Comedy, Parody , Rock, Pop
“Weird Al” Yankovic
CAUTION: THIS ARTIST HAS EXPLICIT MATERIAL
If Weird Al Yankovic had been born in Miami, Florida, rather than Lynwood, California, and joined together with 2 Live Crew instead of the Dr. Demento Show, he might sound a little like The Fresh Topping now. Led by Nicki Crepes, this unique parody song act creates music far better suited for The Playboy Channel than MTV.
To give a better idea what this music sounds like, one of The Fresh Topping’s songs is titled “The Porno Man,” a parody of Billy Joel’s barfly anthem, “The Piano Man.” Instead of saluting a desperado that plays standards at a local saloon, it details the life of a porno star. Appropriately, real life pornography everyman Ron Jeremy stars in the song’s music video.
Videos are essential to The Fresh Topping’s art because Crepes is a visual thinker. In fact he’s more visual artist than mere a musician. “I am attending the Los Angeles Film School,” he explains. “This means we will be putting out another 8 to 12 music videos, along with a lot of other stuff that has nothing to do with the music; in fact, film and TV is what I actually want to do more than anything.” If you haven’t picked up on it already, The Fresh Topping is not any typical rock act.
“I actually don’t play anything for the music, even though I was taught on the piano,” says Crepes. “I started playing the piano when I was about 6 years old. That is the only instrument that ever interested me. We just hire local musicians to replay the music live (every single bit of it, we use no original samples or tracks) and our studio engineer recreates any and all types of syncs and whatnot. I support local musicians so we are also always willing to try new people so long as they’re good.” The Fresh Topping won’t likely ever compete for Weird Al’s pop music role because fame in the music business is not at the top of Crepes’ agenda. Even so, he may just envy all the chuckles Weird Al’s songs get. “I have no real desire to be a “rock star,”” Crepes admits. “I just want to make people laugh at completely ridiculous songs.”
Crepes is as proud as a dessert chef of The Fresh Topping songs. “My personal favorites are “Don’t Stop the Semen” because it’s so catchy, just like the original Journey song,” he says, “and “Fister,” a funny reworking of Tori Amos’ “Winter, “which was the first song I wrote (well the 2nd technically, but the first was when I was 14 and I lost the notebook), and I love the piano and it’s just such a beautiful song. You hear it and if you just listen to the voice, and not the lyrics, it could be about anything (I happen to like the original song, too) but when you add in our lyrics, it just becomes something beyond any parody I’ve ever heard before.”
It’s impossible to precisely categorize The Fresh Topping stylistically because their sound takes them wherever the parody muse leads, whether that it’s to a Billy Joel ballad or a Katy Perry pop song. “Growing up I listened to hair metal – Motley Crue, Poison, along with some metal – Ozzy, Iron Maiden, Slayer,” Crepes says. “I also listened to a lot of NWA and 2 Live Crew. I like pretty much all music except country, R&B, and jazz….though I do think most of the new music is total crap.” Modern music is crap unless, of course, it fits into The Fresh Topping’s humor wheelhouse.
Ultimately, The Fresh Topping is all about having a laugh or two and giving the audience a good time. “I don’t care about being a rock star so I don’t care what others think of me/the group,” Crepes confesses. “They can like it or hate it; we’re going to make more no matter what. We are here for the fun of it.”