Being able to create a unique sound is one difficult. Being able to do it as a two piece is ambitious. Having a unique sound since the ages of 15 and 12 is unheard of. And being in a band for 5+ years and touring/recording extensively as siblings? For some that would appear to be too many bridges to cross. For California band The Bots there has been no trouble at all in finding success. Their own unique blend of punk and blues rock has garnered praise from some of the music industries biggest names. I was lucky enough to talk to them about touring, culture shock, and wanting to become a chef.
AMBY: Hey guys! How are you doing and what have you been up to lately?
Anaiah Lei: Hey what’s going on! We’re all good, just been in the studio and laying down tracks. Working with awesome friends that will be producing the next record and writing new tunes.
Mikaiah Lei: Like Anaiah said writing songs and working on tunes for the album, I’ve been trying to stay on the down low, keep it cool <3
AMBY: Damon Albarn (Blur) stated that you guys were one of his favorite bands at the moment and you have been championed by Radio 1 DJ Zane Low. Have you ever been taken aback by the number of famous fans you have?
Anaiah Lei: It’s seriously amazing that these guys have said these things about us. Really it means a lot, and it’s really such a good feeling. I don’t know what else I could say on that, it’s just mind blowing really.
Mikaiah Lei: I am very amazed at how we have gained fans and friends along the way, this journey so far already has been so wonderful I couldn’t ask for a better outcome. I love everyone that loves us! Shout outs!
AMBY: Your new EP Sincerely Sorry has recently been released to critical acclaim. Have been sincerely sorry about something mischievous you have done on tour? I read somewhere you guys enjoy skateboarding on trains!
Anaiah Lei: I’m so glad it has! But I mean everyone does, people like to party. Nothing I could think of, and that was one time! When we went out with the Africa Express, one time only sort of thing. When you’re bored on a train and a bunch of people are cheering you on, peer pressure takes a toll haha!
Mikaiah Lei: Yeah I remember this one time I was performing in the UK and I was going hardcore. Mikaiah and I thought at the end of the song I would be super cool guy and throw the mic into the crowd but ended up hitting this poor little lady in the face with the mic. I was sincerely sorry about it and I bought her a drink at the bar to make it up to her. :) I also hit a dude in the face with a broken drum stick on the Africa Express haha… That’s another story.
AMBY: Having started touring at a very young age it’s safe to assume that music has always been you life. Had this not been the case, what other path would you guys have been interested in taking?
Anaiah Lei: Yeah it always has, and realistically I think it still would have been music. No matter what it would have been based around music. I can’t think of anything else I would like to do. I have so much passion for this, not that I don’t for other things.
Mikaiah Lei: I really don’t know, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else, I wanted to cook when I was younger but my teacher told me its too stressful. I have a awesome job I love it never gonna stop!
AMBY: What tracks have you been listening to recently?
Anaiah Lei: I’ve been on some crazy electro stuff. Lots of old hip hop music and funk, lots of oldies. Stuff like that basically.
Mikaiah Lei: Deerhunter – THM, Feist – Anti Pioneer, James Blake – Unluck, Violent Femmes – Good Feeling, Yacht – Waste of Time.
AMBY: If you had to describe each other in two words, what would they be?
Anaiah Lei: For Mikaiah, it would be : crazy psycho.
Mikaiah Lei: Afro Braces or Afro-Face Braces.
AMBY: You have had the pleasure of touring all around the world! At which location have you felt most like you are in a totally different world, or suffered culture shock?
Anaiah Lei: I don’t think I’ve suffered from a culture shock, nothing was ever too crazy, at least not yet. Haha I’m very glad I haven’t yet, so that’s the thing.
Mikaiah Lei: I all the naked brown flesh in Slovakian on the hotel beach, nuff said.
AMBY: If you could invite any three people to record an album with, who would you pick?
Anaiah Lei: Yukimi N. from Little Dragon, Mica Levi, and Erykah Badu.
Mikaiah Lei: Bradford Cox, Brain Chase, Jack White… it’s always changing I wish I answered first I would of put Mica Levi too haha.
AMBY: What’s the best release of the year?
Anaiah Lei: Definitely the last Arcade Fire album, Reflektor is absolutely amazing!
Mikaiah Lei: Anaiah snaked my answer again ahaha, I’d have to say Deerhunters album was sick Monomania.
AMBY: And finally, what is one thing about The Bots that nobody knows?
Anaiah Lei: I’m not sure if people know this, although we mention this all the time, but we were once a 5-piece when the band first started! ;)
Mikaiah Lei: THEBOTS is actually written, little know secret. Oh and we are not just black rappers, we are half Asian so that’s not the case plus we are a rock band.
Thank you The Bots, for giving us your answers!
Matt Thomas |