Posted on by Oran

With L.A crossover artists CRAZY TOWN pulling into Dublin this Saturday (April 8th) for their rescheduled show in Dublin’s Voodoo Lounge, Overdrive grabbed some time with Seth Binzer aka Shifty Shellshock, to talk about the band’s legacy, his thoughts on the changes it the industry and the possibility of never playing ‘Butterfly’ ever again! Get it all and then some, below:

Shifty Shellshock

Crazy Town are back! The L.A rap/rock fusion crew who skyrocketed to the top of the charts with their infectious re-hash of Red Hot Chili Peppers ‘Pretty Little Ditty’ sample resulting in “Butterfly” which earned the band global recognition.

Venture Presents in association with Shizznigh Promotions and Alexia have teamed up with Dublin Ink to bring you an unbeatable competition to celebrate CRAZY TOWN’s reschedule performance in Dublin’s Voodoo Lounge on Saturday, April 8th. Competition rules can be found at the bottom of this feature.


OD – Regarding the album, can you talk a little about the inspiration behind the overall concept, i.e., what was the catalyst for the lyrical content and subject matter? The entire album was an inspiration. This was our album to let people know that Crazytown is back! It was a stylistic

SHIFTY – The entire album was an inspiration. This was our album to let people know that Crazy Town is back! It was a stylistic follow-up to “Gift of Game,” you could say. We featured DJ AM because he is always with us and to pay homage to our beloved friend.

Crazy Town The Gift of Game album cover

OD – Has there been any writing or demoing for the follow up to “Brimstone Sluggers” and if so, are we likely to see a release in the near future?

SHIFTY – We’ve been running a few demos and feeling out new material. Since Bret (Mazur) no longer wishes to tour and is always so busy with his own projects, it makes it harder to write. Let’s see what happens.


OD – Regarding the writing process, is there a particular collaborative formula that works for Crazy Town, or do you write in a more isolated individual situation and then share ideas with one another prior to hashing things out in a studio?

SHIFTY – Our writing has always been organic and, in the moment. It may start with a lyric, an idea, a joke, a guitar riff, a memory. Once it starts it flows like the river Nile into a Delta of possibilities and outcomes.

OD – When you look back to the 90’s and the explosion of crossover bands such as Korn, Rage Against the Machine, Deftones and Limp Bizkit etc, do you feel that today that whole ‘Nu Metal’ scene is due more respect from the media today, as a lot of commercial mainstream and underground music sources tend to almost ‘mock’ a predominant amount of bands from that era?


Crazy Town – 1999 / 2000

SHIFTY – There are always mixed reviews and you can’t please everyone. We don’t try too. We show and give the respect we want and deserve.

OD – Being endorsed by the likes of Korn and the late Scott Weiland sparked interest in some major labels back in the early days and got the attention of the likes of David Geffen, do you find that situations like that don’t really happen anymore for bands of today?


SHIFTY – I think it just happens a lot less. The internet has changed the game in unthinkable and amazing ways. Band’s today need to create their own splash and have the ability to be their own label and distribution company as well. If you’re in the game and dropping thoughtful, meaningful and tight music, then it will run its own course in the universe.

OD – The second leg of your European tour kicks off next month, will you be mixing things up with the set list and possibly dropping some new material?

SHIFTY – They don’t call us Crazy Town for nothing! Mixing things up is an understatement! I guess you will all have to wait and see. But our European tour features an amazing band and I will be cranking out vocals until a permanent replacement for Bret can be found.

OD – I have to ask about the longevity of ‘Butterfly’. Whenever people think of Crazy Town, they think of ‘Butterfly’, however, there is much more going on musically, especially on the last album which, in my opinion, has a bold, fresh sound and is fearless with regards to experimenting with different genres. Do you get tired of playing ‘Butterfly’ and have you ever considered dropping it from the setlist?

SHIFTY – Never! (laughing) I am really lucky to have a song I wrote connect with and mean something to so many different people. It always gives me a brain orgasm when I see people sing along with me in the crowd. True, there is a whole other side to Crazy Town that people understand when they see us play live, however, Butterfly will always remain very special to me. Hope to write a follow up soon!

OD – There is no question, that Crazy Town has seen a fair share of drama over the years, do you find that all of this has made you stronger and given you a deeper insight into the functionality of being in a band – especially when touring for long periods of time?

SHIFTY – What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’m at the peak of prosperity and I have my band so yes it has. It’s one day at a time. My family, band and team are the most important things to me. Without my sobriety and health, this wouldn’t be possible. Sometimes it’s hard and especially on the road with many triggers but you need to have your own routine and have good people around you at all times.


OD – Have you ever considered putting out a book or a documentary about your life and the story of Crazy Town, like Twisted Sister/Anvil did?

SHIFTY – Yes, I am currently writing a book as we speak and talking with publishers. Stay tuned!!

OD – When you look back on all you have achieved since getting involved in this business, do you have any particular moments that give you the strength to keep going?

SHIFTY – Too many to count! I find strength in all my success’ and failures. First are my kids and family. They are the most important thing to me on planet earth. My girl Brianne. The whole Make America Rock Tour last year and my new guitar player, Elias Tannous gave me a lot of strength. I’m excited to do big things together and have been blessed with a second chance to live out my passions and dreams.

Crazy Town - Shifty Shellshock

OD – Finally, when you take to the stage in Dublin on April 8th, for someone who has never seen Crazy Town, what’s the best way to describe the experience of the live show. ( I saw you back in London in back in 2001).

SHIFTY – Don’t wear socks because they will get blown off!! We are travelling as a four piece for these few weeks like I said until we find Bret’s replacement and a new DJ. Expect high-energy, new and old tunes and a lot of fun! Don’t forget to come say hello after the show!!


For your chance to win €300 voucher for Dublin Ink and passes to Crazy Town in Dublin’s Voodoo Lounge on Saturday, April 8th – just follow the simple instructions listed on the graphic below. Click on the image for access to the official Overdrive facebook page.



Oran O’Beirne