Sunday 11 November 2012

CROBOT Interview

Today on Sludgelord I am proud to be interviewing the brilliant Intergalactic Space/Cosmic/Stoner Rockers who recently impressed me with their excellent new album - Legend Of The Spaceborne Killer.

They have kindly taken time out of their busy intergalactic schedule and answered my questions about their music amongst other things.

So let's get down to it. The brilliant- CROBOT

Q1 – Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with Crobot Today.

Things are going fantastic! We in Crobot had a annual ceremony to attend a few days ago, The Hunter's Moon Ceremony. You see, in our native nebula, at the sight of the harvest moon, a clandestine ceremony takes place for our kind. Many of our people gather in an undisclosed location every year to sacrifice our licks to the almighty Riff God Collective, which in turn gives us the very powers we utilized in the writing process of our debut album, "The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer". 

We are a superstitious species and believe that the response of the Riff God Collective during the ceremony is an omen of what is to come for Crobot. Now, after the Harvest Moon Ceremony, another ceremony follows roughly a month after, the Hunter's Moon Ceremony. During this ceremony, all sacrificed riffs are measured in context; those that the Gods deem "Killer Riffs" are given back to their original proprietors for use on Earth, to lead humanity towards a greater sonic good. 

Now we know that this is nothing new to you Sludge Lord, as we know you hold a seat in the council. We also may receive a lot of flak from the higher community for unclenching our tongues on this one, but we think the world should no longer be left in the dark about the sonic wars that take place throughout the universe. So, there's a good start for the readers. The rest you'll just have to dig up on your own, or wait for the new Crobot album where we will continue to unfold this story.

But…to get back to your original question, we are doing great! We just released our first full-length album, "The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer" on the 30th day of the 10th month of the 2012 year. We also have a video for the title track to be released very shortly. We've just come off of a short tour with Buckcherry and talks of pilgrimaging with rock gods The Cult are also in the works for around the January/February mark, which we are crossing our fingers and toes in hope that this will transpire.

Q2 – For people not in the know can you give them a brief history of the band and how it came about.

Well, unfortunately we cannot spill the entire bag of beans on our origins, as it will come to light in our future releases, as well as in the form of graphic novels which are in the writing stages. However, we can leave you with a little backstory. We are not natives to Earth but were born under a similar atmosphere to that in which we stand under right now, preparing proper homeostasis to survive under this planet's conditions. You see, humans are a vital element in this universe, as is everything that has ever come into existence, in all eleven dimensions. 

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; for every person a Cosmic Doppelganger, an exact opposite replica, a space-brother-from-another-mother if you will, in another dimension. Without the proper preservation of equals and opposites, a certain butterfly effect happens which is felt throughout our indigenous lands. We have been sent to Earth to ensure sonic sustainment, and with all the GaGa's, Kesha's, and Beiber's, our work is certainly cut out for us in our department. 

When we're all boiled down to our very essence, we are all just a matter of vibrations, popping in and out of existence. The one thing that is found throughout everything that has ever been is vibrations and frequencies, it's what ties us all back to our creation. Life begins and ends with music, and it never leaves us. From a heart-beat to our means of communication, to the very atomic structure we are made of, we are children of music. Some of us are that of a disco-essence, some of us of the hardest of stone-rock-essence, but both are equally as important. We are here to ensure that the butterfly effect is controlled by counteracting the mainstream. I know this might not make sense entirely right now, but you will begin to understand what we mean as we unfold our story to you. 

Q3 – How would you describe your sound. 

We like to describe it in three words. Dirty. Groove. Rock. However, the word "space" would fit in there somewhere as well.

Q4 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as musicians.

In orbit, we learned everything we needed to know about humanity by radio-waves. We've been picking up transmissions for decades now. We've seen the Milli Vanilli's come and go, the boy bands and the teeny-boppers, but one thing seemed to remain consistent, rock n' roll. From the birth of Earth's music, there's always been this sort of rebellion buried subliminally in the minds of humans, dug by the shovel of the mainstream radio. We submersed ourselves in those which have come before us who have succeeded in this constant battle for equality amongst frequencies. Those such as Clutch, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Wolfmother, Soundgarden, QOTSA, and Graveyard to Prince, James Brown, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and Rage Against the Machine. The list could go on and on.

Q5 – Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills.

Well we all survive by our own means, which we could not have ever been fully prepared for in our training prior to entering Earth's azure. Bishop has always been the artistic one and is a free-lance artist as well as a tattoo artist by day. Brandon, Tony, and Sam all hold jobs that aid them in surviving amongst humans, which without this object of a seemingly divine status called money is nearly impossible. However, we are sweating blood to become self-sustaining in our musical endeavors.

Q6 – Are your family and friends supportive of your music. 

Yes, very supportive. Some of our immediate families are also inhabitants of Earth; some are close, some are far. Whatever the distance, whether it is miles or light-years, our families have always been very supportive of our passions.

Q7 – What is the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual.

Song-writing is a collaborative effort and usually begins with a riff, Riff God Collective worthy of-course, in which we jam together and ultimately create a song out of. Sometimes structures are pre-conceived, sometimes they are born in the moment. Lyrics and melodies usually start out as gibberish to the human ear, as our souls speak a different language; then, they are translated into English for better understanding for the Western human persuasion.

Q8 – Now what exactly is your album about. I have read that The Spaceborne Killer is half-bird/half alien hybrid. Can you tell us more.

As previously stated, we cannot unveil the entire saga to you just yet, but this album is the perfect starting point to a puzzle to be constructed in due time. The album is a soundtrack to the events that will later be depicted in our pamphlets (Graphic novel). The album begins with the story of the Spaceborne Killer which is actually unknown in its physical form and may be half-bird, half-bot, and half-alien (Manbearpig beware!). Our understanding is it is quite similar to that of an ever-changing Godzilla, only taking a set-form momentarily. 

Whatever its physicality, it has the potential to destroy everything that we've sought to maintain in our existence. It is a threat to all things ever existing and those that have seized or have not yet been exposed. The album then continues explaining certain misadventures that may seemingly hinder progress on one's journey to defeating the Spaceborne Killer. Stories continue to unfold that will make much more sense in the coming units of time. Meetings with the supernatural, dimension gates in need of locking, and trips with a Lakota Shaman are all journeys sonically depicted in the album. Unfortunately, that is all we can reveal at this time; nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more!

Q9 – Was it an easy album to write and record for. 

Our writing process is very organic as we feel it's exactly what our music calls for. We understand that we are in the very earliest stages of the band's sound and direction, but we are extremely comfortable writing in the style that we do. We live, breath, and excrete rock n' roll and all of the many places it has gone in its more than half-of-a-century age and we think our music reflects that. We will continue to ensure the story takes you on a journey not only literally but tonally as well through the spectrum of hard rock that we engulf ourselves in.

Q10 – How did you come up with the Sci-Fi theme in your music. Was that an easy decision to make. I do love the fact you have some cool sci-fi references in your music.

Thanks for the appreciation! We were not born of this world; so, Sci-Fi is our apple pie baby! Most of us have a cognitive core that is yearning for the unknown to become known. We will never fully know, but the knowledge of the unknown is very addicting, isn't it?

Q10 – Is there a scene for Sludge/Doom/Stoner bands to perform in your home town on a regular basis. Or do you have to travel further afield to perform on a regular basis.

We play as many places as we can, whether or not they are accepting of our music is up to them. Our home base as of now in the coal-regions of central Pennsylvania are more accustomed to much heavier sounds than we delve into, though we've been able to chameleon ourselves fairly well and have been accepted with open arms (and raised horns!) by our fellow local metal musicians. We also travel to perform regionally at the moment and hope to extend to the deepest, darkest hole-in-the-wall bars, venues, and arenas across the globe.

Q11 – What has the reception been like to the Crobot live experience. Looks insane from what I have seen on your YouTube videos.

Seeing Crobot live is the best way to experience everything that we have to offer. The energy that we lay down on record is amplified and multiplied at our live performance. We become possessed and summon every deity in our power. It seems pretty surreal that we've been a band for a little over a year now and all our groundwork has been laid primarily by word of mouth and our live show. We play every show like we're in front of 100,000 people and we strongly believe that people pick up on that. Play every show like it's your last.

Q12 – Do you have any interesting and exciting stories from tour. Have you toured with anyone famous. If so who have been your fave band to perform for/with.

Well we just wouldn't have enough space to tell them all, hah. If there is one thing about Crobot tours that is for certain, it is undoubtedly that they are eventful. For one of our gigs in New York City for instance, we played in a small bar that was very similar to a Mortal Kombat backdrop. People have been tortured there at some point in history, for sure. I dare not even speak its name. Now, at this point we were traveling in a black mini-bus and brought a whole crew of people along for the trek. A few hundred miles and a couple of near death experiences later, we arrived. Now if you've ever been to New York City, you know that parking is nearly impossible and this night wasn't any different in that sense. 

Knowing this, we had the driver drop us off at the venue to unload before searching for a parking spot. We're doing our thing; setting up our gear, merch, etc. Twenty minutes later and still no driver. Forty minutes later, still no driver. An hour goes by and still no driver. All cell phone contact has completely seized, complete communication breakdown. At this point we're beginning to get worried, but where do we begin? Our driver is lost in New York City and we go on in fifteen minutes! We played the show and wondered, "how in the hell we were getting home?" Then we found ourselves in survival mode. 

We began to succumb to the fact that we may be giving some zj's to get back home. Just when we thought we'd be lot lizards for sure, our driver shows up with quite a story to tell. Not only did he get lost but once he found somewhere to park a couple of miles away, he crushed the top of the entire bus trying to fit it in a parking garage. But the shit storm didn't stop there! It was maybe 20 degrees that night and we really weren't dressed for the occasion. We finally left the city and made our way back home, but not before we had to push the bus quite a few miles to the nearest gas station in our hometown because we ran out of gas (at least War Pigs was blaring from the speakers!), only to sit there for forty minutes until they open. We'll never hear War Pigs the same after that fateful night!

All of that aside though, we just recently got off of a mini-tour with Buckcherry. We played a couple of dates with those guys and they were the nicest dudes! Some of us in the band grew up listening to them; so that was pretty nostalgic.

Our favorite group to tour with has to be our great friends in Only Living Boy. If you haven't checked them out, you seriously should. They're like the Toadies, Hendrix, and Queens of the Stone Age had a love triangle and you don't know who da' baby daddy is. Every time we play shows together, we have such a blast! Those dudes are incredible musicians and some of our favorite live moments have been watching those guys play and throwing some grog down the shooter.

Q13 – What are your favourite bands around at the moment. Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner/Sludge/Doom Metal.

We all listen to a bunch of different styles of music, but as a collective we've really been jamming to Only Living Boy, The Sheepdogs, Rival Sons, Graveyard, Monster Truck, Foxy Shazam, Parlor Mob, and Truckfighters for more modern stuff. And there are some albums that always end up getting played, like every QOTSA, Zep, or Clutch record, hah. When we go without Clutch for long periods of time, we get pretty ornery.

 One thing that we love so much about our genre is there are so many awesome bands no matter what era, and we constantly find more. It's like a musical treasure hunt and every prize is gold. Some of our favorite classic bands are Zep and Sabbath…let's just get them right outta the way at the gate, hah. Free, Aerosmith, Allman Brothers, Hendrix (especially Band of Gypsys), Thin Lizzy, Leaf Hound, anything Ritchie Blackmore was involved with, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mountain, James Gang, oh this list could go on forever!

Q14 – What are your views of blogs such as Sludgelord reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines? Has your music reached the mainstream mags, at home or around the world?

We think blogs like Sludglord and the sort are exactly what this genre needs on the web. They're like our go-to source for kick ass music that maybe we've heard before but most of the time we haven't. It's like our entrance into the underground of the scene. We love to read the reviews also because it's comforting to know that they're are people out there that enjoy real music and most of the time we are in total agreement with the reviewer. ("That's just, like, our opinion, man!") Mainstream magazines would most likely have no clue who the Truckfighters are or the Sleep or Leaf Hound. With blogs, all of these great bands can be discovered in one location. If we were deserted on an island with one avenue for discovering awesome music it'd be Sludgelord!

Q15 - What are your future plans for the upcoming 12 months or so. Anything we should be excited about.

We hope to hit the road and not return for quite sometime. That's where we feel the band excels and how we're going to gain our followers. We've been working with Melanie and Andrew at TKO Agency, a collective of some of heaviest hitting booking agents in the industry, and they've been hooking us up with some awesome shows. There have been some rumors of some pretty big things to come for Crobot's journey around the globe! So definitely look for us on an awesome tour in the next few months.

Also, we will certainly be recording another album in the next few months. We don't want to take the focus off of our most recent release but we already have about 26 songs ready for the next effort and are very excited about recording the new batch of songs. It's a continuation of the saga. We're really beginning to find our comfort zone in our writing process and "The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer" is the primordial ooze to our ever evolving mutant ninja turtle.

We also have a graphic novel in the works which we touched on earlier to go along with our most recent release "The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer". The album is really a soundtrack to our stories that will continue to be unfolded. Our guitar player, Bishop is an incredible artist and creates all of the sweet artwork that surrounds Crobot; mix that with the imagery depicted in our frontman and lyricist Brandon's stories and you've got one recipe for one killer comic. We thought it would be really cool to put together an explanation of the concept behind all that is Crobot in animated form or something in a similar vein. We're really excited to help everyone uncover our story, one puzzle piece at a time.

Q16 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band.

We love creating, playing, and listening to music. We truly are our own favorite band. We don't want to sound pompous and egotistical but we created this thing solely because it's what we wanted to do. Too many bands have a target that they aim for, whether it's writing songs for the radio or because it's the new fad. We say to hell with all of that noise. That is how we know that Crobot will always remain true. We are truly thankful, don't get us wrong, for the incredibly receptive audiences and die-hard fans, but we write Crobot songs for ourselves because they're what we want to hear. 

All of our influences are spewed into every song. It is truly rewarding to create sonic babies with like minds. We don't spend too much time writing one song; if it doesn't fall together fairly quickly we move on and start with a fresh, new idea. Most of the time, we write about three songs in a two week period. To us, creating, playing, and performing our music is our livelihood and seeing more and more people mouthing the words to our songs is an incredible thing. Music is forever a universal experience, no matter what nebula you're native to.

Q17 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

We love all you beardos!!! Don't ever let anyone tell you to shave your ways! Now, go get lost in all the sweet sounds that the almighty Sludgelord has compiled for you!!!

Well guys thanks for answering my questions. Good luck in getting the graphic novel out. Can't wait to read that. All the best from ourselves as Sludgelord.

Check Out This Great Band Below.