Interview With 'Shout At The Robots'
Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?
Hi, 3 Songs & Out, we’re Shout At The Robots. That means Julian Hepworth (also your narrator today) doing voice and guitar, Matt Jayne on guitar and vocals, Jon McBride plays bass, and Ross Marchewka on the drums. We’ve been a gang of weirdos since we were tiny children and we’ve been playing music with each other in various ways since the early 00’s so this all came about sort of naturally.
What were you all up to prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?
The band as a four piece came about in the beginning of 2015 and up to that point we were sort of lost in a haze of well-intentioned slackerdom, consuming cheesy movies and equally cheesy pizza, waiting for a band to spring up around us. Speaking personally making music has been my sole aspiration ever since I first picked up an instrument or saw someone on stage. It just felt like something I have to do, no question.
Tell us about your latest release and why our readers should check it out.
Well our most recent album, 'Fail Better', was released in December 2017. It’s also our only album (for now!) The title comes from the fact that we walk around with metaphorical shotguns pointed at our feet and we’re all awkward Dad-bod white guys in our late twenties but despite our overwhelming uncoolness we’re compelled to do this and try to mean something to someone. Your readers should check it out because we’re earnest and dumb and always laughing at ourselves before you can. It’s the sound of trying to be a little less confused in the world, and being angry at the people who take advantage of their power to divide and hurt. Also most of the songs are short and occasionally hummable so there’s that.
Who would you say is the bands main song writer or is it a group effort and where do you draw your inspiration lyrically and musically from?
Our songwriting is ultimately a group effort, even if one person writes the core of a song the majority of it will be written together. Our process would probably be confusing for someone from outside the band to try and work with as it’s kind of shambling and dysfunctional but like everything we do I think our weakness is really a strength. It’s been pointed out to me that my lyrics are very wordy and that’s largely because I struggle to find the right words in daily life so it all comes out on paper. Inspiration there comes from a little bit of everything, poetry and art and breakfast and mental health issues, the state of the world, it’s all there. We’re true Millennials in the sense that we don’t really have an allegiance to genre and even though we’re more or less a Punk band we draw influence from all over the spectrum. I think we collectively like pretty much anything other than mainstream Country or Opera.
As a band what do you believe is your greatest achievement to date and why?
Sticking around. I’ve seen a lot of great bands burn out or implode or just stop in our time and I’m proud that we’re still here considering that we are like a group of brothers who are also married. But in a much less Deliverance way than that sounds.
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of my heroes but the people that floor me are the ones who really live for music. Not just the musicians but the engineers, promoters, merch people, stage techs, graphic designers etc. Music scenes are all crazy little ecosystems and it’s often the little guy that sweats the most and gets the least credit but keep at it because they’re nuts and we love them to no end.
What do you enjoy most about touring?
Oh man, you guys, we have not actually toured yet as a band. This is the year we finally get off the ground so stay tuned for that. We played a show about 150 miles from home last year so that incredibly small tour was a blast. Even though we had to outrun a blizzard the whole time and Chewk made a terrible decision involving gas station hotdogs (I’ll tell you later). If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?
Hijinks. Joyous screaming. My bad dance moves. Matt will break strings and probably bleed. Jon and Chewk will somehow keep a rhythmic bedrock for everyone. It will be loud. It will stop and start and we will treat an empty room or a packed theater the same way, that it’s our job to convince you we’re all in this together and just for tonight we are all members of the same club of goofy ridiculous people who want to rock/geek out.
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?
I think two (yes we’re breaking your rules, how Punk Rock) of the bands we can all agree we love are Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls and The World/Inferno Friendship Society. We as a group have seen them both several times and the shows are always a ride-of-your-life insane experience. FT has had a wall of death except everyone hugged each other at the end, and World/Inferno shows usually end with punks waltzing with each other. And everyone at those shows are almost unanimously very nice and great drinking companions. Including the band members. Nuff said. You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
We’d all be too awkward and tongue tied around anyone worthy of icon status. Wait, Keanu Reeves was (is?) in Dogstar, can we hang out with him? Regardless of celebrity he just seems like a really cool guy.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Yes. John McClane is a Santa metaphor. Figure it out.
Bandcamp - shoutattherobots.bandcamp.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/shoutattherobots/