Need To Know: Chrissy Murderbot & MC Zulu

8.1.2011

By Courtney Nichols

What is your definition of mainstream success?
Chrissy Murderbot: Paying the bills! Health insurance! I want mainstream success with a dental plan. That is what I need.
MC Zulu: I have a day job, so I am not too worried about that. I am more worried about leaving a legacy and evidence that I was living. Every song I make might not achieve mainstream success right now, but someday something might illuminate that and everything we have done before. Then it becomes mainstream. If you obtain what they consider to be mainstream success -- and by 'they' I mean the establishment -- and you have a track record to substantiate that then you won't be a flash in the pan. Believe it or not, if you look at a mainstream artist like Lady Gaga, she has so many songs that were ignored and then she finally made it.
Chrissy Murderbot: Back catalog!
MC Zulu: That's why people talk trash about Lady Gaga but I love her and what she does. She's just like us: an artist who knows to do what we do but puts a little twist on it to achieve marketability. Pay attention to what you like and not what everyone tells you to like.

Would you rather play to a crowd of loyal fans or people who are new to your music?
MC Zulu: I don't care.
Chrissy Murderbot: I would play a very different set to each. I love both. It depends what mood I am in.

What about during daylight hours -- is it harder to make people dance?
Chrissy Murderbot: There were people out here [at the Pitchfork Music Festival] who were ready to get down! I thought it was going to be harder but it went over really well.
MC Zulu: Sometimes artists force their art on the crowd and it never works. That is why it is good to work with a DJ.
Chrissy Murderbot: You always have something to fall back on.
MC Zulu: You need to know when to stop.
Chrissy Murderbot: Especially with a crowd that isn't familiar with your work. You have to give them something they know and can process. You drop the weird shit on them to expand their horizons a little bit. It is a back-and-forth where you push their boundaries and then bring them back in.
MC Zulu: That is why I work with him. That is the talent. He doesn't come out and say that he is going to play what he wants to.
Chrissy Murderbot: MC Zulu understands how to work that and work with a DJ. He knows how to hype and get people into it. I couldn't be happier with how this performance went.

What was the last live performance you saw that really blew you away?
MC Zulu: Toots & The Maytals. I am glad I got to see them. I learned a lot.
Chrissy Murderbot: I saw Terra Danger at the Boiler Room in London a couple months ago. That was amazing. There is also a band called Elecktro Guzzi from Austria and they are the best live act I have ever seen in my entire life. They are these Austrian dudes that make minimal techno but it's a drummer, a guitarist and a bass player and they have a shit load of effects pedals. The drummer is so good that he sounds like a drum machine and the bass player and the guitarist are doing scratch guitar sounds that sound like synths. They are playing the effects more than the guitars. They do it all live with real instruments.
MC Zulu: I like straight up punk. It's raw energy. If you ever watch a punk rock show they just do their thing. If the crowd joins in that is cool. I will never stand up there and be Richard Simmons, 'Come on everybody! Get together and clap clap clap!' I am going to have a good time and you should have a good time. I tell you what, if you ignore me then I will jump into the crowd and dropkick you motherfucker.

For more on Chrissy Murderbot and MC Zulu, including upcoming tour dates, click here.

Tags: Music
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