Crazy Town's hit "Butterfly" has flown up the charts and off the lips of fans, but not everybody is cheering the song's wings. "Butterfly" is one of the songs targeted by the Federal Trade Commission as proof that the recording industry isn't living up to a promise made last year to stop marketing music with explicit and inappropriate lyrics to underage listeners.
The FTC is protesting the playing and advertising of acts such as Crazy Town, Blink-182, DMX, Rage Against the Machine, and Ja Rule on after-school TV programs, and for failing to put parental advisory warnings in print and online ads. The Recording Industry Association of America has responded that the FTC is expecting action too quickly in the wake of the agency's September 2000 report "Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children."
Meanwhile, Crazy Town's Shifty Shellshock says he's surprised by the controversy. "I'll write something because that's what I'm going to write. I didn't know exactly what was going to happen; I just knew when we finished ['Butterfly'] that we had a good [song]." He is, however, quite conscious that "Butterfly" — which he wrote as a love paean for an ex-girlfriend — has provided a bit of Sex Ed 101 for a legion of adolescents.
"Yeah, it's crossed some boundaries I didn't expect, but I love that," says Shellshock, whose real name is Seth Binzer. "Last night, there was these little 11-, 10-year-old girls that wouldn't stop hugging me and were like weights on my legs. I've had all these girls who are like, 'Oh, I want to marry you.' That's the cutest thing in the world. But, you know, they might not get all the lines, either; like 'I'll make your legs shake' could mean 'I'll make you dance,' couldn't it? Maybe not …
"There's this other angle I didn't even think about; I guess butterflies are the most universal girl thing in the world. There's all these little girls who just love the whole butterfly thing. Girls are showing up saying, 'I got my first butterfly tattoo because of you.' I think that's hilarious."