The Bots: Maintaining a childish mentality, while keeping an adult set mind.
Words: Steven Fröhlich
Photos: Dan Wilton
Looking for a mind-blowing blend of youth and talent? Meet The Bots. Rock brothers Mikaiah (19) and Anaiah Lei (15) from Glendale, California are probably some of the youngest artists from across the pond to take Europe by storm with an impressive back to back tour schedule. For the past few months they have been hitting clubs and big festivals all over the Euro continent, sharing stage with great bands like Blur, The Temper Trap, Trash Talk, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and punk legends Refused. Each show they knocked people off their feet with their explosive live performance. Altamont quickly caught up with the friendly Californian rockers.
“It feels really good playing aside all these great bands. It’s awesome that they like us too! The whole tour has been such a highlight!” says Anaiah Lei, The Bots drummer. Anaiah’s older brother Mikaia, lead singer and guitarist, adds: “I agree with what Anaiah said, but I think if I had to pick one highlight so far, it would be August 2nd. That day we played The 100 Club in London (Uk) with Blur. The whole day was just amazing and nothing could have ruined it.”
We can imagine playing with such well established big acts could be slightly intimidating and nerve-wracking, especially for teenagers like the Lei brothers, but it seems like Mikaiah is keeping his calm. “It’s fantastic, growing up listening to them and finally get to meet them and seeing that they are good people. It’s reassuring that this is what's for us. And concerning the nerves, for me it isn't that bad. I mean, we just get up there and play. But I mean it hits you a bit of course when you realize you’re opening up for a band like Blur or Refused! That happens for me, but I usually am fine and keep my cool.”
It was their father, who grew up in the L.A. punk scene during its glory days, who introduced Anaiah and Mikaia to an eclectic array of music, both old-school and current, including Black Flag, The White Stripes, A7X, Wasted Youth, Circle Jerks, Rancid. But don’t expect The Bots to sound just like those bands. Anaiah says: “Well our sound has a wide range, and I guess you would classify it as just rock. We pretty much play what we like.”
But to really appreciate The Bots for their youthful energy and beyond-their-years talent, you have to see them live. When asked where the fire comes from, Anaiah says, “Performing live is just one of the best feelings possible. It just makes us feel amazing, I don't know how else to put it.” Mikaiah continues, “Well we get to go on stage and express ourselves in a completely different manner than a lot of people get to do on a daily basis. You really get to do whatever you please, and most of the time everyone enjoys every second of it. Nothing could go wrong on stage.”
Altamont's tagline is "Cut from a different cloth", so what makes The Bots unique? Mikaiah: “At the moment, we try our best to create a sound that most people haven't heard, with elements of garage, experimental, and heavy rock. It's never really the same, it changes every time. I think that’s what differentiates The Bots.”
For more about The Bots visit: http://www.thebotsband.com/