As the name sort of suggests, Texas-based Deadbot are on a mission to raise awareness about the impending power of artificial intelligence through the medium of stoner rock. And we love it.
The quintet of Jason Freeman (vocals), Scott Blackwell and Craig Dodson (guitars), Josh Fagan (bass) and Brad Chism (drums) formed as a supergroup from two former bands – one of which had the word Dead and the other had the word Bot in their respective names.
They released debut EP Arkansas Went Black last year, which is chocked full of deliciously riff-heavy stoner rock laced with edgy vocals.
Our first taste of it was second track Rise Up, which gets off to a strong start with a cool riff that repeats relentlessly under Jason’s raspy vocals. A section of high-pitched guitars then descending riff comes in before the opening riff returns under cries of “Rise up and shake off your dust” in the chorus.
Things get a little livelier with a cool stoner-rock diving riff then a wah-infused guitar solo takes over. It’s a super cool, engaging track and you can give it a listen below:
And there’s plenty more where that came from on the band’s EP, including the gradually building Flawed Skin that explodes into a mass of driving drums and chuggy guitar riffs. Then there’s the lively Off On My Own, which sees funky riffs supporting Jason’s shouty vocals.
But a personal favourite is penultimate track Face Today, which opens up with ominous-sounding drawn-out guitars and bass then chunky palm-muted guitars under Jason’s vocals “I can’t face today when I know what tomorrow holds.” Stabbing guitars kick in and give way to a high-pitched lick that drops back into the palm-muted guitars. Give it a listen below:
We had a chat with bassist Josh to find out more. Read on below…
GR: Who are Deadbot?
JF: “Deadbot is a pro-intelligence rock band based in Denton, TX. Me and Jason have played in various bands together for the last 25 years including Jeazii, Richard Noggin and most recently Godbot, which was an experimental two-piece recording project. Scott, Craig and Brad played together in Deadspin, which was a North Texas staple in the 90’s metal scene. We joined forces in 2018 to form a ‘supergroup’ Deadbot, combining previous bands’ names.”
GR: You just released Rise Up. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
JF: “Rise Up is an anthem, a call to intellectual arms if you will. By banning together, we can collectively overpower the impending takeover by artificial intelligence.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
JF: “Southern Stoner Metal?”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
JF: “Our mission is simple. We must band together and end all forms of artificial intelligence. Them damn robots are takin over. They done got to most of y’alls minds, don’t let them steal your soul. Believe us, that’s phase 3 of the overlords plan. Your only hope is to give your soul to rock and roll. We hate artificial stuff and have an absolute disdain for robots. We are rock and roll soldiers sent here to defend your soul and deliver a very important message once we receive it from the rock gods.
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
JF: “Black Sabbath, Clutch, Helmet and several local bands we idolized growing up: Brutal Juice, Baboon, Caulk.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
JF: “We are currently working on a full-length album that will be released in 2020. We have a big show coming up 29 February with Mothership.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
JF: “We pride ourselves in our live performances that include samples, fog and strobe lights synched to our music. We introduce various “prophets” during our set that deliver messages from the rock gods to our congregation about how we can protect our souls from the A.I. takeover. We try to tell our story through both our performance and music.”