We recently had the opportunity to chat with Bret “Epic” Mazur, vocalist, rapper, producer, composer, and co-founder (amongst many other roles) of the Los-Angeles-based, platinum selling rap rock/metal act, Crazy Town. The band is currently preparing to release their newest offering, The Brimstone Sluggers (get the first single Megatron (feat. Boondock) on iTunes), their first full-length record since 2002’s Darkhorse. Much has changed in the decade plus since their last album, but so has Mazur. Here’s what he’s been doing, and what to expect from the new album.
I grew up listening to Crazy Town and find it hard to believe you guys have been doing this for 20 years. Did you ever imagine you would still be releasing albums with Crazy Town so many years later?
Mazur: Well, actually it’s been 15 years… “Butterfly” went #1 in 2001. We basically broke up in 2005 before reuniting for this new record a year and a half ago and… no, I thought we would never put another record out again. It was kind of something that just happened. I reached out to Seth to ask him how he felt about releasing some unreleased songs that we had recorded and instead we decided to make a new record.
When you started Crazy Town was there ever a backup plan or was being a musician an all-in kind of thing?
Mazur: For me personally (Bret). I was already a platinum producer. I was actually producing the Black Eyed Peas and Will.i.am introduced me to Shifty in hopes that we would start a band together. Music has always been an all-in thing for me. I have worked with some huge artists and am very blessed for the opportunity.
Was there a definitive moment when you realized you wanted to pursue a career in the music business or did it just sort of happen?
Mazur: I decided in high school that I was going to go into the music business. I started out as a drummer, than a DJ, and eventually a writer and producer.
What can fans expect from your upcoming new release, The Brimstone Sluggers?
Mazur: The Brimstone Sluggers is definitely a more alternative hip-hop record than what some people might be expecting. The beats are sick, the flows are buttery, the lyrics have purpose and meaning, and there are some great melodies. I am very proud of this record. The Brimstone Sluggers is what we were originally called when we first started as a pure hip-hop group. This is our ode to that time.
It has been a while since your last full-length release, Darkhorse, was released and the music business has changed dramatically. With that being said, was the writing process for this album different from your previous efforts?
Mazur: The writing process for The Brimstone Sluggers was more like our first record, The Gift Of Game. It was just Seth and I in the studio, without the band.
Do you guys all write together in a room in the more traditional way, or do you take advantage of technology and email riffs and parts back and forth?
Mazur: Well, going back to your last question, just Seth and me in the studio. I had some parts played by others. Tom Dumont from No Doubt played some guitar. I would email him Pro Tools sessions and he would put parts down and send them back. A lot of stuff is done that way. For the most part though, guest feature vocals were done in my studio.
What bands are you listening to these days, if any?
Mazur: Love the new J Cole record. D’Angelo’s new record is hot. Die Antwoord. Just broke out Crosses’ record again. I love everything that Chino does. Been listening to a lot of old school hip- hop too… Jungle Brothers, Biggie, Camp Lo… really random across the board.
Are the plans to tour in support of The Brimstone Sluggers?
Mazur: There are tour plans, but all of that is being worked on by our agent.
What is next for you?
Mazur: I am currently scoring and mixing a lot of movies and TV. I love scoring films… such a great, awesome way to be creative. I am also producing some great artists… Bishop Lamont (Aftermath) Sona Rele (Motown)… keeping busy.
Check out the song “Megatron” here.