Catching Crosstown Rebels leader Damian Lazarus for a chat is rare enough given his ever busy schedule, let alone being able to get him and No. 19 Records and Art Department's Jonny White. In this interview we have both, and have left it in their hands to introduce themselves and the rest of the Crosstown Rebels Family to us in the most fun way we could think of. Lazarus set the challenge of thinking outside the box and what we've ended up with is pretty special. Three concepts: the Crosstown Rebels family; living the life you always wanted to live; and what would be the ultimate RebelRave given complete freedom. Down the rabbit hole we go...
Let's introduce the Crosstown Rebels family, who would be...
DL: Lazarus, of course
JW: Yes and Ricarda (our agent's assistant.. our lives on the road would fall apart at the seams without her)
The Jackass/ Daredevil/ Stuntman
DL: Lee Curtiss
JW: So many jackasses, so little time, for stuntman: I've seen Jamie Jones throw himself off a stage and onto a crowd of waify 20 year old ravers expecting them to catch him (luckily they did). Doubt there are too many hollywood stuntman who would brave that one.
DL: Definitely not Lee Foss, worst jokes ever! Mr C is planning two books of jokes (one being x-rated). Jozif's a pretty funny fella too. All the crew make me laugh.
JW: Not sure you can single out just one in a group of complete lunatics but Rob James is one of the funniest guys i know.
DL: Deniz Kurtel always looks so fuckin cool
JW: Actually most of us are into fashion. We can give it to Seth Troxler or Damian because they're both pretty 'fashion forward' with their dress, and i would hate to be called that word. Although I'm positive that Kenny and I have the worst shopping addictions of the bunch.
DL: Maceo Plex, in a good way! Don't know how he manages to do so much.
JW: Okay that one is probably me... either because I've been hustling since I was about 15…. or just because I'm Jewish.
DL: Everyone has that ability.
JW: I can't safely answer this one.
Innocent one / Fresh Blood
DL: Francesca Lombardo
JW: No one's innocent. Fresh Blood would be Amirali.
The Cook / Chef
DL: Troxler and his mean BBQ sauce I guess. Fur Coat do a mean ceviche apparently.
JW: Lee Curtiss made the meanest steak i've ever had in my life at Burning Man last year.
DL: Group leader Clive Henry, the bossman.
JW: The MUSIC
DL: Jonny White
JW: (laughs) I'm going with Seth Troxler
DL: Jamie Jones
Who holds the group together
DL: The Cosmos
JW: Maybe Ed Karney… I'm not certain of what he does exactly but I always feel great about everything when I finish a meeting with him.
Where are you living? Los Angeles, at the top of a hill, looking down on creation. With my perfect house mate (artist/designer/chef) Ana Rifa, Mikito my puppy plus Bear, Dillon, Pixie and Mooncat, my wonderful pussies. I have five pets so far. I like giraffes actually, might get a giraffe.
Any neighbours? Oscar winning sound editor and a new-worldy type couple that don't agree with my parties in the garden.
Parties where are you going? I like to pop into Voodoo if I'm in town, it's a super cool small club, Smoke and Mirrors is funny and I like the weirdo club, Jumbo's Clown but my favourite place here in LA is the Griffith Park Observatory, i'd love to play music there.
What are you wearing? I just got to see a first glimpse of my two costumes for Get Lost Miami from a new designer I'm working with on skype and i'm super excited to get into them, right now I'm wearing Chronicles of Never trousers and a top by Butterfly Soulfire but I'm also dreaming of getting into these super fresh t-shirts Ksubi have just made for us.
What are you driving? A Mustang '66, but I have my eye on a neighbours '65 Plymouth Barracuda.
Living The Life You Always Wanted To Live With Jonny White
Where are u living? Barcelona
Who lives with you? In theory, nobody, but i've got this guy in my house called Nitin that doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Neighbours: Ali (Dubfire), both members of Audiofly (Luca Saporito lives about 10 seconds from me and shows up unannounced at least once a day.. I call him Kramer), Davide Squillace.
Do you have any pets? My daughter who I miss dearly right now, my siberian cat called Mackie.
Available at your convenience? Anything
Where are you partying? Where aren't we?
What are you wearing? Well I'm on a nine hour flight to Toronto so i'm wearing what I fly in, Damir Doma tuque, Black T shirt (I have 47 of the same black t-shirt that I wear everyday of my life), Rick Owens lounge/sweat pants, probably too much silver jewelry, fluorescent green & black socks that my Ex gave me, a pair of black John Varvatos hightop Converse and a black leather Burberry jacket… shit, maybe I am the fashionista.
Now that we've introduced you both and have some insight into the Rebels team let's go into the relms of anything being possible, If there was complete freedom and you could do anything with Rebel Rave...
What would the ultimate party space for you be, where would you have it?
DL: Mexican pyramids, around, lets say, December 21st... possibly.
JW: Lets say a beach somewhere in the south of Spain, situated high on a mountain (yes, a beach on a mountain. it's my fantasy), nothing else for miles, proper sound, DJ booth designed by Damian and myself with control of weather, temperature, sun and the moon.
What year / time zone are we in Past / Future / Present?
DL: Who knows. All I can say is we are about to venture into a completely new time and space and I can't wait to get there.
Can we fly / float / go invisible / time travel?
DL: Electricity is run on goat manure and by the sun. We don't pay taxes but you do have to be helpful to at least person every day of your life. We get to choose how we die well in advance. Partying with us is essential.
JW: Teleport yes, I wouldn't be on this fucking plane right now. Invisible no! too many pervs out there to give humans that technology. Time travel, big YES.
Visuals? 3D, Fireworks, computer game animation, virtual reality?
DL: Yeah we can have some of that but just you, me and some dope music coming out of an amazing system will do.
What journey are we on? Where's the music taking us?
DL: We are heading into a new dimension of sound, everyone should be excited and sign up now.
JW: If im playing it's taking you to where I am… so you better hope i'm in a good place.
Are there props? Costumes? Characters?
JW: Sure, i'll leave that to the Crystal Mafia girls!
What if there were scripted actors inside the party with a plan to change the direction of the party? What if there were two groups yours who were directing the party to happen the way you want it to and an enemy team trying to change the direction and take it somewhere else?
DL: Funny, I'm thinking of making that tv show.
DL: God will warm up, Mel Brooks is up next (on a stool of course), Adele back to back with Lana Del Rey followed by Alejandro Jodorowsky.
JW: Off the top... Kenny and I, Damian, Dyed Soundorom, Shaun Reeves, Dixon, Peace Division, Harvey, Deniz Kurtel, Tone Of Arc, Matthew Johnson, Lee Burridge, Joy Division (we said yes to time travel!), Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, and an early Richie Hawtin.
Dancers or performers / acrobats / aerials / fire twirlers etc involved? What are they doing?
DL: The Crystal Rebels wil run that side of things, they do it best.
JW: Stand up comedy?
What do you want people to feel? Where do you want to take them with the party?
DL: To the heart of the beast.
JW: Free, high, inspired, exposed.
What story are you telling essentially DJ's and promoters are the modern day conductors and ring leaders?
DL: Each artist is told the following;
"Go out there, twist people's minds with your presence and sound and don't come back till you have." - Damian Lazarus
Any rules? Dresscode? Personal space behaviour rules envoked? Safe words? Escape plan?
DL: The rules are there 'aint no rules.
JW: Don't fart in room one, go to the terrace.
Like in the dice man there's a costume room / a debate room / a love and respect room / a sex room giving the people the opportunity to get our of their reality? Would the idea work for a rave?
DL: Well there would be a rave room and I think that's enough.
JW: Hell yeah. I remember a show we played at Fuse in Brussels, The Crystle Mafia crew had a room upstairs made up into a movie set. Complete with wardrobe, makeup, and a script. They would go downstairs into the party and kidnap unsuspecting ravers off the dancefloor and bring them upstairs where they would have them act out some part of a film noir, be done with them and send them back to "real life".
What are you playing?
DL: Backwards house.
What else is happening?
DL: People are dancing backwards
Going back to the rave culture of past is also going back to the free love era should we head back to that and away from the thoughts of now which seem to be sex complicates things. People are going to interact at a party what's encouraged/discouraged. Like/ Dislike.
DL: No, we should keep free love, I like that, we'll just charge anyone that oversteps the mark.
JW: We already talked about that… oh and no creeping on girls at the party, fucking hate sleezeballs that look like they've done a cap of G and want to hump everything in the club… you guys, go to a top 40 club or stay home and wank. One more, don't stand around the booth and stare at the DJ, decks and mixer.. DANCE. It's way more fun, I promise.
What are we drinking / taking/ eating
DL: Holy Mountain water and cat food.
JW: Whatever you fancy... to each their own.
Guestlist: Who HAS to be there?
JW: Alex Grey and Robert Downey Jr, I've always been convinced he would probably be the coolest mother fucker ever. Maybe back when he was still partying though. Also all the members of my family that are under the impression that I DJ Bar Mitzfah's and weddings.
DL: Those afflicted by the need to dance.
02.03 The Likes Of You RebelRave, The Bottom End, Melbourne
03.03 RebelRave, TBC, Sydney
24.03 Get Lost 7, Miami, US