Interview: Brandon Yeagley of Crobot

Before Crobot warmed up the Glasgow crowd for Airbourne last week, I spoke with Brandon Yeagley, Crobot’s larger than life frontman. Returning to the UK with new material clearly has him excited with his ever-present Cheshire cat grin. We catch up in their dressing room as Chris Bishop noodles on his guitar and discuss what’s been happening in Crobot’s world over the past year.

The tour with Airbourne is almost finished, how’s it been going so far?

It’s been awesome! Those guys are great…a very good time. The shows have been awesome, it’s good to be back in the UK.

You also toured with them and Volbeat in Europe. That’s an incredible line-up!

It was a crazy experience. We’re used to club shows and small venues. We had to translate that to 15-16,000, sold out arena shows; it’s kinda tough for us. We’re that kind of band who’d rather be in a 200-capacity, sweaty rock club. It was a little tough at times and the crowds were very much Volbeat fans. Sometimes they were there solely for Volbeat and that was an uphill climb a lot of times. We take challenges like that in our stride. It was a great tour; Volbeat are awesome guys, they always treat us very well when we’re on the road with them. At the very least, it was a fun time.

Crobot - Welcome to Fat CityThe new album was released a couple of months ago, what was the reaction to it?

It’s been pretty well received so far. It was exciting to finally get it out there. We’ve been playing a lot of the songs for a while. Some of them shortly after the Something Supernatural release, like “Welcome to Fat City”, I think we’ve been playing that for a good two years.

Did you approach the writing or recording process any differently?

Not really. Other than being in a warmer climate in Austin, Texas as opposed to New Jersey during the winter months! Same as the Something Supernatural sessions, we get into the jam room and we just hammer out ideas for hours. I think this record was definitely a more mature effort and certainly we’re evolving as songwriters and as a band. I think a lot of that comes simply from touring and playing so much. I think it’s a funkier, darker, heavier album all at the same time but it’s still Crobot.

How did the video for “Not For Sale” come about?

[laughs] It was just a joke! When we were recording the song, we like to joke around about the lyrics…and make fun of ourselves. It almost sounds like I’m singing “Who paid your dad to be here?” Machine was singing that around the studio and it just caught on. “If we do this as a single, what if we had this Beatle-mania but with dads?” [laughs] Just take it and run with it before anyone else gets a chance to. We didn’t think anybody was going to go for the idea!

We last spoke about a year ago and the band has toured constantly, what was it like being on tour again with The Virginmarys?

They’re awesome; we love those guys! Not just being labelmates but they’re great guys to be around; really down to earth and you can carry on some deep conversations with them. They’ve always been really sweet to us. It was a definitely a rekindling, if you will. They’re a great band, for sure.

You were also one of the last bands to tour with Motörhead, hearing of Lemmy’s death must have really hit home.

It was a crazy thing. The opportunity in and of itself to play with Motörhead was a crazy occurrence all on its own. But to be the last band to tour the States with Motörhead…it’s heavy. Strange, too, to even say it…it feels like yesterday. He brought a lot of good luck to Jake [Figueroa, bassist], he patted him on the back and Jake won some money gambling. He’s brought more than just good music to this camp!

Is playing a show your ideal way to spend Thanksgiving?

It’s definitely one of the better ways! Times like this, I get a little homesick. You’re used to spending it with the family, being a glutton and watching American football. It’s cool; better being in Glasgow than anywhere else.

What was Thanksgiving dinner, then?

It was the Christmas market! [laughs] We went to the Wok-man!

Tonight you’re supporting but can we expect a headline tour in the future?

Hopefully; festival season, once that rolls around, hopefully we’ll be back over here, making that circuit. We haven’t heard anything concrete yet. Fingers and toes crossed, we’ll be back over.

Any other plans for next year?

Not really. It usually takes for after the holiday season for things to start rolling and the opportunities to come knocking. We just have Shiprocked; we’re doing that again at the beginning of the year. That’s all we have slated, as of now. We’ll see how the pieces fall into place.

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