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








CROBOT IS APPEARING AT ROCKLAHOMA 2015 - click here to vivit the website


Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from The Rockpit in Australia, how’s things?

Brandon: Great, been out all day hunting some white tail dear with my dad!

Mark: Wow! Where are you guys based?

Brandon: We’re based out of Pennsylvania, on the East Coast of the US.

Mark: Yeah, it’s hunting season, we don’t really get all that over here, unless it’s kangaroos and pigs! Ok, the album, “Something Supernatural”, it’s got to be one of our favourite albums of the year, it’s really great to hear some really good music, so late on in the year. It’s been out a while now, it came out here on the 28th of October, are you happy with the response so far?

Brandon: Absolutely. It’s really cool to hear other peoples take on it. We recorded every day in November 2013, so it’s been a year ago now, and to finally have it out there and to receive feedback is really cool. It’s a full circle moment for sure for us. Our first record with Wind -Up and Nuclear Blast, and we’re really excited about what the future holds, the response has been really cool and here in the States we actually had nowhere to hide, we were picked up by radio, which we never in a million years expected, we just couldn’t foresee ourselves being that kind of band, so it’s all a big surprise for us!

Mark: It’s fantastic to hear that, getting some real music back on the radio! So, explain to us “Dirty, Groove Rock!” It seems like a fantastically fitting description for what we’re hearing on the album.

Brandon: Yeah, it’s one of those things where we were trying to think of how to describe ourselves. People ask, “Hey, what’s your band like?”, so we finally came up with “Dirty, Groove Rock” and that’s the way to sum it up in three words! We like to stay on the funky side of things, we like to keep that end of the spectrum, but we also like to keep the “sludgy”, “Doobie” side of the Crobot sound too, and sometimes the two meet, that’s really what we’re all about.

Mark: There’s a nice balance on there, there are some great songs, there’s some harder stuff, slow stuff and as you said some funky stuff too and some metal too. It’s all tied together by your vocals, there’s so much power and feeling there, and it really lifts the album. Who do you mould yourself on? Do you have any particular singer that influences you? Or, do you just get out there and do your own thing?

Brandon: Thanks, Man! You know, I think it’s a little of everything, I try to take all the influences and make it my own; I put a spin on all of those. I’m really heavily influenced by Robert Plant, and what he did in Led Zeppelin. I remember a story I once heard, where they asked him why he decided to sing so high, and he said, well the PA’s weren’t loud enough, so I had to come up with a way for everyone to hear me! That just stuck with me when I was young, and I looked at that as to where I wanted to base my vocal range around, and work to get my ranges as close as I could to Robert Plant. I also listened to a lot of Ronnie James Dio, growing up as well; I always thought he had the perfect formula for cheese and fantasy!! It’s such a thin line and many people tried to imitate it, and sometimes it can definitely go south, and turn to cheese very quickly, but Dio really did a cool job of storytelling, in a fantasy setting of wizards, dragons and such, and hit the bullseye with that! I definitely look to that for inspiration, and maybe some guys that are a little more modern. I remember the time I first heard Myles Kennedy, I was absolutely blown away by his voice and when I heard his voice it was definitely in my moments when I was trying to find my own identity and trying to learn my technique as a vocalist, he just resonated with me, and he’s probably one of the best vocalists that’s out there right now. In any medium, whether it’s with Slash, or Alter Bridge he just nails it, every time I’ve seen him perform live he just gets it spot on, and so every night we have to take that on stage and do that too. Also Neil Fallon from Clutch, not enough light gets shone him as a vocalist, I definitely love what Neil does as a vocalist and especially lyrically, what he does, in a story telling fashion, and the way he writes and the way he uses words together and they just roll off the tongue so well. Definitely something I’ve tried to accomplish, also Chris Cornell, from Soundgarden, there are a lot of singers out there who have influenced me in some way, and a lot of bands that have influenced Crobot. You could name pretty much anybody and you wouldn’t be far off!!

Mark: It’s a pretty good list so far! Getting back to the album, it’s nice to see you’ve released it on vinyl as well, which is always cool! But, also I was intrigued by some of the bundles you have on sale, a Crobot, leather scented air freshener!!

Brandon: Yeah, that’s something we’ve had around for a little while! It was sort of a gag at first, because we said that every Crobot show should smell like leather! So, we created the Crobot air fresheners, and it has the saying on it, nothing says Crobot like leather!!

Mark: I’m sold!! It’s the perfect holiday gift!! Let’s talk about some of the songs on the album, I’ve read a few reviews over the last couple of days, and we’ve obviously written our own as well. A lot of people are saying “Queens of the Stone Age”, “Audioslave”, “and Wolfmother”, but I think your music goes far deeper than those bands. There are quite a lot of bands out there at the moment that are doing a retro sound, but are doing it well and putting their own spin on it, bands like “Kadaver”, “Blues Pils”, even bands like “Rival Sons”, but I think you’ve got your own unique sound. Where did the song “La Mana de Lucifer” come from? That is one of the best songs I’ve heard in the last few years!

Brandon: Thank you. That one, we just had pieces of it lying around, and in our jam sessions we tried to take it every which way we could, until we were happy with the structure, and the story that it told. It started out, as I don’t want to say a joke, but we had written about thirty songs early on, we had written a lot of songs at this point, and we looked at them, and said there’s not really a slow song in there, we should try to write a slow one, and the only way Crobot could do that was to make it about the Devil!! That’s definitely where the lyrics came from, I’ve always looked at the Devil as being the best protagonist ever, in fiction, it’s always intrigued me, and it fits the music.

Mark: You’ve got everything on the album, you’ve got the classic rock feel of “Queen of the Light”, which we love, “Night of the Sacrifice” which is a bit more funky, and I bet goes down really well live.
Brandon: Yeah, that’s a good one; actually we’re thinking that one might be the next single, we’re tossing that one around.

Mark: So, how do you put an album like this together?

Brandon: It’s a little of everything, we’re on the road a lot at this point, so it’s hard to find the time together to jam, and that’s definitely how we write, we just get in a room, and sometimes someone will have an idea, and we’ll take that a little further, and sometimes I just improvise some melody over the top of the structure. We then just roll with it for an hour or two, and that’s really how most of the songs are written, and the ones that tend to be hurdles almost, to find the riffs or the next part, or whatever it may be, we set those to the side. We usually tend to find that whatever comes out, or what comes easy to us, is usually what we end up holding true to, we are definitely a jam band, in the sense of that’s how we write. That’s one thing I love about us, it’s definitely genuine, it’s definitely real and what we love about music, it’s what started us learning how to play our instruments, and the passion really comes out in the process of how we write.

Mark: It does. You have some tours coming up in December, you’re out with Chevelle, and next year you’re out on the road with Volbeat, and also the Shiprocked cruise as well. Pretty hard work out there??

Brandon: Yeah, we also have a pretty big tour in between that, which we are not allowed to officially announce yet! We’re going to be hopping over to Europe and spending a month and a half over there before the Anthrax tour, so probably from February next year to December, we’ll be on the road.

Mark: That’s great. You touched on some of your influences earlier, but do you listen to any contemporary music out there? Is there great music being made locally, where you guys are?

Brandon: In the very beginning days of Crobot, we were fortunate enough to play with some very cool bands, and one of those we continue to play with as much as possible whenever we get back in to the area, a band called Only Living Boy, they’re out of New Jersey, I like to describe them as Hendrix meets The Toadies, their guitarist Joe Cirotti, he sings and plays, and they are just incredible live, and their songs are so solid, and the album, “Hide Nothing” is one of my favourite albums. It’s something I look for in a band, is the album quality and they certainly hit it out of the park, and so we try to play with those guys as much as possible. There are also some other cool bands that have come out of the area, but Only Living Boy, are definitely our favourite.

Mark: Our final two questions are our standard questions we ask everyone. If you could have been a fly on the wall for the creation of any album, at any point in time, what would it have been for you and why?
Brandon: I would have to say “Vol. 4” by Black Sabbath. Because I’ve heard so many of the stories from when it was created, and what went down!! I think the fact that they only had around $50,000 dollars to spend on the recording; they really didn’t have a lot to work with, and considering that fact, it’s still one of my all-time favourite albums! And considering some of the stories I’ve heard, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall there!

Mark: Definitely one of my favourite Black Sabbath albums, and an easy one to finish, what is the meaning of life?

Brandon: 42.

Mark: I’ll accept that! Great that you’re aware of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy!

Brandon: Oh, yeah!! I never forget my towel!

Mark: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us this morning, it’s a wonderful album, we can’t get enough of it, and hopefully the world will feel the same about it! Take care

Brandon: Awesome, thanks so much.


Brandon spoke to Mark Diggins November 2014





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