Crobot Discuss ‘Something Supernatural’ Album, Sci-Fi Passions + More
Crobot are one of 2014's breakout bands, first capturing the ears of listeners with the singles 'Nowhere to Hide' and 'Legend of the Spaceborne Killer' off their self-titled EP. The band will give fans even more with the release of their 'Something Supernatural' album on Oct. 27. Loudwire had a chance to chat with the band before their recent Los Angeles show at the Viper Room. Check out the chat below.
First of all, congrats on the new album. Great listen. Let's start with the single, 'Nowhere to Hide.' Can you talk a little bit about how that track came about and your thoughts on the success it's seen so far?
Jake Figueroa: That was one of the first songs that we actually wrote when me and [drummer] Paul [Figueroa] joined the band. For me, that's cool.
Chris Bishop: It came pretty quickly. It's always a good sign. We usually come pretty quickly, you know what I'm saying. I think that's how you can tell it's going to be a good song, when you don't have to work at it.
I'm loving the sound you have, and it reminds me of Clutch and Lionize. I'm seeing more and more bands doing that thing, Red Fang are another great band. Can you talk about what got you into that style of music?
CB: Clutch has been my favorite band for God knows how long. When me and Brandon first met and wanted to start Crobot, it was basically -- I always wanted to be in a band like that. That's where it stemmed from. The riff rock stuff has always been awesome. Ever since I was a kid listening to Zeppelin. That was the first one for me that was super riffy.
JF: We all kind of have a similarity and the vintage stuff, the Zeppelins and the Sabbaths. Me and Paul, prior to joining, we were playing the same kind of style just riffy, hard little bit of groove in there.
You and Paul, you mentioned ...
JF: Yes, our mom made us, we're brothers. [laughs] But as for joining the band, we were getting pretty sick of Jersey. We played with everybody who was unreliable in the scene. So we figured if we were going to be struggling musicians, we would try and do it where it's sunny and warm. We were planning on moving to LA, five minutes before we left Bishop called me up and asked if we would move to [Pennsylvania]. So, rather than driving for four days across the country, we drove for about two and a half hours. We showed up at Brandon's house with a bunch of weed and that was it.
CB: I left my girlfriend at the time and we all just lived in the house together.
Paul Figueroa: It was more than your girlfriend.
CB: I was getting married! I didn't think this was going to happen.
JF: It was like, Jake, is your truck empty? Can you be here in 20 minutes.
CB: All I took was my clothes, my Ren Fair cup that's got a viking engraved on the side of it and the rest of my gear. That's all I gave a s--t about, I left everything.
JF: And then we had sleepover parties at Brandon's house for the next year and a half. [laughs]
PF: It's a smaller house, you had his room and a roommate and then in the middle there was this shaggy type floor, carpet. Me and Jake just slept on that.
JF: We had an air mattress but we didn't blow it up. We just slept on the deflated air mattress. Paul slept on the couch downstairs.
You mentioned your fiancee ...
CB: She's getting married now. Good for her.
ALL: She got over it. [laughs]
Did that inspire any songs or anything along the way?
CB: Absolutely man, everything inspires I think at some point. I haven't written a f--- you song to her yet, I don't know. I don't think I will.
ALL: That'll be on our country album.
CB: Yeah, that'll be on my solo album -- 'Black Santa.' That's a whole other story.
'Spaceborne Killer,' can you talk about that song? How it came together?
Brandon Yeagley: I always loved Godzilla and everything, just the pandemonium that goes with Godzilla and we're all sci-fi geeks. It came out in a jam one time and it was like, 'Legend of the Spaceborne Killer,' that sounds pretty cool. We'll roll with that.
CB: Was listening to a lot of The Sword at the time, and was jamming on all these super drivey riffs and that's what came from it.
You mentioned that everyone is a sci-fi geek. Maybe each of you can talk about what your individual sci-fi passion is. Do you have something in particular?
CB: I usually get into some of the weird books. I'm definitely big on Star Wars and all of that but I really dig on Philip K. Dick, he's really weird. I know it sounds crazy, I dig on the dick. [laughs] There's all kinds of weirdness out there. I get a lot of it from Paul, he knows a lot more about that book learning stuff than I do. [laughs]
JF: I always liked any of the 'Mars Attacks' type, campy sci-fi stuff. That's my favorite.
BY: I always loved the 'Alien' series, Ridley Scott. And Douglas Adams is probably my favorite sci-fi writer.
PF: [Points to 'Star Wars' shirt] Can't really stand much more than that, I wear it and I'm very proud of it. 'Star Wars' is definitely my first venture into sci-fi when I was a kid and when I was in high school I got into a whole bunch of fantasy stuff like Dungeons and Dragons stuff.
PF: I played a lot of computer games. When I had my summer job I didn't save my money to buy a car, I bought a computer so I could play some really sweet games.
Chris, Loudwire recently had a chance to unveil the artwork for the album. It's awesome.
CB: Thank you, that's my passion.
I noticed on Facebook there's a piece of artwork for each song. Can you talk a little about that?
CB: I did a piece for each song, I did it on 22x30 watercolor paper, pen and ink and just watercolor wash over the top. I tried to keep a theme for the whole album and I think it came out great. I'm really proud of it. I think we're going to do prints with the pre-orders, I'm sure we'll be selling prints of them. So fans can get their favorite song if they want.
I may be dating myself on this, but looking at those it reminded me of the great blacklight posters of the 70s.
CB: That's what I wanted to do, is have that feel to it with a modern flair. There's a lot of great artists that are doing that now. John Baizley, one of my favorites from Baroness. All of the Alphonse Mucha stuff from the late 1800s, I think there's a resurgence of artists doing that style, which is really cool.
Can you talk about the feeling you get of being up there onstage and seeing the reaction back from the audience?
BY: It's definitely our bread and butter. It's what we wake up every day for, sleep in a van or drive for 14 hours for the next gig. It makes it all worth it. We just leave it all up there, you know? All the sweat, all the hard word. We put it out there every night. We're glad people dig it, that's for sure.
JF: I just like to bang my head a lot.
CB: A lot of times I can't see because ... [group laughs] But, people are digging it, that's cool. I don't f---in' know. I've broken so many glasses, it's ridiculous. I've just stopped wearing them onstage.
Looking at the Facebook page, Lakeside Maple Trail Mix? Why that in particular? Maybe some of your other things for survival on the road.
CB: Those are actually buddies of ours from Jersey. They started out doing it, it was a total -- they'd come to shows, this dude Mark and this chick Lil. They'd cook the stuff at their house, all natural ingredients, but then all of a sudden one day they took the next step and got official. Now they distribute to a bunch of the supermarkets in North Jersey. They came to one of the show with this bag of full of awesome trail mix. I think we ate it for about four days straight.
PF: We still have some.
JF: We still have a little bit.
PF: The first night we had it, I remember you were like give me some of that trail mix! You gave me a whole bag, and then ten minutes later you're like give me that trail mix back! I said I ate it all. You ate the whole bag? Yep!
BY: They bake it in maple syrup, they have spicy kind and a regular kind.
PF: It's delicious and it's better for you than potato chips.
CB: Yeah, way better. It's cool being able to throw back and show support. Those are cats who came to some of our first shows. Always give hometown some support.
Below your band logo, it reads, "Always. On. Tour." Can you talk about some of your favorite treks so far?
CB: I can't remember most of my favorites, [laughs]. I usually hear about them from these guys.
BY: We've been lucky to play with some really awesome bands that we really like. When you're on tour with bands you love, every night is awesome. Clutch, The Sword, Truckfighters, Kyng, some of our favorite bands. And we continue to tour with a lot of awesome bands, it's fun. It's like a giant vacation.
Our thanks to Crobot for the interview. 'Something Supernatural' is available for pre-order at Amazon and iTunes. Look for them on tour this fall at these stops. Click below to enter to win a cool Crobot prize pack.
Check Out Crobot's Live Video for 'Legend of the Spaceborne Killer'