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Friday, October 26, 2012

13 Question Marks of Horror with KNAC’s Crazy Craig

There is a mad man that roams the halls of rock radio and the backstages of concert venues. A legend in the Metal Music Community and the Left Hand of the darkest man in rock music. His name is Crazy Craig. We recently sat down for drinks and laughs as we discussed 13 Question Marks of Horror...

1.      You’re a horror guy and a metal guy. Which love came first?
"Horror came first. I can remember being a very little kid and loving monsters. Being a little kid in the 70's, there was a lot of monster stuff around. Magazines, toys, model kits, trading cards. I loved all that shit. There was even monster wallpaper that I begged my mom to get for me, but since I couldn't go to sleep without the lights on, she refused! Anytime a local t,v, station would play an old monster/horror movie, I had to watch it. Other times, I would go to the local library and pour through all the books about film, especially horror stuff. VCR's were still a few years away, so I didn't get to see stuff like Halloween, TCM, and Friday the 13th until I could rent it. But by then I was hooked."
2.      Since they seem to go hand and hand, did that love sort of feed the other?
"No, thanks to my parents, I've always had a love of music and started collecting records when I was a kid, but it was all top 40 stuff. When I was about 10 years old, I started getting into Kiss, Cheap Trick, Foghat, Zeppelin, stuff like that. Then when punk came around it blew my mind. That's when I disavowed everything that wasn't punk. But due to punk opening up my mind, I started soaking up every new music genre when it was all said and done. I really didn't get into metal until I was 17, which is kind of funny since I'm considered a metal expert now. lol."
3.      What was the first film that you remember scaring the hell out of (into) you?
"That's a good question. I can remember images from movies that both mesmerized and disturbed me like Nosferatu, Phantom of the Opera, House on Haunted Hill, Picture of Dorian Gray, Black Sunday, and Village of the Damned. But I have to say the one that fucked me up for life was the t.v. broadcast of 'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark'. I know it seems lame now, but as a 6 year old seeing that for the first time without any warning (there weren't any Parental Advisories in 1973, kids) it literally ruined my fragile psyche for years after that. Well, at least until 2 years later when the t.v. broadcast of 'Trilogy of Terror' did even more damage. But seriously, I think the makers of DBAOTD had no idea the terror they were going to instill in kids when they made it. Look it up on imdb, and you can read page after page of testimonial by a generation that were scarred from seeing it. Then there was the trailers (not even the actual films) for 'It's Alive' and 'Magic' that sent me into a tizzy. After that, it wasn't until I saw 'Black Sabbath' in my teens that I had a movie stick with me for years later. I pretty much was acclimated to horror by then. "
4.      You’ve been a staple in the music industry for years. How did you start out?
"Well, I started as a Mobile D.J. at the ripe old age of 16. I started an internship at KNAC when it was a terrestrial station at 21 and been with them ever since. After that internship ended, I started another one at Enigma Records, until its demise in 1990. I then got a job running the mailroom at Delicious Vinyl records which led to A & R/Marketing at Malicious Vinyl, a rock subsidiary that we formed. After Malicious folded, I did nothing for a year until I went to work for Glenn Danzig as his assistant and office manager of Verotik, Glenn's comic publishing business, which leads us up to now."
5.      You host Super Rock Sundays on KNAC, was it difficult becoming the man behind the mic?
"At first it was, cuz it really was a trial by fire. When first started, they needed D.J.s, so they literally threw me in front of a mic and let me run with it. Understand, this was something I always wanted to do and worked towards since I was a kid. Now it's second nature to me. I've done almost 700 shows in the last 14 years".
6.      You’ve been all over the world and had some sinful adventures. Where’s the scariest place you’ve ever been?
"Mississippi, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Mexico. I've put myself in scary situations in my life, so I'm used to it. But the scary 'non-paranormal' situations in those places were out of my control. I've lived in 2 haunted houses and work in another. That shit doesn't scare me. lol"
7.      You’ve been Glenn Danzig’s right hand man for years. Do you two share similar interests?
"Yeah totally. I think the main reason I've worked for him for the last 14 years is cuz we get along real well and share a lot of the same interests. He's like the older brother I never had."
8.      When it comes to horror films, you two are from completely different eras. How have you influenced him and vice versa?
"Glenn has schooled me on all types of horror movies I didn't even know existed. He has really given me an invaluable education on movies, art and comics. On the other hand, I could probably count on my fingers the instances that I hipped him to something, he knows that much about horror."
9.      Every October, you change up your show and host “Scary Rock Sunday”. How is that show different?
"I basically play the same stuff I do on Super Rock Sunday, only I group the songs into horror genres. I also play a lot of horror trailers and horror comedy songs. And I host the show as Count Crazy Craig, of course."
10.  Can you tell me how Count Crazy Craig came about?
"I don't really remember. I think I just started talking in the Bela Lugosi voice one October and it developed into this whole other persona that takes over when I do it. Over the years, the voice started sounding like a cross between Lugosi, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and Count Floyd from SCTV."
11.  You’re taking the next step and gearing up for a horror themed video show. What can you tell me about that?
"Hart Fisher from American Horrors had been listening to my shows last October and asked if I wanted to do something like a rock video show for the channel. Since I was trying to figure out how to be Count Crazy Craig all year round, I said yes. I've been writing lot's of sketches for it and hopefully will be filming soon. The show is called "Funeral Funhouse with Count Crazy Craig".
12.  Now that you have two shows under your producing belt (the other being the seedy soap “Hollywood Law”), would you like to try your hand at feature films?
"Yeah, I've always thought about making films since I was little also. I mean I've made a ton of shorts and a couple of public access shows. I've also worked on several feature films and a shitload of music videos, so it wouldn't be a stretch for me to tackle it one of these days."
13.  Between your work and hobbies, you live the horror every day. What does a man like you do to enjoy Halloween?
"I eat a lot of candy and smash pumpkins, lol"
You can hear me on Craig's Scary Rock Sunday from last week below. We talk about Screamfest, Blumhouse of Horrors, American Mary, and more!

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