[INTERVIEW] Chatting with Crizzly at Shambhala Music Festival

Shambhala has proven to be a festival unlike any other. For their 20th anniversary, they went all out and brought a healthy combination of A-List producers and up and coming DJ’s. Many performers even choose to stay for the entire weekend; simply relax and enjoy themselves. The energy is high and bodies are moving all night. Each stage has a distinct persona and carefully crafted lineup. The Village stage features a stacked lineup of heavy bass music, and for its Friday night featured acts like NGHTMRE, Excision, Ganja White Night and Crizzly. I sat down with Crizzly soon after he arrived at the farm to discuss traveling, food and much more!

Your set tonight is at 4:30am. Do you like playing late night sets?

As long as it makes sense. I think tonight makes the most sense. We’re gonna go hard tonight. This is the night that nobody really sleeps. So it’ll be tight. It’ll be perfect.

What is the longest set you’ve ever played?

Oh man, probably about 4 hours, just for weddings. I used to do weddings back when I first started. I grew up in a small town and that was where I got my income, or at least started. Lets make an extra $400, $500 dollars on the side.

Have you played a wedding recently?

Nah, its been a long time

Would you play a wedding again?

Yeah, if it makes sense. I like playing open format a lot, and I did that in Austin. I used to have a weekly in San Antonio when I first started. Thats kinda where I got my start, and then my career took off and I had to abandon it. I came back and resisted the idea of having a weekly a couple years ago and we started up with a crew in Austin. So we started our own night just for fun cause I was home on the weekdays. I usually travel on the weekends and am home during the week. So I was just like, why don’t we just make the scene bigger. We did every Tuesday night. It was getting so crazy, ya know, the cops shut us down multiple times and then finally they built a hotel right behind the bar, nook, and they kept getting too many noise complaints so we had to shut it down. But we were having a packed bar every time. It was just for fun. Just jamming. It was a big B2B with me and my friends.

We had a bunch of people come through. Floss came through, Protohype, 12th Planet, ILoveMakonnen came through on a Tuesday, that was tight. Valentino Khan, Getter, Snails. It was like 150 cap room. Super low key but turnt. It was 21 plus so it wasn’t as turnt, but people knew what they were getting and it was free. Usually we would just have friends coming through, cause its in the middle of the country. Thats why I love living in Austin cause I can fly everywhere easy. People have to get from one side of the country to the other so I convinced some friends to stop.

Image result for the village shambhala

Do you do a lot of runs without sleep on tour?

I’ve learned to nap or else it hurts the rest of the day. Ill nap for an hour if we have a layover, just on the floor or in the shuttle. Cause we had to drive a few hours just to get up here. We came through Spokane and came up. We had like 3 or 4 hours to kill in Spokane but I had already slept like all day in the airport. So we went downtown checked it out, I ate. Made sure to eat some pho cause that knocks me out.

Is pho your favorite dish?

Probably if I’m hungover or tired. There is different types of food for the road that you don’t have to gamble on restaurants. Cause like every pho restaurant is kinda the same. It is all family owned and kinda the same recipe, so they just make it good. Same with gyro wraps, Thai food, those are usually the ones I try to get.

What food would would you typically get on your rider?

Pizza. Thats the thing. Pizza is everywhere. On the Datsik tour that we just did, every night was pizza. It almost made us sick but at the end of the night you can be sure that there is gonna be 5 boxes of pizza on the bus. Cause thats the only thing that’s open when your on tour when the show’s over. My least favorite is whenever its already precooked and they have it sitting out and then you choose your slice and then they heat it up. Sometimes it turns out good if they’re busy but most of the time that shit is not good so I try to avoid that if i can. Every city has their own good spot. I think I like NY stye probably the most.

I grew up in NJ so Im huge on bagels and pizza.

I never got bagels. I gotta try like a fire bagel but I still don’t get it. The only reason is cause like east coast you guys have bagels for breakfast. Thats like your go to breakfast. In Texas we have breakfast tacos which is like, compared to a bagel, its not a fair fight. The breakfast tacos in Texas are bar none. It hits the spot that no other food in the wold can. I have a few spots in Austin where that shits fire.

How well do you know Austin? Is that like your backyard?

Its funny. You could say it is but at the same time I have friends that have lived there just for a year who know it better than I do already. I travel a lot and I also don’t go out that much. I stay in. I’m more of a hermit. Cause whenever i get home I’m tired. I just like to stay home and work or just chill. I gotta save my energy for the weekend. So this is my going out on the weekend. Austin is tight. Definitely one of the tightest places to live.

Do you have any other cities that you love traveling to?

Dude theres a lot. So many. We landed in Spokane and that place is amazing. Just the simplest thing. Every time we play there I didn’t really explore but I made a point to explore the last time I was there. There is literally like a waterfall in the middle of downtown. I just stumbled upon it. I was walking around at night, like 4am, after the show and we had bus call really late. I just hear this giant roaring and I was like what the heck is that and I looked over a fence, hopped the fence and saw this giant ass waterfall and was like this is sick. I just took it in for 30 minutes. That was one of my favorite moments on tour. Just being able to chill like that. I don’t get a whole lot of opportunities to explore cities. It sucks sometimes. When I do its really special.

Image result for spokane

Is there flexibility in your tour schedule? Do you sign off on all your stops? Can you schedule breaks?

Yeah, but for the first part of my career I didn’t ask for any time off. But now, my shows aren’t as crazy as it was in the beginning and I’m really thankful cause I can’t do it. The touring was nonstop. Now its like a couple shows every weekend or like a show every weekend and then I have the week off to chill and work on beats. I prefer that right now I m really excited to work and get all these tracks out and then start hitting the tour circuits harder again. I guess I have all the say in it, but at the same time I’ll tell my booking agent to get me on as many shows as possible. If the shows pick up and I want a weekend off I can say that I want a weekend off. Right now its been super chill. I’ve taken a step back and realized that I can chill and just hang out for a weekend.

I just played in San Diego, and I was like why don’t I just go to LA for a couple days. Its weird for me to do cause I usually stick to the schedule, but I was like, I’ll just drive up and hang out at HARD. Hung out there, saw some friends and then dipped. But I started getting homesick after a while. When I’m not constantly moving I get a little stir crazy.  I just wanna get back in my room and decompress. I’ve been chilling more often this year than ever. I got to stay all of Middlelands. That was sick. Did a B2B afterparty with Snails and Herobust. Just moments like that. You don’t get to experience it if you’re in and out all the time. I’m in and out for this show, but at least I get to see Excision’s set. I’m gone at 7:00am. Its worth it though. I’m glad I’m playing the same day or else I wouldn’t get to see him. I tried to stay out for this one but I haven’t been home enough and the time that you do get home, you want to use it to work. You can’t take off all the time. If I am more efficient with my work time I can take some days off. Right now I just really want to get back in the studio.

Do you have a big back catalog right now?

I have a few tracks. I have a bunch of collabs that I am excited to work on now. I feel like since I’ve had this time off I have recently figured out how to actually make my shit sound better. That’s always been my struggle. When I first blew up I didn’t know what I was doing and I still don’t know what I’m doing at all but I definitely know way more, and its given me so much more confidence. Its just hard touring as much as I did and trying to learn at the same time. It was just hard to keep the balance of my talent as a producer keeping up with my talent as a DJ touring, like nonstop. Now I’ve had a lot of time off and I know so much more now. This last year, its just been awesome to just, even hang out with producer and learn little tips and tricks here and there. I finally feel like I’m getting better, so thats a good feeling.

What is your collaboration process like?

Mostly doing back and forth stuff on the internet. Mostly with dropbox. I use it all the time for everything. I realized that whenever I stay in the studio I have to be there for like 9 hours and sometimes thats not the greatest when you’re with someone else cause your just sitting there. It’s easier if you have something already half made and you bring it and your like lets just fuck around on this thing that I made yesterday that I spent a bunch of time on instead of just sitting there. I just prefer sitting by myself with my headphones on, doing something weird and then showing it someone.

Do you have a home studio that you work out of?

Yeah. I just moved my studio downstairs just to give it a different vibe. I mostly produce on the road. I think a lot of my tracks were made on the road, but then I would fine tune it at my studio cause I had decent speakers. It doesn’t really matter what you use studio wise. I’m all on my laptop so it doesn’t really matter. I was tweaking a track here on the way here even. I think I made it sound better. I had earbuds in.


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Written and Interviewed by Hunter Saillen

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