Interview: Robot For Brains

Q1 Could you tell us something about yourself and your artistic background?

Yeah, My name’s Gareth…originally I’m from a small town in Leicestershire… been making a noise since I was about 11… I’m 27 now.

Was well into music from pretty early on because of my two older brothers. Both in bands and they listened to some pretty way out shit I guess.

It was cool to be exposed to stuff like Drexciya and Aphex from a young age…

I started drum tuition when I was 11 because my best mate did… though I was never really content with the normal drum sounds, so did stuff like mic up my mum’s biscuit tins and got a Yamaha drum machine for more weird noises and bass drum sounds. I then started recording stuff down to cassette tape. I used to make tracks out of all sorts, from my mates older sisters rave tapes to mega drive menu sounds. I never used to tell anyone though, just thought people would think I was weird.  Especially as all my first shit sounded like horror film music. The direct result of watching too much Stephen King.

It all escalated from there really, it was post rave time around 94′ and a lot of Techno was coming out. I used to listen to that stuff Beltram, Thomas Heckman and AC/DC lol who I love, my first love musically… or just whatever music that was coming out of my brothers room… usually ‘The Cramps’ lol. I’ve been building up my studio since then, strippin it away again etc… I still like to get on the drum kit when I can too!

More notably, I spent some time as assistant sound engineer with the ‘Lo Fidelity Allstars’ in their Brighton studios… I probably gained the most knowledge about making music properly during this time.  Now I’m based in trendy East London, haha

Q2 Do you work on your own? What collaborations do you participate in (label, musical partners, etc)?

robot for brains’ is me on my own… it’s a name I have stuck with for a while now. When I started out however…I was never really happy with my tunes. Hence me only ever really showing mates, which looking back is perhaps a little dumb of me, as it turns out people quite like a lot of my old shit  I’ve got of a lot unheard stuff, some of which will be released now, others I will be posting as and when I feel to my Soundcloud/Facebook page.  I’ve only just put it up, you can check it out…

I’m also part of a collective of DJ’s and producers called the ‘FM Press‘. We have started putting on nights in East London, the last one was with Mark Rae, it was great!  Here I DJ as ‘Fantastic Damage‘ along side Dave Chambers, the founding member of the ‘FM Press‘. We also produced tracks together, though this stuff is really about a party vibe and having fun…  you can hit us up on Soundcloud or Mixcloud… we just did a bootleg of Ramadanman & James Blake which we really like… 🙂

I’m also making some other techno stuff with Dave, It’s the first time in 10 years that I’ve made Techno and we’re both really excited about it. It’s sounding awesome and a lot of fun, but it’s hush hush for now…

Q3 Something you want to share about London music scene, some insights or recommendations?

I’m still getting my head around the London music scene… enough said !

Though I can highly recommend a night called PLEX @ Corsica Studios. I went to the first one back in 2006, the guys there are really dedicated. I now help them out a little, I did the lighting at the last one… which was wicked! So if you’re into electronic music you should get down to Corsica. Oh and not forgetting the ‘FM Press parties’ @ Star of Bethnal Green, a venue which punches well above it’s weight in my opinion… check em’ out !!!

I can also recommend a really nice French restaurant in Angel called Le Mercury… ha ha

Q4 What equipment do you use / what is your favorite piece of equipment?

Hardware & software… I love the Nord Lead 2,  for anyone getting into Techno etc just get one… it will not only help you learn hands on synthesis but also provide you with perhaps the only synth you will ever REALLY need ! in my opinion…

I also like the ‘Audio Realism’ Bassline… because it replicates a hardware TB-303.. great for acid on the go!…. oh and Massey do some great free plug-ins… get them all ! This gear is all over ‘The Hard Way‘ EP.

My fave bit of hardware though is the Rokk stereo mixing console… I’m convinced I’m the only one who still actually has one haha!.. I found this weird 8 channel mixing desk in a second hand shop, they let me have it for like a tenner because only the left channel worked…. I fixed it, and it’s now great… love running shit through, that’s probably my favourite,  because it looks really nice and was  just a tenner  🙂

Q5 What is your work process?

With the ‘robot for brains’ stuff, the musical idea or vision is usually inset in my brain first… I see it, and it will over take all my thoughts for a few days until I get the idea down… it’s distracting from real life in a way, consuming. I’m into raw production values I guess, I think ‘robot for brains‘ is a rough sound. In the past I’ve always had my reservations about using pre processed samples, drums & loops etc… So would spend ages recording shit down and then messing with eq’s & compressors till they sounded spicy enough.  Having felt like I have gone through a bit of a right of passage with that now, these days I’m not so bothered, and it’s just about doing it, time and shit…

Most of the sounds get put into Ableton first and arranged, maybe a bit of re-amping here and there, a lot of the synth parts on ‘The Hard Way‘ are re-amped or processed with some hardware in someway…then mixed in Protools after.  A lot people moan about Protools, but I happen to really like it for mixing tracks.

Q6 What was the last record that you bought?

The piece of Vinyl…Mad Professor dub me crazy pt.3…. last download… ‘Andy Stott – Tell me anything’

Q7 Which artists have influenced you the most over the years?

I hate this question… let’s just say…Luke Vibert and Liam Howlett & leave it at that lol

Q8 Who would be your dream artist to work with?

Probably the GZA ha… ‘I’ve got this little fantasy… I’d quite like to make an Acid Hiphop album one day…GZA on the mic obviously !

Q9What are your next gigs and where can we preview your works online?

I’m Dj’ing as ‘robot for brains’ in Leeds, London And Glasgow over the next coming months, which is pretty bonkers for me…also the next FM Press party is 28th May @ Star of Bethnal Green.

you can check out these links below…

as ‘robot for brains’

as ‘Fantastic Damage’

Q9 Any plans for the future you want to announce here?

If the world makes it past 2012… all I can say is watch out for some jokers that go by the name of CRACK!

Thank you Gareth and all the best!  😉

(..interview by MNanotek)

18 thoughts on “Interview: Robot For Brains

  1. Glad u read the interview!!..& don’t forget to check Robot for Brains cause he kicks ass!;)

  2. well I dont really understand whats going on here .. and I dont really see any reason for your comments noisefan.. Certainly the questions are not stolen from somewhere else , check on this blog we have a draft of questions for our interviews.. and I dont like your ironic style .. I think its pointless .. if you want to criticize you re welcome but use some valid arguments than personal attacks to M. Nanotek .. is any personal issue behind this actually?

  3. “we have a draft of questions for our interviews.” Thank you, you just answered my question.

    This interview lacks soul!!!!!


  4. Noisefan, questions are questions…how original is anything nowadays. At the end of the day Im more interested in the answers. There’s clear passion, honesty and ‘soul’ from what I can see. Robot for brains gives us what seems to be a vulnerable and honest insight into his influences…the soul is there. You just missed it.

  5. our interviews give the artist a space for self-representation. it’s not in any ways about shaping our profile or ego or presenting ourselves. it’s more like a questionnaire, this is the concept. we can send it to artists over the web to feature them in their own words here.

    i think the fact that you ask as to be super passionate and innovative with our style only shows your ignorance about the character of our project. we do this whole thing with nothing but passion (send me an email if you want to donate your money as a sponsor, we’d also take that…). if you want to know more about our idea read the “about” page.

    we also organise subcultural parties and are active as artists ourselves and apart from that we have normal jobs. so basically you demand that instead of “only” keeping contact with artists around europe in our free time and sending them a questionnaire and have their work and mixes (sometimes exclusive ones) here on the blog, we should meet them in person and be like the trendy mtv style journalists who always try to be as eloquent as the artist. but we never claimed to fulfill expectations of professionalism anyways (see “about” again, we are about passion and not about pretending to be professional journalists).

    i could find much harder words for what i think of your attitude towards our efforts, but for now i will consider it as a missunderstanding. that said, i can assure you, that i don’t care about your opinion, because i don’t share your paradigms and expectations. i just wanted to defend someone against not justified accusations.

  6. This is an open blog so I can express my opinion and agree with Noise fan, with the conservative party, with the KKK if I want to.

  7. Hello! Thanks very much for this interview MNanotek – I enjoyed reading it. I’ve listened to Robot For Brains output LOTS because he makes awesome music – maximum respect to both him and yourself for what you do as now I have an insight into his work beyond just the tracks. I didn’t know he used the excellent ABL bassline.. anyway – keep up the good work!


  8. hello Thornton Force. The interview with Robot for brains was one of our best so far thanks to nanotek.. Actually from that day on , Im constantly listening to his music .. as I see you have released a remix for robot fom brains?? here as well as two nice tracks on your soundcloud right? . It would be nice to post something here about that in the future.. keep up the good work and definitely keep in touch

  9. BIG thnx Thornton!If u r in London on the 28th u can catch Robot for Brains at the Star of Bethnal Green! 😉

  10. Pingback: record reviews: robot for brains – The Hard Way | the shituationist institute

  11. Nanotek

    hey does robot for brain has a booking contact?? we are thinking of organizing an event in Berlin 😉

  12. Pingback: record reviews: robot for brains – The Hard Way | apples from the Underground

  13. Pingback: Featured artists by shituationist institute special edition 2011 | the shituationist institute

  14. Pingback: 10 most viewed posts of the shituationist blog for 2011 | the shituationist institute

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