Crazy Penis Interview
Author: Jeremy King
Thursday, October 6, 2005
Before the interview begins, I tell myself over and over that I am not going to ask any questions about the name of the group. I mean come on. Is there a more obvious question or a better way to get a musician offside- But sure enough five minutes into the interview, I can't help myself and ask some stupid and asinine question 'so tell me about the whole name thing-' Fortunately Jim Baron is thoroughly English and so of course he is extremely polite about the whole thing, and even has a bit of a laugh about it. "The name thing is weird" Jim tells me. "Because when we kicked it off, it was just me and Chris and we never thought we'd have more than a few 12" singles out. So we really just wanted to shock people… and people never forget it once they've heard it… if you're going to call yourselves 'Crazy Penis' you are going to get asked why- It doesn't annoy me. I just wish we had a better story about how we got the name, because the actual story is really boring."
With their unique fusion of soul, house and disco, the five member collective of Crazy Penis have all making dancefloors go spastic for the last seven or eight years. Their latest offering A Night On Earth sees the band traversing familiarly funky ground but also lashing out with some more hip-hop grooves and a couple of relatively downtempo tracks. They have toured Australia countless times and are coming back next week to give us all another taste of the Crazy Penis live show. With a name like that you can't help but think these guys would be the definition of rock stars, both backstage and in their hotel rooms. And when Jim picks up the phone initially he sounds as if some bell boy brought him 'sparkling' instead of 'iced' water. "I was actually just about to launch into a tirade" He states. "The guys at the hotel are trying to phone us every five minutes for an unpaid bar bill from last night. I was just about to shout at them. Thankfully it wasn't the hotel, it was you. Yet was only about three beers and a bit of food." Of course this quickly shatters my perceptions of the group and I quickly point out to Jim that three beers really isn't very rock star at all, to which responds with an English laugh before quickly changing his story, "actually it was about thirty beers and we also roasted some goats in the hotel room."
After speaking to Jim, I'm actually surprised that anyone in Crazy Penis would even come close to getting irate about a bar tab. By the sounds of things, these guys are all complete English gentlemen armed to the teeth with both plenty of charm and a boatload of manners. And just like the 'disco' tunes that they pump out, there is also a complete lack of pretension. This is exactly what Jim wants to come across in their live show, as well as a bit of variety and stamina. "There's no attitude. We are quite open, fun-loving, humorous people really and I hope that comes across on stage. Plus we're doing the longest set that we've done out there which is wicked. We're doing an hour and a half this time which is really allowing us to expand it a little bit more and drop the tempo. We're trying a few different things out this time. So it's a bit exciting… before when we've been out there we've really banged it, done all up-tempo numbers and gone for the kill. With a longer set, we've just expanded it a bit… it's a bit broader and bit more variety really. It doesn't get too downtempo though, so don't fret."
Recently the profile of Crazy Penis seems to have gone through the roof. And if the hype from their overseas shows is anything to go by, these guys will most certainly be shaking the rafters at the HiFi. Their most recent gigs have seen them not only pack out several London clubs but also break attendance records. While always considered essen Tags