By Nick Bynum of Rock Edition
Now you may be wondering what love and robots have in common. Well, I can’t answer that, but put a comma between the two and you get Love, Robot. These Long Island natives fuse soothing, intricate guitar melodies with hard rock storytelling. The quartet includes two lead vocalists, Alexa San Roman and Sean Murphy, who provide a unique blend for today’s rock scene. Love, Robot is currently hard at work on new material, but they can also be found hitting up a lot of local gigs on the East Coast.
Keep reading below for our interview with Alexa. She talks about the band’s do-it-yourself attitude and how it’s led them to create music with a story.
How did you guys come up with the name Love, Robot?
Well, interestingly enough, the name was thought up by previous members who are no longer in the band. So, I can’t even give you an answer. That’s the name we inherited.
It’s definitely catchy.
Growing up, how did you become interested in the music scene?
My earliest memory of wanting to be in a band or play music in any sense was the time when I was watching Freaky Friday and Lindsay Lohan picked up a guitar and had a rock band. I remember being like, “Hey Mom! I need to get one of those.” And so she kind of fueled that fire. I got my first guitar and I felt like the minute I got it that was it. I taught myself to play a bunch of stuff and took a few lessons here and there. Then I got a bunch of kids from my hometown area who were all interested in playing music too and I tried to start a band a couple times — failed — and then wound up getting asked to play guitar for Love, Robot and evolved into what it is now.
When you first started playing, did you have a specific genre you were attracted to or did you just kind of wing it and see where it took you?
I loved the All American Rejects right around the time I started playing guitar, so I learned a bunch of their songs. I was pretty much immediately into rock music from the moment I started playing guitar. I remember seeing Paramore’s music video for “Pressure” and calling my parents over to the computer and being like, “Hey! This is what I want to do. There’s a girl that’s doing this — and this is exactly what I want to do, and the kind of music too.”
Carrying that over to today, where do you draw inspiration from when writing songs?
I draw inspiration from everything. I pick different types of aspects from different genres of music. I put it all together. Whether it be airy, pretty, intricate guitar from Explosions in the Sky mixed with the storytelling aspect of a La Dispute song and just overall hard-driving rock guitars — just like a Paramore situation.
Me and our old singer John sat down and whipped out two guitars and came up with the whole instrumental. We were obviously very excited about how soothing and beautiful and lullaby-esque the song came out to be. So we both agreed that the lyrical content should pull from a lullaby to someone you really care about. You can use the whole song to portray loving someone, whether it be a love interest or a family member.
I was watching the music video earlier and it has an acoustic vibe, which was very different.
Yeah, that was definitely the only acoustic song we had released in the past. I think since then — since getting our new singer — we changed things up a bit.
You’ve said before and in previous interviews that you “write music that tells a story” and it “connects emotionally with others.” Do you feel that that’s what’s given you guys such a loyal fanbase?
I would like to think so. I put myself on the internet with no boundaries, so anyone who’s interested in my band and then goes on to find me, personally, online, kind of sees that I just put it all out there. I want people to know who I am and I want them to know that what I have to say comes from the things I go through. I think people are interested in that. And when someone they may look up to kind of takes their walls down for a minute and is like, “I’m just a person too and these are the things that I’m going through,” I think that’s why a lot of people can connect with our music or me individually.
You had a recent single, “Rain,” featuring Pvris. How’d you like working and recording with them?
They were great! All of them get along with all of us. We played a show together in Boston last August and that was the first time that we met them and have seen them play live. We actually wound up staying with one of the members for two nights and for those two nights we all became super, super close. Me and Lynn started writing before we actually met in real life, so once we actually met we finished the song with the full band there. Recording it was super fun and super easy. Everyone was on the same page and I think they’ll definitely be a part of future collaborations.
Yeah, if it’s that easy!
Yeah, definitely. It was great!
You also take pride in doing everything yourself, whether it’s filming your own music videos or promoting yourselves. Do you feel that because you’ve had to do it all yourselves that it’s brought you guys closer together as a band?
For sure! We’ve gone through things together where we have to pay this guy to do that or reach out to this company to do this for us. We’ve had our fair share of getting ripped off here or there and maybe not coming out with the product we intended to come back with and a lot of those mishaps led us to the point we are now. We just decided, “Let me try to pick up the camera. Let me learn how to edit things a little bit,” so we can be a little more in control of the way we’re portrayed to everybody else. The first video we started doing that on was “Cucha” and I think the whole vibe of the video and the song was, “Hey, this is who we are,” and that’s how we wanted it portrayed to everybody.
So you just decided one day to pick up the camera and give it a shot.
Yeah! My sister went to school for photography and she had a really nice camera so we capitalized on the chance to use her camera. We have taken that to a whole new level and I’ve been trying to help out as many bands that I know because I have this equipment and I want to also do videos for my whole life. I want to extend the love to everybody else around me. Me and my sister opened up our own little production company, so we’re doing that too.
Earlier in June, you guys toured around the Northeast a little bit. Is there a specific venue that stands out that you enjoyed the most?
I really enjoyed Boston. We played at The Middle East and that was a really cool place to go. I also went to school in Boston, so whenever I’m there I get super nostalgic. It’s my second home. I would definitely say Boston is one of my favorite places to be.
Do you have any plans of packing up the tour bus and heading out West or down South?
Not at the moment. Right now we’re in the middle of writing our new record and seeing who might be interested in that. It’d be kind of hard right now because of gas and not having a set vehicle. We’re trying to play around locally the most we can until the future opens up tour plans.
I was looking at your upcoming tour list and I noticed a pretty cool gig at Mike Lerner’s photography workshop. How’d you get in contact with him about that?
I have a friend from my school in Boston who emailed me saying that he’s a mutual friend of Mike and that he was interested in having Love, Robot be models at the photography workshop that he’s doing. He asked us to come to the city and play acoustic sets and get our picture taken by a bunch of photographers who want to learn tricks from him. It was kind of a universe coming together opportunity. [laughs]
That sounds awesome!
Yeah, we’re super stoked to do that.
Love, Robot is currently working on new music, like you said. How do you feel that this album will set itself apart from your others?
I think this will be like Love, Robot 2.0. We’re diving deeper into our sound. I don’t think that I am necessarily as angry as I was this previous album, so my whole mental state has changed and it won’t affect my music directly. Everything that I do comes from my emotions so I think it’ll be a direct reflection of the next step that I’ve taken in my own life and I think that’ll shine through in the album; but at the same time, it’ll still keep a lot of the fundamental aspects.
Aside from Pvris, are there any other bands or solo artists that you want to collaborate with in the near future?
There’s not anyone else off the top of my head, but I’m totally down for collaborations. If we find someone who is the right fit, then we’ll definitely be doing a lot.