The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




Photos by Jeff Forney



black robot is a band you will love, making classic rock's best of 2010. here at the rockpit we've been playing their cd since we first heard 'badass' back in 2008! now everyone is picking up on the band and that means we're all winners! MARK GOT THE CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH JONATHAN 'JB' brightman recently, many thanks to JENN FOR SETTING US UP!



Many thanks for taking the time to talk to Black Robot is a band that has been on our radar for a while now, but it seems that the world at large are only just tuning in!


MD: Your debut album came out in 2009 but I remember hearing ‘Badass’ in 2008, and this year you picked up a nod in Classic Rock’s album of the year. Does it feel like this is a new start?.0


JB: Yes. We released an independent version of the record in 2008. We were basically selling them on ebay and online. Once we got larger distribution channels in place we’re finally getting some broader attention.


MD: Are you surprised about the levels of publicity this time around, rather than for the original release?


JB: Absolutely. We still do our best to work with any level of publicity. From a teenager with their own blog site working out of their bedroom to Rolling Stone magazine.  Our goal is to let everyone know we’re here and we’re not going away. 


MD: You sound like all of my favourite bands mashed up; there’s AC/DC, Zeppelin, Black Crowes and The Stones. How would you describe your sound?


JB: I like to just call it Modern Classic Rock. Imagine intercepting rock and roll right where it was before things got awful in the music business and continuing from that point.  Right before Nirvana perhaps.  All though I love Nirvana it spawned some real shit. And I am still baffled about how Limp Bizkit sold millions of records. Hahahaha.


MD: Tell us about the whole ‘Black Robot’ concept?


JB: The concept is to return to the time when bands were making albums and exploring the music with no concern whether it’s cool or appropriate for the radio. We like giving the audience a chance to use their imaginations with our Robot. We’d like to see the Robot come to life one day.


MD: One of the best covers ever, in my opinion, is your cover of JJ Cale’s “Cocaine”. It seems to suit your sound perfectly; did you consider covering any other songs?


JB: We just stumbled into this cover and decided to include it on our record. It would be fun to do any number of Beatles songs…in our own way, of course.


Black Robot by Jeff Forney


MD: Black Robot started with former Buckcherry band mates, Yogi and Devon, but they are not on the album. Are you still on good terms?


JB: Actually they are on the record. Yogi does some great solo work on four songs and Devon plays drums on a few songs. They are great friends and we are always happy to lend a musical hand to each other.


MD: After all this time, do you still keep up to date, with what Buckcherry are doing?


JB: Actually, I heard one of their new songs on satellite radio recently. I think they released a few records after my departure. But the song was really good. Everything was in key.


MD: Did the album take long to put together, as I know that you had been planning Black Robot for some time?


JB: The main body of the record was done in a few weeks. We added a few songs to the second version of the record. But overall we don’t like to put too much time into over thinking things. If it rocks, you pretty much know right away.


MD: “Badass” is one of the coolest songs I’ve heard in a long time, what are your favourites on the record?


JB: BADDASS is my favourite. It’s just a funny song.  


MD: I was hoping to catch you in LA last year, but you weren’t playing a lot of dates. Will you be touring this year?


JB: We hope to at least hit some territories in Europe this summer. Touring in the U.S. has gotten really political. For example, bigger bands are now doing this thing called “buy ons”, which is basically charging their opening band to get added to the bill. It’s rotten.


MD: What inspires you to write?


JB: I get inspired by seeing other great bands. We write together as a band. That’s really fulfilling. Collaboration is much more fun.


MD: What music are you listening to at the moment? Are there any local bands that we should be listening to?


JB: At the moment I have the Beatles Abbey Road playing. There’s a great local band called Goldsboro. A few guys from the band Orson’s new project. It’s great stuff.


MD: How hard have you find it to get Black Robot noticed and do you have any advice for young bands out there starting out in the industry?


JB: It’s very hard. It feels like carrying a load of boulders on your back uphill in the rain both ways!!! My advice to new bands: Be relentless.


MD: Downloading and the internet are both a blessing and a curse for musicians. What is your take on the industry as it stands today? Where do you see it heading?


JB: I think the musician will have to catch up with all this technology. In other words, a band may have to use more of their own words, images, actions and give more of themselves up to be noticed. These days anyone can edit a video and put up content. We’re going to have to learn how to be as creative on several formats now.


MD: What are Black Robot’s plans for 2011? Are you planning any new music?.


JB: Yes. Everyone in the band has great songs and fresh new ideas. We’re about to get down to the business of making more music. Very exciting.


MD: You had a web site a while ago that looked cool, but I cant find it now, are you going to have that up again soon?

JB: The new site will be unveiled soon at It’s going to be way cooler.


MD: Is the Black Robot character something that you will be using to market the band?


JB: Absolutely. He’s our mascot.


MD: What does rock music mean to you?


JB: Rock music means four poor kids from Liverpool with a dream. Anything that resembles that in any way is rock music.


MD: If you could have been involved in the creation of any album or piece of music, what would it have been and why?


JB: I would have liked to be involved with Guns n Roses Chinese Democracy. I would have scrapped that record and convinced Axl to work with Slash, Duff and Steven again. Chinese Democracy could have been a great solo record for Axl, but the GNR fans waited a long time for something else.


MD: Now the really easy one we ask everyone, what is the meaning of life?


JB: The human body is equipped with all the senses that make it possible to bear witness on all things great and terrible. Make it a point to see and hear a band play live. Have as much fun as possible. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Rock out!!!


And now go chack out this on YouTube:



Once again many thanks for taking the time!


Mark Diggins spoke to Jonathan Brightman February 2011



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