Interview: The Bots
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:54:27
The Bots Videos
The Bots plant seeds for a revolution with Pink Palms. The Los Angeles duo of brothers Anaiah Lei [drums/vocals/keys] and Mikaiah Lei [guitar/vocals/keys/bass] stir elements of funk, rock, hip-hop, alternative, and electronic music into a cauldron of awesomeness that's undeniably cool. The best way to describe this sonic pastiche is like a Quentin Tarantino movie turned into vinyl…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, The Bots talk Pink Palms, their influences, movies, and more.
Did you approach Pink Palms with one cohesive vision or vibe in mind?
Anaiah: When we wrote it, some songs were written for the record, and others were written during the process of it. Everything was written at different times. It just worked out together. We were writing what we felt.
Mikaiah: When we recorded the album, it was a different process in the studio. We had intentions of making an "album" at that point. It was a different procedure. It's sort of weird to say. It flowed very comfortably in the studio. Some of the things were on the spot, but it was nice that way.
What ties everything together?
Mikaiah: It's us. It has all of these different elements, styles, and influences sonically in the music. However, what brings everything together is it's me and Anaiah recording everything. It's our band.
What's the story behind "Silhouettes"?
Mikaiah: When I wrote that, it was lyrically about being in a gang. I watched a lot of documentaries about gangs on TV. I like that inspiration finds me when I'm not looking for it, whether it be things I draw from everyday life or something I watch or look at. It's nice to take influence and inspiration from other things. When writing that song, it was about a kid growing up with the wrong kinds of friends and getting into trouble. It was a two power chord riff. It was very rock 'n' roll. It's high-energy when we play it live.
Anaiah: It's got a good break down.
Where did "Side Effects" come from?
Mikaiah: I spent a lot of time writing it in my bedroom. I had the verse riff for the longest time, and I kept writing on that. I'd use a chorus and a bridge.
Anaiah: We had a lot of different drum sounds.
Mikaiah: We recorded it with Nick Zinner, and he influenced us to lay back on the drums and kick in on the chorus really hard. It gave the song a really good dynamic. When I was writing that song, I was thinking about drug use and drug dealing. That's where the "Side Effects" idea comes from. It gives it that vibe on the album. It's very shoegaze with a drone. It's psychedelic.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
Mikaiah: I like to tell stories because I don't necessarily live that dangerous and exciting life I write about, being in gangs and abusing drugs. It's nice to be able to be creative, have an outlet, and release these thoughts. That's how a lot of musicians work.
What artists shaped you?
Mikaiah: I could say Bob Marley, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and a number of old school and modern rock 'n' roll artists. You can draw inspiration from anything. What I've been listening to has been influencing the instrumentation of things recently.
Who do you bond over?
Anaiah: We listen to a lot of the same things.
If you were to compare Pink Palms to a movie or a combination of movies what would you compare it to?
Anaiah: That's a good one. I've never heard that.
Mikaiah: Back To The Future because it was awesome or Harry Potter (Film Series) since it has lots of chapters.
Anaiah: Or Star Wars!
Mikaiah: We're big Star Wars fans so that could work.
Anaiah: Return of the Jedi, specifically.
Mikaiah: That's sick.
Have you heard The Bots yet?
Get Pink Palms on iTunes!