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Interview with The Love Robots
The Love Robots are a New Jersey-based, alternative group formed by Jon Vick and Charley Ruegger in 2019 (formerly The Stereo Police; 2005 to 2010).
After producing a handful of originals, Jon and Charley looked for a melodic, reliable bassist and energetic drummer. During quarantine in 2020, they recruited Will Donaway on bass and Ross Medine on drums. Their melodic and driving sound is the unique compromise between four different backgrounds and tastes in music; from Metallica to Coldplay, from the Allman Brothers to Radiohead.
Charley Ruegger - Rhythm Guitar/Vocals
Charley is a melodious, chord-factory who will surround you in a warm blanket of sound before cutting you in half with his self-deprecating humor.
Jon Vick - Lead Guitar/Amateur Audio Engineer
With golden locks the length of an NYC block, Jon is a mad scientist of sonic magic. Jon can be heard snapping through guitar strings, bloody-knuckled, on the hour of every hour.
Will Donaway - Bass Guitar
Will is the pocket master bringing up the low end. In his free time he enjoys getting things off of high shelves for the rest of the band.
Ross Medine - Drums
Part sledgehammer and part metronome, Ross has been known to break full drum sets during shows. He became a fireman simply to put out his own fires from how hot his beats are.
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
The Love Robots were formed by Jon Vick and Charley Ruegger in 2019. Jon and Charley were formerly members of The Stereo Police from 2005 to 2010. Even before then, Jon and Charley had been writing music together and jamming with friends since 2002. Jon, Charley, Ross, and Will all started playing music for the same reason; to emulate their favorite musicians and feel a deeper connection to their creative energy. It's hard to imagine what they'd be doing instead of music today.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Ross, drummer, is a volunteer firefighter, so he's busy saving lives when he's not keeping time. Will, bassist, is also an accomplished jazz musician and enjoys playing in and listening to the local jazz scene. Jon, lead guitar, likes to cook and build computers. Charley, rhythm guitar and vocals, likes to train for and run marathons across the northeast and west coast. The varied interests of everyone fuels the creativity and continued growth of The Love Robots.
How long has music been your career?
On and off for close to 20 years, but the last 1.5 years have been the most driven and dedicated as The Love Robots continue to make a name for themselves.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
The NYC tri-state music scene. The fast-paced way of life, congestion, and diversity are certainly chaotic at times, but the music feels alive here!
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The best gig we ever played was our first time at a club in Garwood, NJ called Crossroads. This was our first semi-professional gig with a full soundboard and engineer. The crowd reaction and being invited back was a highlight of Summer, 2022. The worst show we ever played wasn't our fault! We made it about halfway through our set to a packed crowd at a bar in Boonton, NJ called Boonton Station 1904, only to see lightning strike the ground in the distance and lose power...
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Our favorite venue to play at is really a tie between Crossroads and a small brewery in Red Bank, NJ called Red Tank Brewery. They gave us our second gig and had us back another two times, and created awesome poster art for each of the gigs. It also doesn't hurt that the beer is delicious!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
The Strokes, Highly Suspect, and Cage the Elephant would be so fun.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Practice, practice, practice.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Never give up, and don't be afraid of the unknown or taking risks.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Our first single, Four, probably means the most to us. It was the first song that we tracked out in Jon's studio that he finished building, and the first to be properly mixed by our good friend, Nick Giaimo. When we first listened back to it together, we were energized to record another 8 songs over the next few months.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
One of our newer songs, Riff in Peace, is getting requested a lot. Before that, our song Parking Lot was the crowd favorite!
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
Every song starts with some chords and a small melody or a riff, many of which go nowhere or partially somewhere, but when it works, it works. The best songs evolve naturally and spontaneously on their own from that point over the course of a day, or weeks, or even months. There is nothing quite like the feeling of playing a new song for the first time.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
There's not really a message, other than what someone thinks or feels when listening to our songs, but we hope our songs make the good times better, and the bad times not so bad.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
We do, but we're all friends. We try to listen to each other and compromise, or we take a break and come back to it. We don't let little disagreements get between what's best for the song.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We've got an album to release in the next few weeks and we'll be spending a lot of the winter writing new songs and tracking some that we've already finished arranging for the next album. We've got some shows and festivals we'll be booking in the coming months, and we're really looking forward to seeing ourselves grow and evolve in the process. We can't wait to share more music with even more people.