Captured by Robots with The Explanation at Rockit (120 Church), Friday (October 24). $8. (416) 396-9922. Rating: NNNNN
I am very worried about jay vance , also known as JBOT. He's the unfortunate human being who created a band of robots to play with after he decided he couldn't get along with human beings. Then, after he gave life to those ungrateful creatures GTRBOT666 and DRUMBOT0110, who self-replicated to produce Automaton, they installed a biocerebral chip in his head, took him prisoner and have been travelling around ever since, forcing him to humiliate himself onstage and perform disgusting, degrading acts like sucking boogers out of dead people's noses.
His only friends are his other creations TAWHHN (The Ape Which Has No Name) and SOTAWHNN (Son Of The Ape Which Has No Name), also despised by the bots. It's awful! Just awful!
A year ago, JBOT seemed disarmingly complacent about his captivity. Chin up, making the most of a bad situation and all that. Now he seems positively peppy.
"Things are good!" he says enthusiastically from a pay phone the bots are letting him use for the interview. "The shows have been going great, and people are very responsive. It's a sensory overload, and people just don't know what to do."
This is what has me worried. I ask JBOT if he's ever heard of the Stockholm Syndrome.
"I know what that is, and I do think I have it. When we're on the road, I do see such love from people, like when they offer us places to stay, but at the same time I've also seen how duplicitous and horrible people are.
"At least with the bots I know what to expect. There are no false loyalties. They're mean all the time. So it's easier to play in a band with bots than with humans. See?"
It's telling that on this tour, the Ten Commandments tour, JBOT is playing the role of Charlton Heston as Moses, a man who fought not only for his own freedom but the freedom of his people. GTRBOT666 is Yul Brynner as Rameses. DRM0110 is Anne Baxter as Nefretiri.
The characters are actors as characters because that's how JBOT sees it. "For me, Charlton Heston is Moses," he explains.
"We will be showing parts of the movie and playing songs that correspond to the movie. Ten songs. See? Ten commandments, ten plagues...." JBOT and the BOTS will explore all kinds of genres.
"Like, when Bithia pulls Moses out of the river, he becomes pseudo-prince of Egypt, so that song is like funky rock, old skool, not like Spindoctors sort of garbage but more Blood Sweat and Tearsy, and since we have the horn section now, we can do it."
Ah, yes. The Headless Hornsmen, recent additions composed from the bodies of dead ska band members.
"Then there's Nefretiri's Sex Jam, which is, like, functionally dysfunctional."
The songs run the gamut right through to brutal metal.
He's already planning next year's tour, the Get Fit With C!BR tour, which he excitedly describes as "kind of like a Richard Simmons workout, except it's torture in the form of exercise."
JBOT is beyond saving, and this breaks my heart. But, alas, you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped, though he does confess he needs a roadie.
"My roadie was a bad boy and can't come to Canada."
Interested parties can find JBOT at the Rockit.