Crizzly on How He Hates Subgenres, Doesn't Do Drugs, and Loves "Big Booty Bitchezz"

Page 2 of 3

You've only been DJing for four years or so. Is that why you consider yourself a work in progress? Yeah, because I feel like I'm learning how to produce every day. I learn something new all the time. I almost feel like I want to do something bigger as far as like maybe have a more live element or something. I always feel like there's something more to do. I mean, DJing its so simple [that] I don't really feel like I'm doing as much as my full potential.

How did you get into EDM? I'd say Daft Punk was the first thing that got me into it. I just listened to pop stuff on the radio and I liked the dancier stuff. I'd also say that Dim Mak Records, Steve Aoki's label, kinda helped out. He had a lot of indie rock bands that transitioned to dancier stuff while it was booming and I kinda transitioned with those bands and was following them as they turned their sound into a dancier type thing with remix albums. I think the Internet was my biggest influence, just being able to look up whatever I wanted was helpful.

How did you come up with crunkstep, which is a combination of crunk and hip-hop, correct? Yeah. I guess it started with a hip-hop remix that I did. I felt like that was the thing that went off in my sets the best, anything with like hip-hop because people could grab on to that super easily. I think the crunk element is the energy part, which is something that dubstep lacked a lot at the time whenever I was trying to create [crunkstep]. There wasn't much high-energy stuff and that's the sort of stuff that I really liked. I know I heard a couple of tracks here and there, but I'd rather play a whole set of just high-energy than one track, so I just decided to make a lot more jumpy, hyper stuff. And that's how it kinda came along.

How would you describe crunkstep to someone who's never heard it before? Let's see...without using drug references...

You can use drug references if you want. Nah, I don't use drugs, so I wouldn't know in the first place. It's like Lil Jon yelling in your ear while the stampede in Jumanji chasing you at the same time. Its a lot different things at once but mostly a lot of yelling, a lot of loud noises, chainsaws, stuff like that...pancakes. I like pancakes.

Why are you drug free? I really don't even know, to answer that question. No one really talks about it. I don't tell anyone...people ask me to smoke and I just no thanks or whatever. I don't think about it much. I would experiment eventually that's something that I'm looking forward to. But I'm not really doing anything right now, and I don't know why.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.