American Android going commercial? Say it ain’t so!
Far from selling out, frontman Carlos Arzate explains the shift of the band's musical paradigm as it plays out on the Tucson band’s upcoming (as of yet, untitled) record.
“This album has radio potential, and we’re taking our time on it. It definitely has a more commercial sound and we’re not making any apologies for that,” Arzate says. “We just want people to hear the music and think about what it has to say.”
Metromix caught up with Arzate and rhythm guitarist Sergio Mireles in the studio while they were laying down a track from the new CD.
With barebones approach, a ProTools setup and just enough gear to get the job done, Ultraviolet studios is a study in minimalism. That’s fine with members of the band, though. The unsigned fivepiece has high hopes for its first full-length album, which will be done by March.
“This is going to be our breakout year,” proclaims Arzate.
The group’s EP, “Silent Partner,” was well received and had a polished yet unmistakable, indie rock sound that’s been described (by us) as “Red Hot Chili Peppers meets Soundgarden singing lyrics penned by Rage Against the Machine.”
While never being preachy, American Android has always had a purpose. Formed in 2005, Arzate explains the meaning behind the band’s sometimes polarizing name.
“I was at a point in my life where I was beginning to buy into what I felt like I was supposed to be doing. You have a kid, you have a 9-to-5 job, and that’s all you do,” he says. “My body felt sick, I felt like I was turning into an android. I’m not saying that kind of life is wrong for everyone, it just wasn’t the right life for me, and that’s what this music is about. You don’t have to believe everything that the media tell you—you can make your own decisions.”
Mireles offers his own explanation of the band name: “An android is something that appears to be real, but it’s all an illusion. It’s just a cold, hard machine underneath with no real substance. American Android isn’t meant to be a critique of American society; it’s a call to arms.”
The band—Arzate, Mireles, Kenyon Hood (lead guitar), Matthew Shepherd (drums) and Alex Laetsch (bass)—has a strong local following. During the interview at Zachary’s Pizza near the University of Arizona, a waitress happened to be wearing an American Android shirt. Everyone in the place seemed to know the guys in the band, which seemed on par for a group that alternately lists love, life, family, injustice, liberty, progress, beauty and the pursuit of happiness as influences on its MySpace page.