Crazy & The Brains originally formed as a two piece anti-folk/punk act by friends Chris Urban and Jeff Rubin. For the first few years of their existence, the duo performed around the NYC anti-folk scene at places such as the Sidewalk Café while releasing their first two EPs through Crafty Records.
Shortly afterwards, the band added brothers Brett and Lawrence Miller on bass and drums respectfully becoming a four piece and full band. The new additions took Crazy & The Brains from their more lo-fi folk aesthetic to a fuller sounding (albeit still quirky) garage punk sound, and found them signed to the newly formed Baldy Longhair Records, a New Jersey-based record label dedicated to releasing all forms of punk rock on analog.
Since joining Baldy Longhair, Crazy & The Brains have released a six-song EP titled Don’t Need No Snacks, as well as contributed three songs to a split 7” titled “Are On The Other Side” with label-mates and friends The Disconnects, who they later toured the States with as a co-headlining summer U.S. tour in 2012.
Recorded at SpeakerSonic in Brooklyn, NY and Produced/Engineered by Brian Speaker, the band’s yet-to-be titled release will be their first full length album. And Ghettoblaster caught up with vocalist/guitarist Chris Urban to talk about it. This is what he said…
When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album?
We’re constantly writing songs all the time. Some of these songs were written a while ago, some were written on this past summer tour, some of them were written in the studio basically.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
A song called “Devil Dogs.” Almost every song is written in the same way the band started- acoustic guitar and xylophone. We’re always excited to fill up the songs and make ‘em all thrashy and loud with all four of us . We took this song all over the place, playing it in so many different styles for a long time. But in the end, it turned out sounding the best in its original form.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
I guess “Mexico.” It just kept growing and growing the more we played it and when we took it to the studio it just kinda blew up into this whole new song. Picture yourself wobbling around drunk on a boat somewhere when you hear it, because that’s kinda what it was like making it. I think it’s all of our favorite song.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Yes. But we can’t reveal who yet!
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
We’re our own producers really. We’re kinda too young of a band to wanna take any ones advice on what we we do. I think if we had somone tellin’ us how to do things in the studio, we’d just get pissed off. Brian Speaker, the guy we recorded with in Brooklyn, gave us some counsel here and there, but he’s our friend. It’s different. Plus he’s handsome.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
Yeah. Not really on purpose, but I guess all the songs reflect our state of mind and what we’ve been workin’ towards. Being desperate, doing what ever it takes to get what we want, and not givin’ a fuck!
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
Hell yeah! ” King Kong.” As soon as we played that song for the first time all together we couldn’t wait to play it live. People seem to dig it even more than our old ones. Last night we played it twice!
(Watch the videos for “Let Me Go,” “Saturday Night Live” and “It’s Alright” here!)