“As long as we can get in front of people all the time - I think that’s the key for us. But the more we have to talk about and have to explain ourselves… that’s our biggest enemy. I’ve seen more faces be turned away from our music while I’m trying to explain it than anything else,” Iconoclast Robot guitarist, Russell Boucher explained in a recent interview.
He says the response is wildly positive at live shows, but getting people to give listen in the first place proves to be a challenge.
To meet that challenge here’s an exclusive track from Bright Lights/Dark Depths.
You can hear the alt-rock influences of Nirvana and Pearl Jam paired with hip-hop sensibilities inspired by the likes of Atmosphere and The Roots. The subject matter is thoughtful and, as the title suggests, deep.
“The title came because the songs have a dichotomous feel, some of the songs seem hopeless but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Boucher.
Ryan Charles (aka Charles Cash) writes the lyrics, raps and sings.
“My lyrics aren’t all about money and women and drugs - it’s about hardship and life and storytelling,” Charles said. “Sometimes it gets political and sort of questions religion.”
They didn’t start with the rap/rock combination; in the beginning it was all alt-rock. Boucher recalled the moment they decided to introduce hip-hop to their sound.
“There was this one part of a song that had a hip-hop feel to it and he was like ‘oh, I can rap over that,’ and I was like, ‘please don’t’.”
But Charles won him over and now they don’t even do straight-alternative rock songs anymore.
Bright Lights/Dark Depths is the second record from Iconoclast Robot. Both Charles and Boucher say their first album doesn’t really reflect the band’s current sound. This time around they worked for hours in post-production getting everything just right.
“Our influences are so widespread. Initially when we started doing the hip-hop rock thing we thought we need to be like Rage Against The Machine,” said Boucher.
Adding horns and strings give them a chance to really own their sound, creating something more cinematic.
“We started finding our own voice and being Iconoclast Robot, as opposed to a Rage Against The Machine knock-off. [With] “Bright Lights/Dark Depths,” take the lyrics away from that it sounds like something you’d hear in a movie,” he said.
Armed with a new EP and a commitment to getting in front of as many people as possible, Iconoclast Robot is embarking on a quest to share its music with the world.
Catch them live with James Cavern and the Council, DLRN, and the Good Samaritans at Assembly on Wednesday, November 26.