After our interview with Aryn of Scorpion Child and watching the band themselves finish their soundcheck, I bump into Brandon, Crobot’s frontman. The cheshire cat grin is still stuck on his face, even if he’s a little less recognisable without his flamboyant stagewear, opting for something more casual. He’s in his standard upbeat mood, excited for his band to be on their first UK headline tour. Before Crobot laid out their stall of dirty groove rock, we got to find out what’s been going on in the world of Crobot since we last spoke to him.
Firstly, welcome back! You’re almost at the end of the UK leg of the Invasive Species tour before it heads over to Europe, how’s it going?
Yeah, it’s been great! It’s been proper English weather the whole tour, as well – and Scottish! [laughs]
And these are your first headlining UK dates after your first time over here last year with The Virginmarys then earlier this year with Black Label Society. How does that feel?
It took us by surprise a little bit, I think. It’s really cool to see how things have translated from being out with The Virginmarys and BLS. And Download as well really helped us tremendously for the crowds. It’s been going really well. I don’t want to say it too quickly but I think it’s going a little better for us over here than it does usually in the States. So it’s a big surprise, a welcome surprise! It’s been pretty good.
It’s been a pretty busy year in general, though, hasn’t it?
Yeah. We’ve thought about how many shows we’ve played this year; it’s probably pretty close to 250 shows. So, it’s been a busy year for us!
Now, it has to be addressed, you were touring with Motorhead. That must have been amazing.
Oh, man…epic. Epic! Even when we were there, wrapped up in it, it’s like “Man, I’m just waiting to wake up”. Seeing Lemmy across the hallways was like [dramatic gasp]…breathtaking. What do you say? What do you do? “Don’t look like a dumbass, don’t look like a dumbass!” You know, one of those moments. It was just incredible to see those guys play every night. They’ve been around for 40 years for a damn good reason. I really feel that’s one of the tours, ten years from now we’re going to look back on like “Holy shit! That was one of those pinnacle moments for us!” Great guys, so down to earth and would always stop by whenever they were passing by the green room and chit-chat with us. Or sitting, eating dinner they’d come and shoot the shit with us. It was really cool, really humble guys and they still kill it every night! Lemmy had that little health scare for a short stint but he bounced back, came back better than ever and it was a really great tour.
You were on their Motorboat cruise too. How does that differ from a “normal” gig environment?
[laughs] Well, there’s no place to go! [laughs] You’re thrown in the debauchery without any real choice in the matter! The best part of it, really. Being that close to the fans and being able to let loose and have a good time, it was really something special. And they have a community within that – people who go every year. Well I guess it’s only the second time they’ve had it…but like Shiprocked, we were on earlier in the year. It just seems like it’s a community inside the big music community. It’s just cool to be around all those bands too. Not only the fans but bouncing around, you’ll see Pepper Keenan from Corrosion of Conformity drinking at the bar. You see the guys from Anthrax eating dinner. It’s just so cool! We’ve toured with some of the bands who have been on there so it’s cool to have the family reunion, too. But most importantly, the line-up was just incredible. We were really honoured to be a part of such a great line-up. You’ve got Exodus, Anthrax, Motörhead, Corrosion of Conformity, Fireball, Ministry, King, Slayer! Just to be in the same sentence with those bands, let alone the same boat, is just crazy! It was one of those great experiences and we really hope to be a part of it again; it was something special. It’s a cool community they’ve got going on there.
Last time we chatted, the plan was to work on a new album at the end of the year. Is that still on the agenda?
Yeah, it got pushed back a little bit to the beginning of next year. We’re hoping once the new year rolls around, we’ll get back into the studio because we have a bunch of material that we’re going to wind up playing a lot of tonight. We’re really itching to get back in the studio and we somehow find time when we’re off for weeks at a time to find time to write new material. We’re not very good at sitting on our hands! [laughs] The holidays are going to come around and we have a couple of weeks off. It’s going to take a couple of days and after that, it’s just going to be like [looks at invisible watch] “Man! When are we gonna get back into the studio? When are we going back on tour?” Hopefully at the beginning of the year which would be perfect because it’s not really a good time to tour so it’d be perfect to go down to Austin and bust out another album with Machine.
You made your first appearance at Download this year. Did you make it to any other festivals?
That was only one on this side of the pond that we’ve been a part of, thus far. We are scheduled to do Hellfest which was huge. When we found out about that, we were really excited because I mean, wow. That’s a great line-up! Sabbath! [groans]
We’ve got Sabbath at Download, too!
I just heard about that last week! We’ve got our fingers crossed that we’re going to be at Download again…hopefully on the same day as Sabbath! If it’s not Saturday, it might be Sunday with…Iron Maiden! Or Friday with Rammstein.
Did you get to see any bands at Download this year?
Faith No More; wow! That set was incredible. It blew me away! The stage setup in itself was was something to see but their set was unbelievable. One of the nearest, if not the perfect set I’ve seen from a band. From start to finish was just…wow! I’ve never seen Faith No More live before so it was a new experience for me; I don’t really have anything to judge it by. Damn, do they perform onstage and really hammer those songs. It was really incredible to watch.
Being out on the road so much, does travelling begin to take its toll and lose its appeal?
We’re less off when we’re sitting on our hands. We’re at home when we’re out here, when we’re a few days without a shower and wearing the same pants for three weeks at a time! [laughs] It’s our forte a little more than the “regular” life, if you will. It’s just something that we love and I couldn’t imagine what else I’d be doing. I have a collection of hairnets and nametags that will tell you that I can’t do anything else! [laughs]
Do you put any weird or crazy requests on your rider?
Oh yeah! We have a mini horse and a Turkish belly dancer. That’s our weird rider request. We’ve had it fulfilled one time by a club in the States. They were really clever about it. They got one of those My Little Pony miniature horses. [laughs] And there was a Hawaiian hula dancer, like something you put on the dash of your car. A for effort! [laughs]
Now 2015 is almost done, what can we expect from Crobot in 2016?
A lot of touring. We just came out with our own beer so hopefully we’ll try to find a way to make it an international thing and some over here on this side of the pond. But with the liquor laws, it’s really tough. But yeah, just touring the wheels off, make a new record: rinse and repeat.