Most Americans have heard of the British invasion (which was more welcome than one that happened in 1812) where bands such as The Beatles crossed the Atlantic to entertain and influence music forever. Various musical “invasions,” or at least “emigrations” have occurred since then, but if these five robotic bands represent an emerging trend, music will never be the same.
Robotic Drum Kit
Although a drum kit couldn’t be considered a full band, each drum or other percussion instrument here functions somewhat separately. As shown in the video, it’s able to pound out nice rhythm with everything playing together.
The One Love Machine Band
If I have to choose only one of these bands to go see, Kolja Kugler’s One Love Machine Band would have to be it. Although Kugler’s ‘bots are competent musicians, he tries to focus on a fun appearance for the band “members.” This really shows through in its unique yet functional theme. (Look for my upcoming interview with Kugler in Make: Volume 47, on sale September 22.)
If Compressorhead seems somehow reminiscent of the previous band listed, that’s because the creators of each were once involved in the same robot band. Unlike many “human-themed” bands, the creators still remain friends, so I suppose it’s possible that we will see the two bands on tour together at some point. I hope that if that ever does happen, they will plan several U.S. stops!
As stated in this video‘s description, The Trons are a “New Zealand garage robot band.” Listening to them (it?) play, they have a really unique, light sound that in my mind somehow fits in with their strangely shaped heads and geographic location. It’s a simpler band than some of the acts listed here, but really enjoyable to watch and hear.
We’ve showcased a small act, and even two bands that had a robo-split, so naturally there needed to be a band that both sells-out and has a serious obsession with alcohol. Z-Machines fulfills both roles, as their main purpose seems to be to sell Zima beverages (literally telling the audience to “Put your Zima up!”). Behind the rock ‘n roll lifestyle, however, is some very advanced technology, including the ability to change their playing style based on audience interaction.