Music

Behind the Beat: Mr. Roboto

Comments (13)
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Rob Ives photo

Few people have had their fingers in as many musical pies in the Valley as Rob Ives, aka Robo and/or Robert American, a multi-instrumentalist who’s proven a highly energetic, hardworking journeyman. He’s also gained a reputation as a creative force in both songwriting and stage costume whose imagination is second only to his capacity for fun and adventure. The Advocate cornered Robo at the Silver Spoon in Easthampton over lunch; longtime bandmate Joe Magrone joined in, but, in Elwood Blues fashion, only ordered a water.

 

Valley Advocate: What bands have you been in since coming back to the Valley?

Robert American: I moved back [from California] in 2003. I was in The Justice League, then I got into The Probates, then The Bunnies, then I started Problem with Dragons, and then, a couple years ago, Speak.

Joe Magrone: Jesse and The Rippers.

Robo: Oh, yeah! The cover band, Jesse and The Rippers, which is me, Dan Egan, John Hicks, and my bro [Josh Boyle]—guys I grew up with, who were always like “we should be in a band” for like 30 years, so we finally formed one, mostly so Dan Egan could play more at Eganstock, since Hot Black doesn’t always play, and we needed more Egan in our Eganstock.

 

When is Eganstock? And where is it?

Robo: September 14. It’s in Montgomery—nobody remembers the name of the town. Your mind is erased every time you go there. Also, Problem with Dragons is playing the Keene Music Festival [Aug. 31]. I think they’re having a “metal” stage, for the first time. This guy Antoine, from Wicked Music in New Hampshire, set it up.

 

 

You guys have done some touring, haven’t you?

Robo: Speak did one mini-tour. Problem with Dragons went out to California three times, two of which we went all the way up to Seattle and back down to San Diego. We also did a couple 10-day tours of the Northeast, and we do tons of little road gigs—we always have a pretty packed schedule.

 

What’s the name of your live sound production company?

Robo: Robo Sound. That’s at robosound.com. I do live sound. I can set up indoors or outdoors. I’ll do weddings.

 

 

Much of your visual Internet presence is indicative of a Star Wars obsession. Can you explain?

Robo: Yeah. Sorry.

Magrone: Rob loves space and he’s a nerd.

Robo: Yup. I’m a nerd. Problem with Dragons is a band about imperialism, so I totally rip off the Japanese rising sun, the stormtrooper thing, the Death Star thing, all the time. They were shows of overwhelming military force, the Japanese and the… well, the “Empire.” They’re even called “The Empire,” and they have a planet-sized battleship that can blow up an entire planet in one shot. Talk about completely unnecessary. And it was a trade war thing! So they’re blowing up all their own gold deposits and supplies and slave labor…

 

You’d think they’d need the mineral resources to finish framing out their 12 decks of Death Star bathrooms or something.

Robo: Maybe it’s easier to mine the nickel and the iron out of the core of the planet after they’ve blown it up.

 

Sure, just collect the asteroids.

Robo: Mmmm. Pick out the bones.•

 

Check out Problem with Dragons at www.problemwithdragons.bandcamp.com and Robo Sound at www.robosound.com.

Comments (13)
Post a Comment

One word to descript Robo, Awesome, been a fan forever . . . . .

Posted by Dawn Percoski on 9.2.13 at 5:32

As a huge fan of Robs and all of his work, he forgot one name that I'd like to mention from the "Rippers" and that's Matt Page on guitar, this kid rips, and for the rest of them, all awesome artists!

Posted by BigTime on 9.3.13 at 16:35

Matt Page is the most valuable member of Jesse and the Rippers. He also grows the best mustache unlike The Royal Boyle.

Posted by Robert A Merican on 9.3.13 at 17:22

According to Morgan Stanley, copper costs will enhance 7.6% in 2013 from last year as requirement in Chinese suppliers, the U.S. and even European countries is prediction to improve amongst a provide lack for the steel. Stephen Williams - Sept. 12-13, 2014 Cincinnati, OH

Posted by hjhjkh on 8.7.14 at 3:42

Andrew Ingalls, a broker with the firm said allowing for mixed-use development would make it easier to market the property to potential developers. www.theverge.com

Posted by JHFHGVJH on 8.9.14 at 1:09

It is my perception that it is appropriate for universities to agree to learners depending on their benefits, comparative to their financial place. I believe that at the core of the issue, it is certain families' being incapable to manage the costly educational. www.flickr.com

Posted by JHFHGVJH on 8.9.14 at 7:11

What other contractor can say they were involved in the design process of an all-electric service vehicle? Not many! Robichaud is a great example of a contractor on the cutting-edge of technology. Badoo

Posted by hjhjkh on 8.12.14 at 2:21

I might have used "lowsomeness" because it's more of a mouthful, more fun to pronounce. But I'll probably find myself using lowness from now on. Newsvine

Posted by JHFHGVJH on 8.12.14 at 21:55

If I was to enter the plumbing business today I will further my education beyond the field knowledge and find every advantage I could to become successful as the business world is changing and becoming more and more competitive no matter what the business is, plumbing or working on Wall Street,” explained Parent. click here for more

Posted by JHFHGVJH on 8.13.14 at 0:37

Hi webmaster, commenters and everybody else !!! The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!b Keep 'em coming..

Tipsbidan.com belajar bahasa inggris cara cepat hamil cepat belajar inggris tas branded murah

Posted by waralaba on 8.25.14 at 0:08

Robichaud also hired Bella Energy of Louisville, Colo., to install solar panels on Precision headquarters to help recharge the batteries for eight hours at night after technicians drive them 120 miles during the day. old school new body review

Posted by hjhjkh on 9.1.14 at 3:32

Hello,I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. heaven and hell

Posted by aqibarif74123 on 9.1.14 at 17:43

Hello,I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. heaven and hell

Posted by aqibarif74123 on 9.1.14 at 17:43
Comment:

Name:

Password:

New User/Guest?

Find it Here:
keyword:
search type:
search in:

« Previous   |   Next »
Print Email RSS feed

Nightcrawler: To Infinity and Beyond
Toad The Wet Sprocket breaks in Hartford’s new Infinity Music Hall; Brooks’ Time Machine touches down in West Springfield.
Downtown Jazz
The Northampton Jazz Festival goes from music fest to downtown party.
CD Shorts: Erin and Her Cello
CD Shorts: Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang
Nightcrawler: “Smoke” Show
Blackberry Smoke billows blues-based country rock at Wolf Den; Def Lep & KISS turn the clocks back with faithful, classic rock performances.
Nightcrawler: Booty Time
Ludlow’s Rock The Boot concert pairs donations with decibels; iconic Hartford rock channel succumbs to a higher power.
CD Shorts: Spoon
Nightcrawler: The Gallery Is Open...
…to sharing the bill on its national tour; Robillard, Pitchell lend talents to Stafford Blues Fest.