In a world where auto tune and drum machines rule the mainstream, many a music fan are left hankering for the days when rock ‘n’ roll was king and disco sucked.
Enter Crobot. They’re a hard-hitting, remarkably sweaty, no frills rock band that captures the spirit of an age of music that seems to have been lapped up and swallowed by the gnarled, wagging tongue of Miley Cyrus.
This gang of grizzled road warriors have had an impressive few years, including tours with some well-established rulers of the rock world like Clutch and Anthrax. However, despite their relatively quick rise from a small town in Pennsylvania to this fall’s tour with undisputed rock Gods Motörhead, these dudes have managed to stay humored and humble, and further, continue to work tirelessly to honor the roots of what spawned their collective love of rock music from the start.
We caught upwith lead singer Brandon Yeagley about their September 12th show with Motörhead, new album, and what they love most about Detroit Rock City. All quotes edited for clarity.
Daily Detroit: Tell us a bit about the upcoming tour with Motörhead + Saxon in August and September. You guys have done your share of touring, including some runs with some well known acts. What makes this one special?
We’ve been on quite a few awesome tours from Clutch and the Sword, to Volbeat and Anthrax, and now, Motörhead and Saxon. We still really cannot believe all of the amazing acts we have had the pleasure of touring with, but certainly the legendary Motörhead takes the cake.
Lemmy and crew are absolute titans to anyone who knows anything about Rock ‘n’ Roll. It’s comparable to touring with Ozzy or Aerosmith — bands that are iconic in every way, shape, and form. This year also marks 40 years for Motörhead, so to be touring with them during this milestone year is beyond anything we have ever done. Lemmy is GOD!
DD: You guys have picked up quite a bit of momentum in a fairly short time. Have there been any particular points that have made you say, “It’s all happening?”
Absolutely! It pretty much seems to happen on a daily basis for us at this point, and it’s likely due to the fact that we are completely flabbergasted every time we step on stage. It’s a continuous “holy s***, we’re really doing this” moment. We’re always like, “holy s***, people are here!”
It blows our minds to be gaining steam at a time when nobody knows what the hell is going on with the music industry. All we know is we wake up in the van, Rock ‘n’ Roll, rinse and repeat. We could only hope to be riffin’ on the stage together in 40 years like Motörhead.
We are lifers and the road is our bride, but having people show up every night continues to astound us. Rock fans are the best fans and it doesn’t take a group of astrophysicists to figure that out. People love live music, and fans and other great bands are keeping the spirit of Rock ‘n’ Roll alive and well, and that’s a beautiful thing to see.
DD: Tell us a bit about your latest record. What was it like working with a producer as legendary as Machine? What can people expect from this record if they’ve never heard you guys?
When we signed with Wind-Up Records about three years ago, we knew we would have a good shot at working with some cool producers. And when we came up with our dream list, Machine, ironically, was at the top.
A month later Wind-Up put us on the bill at their South by Southwest showcase in Austin, TX. We played to about 15 — 20 people and when we finished, we were approached by a man who was blown away by our performance. He said, “I don’t know who you guys are, if you have any management or label support, but I want to work with you.” That man was Machine.
To make matters weirder, he was there by accident. He was actually supposed to watch the band that came on after us, but his alarm was set to the wrong time zone, so when he came to Austin his alarm went off at the wrong time. Schwing!
We spent the rest of that week hanging out with him and getting to know each other. He has produced some of our favorite albums of all time, from Clutch’s “Blast Tyrant” & “Earth Rocker” to Lamb of God’s “Sacrament;” so we knew he understood what we were all about.
The studio was an amazing experience all in its own. We grew stronger as a band and songwriters alongside of Machine in his dirty Jersey sonic compound. He had great insight on the songs and his recording process really opened our eyes and ears to what was possible. We are now better musicians and composers just from working on the album with him and his crew.
Daily Detroit: You’ve built much of your reputation through your live shows. What do you think sets you guys apart in that space?
One, we never stop moving. I have a tattoo of James Brown on my good foot to remind me of “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.” We leave every ounce of sweat on stage, except of course the bit that make their way onto the first few rows of fans, deemed the “splash zone.”
It’s not a completely choreographed show. We change the set list just about every night. So ultimately it’s always different from start to finish, and that’s something we want to hold on to. Furthermore, we are fans, first and foremost, and we are sincerely ecstatic to be on stage every night sharing the experience with like-minded road dogs.
Also, we just plug in and play. There are no backing tracks. It’s real f***** ‘ Rock ‘n’ Roll with no gimmicks. There are too many bands today that rely on backing tracks to make their shows sound the same every night, as if that is some kind of favor to the fans. There is no wiggle room with that mentality. No room for error. Error is the foundation of rock. The fact that at any given moment anything could go wrong is exciting and keeps things interesting. That’s what live music is missing today, some danger.
Daily Detroit: You guys did some touring with Detroit heroes, Wilson. Can you tell us about that? Will you guys work together in again?
We always have the best time hanging out with those dudes and f***ery is one of our favorite forms of debauchery.
We first met Wilson aboard Shiprocked this past February when we set sail for 5 days in the Bermuda Triangle and Bahamas. To say we got drunk together is a complete and total understatement. There was a bowling battle while being totally inebriated and many, many drunken bro hangs. There will be more. Oh yes. There will be more.
Daily Detroit: Are there any bands out of Detroit that you guys are into?
Apart from our brothers in Wilson, there are a number of awesome Detroit bands keeping the spirit alive. Blue Snaggletooth, Bison Machine, Stone Ritual, & Child Bite are all killer bands that are definitely worth checking out from the greater Detroit area. There has always been a great vibe about the music coming out of Detroit, always raw and organic. Of course, we are pretty biased to our stoner rock and doom metal but hey, if you like us, check out these bad-ass riffers!
Daily Detroit: What are your thoughts on the Detroit Rock scene past and present? Did the Detroit sound have any influence on you guys individually or as a band?
Detroit has always had a great sound and sonic aura. From MC5 to Jack White to the Motown days, there is a lot that the Detroit area has to offer. The Stooges, Rare Earth, Bob Seger, Cactus, Grand Funk Railroad, and fuckin’ Funkadelic, seriously? Straight up bitchin’ sounds with no regrets and no apologies. The pride of Detroit reigns supreme!
Daily Detroit: What are your goals for 2015?
For the rest of the year we will be touring heavily from Motörhead to going to the Bahamas again on Motörboat at the end of September. After that we will have a few weeks off to finish writing the next record. Then, it’s off to Europe with our brothers in riff of Scorpion Child and Buffalo Summer for a headlining run that we are extremely excited about. then we end the year with some time at home for the holidays. Hopefully, after that, we will be hitting the studio to lay down the next album.
Daily Detroit: Iggy Pop or Alice Cooper? Or neither?
Both! Shock rock kings each in their own right. The Stooges “Funhouse” is one of the best album experiences you can get. From start to finish, that album kicks you right in the molars, man! And, of course, you can’t downplay Alice Cooper and his always impressive antics, even in his sixties. “Billion Dollar Babies” is still one of those iconic records and will forever live on. If there’s a choice for neither, surely both can be an ample response, right?
Catch the boys of Crobot when they open for Motörhead at the Fillmore on September 12th. For tickets, click here.