How would you describe your music?
Shout at The Robots sound is definitely based in punk but takes influence from pretty much everything and we’re not really married to any particular genre. We make a vaguely melodic racket at a moderate tempo most of time. I came across an article online not that long ago about “hopepunk” which was supposed to be more of a style like cyberpunk or steampunk rather than a genre. But we all agreed it kind of sums up the sound and idea of what we do.
Tell us about how the history of the project?
We all grew up together and learned how to play instruments and be in a band as a group more or less. The band as it is now got together in late 2014/early 2015. We’ve been slowly infesting the local venues and bars over time, attracting an audience mostly of other musicians, but in general people who are just as weird and confused as we are. Those are our people.
What are you influences/musical heroes?
One of the main things about us as a band is that we have a really wide range of influences that are kind of all over the place. Looking at the wall in our practice space there’s pictures of Bowie and Prince, Chuck D and Brian Wilson, Joe Strummer and Laura Jane Grace, Patti Smith and D. Boon and Ted Leo among dozens of others. So…something like that.
What inspires you?
I’m a music fan before anything else, so I have to try really hard to not let other music inspire me too much because then an homage just turns into a total rip-off. And that’s been done. Other than that anything from how people react to the crazy things that are going on in the world to what breakfast was this morning. It’s all inspiration if you look hard enough.
Do you write on the road? or do you prefer to write in the studio?
We have yet to really hit the road for any extended period of time. It’s the next hurdle we’re facing in our weird trajectory as a band.
What is your favourite song to perform live?
Whatever the newest one is at the moment. I’m always waiting for that look in someone’s eye when you can tell the song has got its hooks in them.
What would be your dream tour to be a part of?
When I said touring was the next hurdle in our way, really it’s more like the proverbial carrot on the stick. And we could really use some vitamin A, you know what I mean? (We’re really ready to tour if it wasn’t obvious)
What are you current thoughts on the music industry?
It is a really really weird time to be a musician. We’re still in the infancy of…not like a post-music industry world but definitely the model was changed permanently and if you’re not a major label hitmaker then you are adapting to this weird landscape where the rules are in flux still. Music sales are pretty much a non-viable option for sustaining your band anymore outside of the top 10 percent. But the fantastic thing about DIY and punk is culture is that the model for survival and touring is so far removed from things like A&R and big marketing constraints. There’s a dependence on community and a system of touring punk houses and sleeping on floors that as long as you aren’t looking to get rich or play arenas you can do it sustainably if you’re smart. We have yet to figure out if we are but the option is out there.
What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?
In another interview I kind of vaguely inferred about our drummer Chewk having an experience involving gas station hot dogs in rural Pennsylvania. So I’m just going to leave it at that here and let the mystery grow.
What are your future plans?
In two years time I want to be putting out our third album on a label of some kind and playing somewhere on the opposite side of the country. Or world domination, whatever comes first.