303 Magazine loves any opportunity to catch up with hometown favorites, so naturally we jumped at the chance to chat with Andrew Hathaway of Robotic Pirate Monkey as he prepared to head back to the Rockies for their show at Cassleman’s this weekend. We’ve been keeping tabs on the bassmongers of RPM since they were playing house parties in Boulder so seeing their success over the past few years has been rewarding to say the least. The gentlemen of RPM have been keping busy lately with the new release of thier mixtape titled We Be Postin’ fetauring Taylor Gang’s JR Donato and will be sharing the stage with SuperVision, Buku, and Casual Commander on Saturday night. So to get all of our 303 readers excited for the show we talked Mozart and got pretty technical in a discussion about RPM’s new and improved live show. Show starts at 8 PM and tickets are $17, so make sure you get there early to catch all four acts!
303 Magazine: If you could see any performer (alive or dead) who would you choose?
Andrew Hathaway: Hmmm…it would have been really cool to see some of the classical pianists and composers in their heyday. I want to feel that palpable excitement for a show, but in the 15th century. What was that like? How outrageous would it be to see people outside of a concert hall freaking out, making rave candy. I mean imagine how incredibly exciting it was to see Mozart, and how much more of an analog expression of music that was. It must have been insane.
I think that’s definitely the most interesting answer I’ve ever gotten for that question!
And at the end of the show, the concert hall filling with deafening applause, just crazy!
Are you inspired by classical music when making music for RPM?
Not particularly, I was never classically trained but I find the merit in classical music because its such a nice form. I grew up listening to it, and studying to it, its just comforting.
Did any of the other group members grow up playing instruments? It seems like all three of you grew up in families that showed a big interest in music.
Definitely. I was never raised a musician but my family had a huge interest in music. Matt Berryhill grew up playing piano and he taught himself guitar so he’s got that upbringing as well. And, I guess this might be a good time to say this because we will be playing in Colorado this weekend and a lot of the fans who have been behind us since the beginning will be attending the show. But for about a year now, our third member Matt Flesher has been in grad school. We haven’t officially announced this yet, but because of this Robotic Pirate Monkey has gone from three to two, just myself and Berryhill. There’s no bad blood whatsoever, he is going down the computer programming route and we are continuing on a different one.
It’s not goodbye then, just “see you later” it happens in life.
Oh, one hundred percent. Change is always a little scary, but I guess its best to let everyone down easy before Saturday’s show. And the three of us formed RPM to combine our love of skiing with music, so before anything we are friends first, Dj’s second. And it’s pretty cool because Flesher is making video games online and animation for websites and is still getting to flex those technical and musical skills in a different channel.
Thats pretty awesome, maybe someday RPM will have their own radio station in Grand Theft Auto.
Gotta make connections everywhere.
Well, for what it’s worth, I can only imagine that it was a little crowded with three of you on stage and collaborating with two other people on every decision you make.
It was a lot harder, sort of like in government with checks and balances. You have to consider congressional, judicial, and presidential input and everyone has equal importance. And its tough when there has to be someone to put their foot down and make a decision. All of that is more complicated when the decision needs to be made among best friends. On another note, since its just two of us we’ve been working really hard on improving our live show, so fans won’t feel let too down with the other changes we’re throwing at them. Flesh was a big part of RPM you know?!
What are you doing for the live show these days? I have to admit I know nothing about the tech specs that go into actually producing tracks.
Our live show is getting more streamlined and Berryhill and I are working on perfecting the on-stage dynamic. I have a live drum setup on an ipad, where I can choose between 16 different drum racks and I can change what key we’re in, oh man I am about to nerd out is that ok?
Nerd away my friend.
Cool. We have a set running in Ableton, which is run from a remote user script library called live OSC that allows us to control Ableton without the use of midi. So what we have the ipad loaded up with Lemur and we have two decks loaded with the same grid of around 60 songs to choose from that we’ve made. Most of the songs we made were meant to be played live because the goal of RPM is to have a live electronic DJ set up. With this setup, We play four tracks at the same time and all that audio gets routed into the same mastering chain, and then that gets routed into one of the two decks. By having stems running like that we have the ability to take out certain parts or put in other ones. So our dream is coming true with help from all of this different technology. Computers are made to create all this music, why can’t we theoretically program it live? It’s so cool to use beat pads and controllers to simulate huge drum kits. That’s just scratching the surface. I could talk about this kind of stuff all day. Sorry was probably a lot.
You sound like a mad scientist.
Well, all three of us, this is what we live for!
Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity and EDM considering the Steve Aoki announcement this week about him not being a “real DJ.” It sounds like you guys are doing all you can to further the good name of electronic music.
There’s so much potential it’s nuts to think about what you could eventually make based on computer speed and access to programs and information.
It’s the future! Who knows where we will be ten years from now?
No, three years, I’m telling you we’re going to have cars that drive themselves.
Well, I will let you go since you have a big homecoming party to plan for this weekend. Safe Travels and we’ll see you in Denver.
We are fired up, Buku and Supervision are great dudes to share the stage with. We’ll see you Saturday Colorado!
Callie enjoys puppies that never grow, shiny shoes, and spontaneous vacations. When not writing for 303 Magazine, she can be found interning at Madison House, working (or dancing) at Red Rocks Amphitheater, or stretching it out at Corepower Yoga.