Cover Story - Nov. 2021 - "Crazy John" Kerecz
The Evolution of an Artist – Rap Metal to a Country Music Grammy Nominee
John Kerecz who is better known throughout the local music community as “Crazy John” has been on the scene since the early 2000s. When he first started out in the music community, he hosted some open mics and eventually became part of the OSH Radio (Old Schoolhouse Radio), which is an online music platform where he would play and promote original music. John would also go out and support local music, and really started to get to know the artists in the area.
When 7th Layer was evolving, they decided to form more of a full band, Mal H-Vock knew John played bass and asked him to join the band. 7th Layer played shows everywhere they possibly could locally and even up and down the East Coast and beyond. They played over 500 shows at over 130 different venues! One of their annual shows they used to play in Illinois was the Gathering of Juggalos. It was an awesome festival with over 29,000 people in attendance. It was a highlight of their career that they looked forward to playing every year.
Even though John enjoyed his time playing with 7th Layer, he always considered himself a minimalistic musician or “Grinder Monkey”. He might not have been the best player, but he was great at helping to promote the band, and he helped get them bookings every chance he got. He also helped 7th Layer get their deal with Island Palm Record Label, which unfortunately didn’t work out, but at least they had that opportunity. After 7th Layer played their 10 Year Reunion “Never Again Tour” at HMAC, John knew it was time to move on.
He continued to interview bands and promote music through OSH Radio. He eventually wound up buying the online radio station which he still owns today. It hasn’t been updated in a while, but he hopes to get motivated enough to get it updated again soon, so keep an eye out for the resurrection of OSH Radio! There is still a lot of great content on the website: videos, podcasts, on demand music, etc. As if a radio station wasn’t enough, John also started his own music magazine called the Ragazine, where he also promoted local music. Eventually he stopped doing his own and just contributed to all of the existing magazine like ours, The PA Musician Magazine, Shinbone, Hbg Online, B Magazine, and anywhere he possibly could. John never really cared about hurting anyone’s feelings, he just wanted to promote music however he possibly could.
When he wasn’t busy promoting music, he also traveled the world and beyond! He studied at the Shaolin Temple Yunnan, went Shark Cage Diving, camped at the Base Camp of Mt. Everest, and he even traveled into Space! Of course, all of these experiences gave him plenty of material to help fuel his writing abilities. John has written not only lots of songs, but also books and screenplays.
Thanks to the Millennium Music Conference John had the opportunity to meet Joey Welz from Canadian American Music Records. He let Joey hear some of his songs, and their songwriting relationship was born. John writes the lyrics and sends them to Joey to be mixed and mastered into the finished product. John and Joey have had 4 songs in the Top 20 on The Orchard’s charts. The Orchard is an American music and entertainment company, specializing in media distributing, marketing, and sales. It is a subsidiary of Sony Music. Their song “I’m a Traveling Man” has been floating in 3rd-5th place, “Mr. Money” made it up to 4th place. Their album “Two Heads are Better than One” has also been in the Top 20 on the Country Music Charts. One of his latest songs, “My Piece of Mind” just got nominated for a Grammy in the Country Music category. John is still shocked when he even thinks about it. He’s been grinding away for so many years all throughout the music scene, to finally get an honor like this, is something he won’t ever forget. He had a few friends like Larry Gatlin and Bruce Kulick congratulate him for his nomination on Youtube. John has also co wrote a song called “Blues Man” with Kevin Gray.
John is happy that his life has circled back to the simple life. He loves sitting down and playing his 3-string, cigar box, guitar. He’s played at a few private gigs, but is loving life and writing as much, and as often as he likes. You never know where life’s journey is going to take you, but one thing for sure is, it’s important to enjoy the ride!