In 2000, Crazy Town was on top of the world with its groundbreaking hit record “Butterfly.” The song reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making the small Los Angeles band a global name.
But soon after this, Crazy Town disappeared.
The group disbanded in 2003 before returning to the stage in 2007. Now Crazy Town is still active, but far from its glory days.
Who formed Crazy Town?
Crazy Town was formed in 1995 by original members Bret “Epic” Mazur and Seth Binzer, better known by his stage name Shifty Shellshock. Since the start of their career, Crazy Town experimented with different musical genres such as rap rock, nu-metal, hip-hop, and rap metal. Thanks to their biggest hit, “Butterfly”, Crazy Town sold over 1.6 million units of their debut record, The Gift of Game.
Over the years, Crazy Town had many different band members. One of the founders, Bret Mazur, is no longer a part of the group. At the same time, musicians like Adam Bravin, Charles Lopez, Adam Goldstein, and Elias Tannous were part of Crazy Town’s history as well. At this moment, Shifty Shellshock and Christian Rivera remain the only active members of the band.
“Butterfly” and the early success
When Crazy Town released their debut album, The Gift of Game, in 1999, they probably didn’t expect to reach such a success overnight. The main reason for this was their hit record “Butterfly,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. At the same time, they also supported Red Hot Chili Peppers during one of their tours, which helped them achieve additional fame.
The most critical date in Crazy Town’s history is October 24, 2000 – that’s when “Butterfly” was released. The song sampled Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 1989 record “Mother’s Milk,” which was why RHCP’s band members were credited among the “Butterfly” writers.
The song became an overnight success. While peaking on the Billboard Hot 100, it also topped the charts in countries like Austria, Denmark, and Norway. It also reached the Top 10 in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
Speaking about “Butterfly,” Shifty Shellshock describes it as a “radio-friendly song” but “not a song that makes Crazy Town sellouts.” He admitted that it’s mainly the female audience that loved the record, though.
And while enjoying the “Butterfly” success, Crazy Town probably didn’t realize it would make them a typical one-hit wonder.
Crazy Town didn’t have much luck
The band now accepts its status as a one-hit wonder, and they didn’t have much luck anyway. In 2000, for example, they had to tour with the Ozzfest festival but had to withdraw after Seth Binzer was arrested for throwing a chair through a window while being drunk. Alongside constant changes in the line-up, the band had to deal with problems such as substance abuse, which didn’t help.
In 2002, Crazy Town released its second studio album, Darkhorse, but had to see it failing miserably compared to the success of The Gift of Game. Things didn’t go very well since the beginning as the band’s drummer, James Bradley Jr., left the band before the recording process began.
After seeing Darkhorse as a failure, Crazy Town stopped existing. According to them, they were pressured by their label to replicate the success of “Butterfly.” Still, it was just not possible at the time.
And speaking of bad luck, one of Crazy Town’s former band members, Rust Epique, died of a heart attack shortly after forming his new group pre)Thing.
In late 2007, Crazy Town announced that they were active once again. They even announced a new album – Crazy Town is Back, but we never saw such an album being released. We noticed some action, though – in 2009, the band played for the first time in years, doing a gig in Hollywood.
But the bad luck didn’t stop following those guys. In 2009, another former member of Crazy Town died. DJ AM was found dead in his apartment because of an accidental drug overdose.
The next year, Crazy Town played at the SRH FEST in California. They also released some new songs in 2011.
In 2015, Crazy Town released their third studio album – The Brimstone Sluggers. The year before, they presented the album’s first single – “Megatron”.
In January 2017, Crazy Town suffered a huge hit to their ambitions for a successful comeback. One of the group’s founding members, Bret “Epic” Mazur, announced that he’d no longer tour with the band. Just a few months later, three more members left Crazy Town.
And because lousy luck never stopped following Crazy Town, in 2019, their van crashed into a moose, which left the band members with bruises and cuts. Meanwhile in 2023, Shifty Shellshock had some serious problems with the law as well.
So, what happened to Crazy Town?
It’s quite sad that Crazy Town never succeeds in repeating the success of their mega-hit “Butterfly.” As you can see, they had to deal with different problems and situations, including constant changes in the line-up.
Speaking of legacy, maybe we should remember what the I’m Music Magazine once said about them: “Crazy Town is often only thought of as a ‘one hit wonder’ by way too many people. The band has never truly received the credit that they deserve for their influence on the nu metal scene”.
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