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High Hopes: Crobot

Crobot are sci-fi nerds. So much so, that the Pennsylvanian stoner rocking four-piece would love to be the house band on The Big Bang Theory. “That would amazing,” says frontman Brandon Yeagley. “We’re proud to be nerds. You’ll always find loads of DVDs in our van. Right now we’re watching the Alien collection, and there are always Stars Wars movies or Star Trek episodes being played.”

Crobot have only been around since 2011, when Yeagley and guitarist/vocalist Chris Bishop got together (the current line-up, with the Figueroa brothers Jake on bass and Paul on drums, has been going since 2012), but they have the assured sound of a much more seasoned band.

Their music draws from Soundgarden, Zeppelin, Sabbath and Clutch, but it’s taken in a distinctly modern direction, linking the songs thematically through the idea of the ‘Crobot’ as a creature roaming through space. And with their debut album Something Supernatural – and a blistering first London gig, at Shoreditch’s XOYO last month – the band appear very capable of becoming new, funked-up stoner heroes.

“Most of our influences are typically stoner,” Yeagley says, “but we also have a few more off-the-wall inspirations – I’m well into Prince and Funkadelic; you can hear them in our songs. We call Crobot music ‘dirty, groove rock’.”

The album – a mighty thing – was produced by Machine, who has worked with King Crimson and Lamb Of God, among others.

“We got hold of him almost by accident,” Yeagley explains. “We played a South By Southwest gig earlier this year, and there was hardly anyone there. But afterwards this guy came up to us and said he loved what we did so much he wanted to produce us. That was Machine. What made it stranger was that the only reason he saw Crobot was because he was so jet-lagged he turned up an hour early to see the band he’d really come to check out.”

Crobot are currently touring intensively, and it seems they’ve already got a strong posse of diehard fans: “At every gig there are people who sing the words to all of our songs. I have no clue how they know these, as some of the tunes aren’t released yet.”

While much about the band is connected to the cosmos, their most distinctive visual aspect is more personal.

“We’re all growing long beards,” Yeagley says, laughing. “It’s not that we’re trying to create some sort of rivalry with ZZ Top, but none of us can be bothered to shave. And we all have very different beards. Mine’s a bit patchy, but I’m proud of its girth.”

Elsewhere the band have plans to move into the world of comics: “We’re creating a separate piece of art to illustrate each song. This will appear on the vinyl edition. We’ve also got ideas to do our own graphic novel, based on the idea of the Crobot… So there are lots of ideas in the pipeline.”

Something Supernatural is out now via Nuclear Blast.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.