You can’t help but feel that your ears are being dipped in nostalgia then taken to another dimension and back again with the songs of Crobot. This Central Pennsylvanian quartet conjures up sonic ghosts and stories that seemingly were interpreted from crop circles with their 2012 self-released debut album, The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer. The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer , recorded before the Figueroa brothers were in the band, seamlessly manages to capture the powerful packed punch of the vocals of lead singer Brandon Yeagley and head bobbing guitar riffs of Chris Bishop. With the crucial additions of Jake Figueroa’s solidity of the low frequencies on bass guitar perfectly accompanying his brother with sticks of thunder, Paul Figueroa on drums Crobot has found the formula to take them into the riff-rock abyss and beyond. Crobot is getting ready to hit the studio with famed producer Machine (Clutch, Lamb of God, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes) to work on their 2014 Wind-up Records debut release.
You might think the band members were all stationed at the same moon base during the interstellar revolution but the cosmic forces that brought the foursome together began when Brandon, who hails from the coal-regions of Central Pennsylvania, and Bishop, from Eastern Tennessee, met through a band audition. After calling it quits only a month into forming, Brandon and Bishop were left with merely pieces of a band and an unsatisfied quench for the elixir of the nomadic life of rock ‘n roll….and thus the origins of Crobot began. As Brandon transitioned from bass player to full blown front
man he combined his soaring vocals with Bishop’s killer guitar riffs and the two set out to build a band based on the music they genuinely loved to play.
It was at Bar 46 in Hackettstown, NJ where Paul and Jake, who were living upstairs at the time, heard the sonic pleasures that would alter time and space forever. “I heard Brandon’s voice,” said Paul. “Even through the muffled din of the bar below, his voice had so much clarity and presence that I knew I would be foolish if I didn’t at least check them out. Once I heard Bishop shredding nasty riffs and saw Brandon twisting and gyrating like a possessed astral gypsy my mind melted…I had a new favorite band.”
For Paul and Jake what happened next was somewhat serendipitous. Having grown tired of the local scene, the brothers were getting ready to leave the East Coast for Los Angeles to try their luck out there….then the phone rang. Paul remembers, “about a week before we were going to move, Bishop called and asked us to join Crobot. Instead of LA, we moved to PA and haven’t looked back (or west…)” Five days later the newly formed foursome was playing their first gig of many at the very same bar where Paul first heard those mind-altering riffs. Crobot had officially landed.
According to legend, Crobot got their name from their penchant for jamming “Crobar- esque” riffs with low robotic octave effects, but if you ask Brandon, Crobot has evolved into more than that. “It’s become a counter-culture, so-to-speak. With so much emphasis on manufacturing, in terms of looks, sounds, and sights, Crobot is a collection of like-minded and like-bearded individuals who stand for neither going against the grain or with it, but avoiding shaving all together.”
Crobot’s approach to songwriting has evolved from Brandon and Bishop’s creations into a group effort. Most of the time, Bishop will come to the band with a riff or a loose song structure that they’ll jam to, part by part, until they’re feeling it. “I’ll improvise some melody lines over the parts usually after the band finds solid ground, enough to jam through,” says Brandon. “We try to take everything to every perspective that we can, whether they’re in fact our perspectives or created ones. The music usually gives me a great sense of the direction of the lyrics. Sometimes influenced by old horror/sci-fi flicks I’ve watched as a child, literary works I have or have not read, or the sheer randomness that happens by simply hanging out with this crazy bunch of bots. Whether it’s into orbit, through a wormhole, or at the bottom of an empty bottle of some sort-of elixir, the music really does the work.”
With killer live shows described by Brandon as “like lighting a quarter stick of dynamite and throwing it in an un-flushed toilet,” what’s next for Crobot? With breakout live performances at SXSW 2013, Milwaukee Summerfest, Jersey Shore Music Festival, Musikfest (Bethlehem, PA), and a national tour with Clutch and The Sword kicking off 2014, the possibilities for Crobot’s interstellar domination are endless.