CULTURE:A Conversation with Crobot
From just outside Pottsville, PA, Crobot is the living embodiment of what rock music should be. Their music is as lively as the members themselves and you can’t help but get sucked in by the enormity of presence. Since getting signed to Wind Up Records, Crobot has toured with Clutch, suckled on the fruits of SXSW and the touring life in general, but most of all Crobot has been busy spreading their heavy, funky vibes. Below is a brief conversation with the dudes of Crobot.
It’s definitely been a busy year (or however long) for you guys. Almost feels like the other day that you were playing Bar 46 in the backwoods of NJ and then all of sudden you’re touring with Clutch and being road warriors in general. Describe what the Crobot experience has been like for you guys after getting picked up by Wind Up Records.
The years 2013-2014 thus far have been unbelievably awesome! After getting picked up by Wind Up everything exponentially changed. We now have the resources to grow to a level only once dreamed of. And they have a magical way of making unicorns shit rainbows all over us, which feels pretty good.
Speaking of Wind Up, when’s the new album coming out, where’d you record it, and who is the engineer? Also, what is the most exciting part about dropping your debut album on a major label?
We have an EP that should be released on vinyl and digitally sometime in early May with the full length to follow around the fall months. We recorded it with The Machine at The Machine shop in Belleville, NJ. He has a great team we had the pleasure of working with (shout out to our dogs Alberto and Andy—sexy fucks). The most exciting part of the release for us is probably the distribution ranges. We now have the ability to provide physical releases in the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan. Pretty crazy to think about.
This question is for Jake and Paul. You guys were on the verge of moving out west for a change of pace and scenery. Explain how you ended up in Crobot and how do you feel about that plan to move out west now?
Well we had been swapping shows with Crobot and our old band (Thick Leather Brick) for awhile and always got along with Brandon and Bishop. We had gotten hammered up on more than a few occasions and joked about starting a so-called "super group" together. Then about 5 days before our west coast trek, Bishop called us and asked if we'd like to give it a go. We showed up at Brandon's house a few days later and the year-long sleepover party began. As far as moving out west, I think it'll still be there for a while. We’re in no rush to pick anything up unless it's gear going into the van for the next gig.
The one thing about Crobot that I feel is definitely an edge is that you make a style of hard rock that belongs less in a Hot Topic and more in some secret vinyl stash from the seventies. Was it a conscious effort to produce aggressive rock that has a sense of groove and soul to it or did it just happen naturally? I guess what I’m asking is what led you to the Crobot vibe and sound?
It's all really just something that sprung out of the music we all grew up on. Although we each have our own offshoots of interest, we also share a very common ground with our upbringing of listening to the iconic bands if the 70s. That, mixed with our more modern influences, seems to have made the sound mold itself. We just love to make sounds that make our faces get that stank to ‘em.
This question is for Brandon. I remember hearing awhile back that you actually had theater experience prior to Crobot, which isn’t hard to believe given your ability to sing. Can you confirm whether or not that is true, and if it is please elaborate on what you were doing before you were “tap dancing on a tight rope”?
I was never in theater, however, I was tap dancin’ on toilet bowls cleaning shit (like human poop) before Crobot.
Now in fairness, it’s Bishop’s turn for the solo question. You produce the artwork for all things Crobot. Do you think that producing the artwork and writing the music creates a more cohesive product or whatever you want to call it?
Yeah. I call it zazz. Like zizzy-zazz, but less zizzy, more zazz.
How has SXSW been? What are some of your favorite moments from SXSW and this current tour in general?
SXSW is crazy. It's definitely tons of fun and almost overwhelming at times. High lights would include $5 joints on 6th street, margaritas from Chupacabra for breakfast, and catching a tiger. And we bought bull whips for $5.
Let’s talk about Botsauce and your leather air fresheners, easily two of the more unique merch items I’ve seen a band have. Who makes the Botsauce and what’s the flavor-heat ratio like? What about Botsauce makes it the ideal addition to any meal? As for the leather air freshener, where did that idea come from?
Botsauce is made by Harry's Hot Sauce Company. It's not only a great addition to any meal, it also works quite well as a shaving cream, contact lens cleaning solution, and personal lubricant. Try it with your next coffee in lieu of creamer!!! As for the air fresheners, we do all we can to ensure the scent of fine leather is constantly surrounding us. Leather+Nose=Fuck Yeah.
You guys have a pretty brotherly bond going on. Even though Jake and Paul are brothers, as a foursome you’re a pretty tight knit group. Hell, you got caricature tattoos of each other. First off, how did that come to fruition? And secondly, do you guys find yourselves also fighting/arguing like brothers at times? Or is it a relatively smooth sailing experience given that genuine brother-bond you all seem to have?
We had made a deal that if we ever sign a contract, we'd celebrate with ink. What better commemoration than putting the face that helped you get there into your skin. As for arguing/fighting, we sleep together every night and bath together every morning. The only real arguments are who gets to be the little spoon or who's hogging all the damn soap.
Winding this interview down, do you guys have anything you want to add that I may have missed?
We like to thank Jeff Bridges for catching up with us in Tucson. Always a great time with The Dude.
For the final question, what do you all think the cultural significance or function of music is?
To give chicks bonerz. All of ‘em.
Words/Interview by Joe Dimeck