by Mely Duong
Kick the Robot is an melodic indie rock band infused with slight aggressive undertones and harmony influences from the 60s and 70s. The band hailing from Atlanta, Georgia consists of three members: Dan Remel on bass, Dylan Hansen on drums and Jesse Scarpone on guitars. Remel serves as the cohesive glue between the two opposed dynamic of Hansen and Scarpone. Furthermore, from a musical standpoint, Remel is able to incorporate an outstanding sense of harmony due to his background as a sax player. Hansen’s strength lies in his prolific writing, both lyrically and melodically, while Scarpone is responsible for song inspiring guitar riffs, falsetto vocals and a wild stage presence. Interestingly enough, Scarpone is not the only vocalist in this band. The other two have prominent voices as well, and though it has been a challenge, their ability to harmonize three seemingly different voices has been a strength for this band. In fact, harmonizing is one of their favorite things to do.
Another unique attribute is how they approach music and what their music is about. “We always try to capture the energy of our live shows. Our philosophy in the studio is to be organic and genuine. We don’t use any electronic trickery like auto-tune or instrumentation that we don’t play live.” They’re attempting to provide listeners at home with an as authentic performance as they can provide at a live show. It’s a very admirable stance they have assumed.
The band has been around since 2006, which is an extremely long time when it comes to recent trends in music. They started this band in around middle school and have managed to stay together since then. The band started out as two separate bands, actually. Remel and Scarpone were part of a cover band, while Hansen and Remel were also working with another group. However, the latter group was more interested in their own individual projects. Thus, Remel, Hansen and Scarpone joined forces, and the rest is a bit of history. Inevitably, they have fine tuned their sound as well as grown as people and performers. Of course the chemistry between all the band members is strong. It’s a testament to their dedication as musicians and to each other.
In terms of how the music is written, the band has no set in stone habit. Sometimes a guitar riff will instigate an entire song. Other times, they refer to their library of lyrics and draw upon that at the right moment in time, depending on their mood. Two of their best songs from their full length 2013 debut album, Music to Fight the Future, are “Can’t Get Enough” and “Not Your Friend”. Although both are a fantastic display of harmony, the first song has a more aggressive nature but yet also has catchy tunes. The second has a 50/60s vibe and is pure rock and roll fun with some humor dashed in.
Currently, Kick the Robot is playing local shows and recording their second album for release next year. Local fans can expect new music at live shows, but for the rest of us, we will have to satisfy ourselves with new videos to be released online soon. To learn more about Kick the Robot, visit their site at www.kicktherobot.com