Interview: Robot Monster

Robot Monster

Recently I was able to connect with a band named Robot Monster to discuss their new single, called “Out.” The band is comprised of singer/guitarist Will Brennan and drummer Logan Sidle, with their sound drawing comparisons to rock bands like Fuel, Stone Temple Pilots and Rage Against the Machine. In this interview, I also asked the band about their core influences, as well as any dream collaborations that they would love to make happen one day.

Alright, thank you so much for your time today, guys. You have a new single that you released called “Out.” Can you tell me what went into the writing and recording of that new track? It sounds great!

Will Brennan: Like most of our songs, it starts from a basic riff. This song was a little special compared to the other ones, because this is one that we wrote in the studio when we were recording our album. That was a song I began writing in Nashville. We’re from Connecticut, and we started writing, and I went to Nashville. And we were recording what we were thinking, “Oh, maybe if we hadn’t finished recording our album, we’ll record this other song.” And we didn’t finish it. And then we got the opportunity through our manager and researcher here to record in Santa Cruz, California, if you did with Universal, I’m in collaboration with Universal Audio. And so before then we finished writing a song and recorded it there, and then pretty happy when it came out.

Logan Sidle: Yeah, “Out” was our first single release after our debut album. And the song definitely taps into more of the heavier area of music that we touched upon. And it just wanted to create something that really captured our raw instrumental aspect of who we are that focused more on almost more than just the videos, we originally were posting on Instagram. And that was more about the riff in the drums, as opposed to a song that’s more of some of our stuff is going a little bit lighter.

WB: And definitely, the design is very dynamic oriented. So, the riff is sort of in throughout the song, just the different dynamic sort of, it’s the chorus. It’s, for example, the first cycle of poverty and floating students sort of like a quiet, quite funky, funky universe, many surfaces below are in the chorus, it’s really the song is about dynamics, because the riff is constant.

Yeah, it makes sense. You guys mentioned that Jacquine King came in as your guy’s producer and manager. So what was it like working with him on the debut LP, the self-titled?

WB: Yeah, it was a really good experience. He’s a really great creative collaborator. And he’s really creative, helping and seeing what we sort of see our art potential and helping sort of inspire us to, to explore areas of our musicality that we didn’t know we necessarily have done before. Since we’re such a new band, we’re still sort of learning at the time recording who we are and what our voices are and there’s a whole origin story about how we found us and stuff and like how it came to be working with him. It’s just a really great experience. And the three of us together are very connected as people and seem to have a very just natural chemistry. So it’s, it’s kind of cool to just work with the three of us, it’s a cool experience.

LS: Definitely. We all bring something to the table that others can’t. And altogether it comes together. I think it’s a great formula.

Yeah, do you find it easy to write as just the two of you guys or have you ever brought in outside collaborators or like that for other stuff early on, or do you feel pretty tight knit at this point?

WB: Yeah, so far, it’s just the two of us, but maybe in the future, you never know in regards to writing and collaborating, but yeah, you just do a song with someone but so far, it’s just the two of us right writing these things.

Nice. So the previous single “Get Somewhere” kind of lived up to its name! It got a lot of traction on both rock playlists and also rock radio. So how rewarding was it finding some success for your band that early on?

WB: It was really, really cool. And I want to say surprising, but also exciting and I don’t know. Really, it was really cool to see, for example, our first couple of live shows ever, was opening for Stone Temple Pilots. So that was a dream come true, really to not only open for them, but to hang out with them and they’re just the coolest guys. It was a big honor for us.

That’s awesome! Anything else of note for the single “Get Somewhere?” Why do you think it struck such a chord with people?

LS: I think potentially because I think there’s sort of, I think there’s sort of maybe a universality to it. You know, we want to get somewhere together, regardless of who you are, where you are, what you are, and when you get somewhere together, and I think we were sort of going for a positive message there. And hopefully that resonated with people.

Yeah, definitely. Do you guys get comparisons to some of the other bands you’ve toured with? Or what do you feel like people mostly pigeonhole you guys in? Or is it kind of just different depending on the style you’re going for?

WB: I would say right now, we have that in comparison to Stone Temple Pilots. And I think a lot of our riffs are because of Stone Temple Pilots, and they have a big riff component, very heavy riffs. But more so I think a lot of people have sort of compared us to a lot of 90s alternative rock. I’ve gotten some of our stuff having Rage Against the Machine comparisons. But other people have said Nirvana, Foo Fighters, or some Queens of the Stone Age. And it’s funny, because a lot of the comparisons are kind of random and all over the place, because our songs are very different on the album. Some of our songs almost have a metal-leaning edge, and others almost kind of like a pop-rock leading edge. So I’ve gotten even compared everywhere from Slipknot and Arctic Monkeys.

It’s nice that they can’t narrow your sound down. But that’s good company to be in with all the bands you name dropped. So keep up the good work! You guys recently toured with The Bronx and Drug Church. What songs translated the best live based on the crowd reaction?

WB: Yeah, no, it was a great tour, a lot of fun. The band’s pricing structures are super warm and welcoming to us as our first tour. And it’s very kind of them to give us some shoutouts when they were on stage. In terms of what songs I think resonated, I’d say “Cage” is one for sure. That was cool for the crowd, and they sort of heard those “shout back” parts and they got into that. As well as their song kind of everything I’d say because there’s sort of a live, you get that song a little different than we did on the record on “Bogey.” We’ll start out the drum rack beginning. And then I’ll try to get the crowd to clap with me. Before I start and come up, come in with a breath. So that was really fun. 

LS: Yeah, it seems like our heavier stuff seemed to resonate more with their audience because they’re definitely more of a hardcore band. We have lighter stuff, but we tried to alter our set to fit that environment a little bit more. So we started taking our existing songs and put a little more power on them.

That makes sense. Yeah, that’s a good strategy, too, because you don’t want to get booed out of the building playing like the soft stuff with hardcore bands. I’m glad you guys did well. So do you have any plans for the rest of this year, plus the new year?

WB: Yeah, so our plan is to basically start doing a lot of touring. The serious thing we’re doing is we’re doing this cruise music festival called “Super Excited About Suicidal Tendencies.” There’s lots of cool bands and artists playing. And it’s almost like our first real festival lineup, but we’re working to have some headlining shows in late 2022 and early 2023. And also, our agents working together on some support slots, too. So lots of touring is in the books for the next 12-month period.

How do you guys measure success? Do you look at Spotify numbers, or things like that? Or is it more intrinsic? Do you kind of look at how people are reacting to the live shows? Or what’s your take on that?

WB: That’s a good question. I measure success by content with our customers wanting more, but I mean, I’ve been very happy so far with the success the album has had so far and the streaming numbers. And the reactions have been very positive. But yeah, I mean, obviously, we hope to keep going and get larger numbers and a larger following and all of that.

LS: And I would say that the fan connection, when people reach out to us with a message of how our music has touched them, or the connection they have to it, we are just individual people making that connection. That’s, for me, the biggest sign of success. And there’s people actually saying, your music really inspired me, or I really, really, really love this, I really want to hear more of that. I think having a small group of people that are really into what you’re doing is way more powerful, and then having these massive numbers, because at the end of the day, it’s about the community, not about the numbers. Because the numbers go away, eventually. Social media platforms can go away, but the connection is not.

That’s a good point, and a good way of looking at it too. Every band has a unique story to tell with their music. What do you hope people will take away from listening to Robot Monster?

WB: I just want people to know more on the surface, I just want people to hear some music that they enjoy that just has real instruments on it. And we’ll musicality not to say that there aren’t tons of great stuff out there. But since we’re living in an age with so much less actual bands, playing music on records and live and there’s, which is, it’d be cool to hear. To get people into actually more raw music, whereas it’s just instruments and people that practice or instruments playing, playing music together and enjoying melodies and cool drum fills. And getting inspired for the love of music and instruments.

LS: Yeah, definitely. I hope, in terms of the lyrics, we don’t really write about personal experiences. We sort of write about the human experience. And I think there’s something for everybody, and I want our songs to just sort of make you think, or make you feel something. You know, that’s really just I think that’s the beauty of not just music, it’s just part of general communication. And so I want to communicate. I’m not necessarily experienced, but sort of expressing our truth in a way expressing our true subject will either make them think or feel something.

That’s great, you guys definitely have your hearts and your heads heading in the right direction, so I wish you guys nothing but the best. The last question I have for you would be if you were to think of either a dream collaboration on either a recording, or even a tour placement, who do you think it would be?

WB: I would love to be on the same bill or support with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They are one of my favorite bands. That would be a dream come true. And I think if I could collaborate with any artist, that would probably be Paul McCartney, because I just think he’s just super legendary. To collaborate with somebody as talented, amazing as him would just be an amazing experience. 

You could probably learn a lot from just bending your ear to Paul, it goes without saying, right?

LS: Yeah, I second that. I’d say for me there’ll be one to be Metallica is sort of their probably my biggest influence on the heavier side. So, maybe someone like James Hettfield to collaborate with. I saw them when I was a kid, probably in eighth grade when they’re on their world Magnetic tour. 

Yeah, definitely good ones to start with, as far as the dream collaborations and everything like that! So do you have any last words for your fans, or a quick little pitch about why they should check out the new album?

WB: Yeah, we’re really excited for people to hear our first album and we just really hope it reaches people and moves them, and helps get people back into rock music and inspiring people to who are reaching people who want to hear more drum sets in guitars on albums. I just hope people enjoy it. And we’re excited to play live all over the world soon.

LS: Yeah, and I just want to thank everybody who has checked it out already. So thank you to everyone. And yeah, I think there’s something for everybody and thank you for checking us out.

This was great, thank you so much, guys! I enjoyed meeting you, and I wish you guys the best as I mentioned before. 

WB: Alright, take care. Enjoy your afternoon.

Take care as well.