“Rock is finally dead.” With that four-word quote in Esquire magazine, KISS’ Gene Simmons set off a clickbait firestorm that raged on mainstream media outlets and on social media long after the typical 24-hour news cycle. At first, Simmons’ 2014 comment seemed to shake the rock community to its core — could he be right?! While the subject was debated incessantly in Facebook and Twitter posts, rock musicians were being asked about it during one interview after another.
Universally, the quote and the subsequent questions were met with everything from incredulity to scorn to befuddled laughter from the rock community. Is rock music dead? Far from it. In fact, over the past few years, it’s become clear that rock music is enjoying a renaissance of sorts with bands like Rival Sons, Greta Van Fleet and The Struts, to name just a few, garnering well-deserved praise and gaining significant momentum.
Pennsylvania’s Crobot is yet another band who’ve been making waves of their own since their debut EP, “The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer,” emerged in 2012. Since then they’ve released three full-length albums, including their newest, “Motherbrain.” Self-described as “dirty groove rock,” Crobot has been lumped in with everything from stoner rock to the classic rock revival. No matter what you call it, with catchy riffs and stand-out vocals from frontman and band founder, Brandon Yeagley, Crobot is yet another band proving that rock music is thriving in 2020.
ExoticDancer.com had the chance the speak with Yeagley about the band’s latest single, “Low Life” (available on the current edition of StripJointsMusic), and their current US tour that’s probably bringing them to a city near you.
ED: “Motherbrain” is the band’s third full-length album in the last six years; how has the band grown in these six years from “Something Supernatural,” the band’s first full-length album, to now?
YEAGLEY: We’ve had such a great experience and thankful enough to have worked with a number of different bands that we could really learn stuff from, whether that be in the touring aspect or how certain bands go into the studio, how they approach the studio with a certain mindset, how they do the songwriting process, etc. The years on the road have really helped out with every aspect of what we do. We’ve been fortunate enough to tour with bands like Motorhead that have been around for 40 years. You’re doing something right when you’re around for 40 years so we tried to make everything relative and put everything back into what we do.
ED: You’ve toured with or played gigs with such legendary rock and metal bands as Motorhead, Anthrax, Queens of the Stone Age, and Black Label Society—of all the bands you’ve been with, which was the most memorable?
YEAGLEY: To tour with Motorhead is such an honor, to even be in the same sentence as Lemmy and the boys. That one is near and dear to us and it was the last American Motorhead tour ever, unfortunately. So that one holds high accolades for a number of different reasons; that one was the pinnacle.
ED: You’ve described Crobot’s music as “dirty, groove rock.” Some have also lumped you in with the “stoner rock” genre. Do labels like these hurt or help a band like yours?
YEAGLEY: We don’t try to pigeonhole ourselves, so we’re always interested to hear what other people call it because we’re not sure ourselves sometimes. I’m a huge fan of “stoner rock” and the classic rock revival. I’m a huge fan of funk, Motown, and all that stuff is in there. We try to blend anything and everything together and throw the kitchen sink at it. You’d be hard-pressed to be wrong about what we throw into the mix sound-wise.
ED: There are some people in pop culture and the media trying to say rock is dead. That’s clearly not the case, so what other rock bands (other than yours) would you tell people to check out to prove rock isn’t dead?
YEAGLEY: There are so many great bands out there. There are bands out there like Rival Sons, who are becoming a household name and for good reason. Bands like Graveyard, they’re a stoner rock band from Sweden but they’re so much more. They bring a Pink Floyd aspect to the genre and have been doing a really cool spin on the stoner rock vibe for a number of years. There are bands out there that are really underground, a band from Buffalo called Handsome Jack. We love those guys, it’s down-home, front-porch classic rock with a CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival) vibe. There’s plenty of good rock ‘n’ roll out there, you just gotta go looking for it sometimes.
ED: The video for “Low Life” stars the band and is hilarious (and already has over 500,000 views)! How much fun was it to shoot the video for “Low Life”? How does the video reflect the lyrics, if at all?
YEAGLEY: We had a unique opportunity this time around when we made the video because we were close to home. We had a loose script that we wanted to roll off the cuff with. We always like to have fun. It was a really cool experience for us to be able to have family and friends involved with the video as well. The baby I’m stealing the lollipop from is actually my daughter, I don’t know that it gets more low life than that. We can no longer have Dum Dums in our house because my poor daughter has a complex about lollipops. It was fun.
“We don’t try to pigeonhole ourselves, so we’re always interested to hear what other people call (our music) because we’re not sure ourselves sometimes. I’m a huge fan of stoner rock and the classic rock revival. I’m a huge fan of funk, Motown, and all that stuff is in there. We try to blend anything and everything together and throw the kitchen sink at it.” – Yeagley
ED: You’re currently on the road—are these headline dates, festival dates or both? What do you enjoy most about being on the road?
YEAGLEY: We’re headlining Venture (Adventure) in Washington state. As far as West Coast runs, my favorite thing other than seeing fans, who we consider family, the scenery. West Coast rides are so beautiful and gorgeous. We don’t get to venture out this way too much so we take it all in for sure.
ED: Do you ever have the chance to go to a strip club on the road? Since your song “Low Life” is being promoted to thousands of strip club DJs, how cool would it be to walk into a strip club and hear “Low Life” blasted on the club sound system?
YEAGLEY: That would be very cool. We usually only get to see a two-block radius of the venue we’re at; we try to keep the schedule packed so there isn’t much downtime, but I will say that would be pretty cool!