Public thought on artificial intelligence or technology takeover has barely been formulated, let alone sung about, but southern California based indie group Fellow Robot is ready to be the forefront of the conversation. Fellow Robot knows that the penetration of artificial intelligence is not something to overlook. Before Fellow Robot, the band’s mastermind Anthony Pedroza played in his band Mr. Moonshine in Long Beach, CA. There, he connected with his current band members: Luiz Renteria, Jon Zell, Michael Adams, and Roberto Escobar. Fellow Robot breathes dystopian possibilities, peculiar manifestos, and captivative unravels of humanity.
The idea behind Fellow Robot has been building in Pedroza’s mind for some time now. A few years ago he began to write the sci-fi novel, The Robot’s Guide to Music while dealing with personal trouble. The concept albums for this project, The Robot’s Guide to Music Vol. 1 (2018) and Vol. 2 (set to release April 24 through Donut Sounds Record Co), are co-literary companions to the book. The band itself plays the role of the 140-year-old robot and main character of the book. Each official release is meant to build on and compliment the story of the past release.
The music video for “Don’t Deny Me” is intensely deep and cosmic, as Fellow Robot has a prolific method of getting their meaning across. It mixes the concepts of environment, space, and human reliance on technology- all elements that Fellow Robot wants to make a topic of conversation. The lyric “Our connection has died” portrays the fact that human attachment is becoming less and less meaningful as technology takes over.
At almost three minutes in, the video takes an interesting turn: frontman Pedroza seems to be “defective” as different, uncontrolled emotions flash across his face. He starts having a literal meltdown, as his skin starts to melt off revealing a shiny, robotic underlayer. The disguised robot symbolizes automated human emotions and how it lacks real empathy. Pedroza says, “Humans are more connected than ever these days through social media, but does it make us more human? We wrote ‘Don’t Deny Me’ to show the discord between our devices and real human interaction. If the satellites are destroyed, what on Earth are you going to do and who will be standing beside you?” With darkly fascinating lyrics and visuals, Fellow Robot opens listeners minds, viewpoints, and discussions through their introspective sounds.