New Jersey garage punks Crazy & The Brains are touring the west coast of North America, supporting gypsy punk legends Gogol Bordello, so what better time than now to get the group’s take on their experience on the road?
Steadily growing their rabid following since their 2013 debut, Let Me Go, the group even recently received high praise from the punk godfather himself, Iggy Pop, who highlighted Crazy & The Brains’ “Punk Rocker” cover on his BBC radio show, going as far as saying, “He [lead singer Christoph Jesus] did a terrific job [and] I liked it a little better than my version.”
Head below for a sweet, behind-the-scenes overview of the band’s current trek courtesy of frontman Christoph Jesus. Moreover, be sure to note some dope music, plus future show dates, including the fivesome’s participation at 2023’s Destination Chaos festival in the Dominican Republic.
Christoph Jesus: “Each show gets better than the last. The energy in the room is so vibrant and infectious that you can’t help but be inspired by this excitement the moment doors open. It almost feels like the same crowd of a thousand people could be following us around the country from venue to venue because the enthusiasm is so sharply and consistently vicious.
“After our set, I make my way directly from stage to the merch table, sometimes before even treating myself to a sip of water. I hear the cheers and feel the applause smothering me. This is a sacred part of the night. Meeting this diverse collection of people from every age group and background imaginable is like a shot of adrenaline to my creative soul. Everyone has a unique story, and for 5 minutes at a time, I get to experience a glimpse of them all. I sign autographs, and I take photos.
“From the outside, this may be perceived as rockstar nonsense. For some artists, maybe it is just that. For me, it’s nutritional. It’s spiritual. Meeting a kid with tears in their eyes, grasping for words to describe how our performance uplifts their spirit, is a sacred gift that relentlessly gives. Sometimes I have to take a breath and refresh my consciousness to properly acknowledge my reality and say to myself, ‘Wow, I’m really doing this.’
“All I ever wanted was to connect with people. Music has been the most accurate method for me. Veterans often give you props on having the resilience to be an opening act on a tour such as this. I appreciate that acknowledgement. It’s weird for me to even see it that way at this point because I am so in awe of the gratefulness I feel to have the opportunity to be here.
“It’s great to be treated nicely. Fed well. Paid properly. Given the resources to do what you do efficiently. We’ve done it up until now whether we had these needs met or not because this culture and art form is our survival and it’s our purpose. I am in the position to perform alongside a group of musicians that have had all the success and influence you can imagine, and yet every one of them still retains that sense of urgency and appreciation. I love that. We relate to this.
“Gogol Bordello fuels me with inspiration, and I gotta say they are probably one of the most important bands in the world right now, in my humble opinion. We hang out every night. Before and after the show. We skip over from our red ford Econoline van to their tour bus. We jam out to New York hardcore bands on the Bluetooth speakers. We bond over our shared love for this culture and how it raised us. We share stories of our childhoods and our experience exploring this wild
“Lifestyle. Turns out we realized Eugene and I both made our start playing open mics in the Lower East Side over a decade apart. Everyone in the band and crew is individually supportive and authentically as interested in us as we are in them. Eugene comes out and sings our song ‘Punkrocker’ with us every night. It’s a good feeling when your heroes become your homies.”
Remaining Tour Dates:
Nov 1 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre
Nov 3 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
Nov 5 – Ventura, CA – Majestic Ventura Theater
Nov 7 – Los Angeles (LA), CA – The Belasco
Nov 4 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park
Nov 10 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
Nov 12 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall
Nov 13 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
Nov 14 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre