How would an individual go about making a wickedly talented electronic duo called Humans? According to Robbie and Peter it takes a coincidental meeting between an artist and a curious spectator who is wondering why this artist is drawing pictures of robots having sex with naked women. In a gallery owned by a mutual friend of Humans, Robbie and Peter connected with phrases that I think went something like this, Robbie: “Hey I see you're drawing pictures of robots having sex with naked woman." Peter: “Hey you totally look like the robot in my pictures.” In unison: “Want to make sick electronic music…? Yes”
Hard to imagine but Robbie was actually in a folk band before he connected with Peter and got into Humans. Robbie admits his present music path wasn’t what he had pictured years ago, so I wasn't surprised when he mentioned that his learning curve was steep before he became comfortable with the equipment they use. “I would just watch Peter and be like uh…I have no idea what your doing" but after quickly learning the ropes of the electronic world, Robbie is "excited and ready" and for producing. I just feel like oh yah!” Peter commented that his mature electronic skills come from playing this style of music for 12 years. I get the impression that Peter is the conductor in the operation but he was the one who approached Robbie to get into electronic music because Robbie's musical talents were obvious to note. At this point in the interview, I'm so eager to watch the boys play their live set that evening because of the passion they express for playing music. Each member of Humans expressed their favorite live performance and we were overjoyed to hear Peter say “probably the Sled Island Hifi show last year. The vibe and crowd were great.” Robbie voted Basscoast his favorite performance because sometimes you just can’t beat that festival vibe. The boys are listed to play Osheaga in Montreal, Aug 2-4, so maybe they will acquire a new favorite in that lovely Quebecois city. When asked how the process of being invited to a festival like Osheaga goes, they admitted it’s a scouting type deal where people in various circles connect to musicians based on live shows and the hustling of managers. Robbie said, “we played a couple shows at SXSW and we kind of knew…we’re going to Osheaga.” After discussing all the details of how playing music and booking shows goes, I feel it’s basically like a college football game where the university scouts are crawling through the crowd to watch the star running back catch the touch down pass. Even though he’s the man on the scene, he has to perform when the pressure’s on. Humans reinforced to us that the most nerve wrecking shows are the ones where your manager says “okay this person and this person are here. Don’t mess up.”
Hannah and myself were both curious about what the fun vs. work spectrum is like when making music and the boys repeated what they had expressed throughout the interview; it’s all fun. I almost think they lied to my face right there but they are so darn convincing with their trendy haircuts and playful grins that I had to believe them. Peter even said, “making music videos is great at all levels. It doesn’t feel like work.” After getting over my feelings of being lied to I asked where the inspiration for the Green Couch session of Avec Mes Mecs came from. Robbie proudly admitted he scouted the Carnival Band at Squeezebox circle in Vancouver and just had to get in touch with them. He said, “The live session went hours past the scheduled filming time. Once the band started to play they did not stop.” Nothing beats a never ending music/dance party in my eyes, so I was very pleased to hear that the boys joined the gypsies and played well past their bedtimes.
The one thing about Humans that may frighten a few fans, is the reoccurring theme of graphic murder in their music videos, so for those of you who are wondering what the outcome of this Humans interview was I can assure you that it did not finish with Hannah and myself being violently axed in the necks. There was no bloodshed from either party and when hugging goodbye, we passed on well wishes for the show, such as make your mother proud and Peter assured me “my mother is actually very proud of me and my music.” As she should be! Overall the show that evening at Portside Pub was another knock out that featured an excited crowd and some very happy Humans. Even though proper sound seemed to be evading some of the microphones near the start of the show Robbie and Peter smiled it off and continued to do what they do best, which is performing sick live music. Well done young sirs, the perverted robot/artist pair seems to work quite fabulously. Stay tuned kids because Humans mentioned they are working on a new album!!! It's very hush hush but from what we heard during the encore, it's going to be great music, so get hyped!
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