Droids Attack Interview with Brad Van: More Than Just Riffs and Robots

Raucous riff and roll from the Midwest isn’t something that comes across my desk every day, so when Best Resume Writing Service For Educators In Uk at 100% legal writing service. We are 24/7 ready to help you with your paper writing. We are saving grades for more than 5 years. Must Destroy, the third album from If you have decided to let Biology Coursework Help Gcse us perform your Do My Algebra Homework request do my algebra, math or physics homework for me, let Madison, Help me http://meitoku.edu.vn/?how-to-write-an-assignment-properly - Top-Quality Paper Writing and Editing Service - Get Professional Help With Original Essay Papers From Scratch Top-Quality Wisconsin, trio http://www.joyshop.it/?line-writing-paper - commit your essay to qualified writers employed in the company get the required paper here and put aside your fears witness the Droids Attack landed, robot-laden artwork facing up, I was immediately interested. Not only did the record live up to song titles like “The Great Wall of ‘Gina” and “Koko Beware,” but it proved to operate on a deeper level than just that surface goofiness as well. A win all around.

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Please enjoy the Q&A after the jump.

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Yeah. I’m not a professional robot maker or anything. I just try to make it look good (laughs). I used to want to be a graphic designer or a cartoonist or something, so I used to draw a lot and create a lot. Then I shifted my focus into music, and when that happened, the art took a back seat, but I’m still into it. I’m not driven as much to make art as I am to make music. But when we put out an album, I still want to do something creative with it, so the idea came up to take these photographs and put these robots into them. It was a World War II theme, so they were tank robots and I wanted them to be specific to the era. So I bashed apart a bunch of robot toys and a bunch of model kits, and took the parts and put them together. I made the robots that way, then tried to photograph them so they could fit into the picture. It kind of looks fake, but I think that’s part of the charm (laughs).

dissertation report on capital budgeting see it here custom admission essay public administration 2015 06 4691 discussion essay Yeah, I don’t think anyone’s expecting you to find the photographs of real World War II robots. You’re probably safe.

(Laughs) It is what it is. But yeah, for our last records I’ve done little comic book scenes in the inserts and stuff like that, so this album I just wanted to take a different approach and instead of doing the illustration, do something with photo-manipulation and sculpture.

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I’m glad you noticed (laughs). This one, I thought, “Oh, I don’t really want to draw all the pictures, I don’t really feel like illustrating anything right now. I’ll try something different.” I look at it like, man, that’d be cool some day if I could work on a movie, you know how they used to do movies where instead of making a 3D image on a computer they built everything — like Only the best services for you in Essays24.net. Our what is a call to action in an essay are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Money Back Discounts 3 hours Delivery Star Wars — and photographed it. I was just trying my hand at that sort of thing. It ended up taking me months to do (laughs). It was very expensive. Each of these model kits — if you go to a hobby store and buy a model kit and you’re just gonna pull the main chassis of the tank, you end up paying $20 for a model kit that you’re just going to use one part, then you pay $20 for a toy you’re gonna bash apart, you end up investing hundreds of dollars in these stupid little model kits (laughs). So yeah, it ends up being a huge pain in the ass. So I’m glad you noticed (laughs).

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We don’t really write a lot of songs. We’re more into quality and not quantity. I know so many bands that just write, write, write, and then are like, “Man, we had a band practice and we wrote three new songs in one band practice.” We don’t work like that. It’ll take us several months to write one song, and I think part of that is because we don’t have a lot of time to concentrate on writing because we’re always out playing shows. We also have our family lives, jobs and other shit to go along with life (laughs). Real life stuff. We get together once a week and a lot of times, when a song is gonna get written, I have to come up with something and bring it to practice, and I’ve got a backlog of riffs that I’ve been coming up with that I haven’t done anything with, just because taking that one idea and forming it and trying to get the parts to transition into other parts, we put a lot of effort into it, so it’s a slow process for us. (Laughs) Another thing that slowed us down with this record was we wrote a 20-minute-long song that we were gonna release as its own EP, but Fatal/Error was getting a lot of attention, people were starting to look at it and we also got SXSW and some opportunities jumped up, and we thought releasing this 20-minute-long song as the next project, I think maybe we should hold off on that and start working on our next full-length instead of doing some kind of ego-stroking (laughs) project. It’s a little too epic for us at this point (laughs). We might release that next, who knows. Or it might just sit on the shelf forever. But basically it was just another thing that I’ve always wanted to do, and I thought, let’s put this on the shelf and put out our next album and cut the bullshit. Keep forging ahead and writing songs that could be played in a set and people can be entertained (laughs) by what we’ve got going on.

How did you get hooked up with Dr. Z amps?

I bought my amp, and they don’t feature us on their website or anything like that, but I support those guys. I’ve talked to the guy who creates the amps, his name’s Mike Zaite, and he’s been very helpful. There haven’t been too many problems with the amp. It’s a great amp. It sounds awesome and every time we play, people tell me how much they like my guitar sound. I was playing through your typical Marshalls and Fenders and stuff for years, and the amp would crap out and you’d go get it fixed, then it would crap out again. I got sick of it and was just like, “I’m gonna invest money in hand-wired, something quality built.” I’m really glad I did. I don’t know what their prices are currently, but at the time it was very affordable for what it is. I’ve been using that amp for close to 10 years now, I think, and yeah, I support those guys. My next amp will be a Dr. Z amp too, I’m sure (laughs). It craps out every now and again, but it’s something simple, something you can see, “Oh yeah, that wire broke off that tray.” I really dig that amp. There’s been a couple other companies. Morley. They have a switchless wah-wah pedal that I really enjoy using. Being a three-piece band, I’m the only guitar player, so it’s very important that my sound is thick and fills out everything. A lot of other people have a second guitar player and can contrast their tones against each other. Me, I have to have all the space covered by myself. That wah-wah pedal makes it so much easier. When I first used Morley, there was one called Bad Horsy, that was used for Steve Vai. It had a thin, glassy tone. He plays so fast, he wants everybody to hear the notes he plays. And me, I don’t play like that. I want everyone to feel the beast [he didn’t laugh when he said this, but it should be noted that I cracked up – ed.]. So that wah-wah pedal didn’t do it for me, so I contacted Morley and they actually sent me the Bad Horsy II, which is the Crybaby clone. I compared it side to side with the Crybaby, and the thing sounded very similar, so yeah, those guys hooked me up, so I always push Morley too whenever people ask me about guitar tools and stuff. Not to get too crazy with it, but I also use a Visual Sound distortion pedal. Those guys hook me up with some artist pricing, so I always mention them too (laughs). You asked for it, man. You don’t have to write about it though. That’s up to you.

About the album: You’ve got “The Great Wall of ‘Gina” – and congratulations on that – but going back to your tone and stuff like that, there’s a lot of serious riffing and lighthearted subjects and titles. Are you aware of that balance when you’re writing?

Yeah, I guess. It’s just part of who we are. We kind of a bunch of goofballs and we have a good time joking around and it reflects in what we do. The titles of the songs actually, a lot of times, don’t have much to do with the subject matter of the songs. Throughout Must Destroy, there’s songs of murder and… you know… pretty much murder (laughs). There’s a lot of murdering on that album. “Koko Beware” is obviously about the wrestler, but it’s kind of a dark take on what his life must be like through our eyes. There’s a lot of dark subject matter in what we’re doing, and I guess when it comes time to titling the song, we just go for a quick laugh. A lot of the songs that are titled are inside jokes we have as we’re sitting in the van for hours traveling and we just get kind of crazy talking about stupid shit. Yesterday I was talking about how they could improve the gloryhole by installing two holes for your arms to go through so you could give anonymous hugs (laughs). We might end up having a song about that somewhere down the road too.

As long as they don’t try to improve the gloryhole with murder.

Yeah, I don’t know how I could work that in (laughs). We’ll have to come up with a catchy title for it.

What’s “Canadian Death Bus” about?

That’s actually a true incident. Some guy on a bus in Canada just got up and started stabbing this dude right next to him. Violently. He ended up severing the guy’s head and eating parts of him in front of all these people on a bus. It was a horrible thing that happened. It’s one of those things you hear about and you’re like, “Man, that’s fucked up.” It affects you. Everybody has moments in their life where they’re just like, “I could just kill that guy.” But you don’t do it. You don’t do it. This guy did. It just took me to a dark place and affected me enough to write something about it. I feel bad for the family of the guy who was the random victim and the people who experienced that. It’s not like, “Wow, that’s cool that that happened.” It’s not like that. We’re living in this world and there’s all this darkness around you. That might also be the reason why the lighthearted titles come out. That might be another reason why, because, hey, it’s not all bad.

At a certain point, what else are you going to do but laugh?

Yeah. There’s a lot of weird shit that goes on being in a band. You meet all sorts of weird people. We’re pretty aware of what we’re doing. We’re getting on stage in front of people and we’re selling beers. We’re bringing people to a venue so they can sell concessions, basically (laughs), and we have our own concessions to sell. That’s basically what it is. There’s more to it than that — there’s the art, the creative aspects, who’s more metal, all that bullshit — but we’re pretty aware of what’s going on and you meet all sorts of people who are lost in it and don’t really know what’s going on. Everybody has their own reasons for doing what they’re doing. I actually tried to quit playing in bands years ago. I tried to stop, because it was just like, “Man, why would I want to claw my way up this shit tunnel so I can get to the top of this shit tunnel and all these people clawing their way up can be like, “Hey man, I’m at the top of this shit tunnel!” So I tried to quit, but I just had too much of a creative drive in me to stop, so I’m just going to keep going with it until it gets to a point in my life where it’s like, “Hey, you gotta stop doing that (laughs)! It doesn’t make sense for you to keep going.” Until that time comes, you might see another Droids album out. We’ll see.

You have to still enjoy part of it, right?

I still enjoy it immensely, yeah. I think a lot of my frustration back then was working with the wrong people. People who, their motives for being in this shit tunnel, they thought, “Oh, I’m gonna be a star,” or “I wanna get laid,” “I want free drugs.” For me, it’s more like, “Man, why don’t we try and make that chorus fit in a little better. Let’s craft this song a little more, it seems a little slapped together. You end up getting in fights and you just don’t get along. These guys. Tony, our drummer, and I, we’ve been jamming for about 10 years now. Him and I get along really well. We are both in the same ideology of what we’re doing. And Nate, he joined about six years ago, and ever since then, he’s a total workaholic, shows up to practice. A lot of times, it’s hard to get people to show up to practice (laughs), so that was huge for us when we found Nate. It was like, “Yeah, this is great. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing.” Now we’ve got our third album coming out and I’m talking to you on the phone (laughs). Here we are.

Has working with Nate and Tony changed at all over the course of the three records?

Not really. Things are a little more intense on our part, since we’re playing a lot more shows. Playing as often as we do interferes with the personal life, because when we’re on the road, we’re not punching the clock at home, and we all have relationships and other things outside of the band, people we like to be around, and we’re not there for them when we’re on the road. That makes it harder to be in the band, but we all are creatively-driven people too, and it’s important we enjoy our lives before they’re over, so we (laughs), we just make it work. It hasn’t really changed, it’s just gotten more intense. We just see a lot more of each other. Fortunately we enjoy each other’s company (laughs).

What are the tour plans?

Right now we’re talking with a booking agent about sending us down south and out east. We’ve never been out east. We’ve been down south a few times. We’ve been out to Toronto a couple times, but we’ve never worked with a booking agent, so it’s always been difficult to pick up shows and usually the shows we end up picking up sucking because you’re working with some band on MySpace that doesn’t really understand how to put together an event and you end up playing for five people. If those five people end up digging it and you make some friends, that’s cool, but hopefully this booking agent can get us into some better venues. We also started working with a manager, so we’ll have to see what kind of opportunities come from that. So yeah, things are shaping up. We’re hoping to get on the road late April down south or out east, then just do a leg, come back. Maybe do two weeks out then another two weeks out in late May, just to build off of the radio campaign and the media campaign that are going right now. But yeah, we’ve got four CD release shows [this month] that we’re playing in our region in Milwaukee, Chicago, Madison and Minneapolis. Once that’s done, we’re going to gear up for the touring outside our region.

Droids Attack on MySpace

Crustacean Records

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