Tag Archives: boulder

WEST LA CNCT Exclusive Interview: Robotic Pirate Monkey

28 Feb

It was only a few months ago when my buddy Blake, who goes to school in Boulder, let me know about the greatness of Robotic Pirate Monkey. At first, their name kept me a bit skeptical, but once I heard their music all of my doubts departed just as fast as the bass hit my ear drums. Following the steps of other Boulder natives such as Pretty Lights, Robotic Pirate Monkey is coming out of the woodwork to make a name for themselves in electronic music. They have already had a considerable amount of success with several well-received releases, and most notably, an almost sold-out headlining show at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. They are also on the bill for The Snowball Festival in Vail, Colorado, which I highly suggest attending if you aren’t already!

Although there are three members of Robotic Pirate Monkey (Matt Flesher, Matthew Berryhill, Andrew Hathaway), we only spoke with Flesher and Berryhill for this interview. All three were originally from different states before being brought together at the University of Colorado. The common interests of music and competitive skiing further established their relationships, which led to the formation of Robotic Pirate Monkey. Enjoy this interview, check out the music, and spread the word about RPM!

Robotic Pirate Monkey- Mr Brown (rmx ft. Bob Marley)

Robotic Pirate Monkey- Monsters (rmx ft. Collin McLoughlin & Sam Adams)

Robotic Pirate Monkey – Into a Dream Ft. Ayesha Scott

 

EP Downloads:

Jungle Tales: Vol. 1
Disturbing Pleasant Streets

 

Links:

Facebook
Soundcloud
Website
Contact: RoboticPirateMonkey@gmail.com

 

Interview:

WEST LA CNCT: You guys probably get this a lot, but I have to ask, why Robotic Pirate Monkey?

Flesher: Ha, yea everyone asks. It spurred from this revamped ‘rock, paper, scissors game’ called ‘robot, zombie, monkey, ninja, pirate’. From there the concept was shortened to ‘Robotic Pirate Monkey’, which we felt represented the music we make. We are gear heads and technology nerds so in that respect we are ‘robotic’. We base a lot of our music on elements of borrowed, or what some may call stolen, music samples hence the pirate. And at the end of the day our music is all geared to make you dance and ‘monkey’ around… and ‘RPM’ had a good ring to it.

WLAC: How did you guys meet? Had it always been music from the start?

Flesher: We did not really meet strictly through music. Hath and I (Flesher) met through skiing back in back when we were like 16. So I knew him when he came out to CU and when I found out he was messing around with ableton we started learning how to make music together. I met Berryhill through DJ’ing and making tunes. We realized we were all sort of digging the same sound and on the same page as far as production techniques and philosophy so becoming a group just came naturally.

Berryhill: Hath and I met DJing a house party… both impressed with each other and at the beginning of our electronic music production journey. We collaborated from the beginning. Maybe a couple months after, we started collaborating with Matt Flesher and now we’re here.

WLAC: How would you guys describe your sound? How do the three of you strive to be unique?

Flesher: I would say it’s hard to generalize our sound with a single description or genre. We like to make all types of music while keeping a constant style throughout giving our music that ‘RPM’ sound… Gritty, warm bass sounds, heavy percussion, catchy samples, and interesting detail.

Berryhill: We really don’t look for a certain sound per se. We just feel out what fits in the track we’re working on. Whether a remix or an original. We like to sample from pretty much any type of music and go from there.

WLAC: Who have you guys been most influenced by in music? Who did you guys grow up listening to?

Flesher: Growing up I listened to everything…a lot of jam band shit but always liked hip-hop and electronic music. Favorites included Moe., Incubus, 311, Yonder, As far as the music I like to make, I really like sampling old classics that kinda have that just epic, nostalgic feel. I think this gives music the music that extra character that really makes it. Pretty Lights is great at this. The way he makes those classic soul samples sound so full and futuristic is simply genius.

Berryhill: Being a musician prior, the classic garage band jam sessions have def. influenced me quite a bit, especially when I’m looking for melodies and what not. I listened to anything from classic rock to classic hip-hop to hardcore music growing up, I’ve heard a lot of different stuff.

WLAC: I noticed you guys have several remixes. How do you guys go about choosing which songs to remix?

Flesher: No process… It usually goes something like you hear a song on the radio, run home to your computer and make a drum loop and a bassline and then being like “Hey guys check this remix I started”. If it clicks it tends to get finished real fast and if it doesn’t it might get pushed aside and revisited later when inspiration hits.

Berryhill: I try to find the tracks first of all that fit our style. I also try to find those tracks that have special places in peoples heart, and make something that more fit to dance and party to in this new era of electronic music. It’s fun to watch what we can come up with to such different kinds of music.

WLAC: So, you guys played your first headlining show at the Fox Theatre in Boulder back on December 2nd. What was it like? Did you guys ever imagine seeing your name at the top of the bill?

Flesher: It was the sickest!! No seriously it was such a fun night. We never expected to come so close to selling out our first show at the Fox, and it was truly flattering to see the support.

Berryhill: Yeah, it was a really good turn out. We played our first totally live set and people were really feelin’ it

WLAC: What programs or gear are you guys using? Is it a different setup when you’re playing live vs. back at the home/studio?

Flesher: We are using macbook pros with Ableton Live. Live we use Novation Launchpads and pad controllers like the Akai MPD and the M Audio Trigger Finger along with a monome and a couple ipads. In the studio we gotta set of Adams A7 Monitors, Rode NT 1A Mic, and a couple midi keyboards.

Berryhill: We are always trying to push the limit in the live realm of electronic music. Don’t be surprised to see real instruments like guitars up on stage in the future.

WLAC: Boulder’s music scene seems to be thriving in its college atmosphere. Do you guys feel it has changed since first arriving at Boulder? Has electronic music been growing in popularity?

Flesher: Yeah I have noticed it change drastically. When I was a freshman everyone seemed to be into jam bands and hip hop but right around sophmore year the electronic scene blew up with the house-y shit like Deadmau5 becoming a household name and more jam-my shit like STS9 grabbing the jam band crowd.

Berryhill: Yeah, electronic music is booming everywhere, and Boulder is one of the places where it all started, especially the kind of music we make, it really thrives here

WLAC: If you guys could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

Flesher: Kid Cudi… Cleveland love. 
Anyone whose willing to throw it Down!

 

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-TOKS!

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