By Alicia Rivera on March 16, 2018
Long nights dedicated to the sound. Computers, keyboards and looper pedals all to put on the one-man show that was Robot Nature. After The Bolt disbanded, former frontman DPAK continued the show, blending drum, EDM and guitar beats at venues in Southern California. Solo nights on stage turned into a longing for bandmates. “[as a solo artist] you don’t necessarily get the live chemistry and feel of people on-stage interacting - the sound of an actual drum or the actual bass - like live. It’s just different,” says DPAK, “there’s something more feel-based about playing [music] together as a group versus just having a guy with a laptop and a dj playing, which ya know, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
During one of his solo performances DPAK’s meditative thoughts were realized by a visit from an old friend, Sydney Alston, who invited him to work with End Of Ever, a band which lost its lead singer.
So the ex-End Of Ever mates (keyboardist Richard Parizer, bassist Michael Sklena and drummer Jesse Shadis) met up for a chat turned jam session. Playing together, waves of sound banded the foursome together. They soon recognized this was the start of something great. “We [the musicians in End of Ever] wanted to look for new things, entertain new things. DPAK already had the idea,” explains Parizer. It was the man of music’s vision which ultimately empowered the group to welcome DPAK to the squad.
Imagining The Sound
“Technology is where Earth is heading right now with AI - artificial intelligence - virtual reality, cryptocurrency, you name it. There’s a lot of things that are coming up and I think if the music can be just ahead of that curve and be a certain sound that [is the] sound of the future - that’s kind of what we’re going for visionary wise,” DPAK says.
These blended elements ultimately comprise the origin of the name Robot Nature, which DPAK explains as, “that balance between technology and nature.” Do you get it? A technological robot infused with human nature. “The music expresses that, because you have organic elements...but you also have electronic sounds, violin with acoustic so the balance of that acoustic and electronic element forms the sound Robot Nature.”
Being a multicultural group - East Indian, Italian, Filipino, Israeli - the mates are just as blended as their vision. “We’re all different ethnicities when it comes down to it, but we all have different backgrounds, different views on life and we all have, most importantly, different record collections,” notes drummer, Jesse Shadis. “It’s good to have everybody coming from a different walk of life. It actually helps, because it creates its own new flavor, it creates its own new sound for the band,” he says.
With the excitement of starting a new band and everyone bringing their creative influence to the recording room the band went through some growing pains. “I mean there’s a lot to do...we gotta play live shows…when you’re playing live shows sometimes it’s hard to get the momentum of recording,” which, according to DPAK, can spring up feelings of redundancy.
“I think that part of being musicians - in our world - we’re playing the same songs a lot, over and over again and so maybe there’s a little bit of like, from the musician perspective, they might think, ‘Oh, these songs are getting old, but the thing is like it’s always new for the audience every time,” says DPAK.
An L.A.-based ensemble, Robot Nature spent the past year building a fan base in SoCal. Their performance at the Oakland First Fridays “Black Arts" Street Festival on February 2nd was the first time Robot Nature played the Bay Area.
“‘It’s refreshing to go to Oakland to have a whole new crowd that’s never heard us before. It wasn’t like the same L.A. fans coming to see the show again. It was all new people so it kind of had that freshness to it.”
Looking down, DPAK saw people dancing, singing along and smiling. “You can just tell that everyone had a really open energy about them...and people were really intently listening. They weren’t like bored, looking at their cell phones. I think sometimes in Los Angeles people always got somewhere to go to or [in] a place like New York,” he says. “Then you go to Oakland and everyone’s kinda there to be there. They were there to enjoy,” he continues. With so much fresh energy and love from the crowd, DPAK was reminded of how Robot Nature’s music impacts people.
At the end of the day, the mates of Robot Nature do what they do for the people. “The more you give, the more you get. If we can inspire, like, being in a place of service - being in a place of like, ‘How can we share? How can we improve the space around us? How can we improve other people’s lives?’ I think if everyone has that kind of mentality - that kind of consciousness - we can make the world a better place. That’s why music is such a good thing. It’s a universal language.” With the band touring in the next year, going as far as Bulgaria, they will surely make global connections and have people getting down to music worldwide. You can listen to their song, “Do You Wanna Be a Star”, on their website here and you can catch their next performance at Oakland First Fridays “Art Of Creation” Street Festival April 6th, 2018.