Compressorhead

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Compressorhead
Compressorhead performing in 2014 at the Wireless Festival, London
Compressorhead performing in 2014 at the Wireless Festival, London
Background information
OriginBerlin, Germany
GenresHeavy metal, Punk rock
Years active2013–present
Websitecompressorhead.rocks
MembersFingers, Bones, Stickboy, Junior, Mega-Wattson, Hellgå Tarr

Compressorhead is an animatronic robot band created by Berlin-based artist Frank Barnes and collaborators Markus Kolb, Stock Plum, and John and Rob Wright, formerly of NoMeansNo, as musical directors, songwriters and vocalists.

The six "performers" in the band are all robots made from recycled parts, playing real electric and acoustic instruments and controlled via a MIDI sequencer.[1] The project initially debuted in 2013 with four robots (a guitarist, bassist, drummer and a small drummer's "assistant"), performing covers of famous rock songs. Two more robots (a vocalist and rhythm guitarist) were added to the group in 2017.

History[edit]

Stickboy (drummer), and Junior, operating the hi-hat
Fingers (lead guitarist) and Bones (bassist) performing in 2013

The first four robots (Stickboy, Junior, Fingers and Bones) were built between 2007 and 2012 and their first recorded performance was held at the Bülent Ceylan Show on the German RTL television channel in March 2012.[2][3] Their first performance in front of a live audience was at the 2013 Big Day Out festival in Australia.[4][5] The band gained initial notoriety on YouTube throughout 2013, uploading videos of classic rock covers from bands such as Motörhead, AC/DC, Pantera and the Ramones.[6][7][8]

In early 2013, Barnes recruited John Wright of the Canadian punk band NoMeansNo and The Hanson Brothers as a songwriter and "musical director" for the group.[9][10] Three songs from this collaboration were released via the band's YouTube page: the original songs "Compressorhead",[11] "Speed Walking Lady"[12] and an instrumental cover of the Hanson Brothers' song "My Girlfriend is a Robot".[13]

In November 2015, the team behind the band started a crowdsourcing campaign on the platform Kickstarter[14] to raise US$290,000 to build a robotic "singer".[15][16][17]

In 2017, the band added a vocalist robot, Mega-Wattson (voiced by John Wright), and Hellgå Tarr, a second guitarist, to the band. NoMeansNo members also perform as multi-instrumentalists on Compressorhead's debut album, Party Machine.[18][19]

Albums[edit]

  • 2017 - Party Machine

Members[edit]

  • Mega-Wattson - Lead singer; voiced by John Wright. It was built in 2017.[18]
  • Fingers - Lead guitarist; It is equipped with two hands, with a total of 78 fingers. It was built in 2009.[20]
  • Hellgå Tarr - Rhythm guitarist; It was built in 2017.[19]
  • Bones - Bassist; It has two hands, each with four individual fingers, and is mounted on a platform equipped with caterpillar tracks that allows it to move around onstage. It was built in 2012.[20]
  • Stickboy - Drummer; It has four arms to which the sticks are secured, and two legs that play the kick drum. Its head has several metal protrusions that resemble a Mohawk hairstyle. It was built in 2007.[20]
    • Junior - An "assistant" to the drummer that operates the hi-hat cymbal; It was built in 2007.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leonard, Michael (2013-04-09). "Meet Compressorhead — The World's Most Metal Band". www.gibson.com. Archived from the original on 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  2. ^ "COMPRESSORHEAD Robots Perform AC/DC Classic On German TV". Blabbermouth. 2013-02-02. Archived from the original on 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  3. ^ "History". Compressorhead Official Website. Archived from the original on 2019-06-09. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  4. ^ "Robotic metal band tours Australia for Big Day Out". news.com.au. 2013-01-07. Archived from the original on 2019-10-12. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  5. ^ Zanotti, Marc (2012-11-02). "Robot Band Compressorhead Part Of Big Day Out 2013". Music Feeds. Archived from the original on 2015-01-12. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  6. ^ Davies, Alex; Crosby, Alexandra (2016). Koh, Jeffrey T.K.V.; Dunstan, Belinda J.; Silvera-Tawil, David; Velonaki, Mari (eds.). "Compressorhead: The Robot Band and Its Transmedia Storyworld". Cultural Robotics. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer International Publishing: 175–189. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-42945-8_14. ISBN 9783319429458. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  7. ^ Schoof, Dustin (2013-04-12). "Robot metal band Compressorhead gives new meaning to the phrase 'music programming'". lehighvalleylive. Archived from the original on 2019-10-12. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  8. ^ Crisp, Andrew (2013-01-08). "All-Robot Band, Compressorhead, Plays Motorhead". Boise Weekly. Archived from the original on 2019-10-12. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  9. ^ "Episode 227: John Wright & Frank Barnes of Compressorhead". Kreative Kontrol podcast with Vish Khanna. Archived from the original on 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  10. ^ Gentile, John. "Interviews: John Wright (Nomeansno) talks about writing songs for the robotic band Compressorhead". punknews.org. Archived from the original on 2018-07-04. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  11. ^ "Compressorhead Vocalist Drive Unit Build Part1". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2019-10-12. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  12. ^ "Battle of the GIANTS Robots VS Human". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2015-12-30. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  13. ^ "Compressorhead in New York". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2017-05-06. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  14. ^ Barnes, Frank; Kolb, Markus; Plum, Stock (2015-10-31). "Building a Robot Lead Vocalist and producing first Album". Kickstarter. Archived from the original on 2015-11-24. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  15. ^ Cook, James (2015-11-18). "A German rock band made of robots is raising money on Kickstarter to build themselves a singer". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2019-10-12. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  16. ^ Eckardt, Andy (2015-11-16). "Heavy Metal Band Compressorhead Wants a Lead Singer — Made of Metal". NBC News. Archived from the original on 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  17. ^ Kennelty, Greg (2015-11-30). "Help All-Robot Band COMPRESSORHEAD Build A Robot Vocalist". Metal Injection. Archived from the original on 2019-10-12. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  18. ^ a b Warner, Noelle (2018-06-25). "Meet the New Lead Singer of Compressorhead, a Metal Band Made of Robots". Nerdist. Archived from the original on 2019-10-12. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  19. ^ a b Petersdorf, Martin (2017-11-30). "Unmenschlicher Schwermetall" [Inhumane Heavy Metal]. Deutschlandfunk Kultur (in German). Archived from the original on 2018-02-04. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  20. ^ a b c d "Berlin Robotband plays with real instruments live Heavy Metal & Punk Rock" (PDF) (Press release). 2015-10-20. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-10-14. Retrieved 2019-10-14.

External links[edit]