“There’s no band quite like Fellow Robot. The California-based group are far from obvious with the kind of rock they’re hammering out… through waves and waves of indie-rock flavor, Fellow Robot deliver a true exploration of a world they’ve created just for us” says music magazine The Music Mermaid in a recent review.
The brainchild of singer/songwriter Anthony Pedroza, Fellow Robot plays a clever mix of art-rock, folk, and Americana. Featuring drummer Luis Renteria, guitarist Michael Adams, guitarist Jon Zell, and bassist Roberto Escobar, the band is hot off the heels of their sophomore album release, The Robot’s Guide To Music: Volume 2.
The second part of a three-part concept album series, Volume 2 foresees a future where artificial intelligence has reached a pinnacle and robots begin to document and chronicle humans and the music they make.
“[The Robots Guide To Music] was a really fun and amazing body of music to record,” says drummer and main collaborator Luis Renteria. “We worked with some of Long Beach's best musicians and it was always a treat to be in studio, have a drink or two, and share stories. The recording part was a breeze—when you have musicians that know what they're doing, all you really gotta do is set up a mic, and let them go at it.”
Influences aren’t something as readily obvious with a band that can easily alternate between confessional folk songs and spirited sing alongs (see “Garden of the Lord”). The ghosts 90’s alt/rock and the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel and Arcade Fire linger into Fellow Robot’s expansive (and ever-growing) body of work.
“I really enjoy finding different timber’s and frequencies in my vocals,” says Pedroza. “Some songs like “Clone Baby” and “Fatherless Children” from the first record, I go low, following in Johnny Cash’s footsteps. But I also really enjoy building song structures that explode in the chorus like “Everything That’s Wrong” and “Forgot To Pray” from our latest release.”
The Robot’s Guide to Music Volumes 1-3 is not where Pedroza’s multi-media vision for the project ends. He is currently working on his debut Science Fiction novel, also called The Robot’s Guide to Music, which will act as the literary companion to the album series.
“In 2016, I began working on a science fiction novel about a 140 year old robot,” says Pedroza. “Although I had been a songwriter for many years, I had never written a work of fiction before. I was also working through a life-changing injury at the time, so the narrative of Fellow Robot - musically and from the standpoint of the book - has been an emotional journey for me.”
“In the book The Robot’s Guide to Music,” Pedroza continues, “several of the main characters are songwriters. I quickly realized I couldn't tell their their stories without also singing their songs.“ “The project was getting massive, first the series became three books and now I could see that I needed to add music. Fortunately, I had the support of some talented friends who were excited to play a part and help me execute my vision.”
“Recording for this project felt more like time spent with family rather than the usual studio date, thanks to the open-mindedness and musical genius of every single person involved –– a truly collaborative effort that became much more than the sum of its constituent parts,” says Adams.