If you’re a metalhead, or even if you’re not, the latest band to hit the scene is probably unlike anything else that you’ve ever seen outside of a sci-fi movie. “Compressorhead” might sound like the name of an ordinary rock band, but this one has something a little bit different.
All of the members of this band are metal thrashing, head-banging robots designed by robotics engineers. Problem is, they still need a lead singer.
Who is Behind Compressorhead
Frank Barnes, Markus Kolb and Stock Plum weren’t the first metal fans who dreamed of rock stardom, but Engineering.com says they might be the first to go about it in such a unique sort of way. Instead of meeting up at a friend’s garage for practice, they designed and built robots that can really, truly play.
The human part of this group began work on the active robot members in 2007. By 2012, Engineering.com says the band was ready for their first gig, which was a concert in Australia. But a gig isn’t the same without a lead singer, no matter how many boundaries you’re trying to break down. After all, metal bands aren’t often strictly instrumental. Even decidedly non-vocal Finnish metal cellists, Apocalyptica, hire in a singer for studio and tour work.
In 2015, the Compressorhead engineers started moving ahead with their plans for the vocalist addition. Through a Kickstarter campaign, they hope to raise enough money to complete the newest robot, which (or who) is already in the works.
Would you buy their album?
The Robots Behind the Music
At present, Compressorhead has three metallic metalhead members. There’s Fingers, Bones, Stickboy, and Stickboy junior. If you didn’t know that you were reading about robots, you might think it was any other band.
Fingers is the guitarist, and he’s a marvel of pneumatic technology. Some musicians claim to be permanently attached to their instrument, but Fingers really means it. He’s got 78 pneumatic fingers, which are really tubes permanently fixed between his hands and his guitar. Bones is the bass player. He’s got two hands with only four fingers, but he can work the fretboard and pluck strings.
Stickboy is Compressorhead’s drummer. He is designed with four arms, plus two legs to work the kick drum pedals. And then there’s Stickboy junior, who says he’s the drummer’s assistant but really functions as a hi-hat. There’s no word just yet on who the lead singer will eventually be, but you can watch a short video about the progress so far.
The Compressorhead engineers are determined to move ahead with the band without relying on traditional funding, not that they could get it anyway. According to the band’s website, they want their independence, which means that they don’t want financing from inside the music industry. That independence is evident by the builders’ statement that they’re working on a new album of original material.
But it appears that they’ve at last had a dialogue within the industry, as the statement also says, “Most record-labels are not interested in funding an album made by robots.” It’s hard to imagine why not, considering the level of electronic voice and instrument manipulation that’s rampant throughout the recording industry.
Compressorhead will likely have a vocalist soon, but how soon depends on how well the crowdfunding campaign works out. The builders do still have their day jobs, so it’s likely that they’ll fund at least some of it themselves. A robotic metal band is apparently a labor of love.
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