influenced by their increasingly busy DJ and Soundsystem show schedule – and a nice drop of ‘P’ business whilst they finished off their new, and fifth album.
Just released on 2020 Vision, the brand new album ‘When We On’ is already being hailed as one of their finest. Boom.
and here is our little interview with Crazy P
tilllate.com: What was before starting Crazy Penis? Did you have any musical projects you started before? What were your musical influences back in the days?
Crazy P: I had had one (pretty awful) record released when i met
Chris at University but we were both fledgling music makers. at
the time we were really getting into what you would say was a new
sound at the time, a sound with a big disco influence but
essentially rooted in house music. labels like Paper recordings
and Nuphonic were putting out very exciting stuff. at the same
time we would spend most sunday mornings travelling around local
car-boot sales picking up all sorts of stuff, old disco, funk,
film soundtracks. a lot of these records were a palate for our
early work in terms of sampling and style.
tillate.com: We see a lot of DJs-producer these days, but fewer bands. How do you all work together? Do you meet often for putting together new music?
Crazy P: we have been very lucky. it's amazing to think myself
& Chris have been working together now for 17 years and
actually have the best relationship in the studio we've ever had.
we know each other so well it's become easy to iron out any
problems. even though Danielle came along a bit later we have a
very close and easy relationship with her. generally myself and
chris work in the studio on a daily basis working on various
projects, both solo and production work for other bands. we tend
to work on CP stuff for longer, more concentrated periods. chris
and i will have sessions together, we'll have sessions with Danni
and we'll always have some writing sessions with the entire band
so there's always plenty of source material to work on.
tilllate.com: Do you have a huge studio or is it more like a relaxed-intimate one? How is your perception between digital and analog?
Crazy P: our studio is our pride and joy. it is relatively
sizeable with a big live room for recording and a decent size
control room, we even have a kitchenette! vibe wise though it's
always as relaxed and informal as possible, we tend to work
better that way. we try to work 'out' of the computer wherever
possible as our view is the analogue sound cannot be exactly
recreated with plug-ins. i work with plug-ins when i'm on the
road and i fully embrace the digital side of things. some of them
are excellent reproductions of the original equipment. there does
seem to be a trend at the moment where people seem to want to
recreate the analogue sound through digital means which seems
weird as it's not that long ago people were using the real thing.
i guess the digital format provides an easy and convenient
alternative but in my opinion you will never better the
tilllate.com: Australia is, without a doubt, a favourite place for you to play at. What can you tell us about the music scene there or the crowd?
Crazy P: the band has always done well over there. i think our
music really fits in to the vibe of the place with the weather
etc. the dance music scene over there is strong and always
evolving like anywhere and the crowds are amongst the best we've
played to, very loyal and out to have a good time.
tilllate.com: Who is the artist that you would recommend us to follow at the moment - a new talent rising maybe?
Crazy P: i'm really feeling Daniel Avery's stuff at the moment. he uses great techy sounds, it's amazingly put together with a remarkable attention to detail in the programming. quality house music.
tilllate.com: How would you describe the evolution of the music market since you started with Crazy P?
Crazy P: I'd describe the evolution as fast! things are changing
by the week and you have to try and keep up if you want to stay
in the game. we're much happier making music than selling it so
fortunately we have a strong team behind us who have their
fingers on the pulse and can help us deal with that side of
things. the main thing is no matter how the market-place changes
the art form itself is as popular as it's ever been and that can
only be a good thing.
tilllate.com: We know so well your remixes and we love them. Is there a particular member of your band who is in charge with this? How is the process of creating them?
Crazy P: Myself and Chris work together on all the CP remixes. it's a great part of the job and we really enjoy it. the process really depends on the specific tune. there might be part of a vocal or a musical element that we latch on to that sparks an idea and away we go. we love putting our own slant on somebody else's source material, it's very rewarding.