Friday, May 10, 2013

New fave band: Compressorhead




From the "I wish I would have thought of it" file.

Let me tell you about the band Compressorhead.  As proclaimed on their own site, they are "the world's heaviest metal band."


"Did you ever wonder what Danny Carey would sound like with four arms?
How about if Angus Young had 78 fingers?  Imagine what Robert Trujillo would sound like if he were actually made of metal?

Well wonder no more, meatbags."

Here's a quick introduction to the band:

Fingers (guitars) joined Compressorhead in 2009 and has 78 fingers.  He can play the entire fretboard and pluck.

Bones (bass) is the newest member of the band having been born in 2012.  He has the highest precision of any bass player in the world.

Stickboy (drums) is the world's first rock drummer built to specification for Compressorhead.  His illegitimate son (oh those rock stars), Stickboy Jr., joins in on hihat.

The band is of course entirely composed of robots.  This is the first time I have encountered such a concept, at least on this scale and IRL.  Got to say, I love it.

No, I don't foresee robots taking over rock music.  Although when you look at the creation, packaging, and marketing of contemporary music, one could make the easy argument that robots already have.  Compressorhead, to me anyway, seems to be more about "can we do this?"  Is there another level we can take robotics to?  How many human activities can robots successfully emulate?
Take a look/listen to their cover of The Clash's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" and you decide:




Other selections from their setlist include "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, "Blitzkrieg Bop" by The Ramones, "Bullet in the Head" by Rage Against the Machine, and of course "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath. Also included is the theme to The Banana Splits.  I usually look more obscure songs by more obscure bands, so Compressorhead will really earn its street cred with me when I see tunes by Nine Inch Nails and Transvision Vamp on the set.  But did you read that last song on the setlist?  They play the flippin' Banana Splits.  Awesome.

Like most spoiled rotten rock stars, Compressorhead does have their own tour rider  (posting it here because I'm certain it's only a matter of time before The Smoking Gun gets a hold of it for their own Backstage section.)  If you want them to play a gig, make certain you have enough bottles of oil, chrome polish, and hydraulic fluid on hand and audio techs who are "sober and competent."  Wonder if I could be a Compressorhead roadie?  I'd be happy just to sell the t-shirts.

Naturally, I came across Compressorhead while doing research for my novel on robots...which still languishes in the development stage as my ideas seem to come and go by aeolian means (at one point, I'm actually going to have to sit down and write the damn thing.)  I have been searching for stories about the current state of robotics and how I can project it into the future.

Looks like Compressorhead may have to make an appearance in the book.


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