ON THE WRECKORD WITH CRAZY LARRY
Photo courtesy of Crazy Larry
"It was all about the music, my new friends, and doing something totally new and crazy."
This past week The Wreckord sat down with Crazy Larry who hails from Denver, Colorado. Crazy Larry is a young and fearless talent with an insatiable craving for old and new sounds. He developed his infamous live PA in January of 2006, which debuted in NYC for Taimur Agha and the Blk Market crew. This live performance is much more than the average one-man-one-laptop show - incorporating vintage drum machines, live home made plug-ins, and even the Nintendo Wii.
Currently residing in the depths of Bushwick, Brooklyn, and getting inspiration from DJ's like Ame, Dixon, Koze, and Three, he’s building on a name already made in Denver throwing parties and booking events at both Shelter and Vinyl Nightclubs, and as the purveyor of numerous debaucherous after hours (namely his Udder Madness and Cheap Sunglasses parties).
Over the course of the next 5 weeks, we will release the entire interview series with the one and only...
THE WRECKORD: Larry, tell us a little about your musical background, the big move from Colorado to NYC, and what it meant for you as an artist?
CRAZY LARRY: Well, I went to my first rave when I was 15, saw Paul Oakenfold, Aphrodite, and a few others at “Rave on the Rocks” at Red Rocks. The local radio station put it on, it was ridiculous, 10k people. I was hooked after that. Granted it was far from the music I enjoy now, it did get me into learning more about electronic music etc. I knew right then I wanted to be a DJ, seeing the crowd react to Paul, the sheer energy and control was amazing. I knew I had to do that.
I started buying records at Tower or any place I could find. One of the local Guitar Center employees actually recommended I check out Casa del Soul records when I was buying my first set of Stanton direct drive turntables. I went down there one night after work and was blown away, it was like nothing I had ever seen. I remember this big dude singing along to the house track that was playing and was like, WTF is going on? I went back there whenever I could to try to figure out more about music and what to buy. I was like 10 years younger than anyone in there so I was a bit nervous and shy, but the vibe there was dope. I could tell it was the spot for serious DJ’s so I wanted to learn as much as I could.
After a few months I figured out who the owner was and I just went for it. I went up to him and introduced myself and told him, “I love what you are doing here, if you ever need help let me know, I am really interested in what goes on here.” He seemed surprised and took my number. I’ll never forget it but the next day at cross country practice I get a call from a random number on my Nokia phone with the plastic interchangeable covers (which I still have), and sure enough it was Nate (DJ Sense) asking if I could work Wednesdays 4-8. I told him hell yes even though I knew I had to get permission from my Cross Country coach (LOL). I was captain of the team, so I figured I would be okay. I found a way to make it work and sure enough worked there for 2 years junior and senior year of High School.
All the Casa guys took me under their wing after they got to know me a bit and realized I wasn’t just some punk. I attribute any success I’ve ever had in dance music to the help and guidance I got from those 5 guys. I could go on for hours about that store and coming up in Denver but all you really need to know was after Little Mike moved to Berlin there was a void of good underground music type parties. I had gotten to know a lot of DJ’s and agents by helping Little Mike with his “Basement Sessions” events, I was the airport guy. I basically picked all the DJ’s up at the airport and took care of them. I was doing hospitality before this whole DJ hospitality thing we have now. I knew all the good restaurants and all that already so I was a natural.
After Mike was gone there just wasn’t much going on, so with my connections I convinced the local club owner, Regas, to let me start doing some small events in the basement of a different club he owned. I didn’t want to copy Mike and just do the same thing, so “Uddermadness” in the Milk Bar was born. After doing those for a year I was able to have some immediate success. People were super into the events and were always pretty full. The ravers usually had no idea who I was bringing but they knew they would have fun, which is mor important. I brought everyone from Pier Bucci, Gaiser, and Pig and Dan to our 1 year anniversary mega rave with Booka Shade, Michael Mayer, and Gui Borrato. That was freaking next level. We all got on a flight 2 days later with Richie Hawtin and Magda to DEMF and raged so hard there. I ended up running into Booka Shade at the festival and they said Denver was by far the best stop on the tour, and that was after they played the main stage in Detroit. Needless to say I was a tad bit excited. People in Detroit that weren’t even at the show were talking about it, so that’s when I knew for sure that maybe I could be ok at throwing events. I had no idea what it would lead to.
After about another year of throwing some warehouse events in Denver and some club shows I knew I needed to be in a bigger market. I was already doing shows with Taimur from Blk Market over the past year and had finally graduated from college with a degree in Audio Engineering (2007), so I felt like I was ready to take the next step and try to sit at the big kids table. Being the big fish in the small pond wasn’t really rewarding for me, I needed a new challenge, plus I was finished with school so I could leave if I wanted to.
I didn’t realize until after how crazy just uprooting my life, leaving my family and friends and basically all I ever knew behind was going to be. Im now 100% certain that all my friends didn’t think I was going to make it, but somehow I did. Pretty sure the only person that knew I was going to make it was my Mom, she always supported my music ambitions because she knew how much I loved it.
Basically the move to NY was all about being able to throw the kind of events I wanted to produce. Denver bars shut down at 2:00AM and the people are into the music but not like they are in NYC. People live on Resident Advisor and are constantly finding all the new stuff, so when you bring a more up and coming talent its not so much of a risk, people are already on it and ready to get down. In NYC there was a plethora of warehouses for rent, tons of people who want to party all night and into the afternoon, and all the gear one could ever rent. It just made sense. It was a huge step up for me as an artist and as a promoter because I could execute what I had in my head and actually pay my bills on time. Granted I was living in a cheapy apartment in Bushwick but whatever I was like 21 I didn’t care. It was all about the music, my new friends, and doing something totally new and crazy. For a few years it was really something special.