A friend of mine told me to check out the band Iconoclast Robot and said that I would not be disappointed. He was right! Iconoclast robot is a band made up of amazing musicians, each of them with a different style. They are what could only be classified as fusion, bringing a little bit of everything to the table. With a style unlike any other Sacramento band, Iconoclast Robot is definitely a band to watch out for. They are true musicians who love what they do and you can tell that for these guys it’s all about the music. If you haven’t heard their music it is a definite must. You can check them out at www.revernation.com/iconoclast robot, Facebook or Twitter. I had the pleasure of sitting down with the band for their first interview ever and this is what they had to say.
- By Jamie Candelaria
Iconoclast Robot is: Ryan Charles Gammad (Charles Cash): Vocals, Pat Caden: Bass and Guitar, Russell Boucher: Guitar, Jarius Beacham: Drums, Jamal Siurano: Keys and Saxaphone.
Tell me about Iconoclast Robot.
Jamal: Originally Ryan and Russell came up with the name, just throwing a bunch of things out there and it’s the one that stuck. It’s an interesting name because you have Iconoclast, which means to stand up against social norms and set ideas. Then you have robot which is programmed to do what you want it to do. It’s an oxymoron. How can you stand up against something if you’ve programmed to only certain things. I think it’s a name people can connect to, especially with all of the craziness going on in the world. You’ve got the whole 99 percent thing, you’ve got these people who are all used to living a certain way in society even though they know something is wrong, and now people are starting to stand up against that even though we’ve all been trained to live this certain way.
How did Iconoclast Robot come together as a band?
Ryan: I used to write a lot of songs myself. One day I went into Guitar Center and I ran into Russell, who I knew from college and he said that he played the guitar so he came over to my house the next night and we wrote a couple of songs.
Jamal: I’ve known Ryan for a minute. I was making beats at the time and we were working on a little hip-hop side project. Then we met Pat and Jarius through friends at work.
Pat: I was doing bass lines for some local rappers and one of the guys that I was working with called me and asked if I wanted to play bass on this project. So Ryan and I exchanged e-mails that same day and called after work and that’s all she wrote.
Jarius: I got a random text message when I was asleep, like three pages long, from Ryan.
Ryan: It was not three pages.
Jarius: Yes it was. That’s what woke me up. He said that he knew my cousin and they needed a drummer so I went out there that same day.
For those who haven’t heard your music, how would you classify it?
Pat: That’s kind of a hard thing to do. We all come from different backgrounds. I myself come from a heavy metal background. Russell comes from an alternative background, Jamal and Ryan come from a hip-hop, soul and funk background, and Jarius comes from a church and gospel background. We blend a lot of different things together so it’s hard to specifically classify. Hip-hop is definitely the underlying theme.
Ryan: Alternative, Alternative.
Pat: It’s an alternative to the alternative.
As a band who are your influences?
Ryan: I listened to a lot of hip-hop growing up; Tupac, Biggie, Mos Def. I also listened to a lot of rock; Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden.
Jamal: We’re definitely influenced by The Roots, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers. We all love Rage Against the Machine, we have yet to really incorporate that sound into our music but I think that’s coming real soon.
Pat: I grew up on a lot of rap music. DJ Quick, I always loved his guitar player and they way it was incorporated in the beats, which really got me started with guitar. I also love metal like Kill Switch Engage.
Jarius: I’ve got a lot of gospel influences and hip-hop. I also like Linkin Park but mostly gospel.
Who writes your music?
Ryan: We all do collectively. I write the lyrics.
Pat: I don’t think any of our songs were written by one person. We all bring something to the table and add things. We all expand on each song and throw our own style on it.
Russell: Outside of the lyrics, everything is collaboration.
Have you released an EP yet?
Jamal: The EP is done as of today. It just finally got mastered. There are six songs. We don’t have a title yet, but look for it.
What do you want people to know about Iconoclast Robot?
Pat: If I can speak for everyone, I’d say that we are bringing something new and pretty funky to the table that is very exciting. We are incorporating so many types of music to form one sound. I think we have a lot to offer that will appeal to many crowds. If you like jazz we’ve got something for you, if you like rock, you’ll like it. We’ve gotten incredible feedback from people who have gotten the chance to hear it.
What’s next for Iconoclast Robot?
Jamal: Shows. We are going to be expanding outside of Sacramento. You’re going to see us play in the Bay Area, San Francisco. Maybe a little bit of Lake Tahoe. We might try and get down south too, but it’s such a long drive and gas is expensive.
Pat: It’s a must. We have to expand as needed and continue to put our word out there and get a little traction.
Russell: We’ll write more songs.
Jamal: Yeah, more songs and we’ll have a full album coming soon.
Ryan: So definitely tell your friends about us!