Botzy: My solo career is the only thing that matters right now

Botzy: My solo career is the only thing that matters right now
Photo by Drew Carlson Photography

Rapper Botzy has been staying busy as usual, but since splitting with his band Culture Cry Wolf two months back, his efforts have been poured towards his solo record Buck Fotzy. Out on Fake Four this week, the record expresses a fresh artistic direction for one of the main pillars behind the yearly Best Love is Free showcase.

Gimme Noise caught up with Botzy ahead of his album release this Saturday at Triple Rock to ask about the break from the band and the experience of creating a new sound of his own.
Gimme Noise : One day prior Culture Cry Wolf's CD release party for Sapient Sessions, they announced they were calling it quits. Why then, of all times?

Botzy: It definitely wasn't planned, that's for sure. It's a hard thing to describe to people, and we still haven't to this day articulated it. There's people who just found out about us after the Prof show. It was definitely not convenient. The time it went down is a direct representation of how unplanned it was; it was very raw. It'd be possible to replace drums, bass... nobody wants to, but at the end of the day, what made Culture Cry was the harmony of Mike and I together, vocal-wise. I don't know if their intentions are to restructure those with just Mike, and release them under a different name... I know there won't be another Culture Cry Wolf record without Mike and I. 

What prompted your leaving the group?

The biggest thing I learned is being aware that you only have so much energy as an individual. If I put my energy into Buck Fotzy, there's a certain amount of energy that's about to come back and rejuvenate myself. We're a band, and a lot of those dudes have wives and mortgages. I don't, and I have people who want to put me on tour right now. It's so hard to make that decision. 

Now I know this is the only thing that matters right now. I'm thinking about my girl, what I'm gonna eat, and this record. That's manageable, I can do that. I've been running non-stop since November. Doing Culture Cry shows, organizing and running Thankskilling, organizing Best Love Is Free, writing, recording and releasing the Sapient Sessions, and that whole time planning Buck Fotzy... It's like this big eight-month stretch and I'm just at the end of the tunnel. Since I moved here in 2008, I've kept myself consistently busy with a landmark in front of me at all times, and I'm happy I did it. I'm not even going to stop, I just need to not stack so much. 

What's the future of the group without you?

I don't know what their plans are. It's not that I left Culture Cry Wolf and they're going to find another rapper and keep going, because that's not going to happen. Right now we don't have any plans to continue making new music, but we do have shows booked. In September we'll be playing in Sioux Falls with Soulcrate and P.O.S. If they're big enough opportunities for us to come back and do, we're going to do them. 

Tell me about your relationship with the label Fake Four out of Connecticut.

I have an interesting relationship with them, because I'm not technically on the Fake Four roster. I got no financial backing, I just approached them with masters. I met [founder] Ceschi after Warped Tour last summer at Cause, and that just opened that relationship. That's something new that they're doing, I'm actually the second artist that they're doing this with. The contract I have with them is for distribution and tour support, and the assumption is that I'll be going on tour with one of their artists later this year. What they did for this last tour was social media push and booking contacts. It would be real tight to have a place like Fake Four to call my home, but it's definitely not something I'm relying on. I'm just too go-getter to have somebody pay for this, because I already have it done by the time they want it.  I don't necessarily need a label. I have all the things around me in Minneapolis that a label would provide. 

Your release show promises "an evening of special guest performances, curated by Botzy". What should we expect?

I told everybody I wouldn't say who's playing. The people that are playing are my friends and I respect them, and they're all talented and active members of the local scene. They're all people we're accustomed with and we all know. I'm having them play because they're my friends. I'm not having them play for their draw, or that I expect them to promote the show. I'm having them play because I want to be surrounded by my friends, I want to watch them rap and I want them to watch me rap. I kind of want to see how I stand on my own. People know me as much as a curator as they do as a rapper, so I hope that they would trust that special surprises might mean that's some shit. It'll be super fresh. I know people will be pleased. I know the collective is on point, so I know nobody will walk away and be like, "Man, I shouldn't have spent that five dollars."

Plus our set, I forget that people haven't seen it. It's supposed to be a secret, but fuck it. I got Minnie Blanco DJing, Jord Plord backing me up, and we got Brock [Lammers of Nyteowl] on drums now, It's phenomenal, she's so tight, especially to have a female presence onstage; and Jord matching my energy onstage, which is not easy to do it, but he does it and it works so well. It's bananas. I never would've thought to do that, but now it's like, what do I have in my power to make this as dope a show as possible? Bringing it out on the road for that many days in a row, and we've been practicing it as a unit. It's real, real on point; that's gonna blow people's minds.

Botzy - "Buck Fotzy" CD Release Show: Saturday, July 13 at the Triple Rock Social Club, 18+, $5 presale, $10 at the door. Doors 9pm, Music at 10pm.

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