Captured! By Robots at the Tequila Lounge (794 Bathurst), Sunday (October 27). $7. 416-968-2001.
Jay Vance is the prisoner of robots of his own creation.
Now known only as JBOT, he has a biocerebral chip implanted in his head that puts him at the mercy of the human-hating GTRBOT666, DRMBOT0110 and AUTOMATON, which take great pleasure in inflicting new and interesting forms of suffering and humiliation upon their captive.
Some of these horrific acts are portrayed on the latest Captured! By Robots CD, GTRBOT666 -- I Hate You, Fuck You, Shut Up!! For example, you can hear the BOTS forcing JBOT to inhale propane, eat a booger out of a dead homeless man's nose and say, "JBOT is a butt-sniffing butt-licker."
It only gets worse onstage, as they drag JBOT across North America spreading their message of impending world domination. JBOT performs in a bondage mask with his entrails hanging out for everyone to see.
"They came to be basically because I couldn't get along with people any more," says the former bassist for ska bands Skankin' Pickle and the Blue Meanies.
"Having to deal with people showing up late or drunk for shows, starting songs at the wrong tempo, huge ego problems -- I just got tired of that. I thought maybe building robots would be a better way."
Vance wasn't deterred by his complete lack of education in mechanical engineering or robotics, though he laments, "Maybe if I had studied robotics I wouldn't be in the situation I am now."
First attempts were less than stellar, but eventually he came up with GTRBOT666, 6 feet tall, with scrap steel fingers and an autoharp abdomen, and DRMBOT0110, who has a drum kit body and head. Later, DRMBOT self-replicated to produce AUTOMATON, which is constructed of three drum toms and a China Cymbal on a trunk.
The BOTS are connected to a computer via data cables.
"We use a lot of pneumatics and motors and all sorts of stuff," he says of the mechanisms.
Creations became captors one night when JBOT spilled coffee on the CP boards. "When I woke up I had the chip in my head."
To keep himself company, JBOT then created The Ape Which Hath No Name (TAWHNN), which is friendly and loves everyone. The other robots hate him but can't harm him, due to the robot code. And TAWHNN has recently borne a son named Son Of The Ape Which Hath No Name (SOTAWHNN).
Though subject to the will of the robots, JBOT still does all the songwriting. "They say that writing and playing my own songs humiliates me even more and shows how sucky my songwriting skills really are."
Some of the rock tunes on the CD are poppy, but since then JBOT has been moving into more metal territory.
"We've developed a heavier sound since the CD. Now we're somewhere between Flaming Lips and Cannibal Corpse or Carcass. The metalest of the metal. Some songs are still pussy lips [at least I think he said "pussy lips"] poppy and fun, and some are just brutal."
As the Bow Down To The Robotic Resistance Tour heads to our town, you have to wonder if JBOT won't feel just a little culpable if they succeed in their mission to take over the Earth. After all, he is the creator of the monster.
"I might feel slightly guilty, but Pandora's Box is open. Soon everyone will have one in their house. Eventually they'll say 'We don't need you people any more.'"