Well-loved in the electronic music scene, Crazy Penis (now going by the slightly less explicit name Crazy P for obvious reasons) return to the city as part of the Brighton Music Conference. Members Chris Todd and Jim Baron have been commanding the decks and their audiences for over a little over 20 years now. Speaking to Chris ‘Hot Toddy’ Todd, his commitment to his craft is evident. Taking a few minutes out from the studio, he tells me that himself and Baron have been working on various projects recently, including the release of some new EPs this year.
Following the success of Walk Dance Talk Sing after its May 2015 release, Todd has seen a lot of support from fans new and old. “A lot of people think [the album is] our best one yet,” He tells me. “It’s easy to say that with your latest piece of work – it’s the one that you’re more attached to.” It’s not always easy for artists to remain as current and modest as Crazy P have done: to release their seventh album to such acclaim is yet another fantastic achievement. “We feel really proud of it and it’s one of our best ones. Nothing to grumble about!”
Todd will be joining a BMC panel for a question and answer session over the conference and performing at Komedia on Fri 15 April alongside English Disco Lovers. For fans, the conference is a great opportunity to understand the inner workings of the music industry from professionals in all areas. Speaking to organisers, Todd recalls being told, ‘if you stick around ‘til the next day, there’s probably a gig in it as well.’ He tells me, “It just seemed to make sense. I always like to come down to Brighton anyway so it was a bit of a no brainer.”
Coming from “quite a chequered musical past”, Todd’s influencers span from the likes of Bon Jovi at the age of 14 (“the less said about that the better!”), to a love of The Stone Roses. “I was quite into bluesy kind of music when I first started playing guitar, which is how I first started getting into music.” He was a self-professed indie-kid in his school days; Manchester’s baggy-jeaned scene was a heavy influence and inspired him to join a band. Later moving on to Nottingham, Todd’s love affair with house music really blew up. “Nottingham in the early 90s had the best house scene, dare I say, in the world along with a few other places. With the likes of DIY and Smokescreen… it really got me into house music and disco. That’s how I met Jim as well. We’ve been working together ever since.”
A fan of Brighton’s music scene, Todd tells me, “I remember going to see Gary Numan. We went to the after party as well. I ended up sitting down next to the Numanator himself and that was quite nice! Talking random bollocks about what he was up to was quite interesting.” Hints of the aforementioned artists run throughout Crazy P’s discography. It’s a great thing for budding new producers and musicians to see these electronic giants started in similar ways to themselves, inspired by a spectrum of artists and using that insight to forge their own sounds.
As spring rolls in, this party bookends the winter and if you’re lucky enough to attend the conference, keep an eye out for Todd. Over the weekend, he tells me, “I’m going to be in Brighton for a couple of nights. I’ll definitely be getting involved!”
Crazy P play the Official BMC After Party with English Disco Lovers, at Komedia on Fri 15 April (tickets here).