CROBOT Vocalist On What He Learned From Lemmy, Transparency And Groove
Crobot have been one of the more exciting bands on the rock scene for a minute now, their meteoric rise coming off of the strength of tours with bands like Clutch, and Motorhead. In the world of Crobot there is no slowing down, only relentless touring and tons of recording. As they prepare to drop their next record, Fat City, due out September 23rd, and go back on the road with Sevendust, the bands vocalist, Brandon Yeagley was kind enough to sit down with me for a few minutes and discuss the finer points of the band.
After all, when you've been able to take over the world with as much dominance and rock and roll swagger as Crobot have since their inception in 2011 you can't help but to pinch yourself.
How the hell are you?
I'm doing great man. Just hanging out here at the house for the last couple of hours. We're hanging out getting ready to go back on the road with Sevendust. The first gig is in Kansas on Friday but we are going to take our time and leave early.
How did that come together?
We actually work with the same booking agency which helps matters. LJ from Sevendust has seen us accidentally a few times and since then he has been trying to be proactive about getting us on the road with them. We can't thank them enough for getting us out. We were on the last leg with them a few weeks ago. It was pretty much a Canadian tour with a few State-side dates here and there. It should be another inebriated adventure to say the least!
How does it feel to have a band like Sevendust acknowledge your work like that?
It's really surreal. Growing up, Animosity was one of my favorite albums. Just to be able to be in the same sentence as them, let alone having guys like LJ come out and see us is us coming full circle. I wake up every day grateful for having the chance to watch guys that I admire and idolize do what we are doing. It's huge. I pinch myself every day.
Do you think you will ever stop pinching yourself?
No I don't think so. Just mentioning awesome yours we've been on it was really cool to be out there with a band like Motorhead, and not only because now we see it as one of Lemmy's last tours and to be a part of that which was an honor. But to be around him and just see how humble of a person Lemmy was after forty plus years in the business and to kind of see him still pinching himself was I guess a look into what is quite possibly our future if we do things the right way. Motorhead are one of those iconic bands that have just survived the test of time. I certainly hope that we continue even half as long as they did. To see an icon like Lemmy just be so humble every chance that he got and every time you talked to him was really eye opening to the fact that you can still be at that level and still be extremely grateful for what you have. At the end of the day we are all fans of music and to be given this opportunity to be in a different city every night and do what we love to do is something people kill for. We certainly don't forget what we've done to be here and what other people have done to get us here. We will constantly pinch ourselves just to have this opportunity.
What else did you learn from Lemmy?
The room is just a different place with him in it. Individually, we had the same reaction to him the first time we met him. It was one of those Wayne's World moments like “We're not worthy!” I think we all ran away in fear after our first encounter with Lemmy because he's just such a huge aura and a massive persona in the room. It was something I never experienced before and we've had the chance to meet quite a few very influential people. Lemmy was the one for me where nothing could have prepared me for the aura that surrounded that man. It was just incredible. For forty years of being a band and be able to still get up there and put on the best possible show that they can and to see a guy like Lemmy die with his boots on – you have to tip your hat to the guy. He never gave up. It's the sort of thing when you start that you say you are going to do but to see a band accomplish that gives you hope and that tour with everything that surrounded it with Lemmy's health was sad to see and it was sad to see his passing as well but I will always be grateful to have that experience to be in the same room with Lemmy.
Why do you think that so many major musicians and industry figures gravitate towards Crobot and is that different from why normal people gravitate to Crobot?
I think it boils down to the hard work we put in and the passion we have for what we do. After that it makes everything a lot easier. We try to maintain a certain level of transparency in what we do. That comes across to people. We aren't up there faking it. We honestly enjoy what we are doing and sacrificed so much to be here. We are grateful for the opportunities we have. We leave everything on the stage and in the studio. We never compromise who we are and we maintain our individuality as a band and as a whole. For me the one thing is the transparency in everything and the fact that we leave it all out there.
How did you come to that philosophy of transparency?
It was our mission statement when we started the band. A few years ago we we started to see a trend in the radio rock market, not that we are a radio rock band, we are put in those places by outside perspectives but we don't write for the radio. When we started the band we were surrounded by what seemed to be so much cookie cutter formulated music and we really set out to do something that we wanted to listen to and do something we would want to see. Even our stance to this day, we just want to put out stuff we aren't afraid of releasing and putting everything on the line for and getting behind 100%.
Where do you feel you fit into the rock and roll scene?
That's a good question! We bring in a lot of influences from a lot of different places. It leads to us sounding a little different than a lot of bands doing the same thing. By all means we are not reinventing the wheel. It's blues rock to the core and having been influenced by bands like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and simultaneously Soundgarden, Rage Against The Machine and Clutch and bands with that groove factor. It makes us a product of our influences. We call it dirty groove rock. We are used to being put into lineups where we stick out like a sore thumb be it a metal fest or a radio rock fest. We really don't think that we have a set place and I think that's kind of okay with us. We are not really trying to fit in anywhere .We are just trying to be ourselves and do what we want to do and hear. We are just hard rock. That's how we describe things when anyone asks but it's a hard description to come to.
What about that music appeals to you?
Just the groove factor. When listening to bands like Zeppelin and Deep Purple you put yourself into the room with them . You imagine yourself being there with them while the writing process is going on. We are a live band and that's how we create music. That's how we approach everything – to be as real as we can. Thank God for Youtube because now we can watch almost every live show that has ever been recorded. You go back and watch those moments that are bigger than the band. They're reaching a point where it's almost out of body experience. That's what music is to me – an escape. I couldn't live without music and that's what those bands have done for us. I guess that Crobot is sort of filling a void within ourselves but at the same time we're hoping that we fill some kind of void. We aren't reinventing the wheel by any means but if we are part of the new era of hard rock bands that gets younger kids to go back and listen to Zeppelin and Sabbath and Deep Purple… We don't hold that weight but we just want to wear our influences on our sleeves. We consider ourselves good music or we wouldn't put it out there, but we are just trying to get people to listen to good music again!
Pre-order the new album, Fat City, here.