We generally perk up a bit when an email arrives in our inbox using words like "Arcade Fire", "The Unicorns", "Strokes" and "Devandra Banhart". So when Chocolate Robots got in touch, their message leaped out at us right away. The trio of brothers from Sarnia – who all work in their parents' pizza parlour – play charming, catchy, glitchy, sugar-coated indie pop. But when they first mixed their new record, Pizza Face, it sounded, in their words, "like Michael Boulton." It's lucky, then, that they just happened to run into Fab Moretti from the Strokes and that after going bowling with him (!), he passed their record along to some producer friends. The album got a new polish thanks to a couple of high profile engineers who'd worked with the likes of the Arcade Fire and Mr. Banhart. The result is an album that truly does earn positive comparisons to similar acts like the Unicorns or Islands. In fact, we like it so much that we got the band's Mike Giresi to answer a few of our silly questions.
We're posting the video for "Impossible Princess" below. And you can stream the whole album – or buy it for $10 – at the Chocolate Robots bandcamp page here.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard you before?
I would rather not describe what our music sounds like...cuz I have noooo idea...it's music. But you obviously can't say that to people. From now on I'm just gonna say it's PIZZA POP. Thank you for helping me clear this up, now I've just created a new genre, doesn't it sound tasty!
If you could play one venue you've never played before, what would it be?
There was a place in London Ontario I always wanted to play called the Wick, but it burn down.
Say, for some strange reason, all the music in the world is going to be destroyed, but you can save all the songs from one decade. Which decade's records would you save?
Would have to be '60s for too many reasons to list.
If you could work with any producer in the world who you haven’t already worked with, who would it be?
We've never worked with a producer. I have always been anti producer, but I'm warming up to the idea. This guy from Toronto who just produced the last couple of songs from SLIM TWIG sounded deadly – his name is Carl Didur. Or Hank Shocklee who used to do the Public Enemy records. If you asked my brother he would say Jon Brion.
What was the first record you ever bought? When was the last time you listened to it?
RUN DMC Raising Hell. I listen to it still and I love it every time!
What was the craziest live show you've ever seen?
You rarely get to see something other than a bunch of dudes standing up there trying to be someone they saw in a video or something. I like it when people do something different with out trying to "shock" you. The craziest live show I have seen in a while was this girl named Davita G. Her drummer would just wander around the stage at times during their set. Some songs had no bass so the bass player would just sit there and wait for the song to be over. It was refreshing, it also helped that the songs were rad.
If you could have one of your songs in a commercial for any product, what would it be?
Anyone that would be paying us cash would be perfectly fine.
If you absolutely had to get a face tattoo of album art from one record, which record would you want to have on your face for the rest of your life?
King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King. It's not because I love the music, it just seems like it would be a good fit for my face, so it would be more like a mask other than a tattoo. My uncle used to paint album covers, he had a giant one of this album. It used to freak the hell out of me as a young kid I didn't like being left alone in the basement with that painting. Actually, forget that I would get the album art from the inside of our record put on my face. It's just a guy with a pizza on his face...mmmm, that would be cool.
Do you hate your hometown?
No WAY! I love Sarnia. It's funny though, I hear lots of people from Sarnia talk smack about it here. They leave but they a eventually come crawling back. If you can't find something fun to do where ever you are it's not the city that's boring it's you.
Meet The Band is a regular feature in which we introduce you to bands we like. You can find all of the rest of them here.