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OriginBerlin, Germany
GenresHeavy metal
Years active2013–present
MembersFingers, Bones, Stickboy, Junior, Mega-Wattson, Hellgå Tarr

Compressorhead is a project of Berlin-based artist Frank Barnes and collaborators Markus Kolb and Stock Plum consisting of a robot "band"[1] that plays on real electric and acoustic instruments. The robots are made from recycled parts and are controlled via a MIDI sequencer.[2] The group is notable for featuring former NoMeansNo member, John Wright, as the musical director, songwriter, and vocalist.


The first robots (Stickboy, Junior, Fingers and Bones) were built between 2007 and 2012 and their first live performance was held at the 2013 Big Day Out festival in Australia. The band started out playing covers of bands such as Motörhead, AC/DC, Pantera and the Ramones, with videos of the band becoming popular on the internet in 2013.

In early 2013, Barnes recruited John Wright of the Canadian punk bands NoMeansNo and The Hanson Brothers as a songwriter and "musical director" for the group.[3] Three songs from this collaboration have so far been released via the band's YouTube page: the original songs "Compressorhead" [4] and "Speed Walking Lady" [5] and an instrumental cover of the Hanson Brothers song "My Girlfriend is a Robot".[6]

In November 2015, the team behind the band started a crowdsourcing campaign on the platform Kickstarter[7] to raise US$290,000 to build a robotic "singer".[8][9]

In 2017, the band added Mega-Wattson, voiced by John Wright to the band. Nomeansno members also perform as multi-instrumentalists on Compressorhead's debut album, Party Machine.


2017 - Party Machine


  • Mega-Wattson, the singer; voiced by John Wright
  • Fingers, the lead guitarist. It is equipped with two hands, with a total of 78 fingers. It was built in 2009.
  • Hellgå Tarr, the second guitarist.
  • Bones, the 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.
  • Stickboy, the 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.
  • Junior, an "assistant" to the drummer that operates the hi-hat cymbal. It was built in 2007.


  1. ^ JUST ROBOT (in Indonesian). Pacu Minat Baca. ISBN 9789790142039.
  2. ^ "Meet Compressorhead — The World's Most Metal Band". Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  3. ^ "Episode 227: "John Wright & Frank Barnes of Compressorhead". Kreative Kontrol podcast with Vish Khanna. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  4. ^ "Compressorhead Vocalist Drive Unit Build Part1". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  5. ^ "Battle of the GIANTS Robots VS Human". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  6. ^ "Compressorhead in New York". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  7. ^ "Building a Robot Lead Vocalist and producing first Album". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  8. ^ "Heavy Metal Band Wants a Lead Singer — Made of Metal". NBC News. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  9. ^ "Help All-Robot Band COMPRESSORHEAD Build A Robot Vocalist - Metal Injection". Metal Injection. Retrieved 2015-12-02.

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