Crobot is quickly making an impact in the rock world and they are currently on a major tour with Volbeat and Anthrax. I recently spoke with the band’s frontman, Brandon Yeagley, about topics such as That Metal Show, Myles Kennedy, Rose Hill Drive, tacos, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and more.
Alex Obert: It must be a pretty big deal for Crobot to have recently gotten praised on That Metal Show.
Brandon Yeagley: Yeah, super surprised at the support from those guys. Don actually came out to a show recently at the Brighton Bar in Jersey. The support from the Anthrax guys and the That Metal Show guys, it’s crazy. We’re just in this tin can traveling everywhere and we really don’t have a perspective of what’s going on in the world. (laughs) To hear about things like that, it’s a crazy thing. It really is.
Alex Obert: So would you go on the show if you were asked?
Brandon Yeagley: Oh, absolutely! Most definitely. It’d be a huge honor. We’ve been fans of that show for years. Great guys, they’re all very knowledgeable. Every time they bring somebody on, the questions they ask are really interesting. I like the little segments that they have, the lists that they go through and whatnot, it’s a really cool thing. Definitely would be a part of that.
Alex Obert: What are your thoughts on it being an outlet for musicians that wouldn’t get it anywhere else? Other shows on television would not give them this much exposure, they wouldn’t go into that much depth and detail.
Brandon Yeagley: Yeah, and it’s really cool how they get the guitar players on there and having them segue into commercial breaks. I think that’s a really cool thing. And like you said, it’s an outlet for musicians to speak their mind about certain things and give their viewpoints on the industry and their influences. I think it’s a cool thing for music lovers to tune into, they get to peer into the mind of their favorite artists. Given the recent support from those guys, it’s cool to be a part of that process of new music that they unveil and show to their audience as well. It’s definitely benefited us in a positive manner. It’s really cool to see that they’re very supportive of bands that maybe aren’t huge acts or are just acts that are maybe just making a little pebble splash in the water now, but they’re really into what they’re doing. It’s a really cool thing that they got going on. And those guys are hilarious, it’s a pleasure to watch.
Alex Obert: How did you originally discover Anthrax?
Brandon Yeagley: I think it was just hearing the hits that they had when I was a teenager. But the one work of Anthrax that I was introduced to was Sound of White Noise, we listened to that on cassette in my buddy’s Beretta. Just driving around, smoking and drinking in the car. It’s really crazy that the whole thing is coming full circle and we’re getting to go out on the road with these guys. We’ve gotten a chance to hang with a few of them, super cool guys. Anthrax and Volbeat, this is gonna be a really fun tour. It’s gonna be a great thing for us.
Alex Obert: I was thinking back to how I discovered Anthrax and it was by hearing Bring the Noise on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. Did you discover bands on those games too?
Brandon Yeagley: You know what, it was a wild thing. I discovered many bands just from playing Tony Hawk 2 or Underground or whatever it would have been. Fireball Ministry, Orange Goblin, bands like that that I would never have discovered, especially at a young age. Definitely a great place to find some obscure stuff.
Alex Obert: As a singer, what are your thoughts on Michael Poulsen’s vocals?
Brandon Yeagley: He’s got a very powerful voice, really unique voice. He has the whole metal Johnny Cash thing going on, it’s really cool. We’ve gotten a chance to see them live quite a few times, they just kill it. Such a great band. He’s a sweetheart too, got a chance to talk to him a little bit. Very cool guy, very down to earth. He’ll pick any minute out of his day to talk to his fans.
Alex Obert: You’ve been out with Zakk Wylde recently. Is he as wild and crazy as they say?
Brandon Yeagley: (laughs) He is something else. Nobody is like Zakk Wylde, that is for sure. I’m pretty sure he’s off the alky nowadays. I’ve heard he’s been known to get a bit wilder while on the sauce. Every time we see him in the hallway, he would just stop and hug us, shake our hands and just shoot the shit with us about anything that was on his mind more world news or chicken piccata. (laughs) A super sweet guy. We’ve been fortunate to be out with really great musicians and great people as well. And Zakk Wylde was certainly among that list.
Alex Obert: One musician that has been speaking highly of you lately is Rich Ward of Fozzy.
Brandon Yeagley: Very cool! We’ve gotten a chance to see those guys a couple times. The festival circuit brings the community together a little bit tighter. Hopefully we’ll run into those guys again.
Alex Obert: How did you go about developing your look?
Brandon Yeagley: We started this band on the notion of just being who we are, using it as an outlet to be ourselves. We weren’t really too keen on the sounds of the present time and really wanted to try and go against the grain. Everything that we are is just an extension of our souls and what we really feel. It’s completely organic. We play shows sometimes where we’re the softest of the groups, maybe we’re surrounded by metalheads and metal bands. It’s funny to see the looks that we get sometimes. (laughs) It’s completely who we are. I’ve always had long hair and every time I cut it, I’d kick myself in the ass until it grows back. (laughs)
Alex Obert: The one band that I didn’t notice anybody comparing you to, yet the one that first came to mind for me was Rose Hill Drive.
Brandon Yeagley: I’ve heard a few things from them. Didn’t they have a video with that comedian that was on Comedy Central’s Last Comic Standing? They’ve got some really awesome videos. Yeah, they’re a great band. They know when to get funky and when to be riffy. Very cool sound.
Alex Obert: And how about your personal vocal influences?
Brandon Yeagley: Going back in time, I guess we’ll start in the sixties and seventies. I’m a huge fan of Robert Plant and James Brown. Dio is a huge influence on what I do with the lyrics and melodies and whatnot. I take a lot of inspiration from him. Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, anything out of the seventies that you can pretty much name wouldn’t be too far off. Even guys out there today like Clutch’s Neil Fallon, especially his lyrical work. I’m really fascinated by his use of words and the way they just melt and mesh together. He’s really a wordsmith when it comes to building lines and sentence structure and the way they roll off your tongue. And the stories that he puts behind the words too. And of course, Myles Kennedy. First time I heard that dude sing, it completely changed my outlook. His consistency and the way he can just holds notes and just really sound angelic, it was something that made me really focus on what I’m doing and try to hone in my technique. You see a guy out there like that and you see it’s humanly possible! (laughs) But there is a lot of work still to be done, this I know, but Myles Kennedy just completely changed everything that I was doing at the time. Chris Cornell, huge fan of Soundgarden and Audioslave and what he’s done. Just his range and the way he uses his range from top to bottom, the man has got a brilliant mind when it comes to that. Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes, always been a huge fan of his uniqueness and his spin on the soulful bluesy side of singing. Those are the major ones, I’d say.
Alex Obert: What was your initial reaction when you found out that Myles and Slash were teaming up for band?
Brandon Yeagley: I remember the Slash solo album that he put out with different singers, the standout tracks on the album were the ones with Myles. I knew that those two together would just kill it and it happened. Just incredible. Even the eclecticness of what they do together is really impressive. They write different kinds of songs like the acoustic bluesy Starlight or some of the heavier stuff that they’ve done. It’s really cool to see that side of Myles and to see that side of Slash too. Before that album came out, you knew that Slash was really good guitar player. But after that album, it was proven to me that Slash really knows how to write songs too. He really catered them to all the vocalists on that album, but Slash and Myles was a match made in heaven. I don’t know how Myles does it, bouncing back and forth between Alter Bridge and the Slash thing. It’s crazy, that guy has got to be running on empty a lot. I don’t know how he does it and is able to sound perfect every night. It really blows my mind. I’d love to sit down with him and have a chat at some point. He’s the one singer that I would love to have a conversation with for sure. I’d love to peer into that mind.
Alex Obert: Have you ever run into him at a festival or something like that?
Brandon Yeagley: You know, I saw him at Louder Than Life. I could’ve walked up to him, but I didn’t want to be that guy at that point in time. He had quite a few people around him, it just wasn’t the right time. I don’t want to be that guy because I am a fanboy. I’m sure I’ll have to relieve some sort of level of starstruckness when I finally do meet him. It’s gotta be the right time and the right place where I can sit down with him and have a conversation with him. I’m saving it for that! (laughs)
Alex Obert: So I understand you attended a Taco Party recently.
Brandon Yeagley: Yeah, Jose Mangin from Sirius invited us over to his place. We’d been talking about it for months, doing this taco metal party that he hosted at his house. Finally made it happen and it was a blast. It was actually the first day of our tour and it wasn’t necessarily a show, but we went to his basement/man cave and he has a full studio in there. We just played some tracks, jammed out, partied up with him and he cooked us tacos. I tell you what, the guy makes the best guacamole I’ve ever had in my life. Hands down.
Alex Obert: How you like your taco?
Brandon Yeagley: I’m not too picky when it comes to tacos. I usually go for the works. But he did the whole nine, homemade tortillas and homemade hard-shells. It was really, really out of this world good. And he had some really old tequila that he was breaking out for us. It was really great time, we had a lot of fun.
Alex Obert: Before we wrap up, I would like to find out what’s going through your head regarding the big tour with Anthrax and Volbeat.
Brandon Yeagley: It’s gonna be a little bit of a challenge for myself, as a vocalist, to get out there on the arena stages and try to get comfortable. But I’m actually looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to that challenge and seeing that side of things. And of course the crowds that Volbeat and Anthrax bring are just incredible, we’ve never consistently been in front of crowds this big on a tour. It’s gonna be a great thing for us. Hopefully we get a good response from the fans. It’s cool that we’ll finally be allowed into Canada! (laughs)
Alex Obert: I’m looking forward to everything ahead and I’d love to thank you so much for your time.
Brandon Yeagley: No problem, Alex! Anytime!