An Interview With the Long Beach Sci-Fi Indie Rock Band, FELLOW ROBOT!
Posted On 08 Mar 2019
Long Beach, CA based sci-fi indie rock group Fellow Robot recently premiered a new single titled “Don’t Deny Me.” The track, which premiered on Grimy Goods will be released on the band’s sophomore album, The Robot’s Guide the Music Vol. 2, out this April via Donut Sounds Record Co.
“Don’t Deny Me” can be heard on Soundcloud and Spotify.
“Don’t Deny Me” video link: https://youtu.be/22UF34MmYVo
Lead singer Anthony Pedroza had this to say about the song’s inspiration: “It really bugs me that some people think they know who I am based on what I may or may not post on social media. ‘Don’t Deny Me’ examines the inhuman desire to be loved or liked through our devices and shows how these black mirrors really keep us apart. When the satellites are destroyed and you have no way of pinging your friends, what on Earth are you going to do?”
Fellow Robot released their debut album The Robot’s Guide to Music Vol. 1 last Summer via Seattle vinyl imprint Donut Sounds Record Co. The band celebrated the vinyl release of the dystopian concept record with a packed show at Fingerprints in Long Beach. Album cut “Clone Baby,” was also featured in blogger American Pancake’s year end list of “110 Fav(orite) Songs of 2018.” Fans can order The Robot’s Guide to Music Vol. 1 on vinyl here.
The follow-up album, The Robot’s Guide to Music Vol. 2 will drop this April via Donut Sounds Record Co and will feature the recently released “Cemetery Song” and “Golden Man,” among others.
To stay current with all things Fellow Robot be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Vol. 1 vinyl purchase link: www.donutsounds.com
Learn more about Fellow Robot in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
I’m cooking a nice dinner for my family, then taking my oldest son to a play in Long Beach at The Garage Theatre. We both love live theatre and music.
Now that a new year has started, what musical goals does this band have for 2019?
We will be finishing up the third and final chapter to The Robot’s Guide to Music, Volume 3.
What are you most proud of about 2018?
We worked with so many amazing artists last year, and created a lot of powerful content- 8 music videos and our debut album.
Do any of you make any New Years Resolutions?
Yes, to be healthy in body and mind. As a group we value authenticity and that is an intention we’ll be carrying with us this year.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together?
Absolutely, at our album release show at the Prospector on July 12. I felt that the music we were playing together was binding us as a group. It was a wonderful night and I knew at that moment we were truly a band.
Was it hard to think of a name that you could agree on?
No, in fact, my wife had thought of it back in 2012 when I formed my previous band, Mr. Moonshine.
How do you think your hometowns have influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group?
All of us have played in Long Beach bands before, and those experiences contributed to us meeting and wanting to play together. As far as sound goes, I knew Luis and I would mesh well together. All of the guys were coming from bands I had seen live and respected.
How has your various musical backgrounds helped shape the sound of this band?
I have a theatrical background, and that’s why crafting a concept album felt natural to me. Luis plays as Ringo in his his Beatles tribute band, Britain’s Finest. His drumming is versatile and a reflection of his many tastes. Jon brings a wealth of knowledge from his years with Move. Michael is a tone guru who can find the perfect sound for any song. Roberto’s time with his previous bands has ingrained his passion for well written songs.
How do you think that you have grown as a band since forming? What has remained the same?
Our story is a little different than most bands. Luis and I started Fellow Robot as a recording project, with no intention of playing live shows. But once we got these awesome guys in the studio with us, we realized how much fun we were having. The band grew from there.
Let’s talk about your forthcoming sophomore album, “The Robot’s Guide to Music Vol.2.” What was it like putting this collection together? How did you approach the recording process for this one compared to your first album?
We really didn’t have a break in recording between the first and second album. We had a ton of content, and we knew how we wanted each album to sound, how the pieces would ultimately fit together.
How will you celebrate the release of this second album?
Well, we will be celebrating the second album by recording the third. We have a plan for where we are headed and are really excited about what is coming next.
How would you say that your already released track, “Don’t Deny Me” compares to the rest of your upcoming album? What was the inspiration for this song?
The concept behind this song, and the second album, is the modern struggle to find humanity inside machines and social media.
Can you talk about Donut Sounds Record Co and why this is the right place for this band and your music today?
When Donut Sounds first reached out to us, I put a fair amount of research into their company. They are truly about the craft. Working with Donut Sounds Records has been a life changing experience. I have never felt so free to explore where I want to go, musically. JR and Brendan have been absolutely rocks of support throughout our journey.
Generally, how do you all go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately?
Many of these songs started years ago, when I was writing by myself. However, all of them were finished in the group. The best song writing is a combination of both, honestly.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Playing live music is the highest I’ll ever get, I think the other guys feel the same.
Where can fans see you perform next? What do you think makes an ideal show for this group?
We’ll be at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, CA every Wednesday night in April. This is such a fun venue, and we have a great line up in store.
Do you find that all of social media and keeping up with your fans has gotten so overwhelming? Or do you rely heavily on others to take care of that for the band? Which platform would you say that you enjoy engaging with the most?
Each social media platform has its strengths. Twitter is easy for interaction, but Instagram is best for promoting the visual art that accompanies our songs. Facebook is good for organizing events. I manage the social media, and while it can be a lot, I enjoy engaging with different people on the various platforms.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
For me, this is not an escape, it’s a confrontation. Our music is undeniably political, especially in songs like “Tools of War” where we address the military industrial complex. Or songs on our upcoming album like “Forgot to Pray” where we address our concerns with gun violence and the politicians who make it so easy.
What musicians would you love to work with in the future? What artists have really been inspiring this group and your music since day 1?
I sure hope I’m playing with the same group for years to come, I’ve never felt so privileged to be able to work with the finest group of musicians Long Beach has to offer. Although, I wouldn’t mind if Jeff Lynne threw some fat arrangements on one of our upcoming records. We appreciate all the classics, and have been inspired by too many people to name in one sitting.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
We hope our music can inspire our fellow humans to embrace their humanity. Our songs each capture a different emotion and we hope our listeners can use them to feel more connected to other humans.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about this group?
We strive to be ally’s to those who feel lost or unrepresented. Being human is a struggle, we want you to know that whatever you’re going through and however hard life may be, I’m with you.