The well renowned Crazy P have come along way since their humble beginnings back in 1995 when Chris Todd (aka Hot Toddy) and Jim Baron (aka Ron Basejam) met at university and started sampling records from the disco and house records that both members loved. Fast forward to today and the band have certainly gone through the motions of almost every obstacle, with eight studio albums under their belt (including their next LP in 2019 titled Age of the Ego), as well as international tour dates over the span of their music career in various locations across the world, this is one band you don’t want to miss.
Catch Crazy P at Leeds International Festival at L19 Cube, The Village (The Tetley) on Saturday 4th May.
For anyone unaware of who or what Crazy P is, how would you describe yourselves?
Veteran music lovers from the biggest band you've never heard of!
With Crazy P starting out in the 90s, how have you seen the electronic music scene in the UK change?
Well from the conception of Crazy P(enis) in 96, the band itself has changed which may reflect somewhat the changes within the scene itself. With the introduction of music downloads, we saw vinyl sales decline-now its having a massive resurgence. With advances in music production technology , more people can now access making music. Its opened it right up. Questionable as to whether that's produced more quality but everything has its ups and downs. More genres have opened up. It's hard to find a fully live electronic dance band but again something that may be on the upturn again. Seemingly things constantly turn full circle.
Having had such a lengthy and extensive career, how has the development of different technologies in electronic music affected your sound or approach to creating music
Crazy P started as a production outfit then grew into a 5 piece band. This was mainly to take things live and feel like we weren't just pressing buttons! We have certainly tried to be influenced by new sounds, new synths, new production programmes, new ways of experimenting with vocals - I’m now using a Helicon voice live which can harmonise and I can control my own effects which is great. We've used loop stations with the intention of broadening our soundscape, but I feel we are heavily influenced by our roots and our love of 70s and 80s pop, soul and disco and house music and so massively respectful of being able to play live instruments. Its creating a balance of both that enables us to move forward and be happy that we are always evolving.
How have your influences in making music changed and developed over the decades?
Well I think we would have to acknowledge our age. Everyone is getting older and so the longer you're around the more music you hear. Playing at festivals has enabled us to hear other peoples choice in music and so has broadened our knowledge and inspirations. This certainly influences us in the studio. We started off making music at a time when soulful house was huge; Hed Kandi, Naked Music and then the more alternative labels like Nuphonic and Paper. We were influenced by music we heard as we were out at nightclubs most weekends...now we are certainly revisiting music we would have heard in the back of our mum and dads cars in the 80s...its positively melancholic!
You’re about to release your eighth studio album Age Of The Ego, what can we expect from this?
Passion, energy, commentary on the social environment we live in. The divisions in society we are experiencing. There are some proper groovers in there, some sax breaks, some vocal led protests,....and flecks of funk! A slight departure from things previous...but a huge amount of soul has been poured into this.
How does this album compare and contrast to Crazy P’s previous releases?
It’s where we are at, not where we’ve been. As I said in the previous question its a slight departure from the housey, disco sound gone before. It's very groovy and from the heart. Best thing to do really is to have a listen and make up your own mind otherwise it's just me banging my own drum ;-)
The album title seems to hint at some themes relating to modern day society - do you have any direct influences for this particular project?
Yes absolutely!!! The division this government has created in society. The whole Brexit scenario. Social media and pressures on the modern world. The dark cloud hanging above us ! It's really hard NOT to be influenced by that feeling when you're doing any kind of writing. It made me personally feel frustrated and angry..I expect whichever way your flag falls you'll have an opinion on the social climate. That's heavily influenced the lyrics.
You’re playing Leeds this June, for a special Leeds International Festival and inner city electronic collaboration, what can people expect from this show?
About as much energy as you can throw at anything ...we're no athletes but we're ready to take it full throttle to Leeds. It's wonderful to be asked to be part of something like this. Ralph Lawson pours passion into everything he does and we will match that!
You played for inner city electronic last year, is there anything about Leeds crowds that stands out?
Yes. It’s like playing to a premiership crowd. They want more and the energy levels are pretty unique. Leeds has always been kind to us and we will always give our heart and soul. The festival itself is wonderfully wholesome and we wish it all the success it deserves!
Get tickets to Crazy P at Leeds International Festival at L19 Cube, The Village (The Tetley) on Saturday 4th May.
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