Before the A&GS move I was fortunate enough to sit down with Brandon Yeagley, lead vocalist of CROBOT, a band who is tearing up the airwaves right now on the heels of their Something Supernatural record. Released in the fall of 2014 the album has had praise lavished on it not only from critics and fans, but also the miscreants here at A&GS! Tireless road dogs, the band is getting ready to head back out on April 2 for a few shows before their run with VOLBEAT and ANTHRAX. So pull up a chair and see what Brandon had to say to us:
Amps: Just so you know, here at A&GS we are all such huge fans of this record, it’s not even funny.
Brandon: Wow, thanks! We’re really excited it’s finally out there. It seems like forever ago since we recorded everything and wrote everything. But you know it’s finally like a full circle moment for us, you know? It’s out there and the response has been great, thanks for digging it.
Amps: We kind of had a Battle Royale in the octagon over who was gonna get to review it because once I got it and everyone found out I had it, it was kind of a blood bath as to who was gonna finally get it…
Brandon: (Laughs) Thanks, thanks man. We really appreciate it.
Amps: Hey, no problem. How did CROBOT come together anyway?
Brandon: You know, Bishop (guitar) and I were in a band before CROBOT. It was sort of just like a cover band but originals too and the originals were really the main reason why I joined the band. I was just the bass player at that point and that band only lasted for a quick second. So we decided to go back to the drawing board and really try to do something that we could just sort of write some songs and see what comes out. That’s really our mentality still today. We wrote as many songs as we could, practiced as much as we possibly could and really devoted our lives to this.
The way that our manager found our video for “Legend of the Spaceborne Killer” is we entered a contest to play The Grammys. Evidently Shawn Cohen which is the manager of A&R at Wind-Up Records walked away from the computer and heard our song because our video was next in the playlist. He hit the back button and watched the video in its entirety watched us for three weeks on the social medias and looked at our touring schedule to see how extensive it was and where we were playing and what kind of things we were doing.
We showcased for Wind-Up and they loved the band, seeing us live, and it took a few months but we put it in ink and everything and we’re very happy with our relationship with that record label. We started throwing around names of producers for the new record, and we sat at my kitchen table and I’ll never forget it, we talked about our dream list, you know, “It’s never gonna happen, it’s never gonna happen!” but who were the maybe two people we would just die to work with, and Machine was the first name on the list.
Amps: He did the EP as well, right?
Brandon: He did all those songs in one recording process but just kind of released them in sections. Yeah, the way we met was just serendipity at its finest. We played South by South West a few years ago, and Wind-Up hooked us up with a showcase. Evidently Machine living in New Jersey had all of his alarms set for Eastern time so when he got to Austin all of his alarms, he went to our set accidentally an hour before he was supposed to come. He accidentally caught our set and afterwards he approached us and he said, “I don’t know who you guys are, I don’t know record label or management or whatever, but I don’t care, I want to work with you guys and I want to figure out how to make this work.” We talked to him and hung out that whole week and really got to understand who he is as a person. Obviously his track list is just bar none. This guy is, like I said, he was also our number one pick for dream producer and all of that just sort of happened in a crazy, crazy sort of way. Once we got in the studio and worked with him he was the fifth guy in the room just throwing ideas at us, jumping on the couch in excitement, screaming and stuff, yelling when we’d do something right (laughs). He really made the process possible for us. We entered with 50 songs and got them down to 15. It’s really hard sometimes to put your babies on the chopping block like that.
Amps: Oh I’m sure. Now, there’s something very different about you. You get compared to WOLFMOTHER, KINGS OF LEON, bands who’ve ascended to great heights. What do you think when you hear things like that?
Brandon: It’s awesome when people even enjoy what we’re doing. It’s all sort of a surprise to us. We work really hard, we really take it seriously. We try to make it fun always but we just try to stay motivated. When we started the band we really didn’t talk about what direction we wanted to go in or what type of band we wanted to be so the fact that people just enjoyed it, it’s incredible. The way in which things have gained momentum in such a quick way, it’s really cool for us now that we’ve got some radio play, which is another insanity in this.
Amps: I have to say though, there’s a real veteran feel to these songs. Why do you feel that they come across that way?
Brandon: I think it’s just our influences. What our parents spoon-fed to us through the tape deck or radio or any means of listening to stuff back then. Being that we were all into the same stuff growing up, ZEPPELIN, SABBATH, even SANTANA, just the classics, some DEEP PURPLE, even some riff-rock like RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, AUDIOSLAVE, CRUSH, WOLFMOTHER as I said, GRAVEYARD an even newer band.
We’re chasing the, at least to me, the timeless sound that never goes away, and there’s a reason for it. To me it’s the most genuine and real thing that I could be a part of to create because it is me, it is us. It’s what we’re all about. The dirty groovy rock that makes you want to dance. We’re trying to bring that back, people don’t dance anymore!
Amps: Yes, yes. What do you have in place for the rest of 2015; I imagine you will be touring like mad men?
Brandon: We just had a UK tour last year in mid-September but we were just there for a week, so it wasn’t near enough to really experience everything. It was a life-changing experience in itself, but we are really excited to hit all of Europe, that’s gonna be cool.
Amps: So let me ask you about Something Supernatural. Are there any tracks that jump out at you right away? Do you have any favorites?
Brandon: Yea, they’re all my babies, you know? I have a reason for each being my favorite, but if you were to ask me which song is CROBOT in a nutshell, I usually pick “Skull of Geronimo.”
Brandon: That’s everything that we have to offer in one track, it’s that song where you sort of let it all out there as players as well. “Night of the Sacrifice” too, that’s one of my favorites. It’s just funky and riffy all at the same time and it’s the whole tongue in cheek of “now you’re gonna die,” that’s one of my favorites as well. And “La Mana” is great to play live, we really do some cool things with that every night, it’s a little different so that’s one of our favorites to play live. So really, they’re all a little piece of us.
Amps: “Cloud Spiller” is definitely one of my absolute favorites. That fuckin’ song jams dude. I repeat the hell out of that one before I can move on.
Brandon: (laughs) Yeah that’s got a lot of CLUTCHY-riffyness to it. Another good one to play live- I definitely sweat during that one.
Amps: When you’re not with the guys what are you listening to when you’re just driving around or hanging out? What albums move you?
Brandon: I’ve been really in to FUNKADELIC lately. Connections & Disconnections is one of my all-time favorites. It’s just an incredible album. Black Sabbath Vol. 4 too, I always go back to that. Every month usually I try to listen to that. LED ZEPPELIN’S Presence, I think that’s one that gets overlooked a little bit. Man, some of my favorite tracks are on that one, like “Achilles Last Stand” and “Tea For One”
Amps: What do you do as far as hobbies away from the band, the lights and stage?
Brandon: You know, just try to recharge, play video games, smoke a lot of weed. That’s my yin and yang, you know? It feels very necessary to relax for a little while especially with being out on the road so much of the year, we don’t get a lot of time for just nothing. I like to take advantage of my time off to do that (laughter) along with many other things but, I’ll take 3-4 days of that and then I’ll get sick of it and I’ll have to do something.
Amps: What do you want to say to all of your fans worldwide?
CROBOT is clearly in this for the long haul, guys. Make sure to catch them on tour with VOLBEAT and ANTHRAX this spring starting in April. Get your tickets HERE.And definitely get your mitts on Something Supernatural as soon as you can!