Interview: After Robot pre-Arts Expo

After Robot by Royal Lens Photography
After Robot: Photo by Royal Lens Photography

Johannesburg, South Africa: the much anticipated ninth edition of Emalyth‘s Arts Expo – this year tag-titled Nine Lives – looms near. Emalyth coordinated with M4A to highlight a number of the bands selected to appear at this year’s weekend festivities where underground art and music are encouraged to throb to the same primal beat at Wolmer Bush Lounge between 27-29 January. In today’s spotlight we find the bluesy rockers at After Robot discussing the band’s current state of affairs in 2017. Interview conducted by Kimberleigh Fae Chaye on behalf of Emalyth and M4A. ~ from the editor


After Robot are not what the elitist metaller inside us (admit it; we all have one nestled away somewhere deep) would typically tick off on our checklist for a metal festival. Yet, the presence of bands such as After Robot and others who represent a cross-genre appeal serves to emphasize the shift which the Arts Expo has been undergoing in more recent years – particularly since taking on the full weekend format – towards becoming a more all-encompassing “alternative music festival” than just balls-to-the-wall extreme metal extravaganza.

Generally speaking, the format being adopted by the Arts Expo seems to work quite well, since it’s a sharing of resources between more genre pools and market pull to keep things affordable and socially diverse. Besides, it also opens our blackest of hearts to new possibilities as well as presenting an opportunity for others to come and revel in “the dark side”. And thus, we found ourselves chatting to the bluesy prog-rocker groove machines:

“We are the genre starters of Groove Rock and we believe in losing yourself to the music in any moment you can, on or off stage.” ~ Jacques Jacobs (bass guitar, After Robot)

The band has been making a substantial mark on the local circuits since it’s arrival to existence in 2012. Momentum really began picking up in 2014 with After Robot finding themselves onstage at legendary festivals such as Up The Creek and Oppikoppi, continuing through to 2016 and into the present, appearing at annual highlights such as STRAB and now the Arts Expo. Of course, playing the festival circuit is always wonderful for a band, yet following the recent release of After Robot‘s album release of How’z It Pal, there are more accomplishments for the band members to add to their collective experiences.

“Our album launch was a killer experience, to be joined my legends like Wonderboom, LA Cobra and newcomers FAQT was really magical. While on tour we also had a great opportunity to go hike the skeleton gorge trail as a band – it was such a special experience” ~ Jacques Jacobs

Apart from riding the wave of the album, After Robot are also excited about a music video currently in the pipeline; but more immediately so, they are thrilled about their participation in this year’s Arts Expo.

“Its a well established festival filled with all forms of art; anything from sword fighting to headbanging. We think its a great way for the artistic community to get together in one place, create a liquid-magma-death-ray and cook some marshmallows whilst supporting other local artists! We really like reconnecting with old pals and catching up; as musicians we all kind of work the same shifts you know.” ~ Jacques Jacobs

Although the band’s own music falls shy (well, only slightly) of fitting into the “extreme” category, After Robot definitely feel kindred to many of their heavier counterparts in other ways. Jacques explains that playing at a festival gives the band members a rare chance to see talent which they would ordinarily not get to see owing to their own gigging schedules, and noted some anticipated personal highlights to include Boargazm, PitVirus, Jonathan Peyper, Vulvodynia and Riddlebreak, but was sure that he’d try to absorb as much as he could.

“It feels like we have really started showing the world that we are here, and that we are ready to blow some pips! We are a small bunch but we are a family!” ~ Jacques Jacobs

When asked what it is that inspires After Robot, locally or internationally, we were a little blindsided by an excellent answer:

“Life itself inspires us and our journey in music” ~ Jacques Jacobs

Catch After Robot live on stage in Gauteng at the Arts Expo: Nine Lives on Saturday 28 January at 15h30.

For full Arts Expo: Nine Lives event details, visit the official facebook event page.

Interview by Kimberleigh Fae Chaye; co-authored by Patrick Davidson
Connect with the band After Robot on facebook
Connect with this website’s True Believer funding initiative on facebook