Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: Interviews, Music, Twin Cities.
Culture Bully’s Chris DeLine recently connected with both Adam Tucker and Kyle Vande Slunt from the local electronic act Nobot. In preparation for their upcoming show at the Uptown Bar with Estate on the 27th the duo discussed media exposure, forthcoming collaborations and the camaraderie of brosefs on tour.
The theme behind Nobot’s latest track, “Drinking Progress,” would suggest that you guys might not shy away from “getting fucked up” at a show, or likewise having fans do the same at one of yours. Have you had any memorable experiences with crowd members who were doing well with their own drinking progress?
Adam Tucker: I’m not certain about his state of mind, but there was a memorable show at The Nomad World Pub which featured a random wandering magician pulling a dove out of his pants and being generally weird right in front of the stage. I do wish that dude to show up more often and baffle crowds for us while we back him up musically – [are] you reading this, crazy man off the street? Nobot also performed as Winobot last Halloween at the Nomad, which reminded me that playing in cardboard costumes = less fun than one would hope it would be. Actually “Drinking Progress” is about the march of technology and our lust for overreaching our current boundaries of knowledge and how it’s leading to our eventual destruction and/or salvation – which leads to my own personal “drinking progress” doing pretty well these days. Bring on the human/nanobot wars!
How important is interaction with the crowd at your shows?
Adam Tucker: I kind of go into a bit of a “enjoy myself and ignore” mode at shows, coming from many years in various bands of playing to non receptive crowds (in Wisconsin, of course, not the b-e-a-utiful Twin Cities where the applause is generous and the women rosy-cheeked). Of course it’s great if the audience is really digging it but pretty much we try and play every show like it was for a big audience of generally nude and uncontrollably excited fans. I also am too skinny to stage dive so that’s not too big of an issue.
Kyle Vande Slunt: I would have to agree with Adam. I feel that we’ve played with the exact same intensity in front of three people as we have for a packed house. But there is no denying that a crowd’s energy does have some bearing on our performance.
The high profile folks at RCRD LBL have been very supportive of you guys…what has that meant to you and would you say that their comparisons to acts like Ratatat, Cut Copy and Of Montreal are accurate?
Kyle Vande Slunt: We are incredibly fortunate to have establishments like RCRD LBL be interested in what we’re doing. It means a lot to us to be involved with a site that strikes this magical balance between major label artists and unsigned artists such as ourselves. It’s an online oasis of new and interesting music for people who love music and we’re proud to be a part of it. As far as the comparisons go, I’d say they are mostly accurate. Obviously we’re flattered to be compared to all three of those groups. If you stretched far enough, any artist can be compared to any other artist…the Western tonal system we use has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. I think some artists don’t appreciate being compared to other bands because they want to have their own style and identity, but I think the “sounds like” and “for fans of” system works for the benefit of new and upcoming groups to attract people who wouldn’t otherwise pursue your music.
One of the key mentions RCRD LBL made was a reference to the split release you guys did with Estate not too long ago – how did that come about and were there any highlights from the short tour with them that followed?
Kyle Vande Slunt: The Estate guys have been behind us since the beginning and were kind enough to take us under their wing. They gave us our first big show in Minneapolis at a time when we were just starting out and having trouble finding venues to take us in. After that show we became great friends and luckily we loved each others music…otherwise the relationship would have been all weird. We decided to collaborate with each other by remixing each others songs. Estate had already released a track on RCRD LBL so they contacted them to see if they’d want to do a split release and RCRD LBL went for it… Suckers!
The short tour across the Midwest went really well. We played Chicago for the first time and we were very well received. They asked us back as soon as possible, so we’re just waiting for the right time to go again.
Adam Tucker: They’re like our clean cut fun loving step brothers from the same weird electro-mom. Pretty much we sit around and tell each other how wonderful the other is. Also bro-fives.
Kyle Vande Slunt: I like listening to Dan’s intense music rants while Josh talks about ass deposits. I should also mention that HEAVEmedia out of Chicago and Luvsound out of NY have been very receptive to our work and continue to show a lot of support.
Are there any other local or national collaborations that are in the works? (if not, who would you like to work with?)
Adam Tucker: We’re doing quite a few shows with Beeple, a solo musician/graphic artist friend of ours who is in a sound and art collective called Donebestdone with Kyle. He does crazily inventive live visuals that make us much more fun live as we are both quite homely gentlemen (not true [very true], ladies). Besides the live awesomeness he has done art and posters for us, along with our good friend Mark Roethke from Oshkosh, WI – without whom we’d be doing our posters in Times New Roman font in Wordpad. We’d definitely like to do more collaborations with local bands of course as there’s so many good ones. I personally keep hoping some day Kiefer Sutherland will ask us to be on his label but I think he’s too busy having a raspy voice to call us.
Kyle Vande Slunt: I would really like to do an audio/visual collab with Beeple. He doesn’t know it yet, but at some point, I’m gonna bug the shit out of him until he says yes…or dies. I would also like to continue working with Estate. In fact, we just picked up splits for one of their new songs…but they haven’t asked us for the same, so we’ll see how motivated we are to start making their music sound awesome. At some point, I would love to get into a tank with Plastic Chord and Military Special and blast the fuck outta some big city with our rock.
With the current depth to the Twin Cities’ blooming electronic scene, has the reception to the music been better locally than elsewhere?
Adam Tucker: We’ve definitely had our best shows here, and I do think it’s thanks to bands like Estate and Mystery Palace that had been around before we started to get people’s ears around the musical style. On a side note, the Twin Cities seem to have crowds with better (and less genre specific) tastes in music than elsewhere and are willing to give more obscure sounds a try.