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Apr 21, 2010

Interview with JB of Black Robot

On a lonely Tuesday night, JB from Black Robot (officially a favorite album for Bite Me! Music + Fashion) sat down to have a chit chat on who and what Black Robot was and why they've managed to remain and will continue forth as ROCK ‘N’ ROLLERS!

Bite Me!: Congratulations on your self titled album Black Robot. Can you fill us in on when the release date is?

JB: The record is coming out in stores everywhere on June 8. We’ve got distribution through Sony. It will be in Best Buy and in most places where you can buy CD’s. You can get it on iTunes as well.

BM!: I know you guys had an LP out. Is that something that’s easily accessible?

JB: Well, we had finished the record about a year ago and at that time we had 11 songs and when we went in the studio we released it independently. We didn’t even try to go to a label at all. We had experience with them, and we just wanted to do everything ourselves this time. So, we wound up selling them and we ended up shipping them overseas to Japan, South America, and England. We kept getting orders and running out of this independent version. We started realizing that this was becoming too much because we still had to do things like rehearse and play music so we made a deal with a company, Rocket Science, and they do label services so we partnered with them to get this thing out with Sony’s distribution and we just wanted to use that system to get it out to everybody.

BM!: Usually, now-a-days, whenever you hear about a band trying to get out the first thing they end up doing is to try to become media hungry whores and get as much attention as they can so they can get picked up right away and they don’t try to go at it independently. So, it’s really admirable and congratulations because you guys are basically running the shots now.

JB: Yeah, we own the label Formosa Records. We do things like photo shoots, and we’re gonna do a video shoot on April 14. Since we live in Hollywood we live around all these talented people who are our friends. Before, when I played with Buckcherry we’d spend half a million dollars making a video and they would have all this excessive stuff going on…30 cameramen. But, since these guys are friends and we see them all the time we just ask them if they can help us make a video, so we’re always pulling in favors and the quality of the stuff is just as good.

BM!: How big of a difference is that from filming a video with Buckcherry and now it’s nothing but friends and a little more on a personal level. How does that feel for you?

JB: Well, it feels really good because it’s so incredibly Spinal Tap with the major labels. The first time I played with Buckcherry we spent the whole day taking pictures with a famous photographer and when we get the final picture back that they were gonna use to push the first Buckcherry record everybody behind the singer was blurry and I was like, “What the hell is that! The cameras messed up.” They said “No, that’s how it’s gonna be. It’s artistic.” And, I was like, “That’s bullshit! It’s blurry and the picture sucks.” So, it’s all this dumb stuff they would do and we really didn’t have a choice.

There was also one time when Cameron Diaz wanted to be in the video for a movie she was in. She liked the band, and she wanted to do it. She would call up the label and, personally, I was excited to do it. They wound up choosing some other actress because she was dating someone from MTV. She was like one of these Hollywood girls that gets drunk everywhere - a blonde starlet that just kinda fizzled out, and I can’t even remember her name.

So, in other words it feels really, really good. Even making this record was amazing. It only took a couple of weeks and we didn’t have to get it cleared by any record company and everything we did we did because we liked it. That’s how it’s been. It’s been so much easier to get everything done rather than dealing with people who were just trying to make money.

BM!: Well it doesn’t block any of your creativity and just keeps you going for what you want, which ends up being better because the fans that you have now and the fans that you’re going  to attract are going to respect you more for being more open and for not really caring about what other people care about. You end up producing true rock ‘n’ roll music. And, that’s what rock ‘n’ roll is. It’s not giving a crap about what everyone else is thinking. Now, let’s get into your album. The first track, “Baddass”, was definitely something that kept me listening to the rest of the album, and it made me anxious to hear how the rest of the album would turn out. I’m a little curious on the spelling for the “Baddass”. Was it something significant or was it made to make you feel extra BAD with a double D.

JB: Actually, everything you just said is dead on, but it’s more of a joke. It’s written from the standpoint of somebody who just thinks he’s so badass but he’s so dumb that he doesn’t even know how to spell badass. So, that’s the story with that. It’s just a fun song.

BM!: Off the album, which is a song that’s a group favorite? What’s that one song that you just can’t wait to play?

JB: You know we just recently added a song called “23 Days of Night” and that’s one of the latest songs that we’ve done so it feels really fresh and any time you ask us which song we like most it’s gonna be the most recent song we’ve put together.

BM!: What was it like putting the album together? The song titles weren’t something you get today. It had that more rock ‘n’ roll feel to it. What was the motivation behind it? Was it anything in particular or was it more like, “What’s gonna rock your socks off more?”

JB: We’re more fans of the classic rock and when you play in bands you kinda reconnect to what made you want to play the bass or the guitar, so we wanted to reconnect to our roots and give a real good honest approach to the record and not be scared. It’s the kind of music that we really love. The main thing that motivated us was…you don’t hear a lot of rock ‘n’ roll records coming out any more and it’s because major labels are spending more money on rap and some other kind of crap. There’s a whole bunch of people that every time you go out to a bar and you hear an AC/DC song the whole place starts singing the lyrics, everybody loves it, so people are still rocking out to this kind of music. I went to Best Buy and I was walking around and I saw these 7 or 8 year old kids who were rocking out to Rock Band and they just knew all the lyrics to all these classic rock songs that were in the games. Rock ‘n’ Roll is still cool but people don’t have access to it. So, I thought, “I’m gonna make this record, and it’s gonna be real honest so either it’s gonna get totally ignored or people are really gonna connect to it.”

BM!: On that note, do you see you guys becoming more main stream and keeping it balls to the wall all the way or becoming overly main stream and being that dumbed down rock band?

JB: You know what, we’re gonna keep it balls to the wall all the way. There’s no amount of money you could pay us to be a super dumbed down band. I know a couple of bands that have turned into that and they’re successful, but there’s no amount of money that you could sell your dignity to be an idiotic rock band.

BM!: Around the current music field you don’t find too many bands who have the same mentality. Bands that we listened to when we were younger aren’t around anymore. It’s mainstream or pop, so we greatly applaud the way you think and the way you see your band. I hope you guys really make it. The world needs more bands like Black Robot and, on that note, if one wants a Black Robot experience where could we find you?

JB: We’re gonna book a tour in Texas in May and we’re gonna try and get as much of that as possible. We’re gonna have videos on our website We have a Facebook and Myspace page, so we’re gonna try to get out there as much as we possibly can and we’re gonna add a lot of completely stupid video clips and we’re gonna make this thing really fun.

BM!: Being in the music industry for such a long time it’s nice to see you guys are keeping it real. You don’t have an ego. Congratulations, thanks again for taking some time for Bite Me! Music + Fashion and giving us a little insight on who you guys are and what you’re about. We can’t wait to see where you guys go.

JB: Thank you and we’ll definitely keep you in the loop of what we’re doing.

For more on JB and the rest of Black Robot head on over to for a complete list of places to see, hear, and read up on the raging group.

Interview by Melissa Moreno

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