Some Words With Crookers, aka Phra, Before His Control set at Avalon in Hollywood

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Some Words With Crookers, aka Phra, Before His Control set at Avalon in Hollywood

This past Friday night, newly solo act Crookers graced the inner sanctum of The Avalon for Control Friday nights. As you all may (or really should) know by now, the duo Crookers that was originally composed of Phra and Bot downsized to just Phra after their mutual split several months ago. This little fact, however, has done nothing to slow down Phra, who has successfully been carrying on with the Crookers name. I was able to exchange some fun words with this truly nice guy before his set. Check out the interview below and enjoy!

Alright, so what did you do before you came here tonight?

I had a long day; I woke up at 6 am, spoke with my lawyer and accountant in Switzerland, I started working on some music, and then I went for another interview, one of the longest of my life. Then we went to the Pizzaria and had some really nice pizza. I started feeling tired because you know when you eat a lot you get tired, so I got a triple espresso and now I’m good. I’m ready to go.

I always use it, and people say to me, What the fuck are you talking about? I’m like, oh sorry.

Haha well good good.

Is this going to be a written interview?

I'll write it after its been transcribed, for now I’ll just record.

Oh ok ok, so just fix any errors, any of my mistakes, haha.

I will don’t worry!

Or I can speak in Italian and you can translate; you can write down the Italian words and try to translate it!

Yes I could just Google translate it the whole time.

crookers

No, no it doesn’t work, it's crazy; Google translate is bullshit. I always use it, and people say to me, “What the fuck are you talking about?” I’m like oh, sorry.

Oh yes, I tried to use it with my Spanish class in High School and it didn’t quite work then, either.

Yeah it’s the same, with Spanish or Italian you can’t cheat, you must learn.

I know you have a lot coming, there’s a lot to look forward to and whole new path up for you. Is there one thing in particular that you’re really looking forward to?

Everything that’s happening right now is new, if that makes sense. It’s been years that I’ve been working on music and touring and such, so its not completely new. It’s more that I’m feeling pretty new because of all of these changes that have happened. It’s a whole new start with new music and new EPs and opening my label Ciao Recordsis a large part of that new start because it’s the first time I’ve done something like that. Then there’s the relationship with younger, new comers everyday, receiving so many new demos and promos everyday just keeps you really busy, but in a super good way, you know? It keeps you motivated; I feel like I’m doing the right thing. I’m smiling a lot.

I can see that!

I’m even going to be smiling on the airplane tomorrow for my 13-hour flight. I’ll be like, “Hello miss, how are you? Can I have a pill?”

Haha yes, that’s the way to do it.

Yeah, sleep as much as possible. I actually found the perfect natural pills for sleep, it’s kind of crazy.

Oh really? Which ones?

I actually don’t know the name, but I do know that they’re blue! And like I said they’re all natural, they’ve got chamomile, valeriana, that kind of stuff. They’re really strong too; you take it and you’re dreaming like a baby.

You just see the airports, the clubs, shit food and bad restaurants. So at the beginning, you feel a little scared...

Well that sounds lucky, I know you’re flying quite a lot.

Oh yeah.

So do you like traveling? I mean do you like the process? Because people like to say that they like the process of traveling, but when you do it a lot, obviously it can get a little tiresome.

Basically, when you’ve been touring so much, the first thing that you note is, you play two hours, an hour and a half, three hours or whatever, and then everything else the first couple of years gets really boring because it becomes a routine of traveling without seeing anything wherever you go. You just see the airports, the clubs, shit food and bad restaurants. So at the beginning, you feel a little scared, but I found a good…

Happy Medium?

Yeah, a super happy medium; I’ve got my team with me and it's been 100% fun. Even in the airport when there’s a long wait. For example, at the Canadian border, when you have to cross that border with a Visa it takes a looong time; but with my team, it doesn’t matter.

Every time that I start working on a song, I always want to make something that is enjoyable, not too serious or dramatic…I want to make something that makes people just let go.

That’s lucky, not a lot of people have that.

Right, it’s fantastic.

That’s awesome. Well, I’m curious to know, when you look at people these days, when you’re up there playing, is there a difference that you see or is there something that you really like when you see the audience really enjoying themselves and your music?

Oh yeah, I mean that’s the purpose of being a DJ I think; the first time that I ever saw a DJ I was eleven, and I was in the middle of a crowd when I saw him and I thought, wow, what a job. You touch music in a way and you make people have fun. And I was like, I want to do this for that reason; you just make people enjoy themselves and lose it for a couple of hours without thinking about all of the shit and just enjoy themselves. You’re just helping them think about the music and not all of that shit.

So that’s what you set out to do, that’s your goal.

Oh yeah, I love it. Every time that I start working on a song, I always want to make something that is enjoyable, not too serious or dramatic, you know? I want to make something that makes people just let go.

Right, and is that where you’re happiest? On stage?

Oh yeah, that definitely makes me happy. When there is a good feeling between me and the crowd, it's just natural; it’s been a natural thing since I was sixteen, so it’s a lot of years, and you don’t know how old I am.

No I do not.

I’m nineteen.

I knew it!

No I can't say my real age.

…everything is bigger: bigger market, bigger studio, bigger artists, big everything. It’s a complete new experience that will probably change something in my brain.

Haha that’s ok, I wont ask. So during your travels, since I know you must come across so much, has there been something that’s happened that you’ve never forgotten?

I actually want to write a book at the end of everything' before I die I want to write a book about all of the crazy stuff that has happened.

So there has been that much?

Yeah, a lot. And not just in clubs or festivals, just in general. I think I’ve seen more crazy stuff in the airport or on the street than I have in the club. In the club it's actually pretty normal, but when you’re in an airport and you see this really crazy stuff, you always remember it. It’s like what? For real? That’s happening? Cool.

That’s awesome, that will be a really cool book.

Yeah, I have to find the time to write it and to remember everything.

One day you’ll have the time, I mean I know you have a lot going on right now but that will definitely be a cool thing to do.

Yeah it will be really nice to have it.

I’ll just ask you one more question: Is there any place that you’re especially excited to visit or anything that you’re excited to do that sort of rises above everything else?

So the first place was the US actually; I’ve been here for two months for that very reason. I had never had the possibility to stay here without touring, you know what I mean? I would always just fly in, tour here for two weeks and then fly back home. This time I just wanted to take more time and work on more music here because it’s so different. Also everything is bigger: bigger market, bigger studio, bigger artists, big everything. It’s a complete new experience that will probably change something in my brain; I’m going to go back home with something more than what I originally left with. Another place where I really want to stay is…I don’t know, I really love Ibiza, but it's crazy; I always play in Ibiza in the summer, but it’s not just the clubs on the island, I think it’s a magical place for a lot of other reasons. I think I’m going to spend a month there this summer because it's also simple to fly everywhere from the island during the summer. So yeah, I love that place so much. There’s something crazy going on there; I don’t know if it’s a hippie thing, I don’t know; it has such an atmosphere and there’s just something there. And then it really helps me to make music too; like when I’m there with my laptop, I can produce so many tracks at once. It’s crazy, that place just puts me in the right mood.

So it’s just the right type of place?

Yeah, it's crazy, I can’t explain it. As soon as I’m there, I’m feeling good, I mean I’m already feeling good, but then I feeling like, “Wooo!”

Hahaha well thank you for sitting down with me, this was really fun.

Thank you, give me five.

And in case you're interested, we did in fact proceed to high-five and then pound it.  Night complete. Case closed. Listen to Crookers' most recent EP "Giga/A Go Go" below.

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