Host John Todd is excited to sit down with local rock band RobotMonkeyMadman tonight on Under the Radar to discuss their latest music and what’s on the horizon for the band.
About the artists (from the band’s Facebook page):
RobotMonkeyMadman: “Hey, you Got Sugar Magnolia on my Prong record!” Or: “Theory and Practice of Brothers in Rock”
When brothers Dylan and Mark Hoffman were little, they used to fight. Two years older, Mark liked to jump up and down and make Dylan’s copy of The White Album skip, and Dylan would fly at him like a spider monkey on crystal meth. They played a lot of D & D and Risk, but there was still a lot of aggression flying back and forth (you’ll hear this still in their music). Later, they got all punk rock, except Dylan never once pretended not to dig Rush. Dylan was younger, so he took a lot more guff for the first decade and half. Taking guff for liking Rush was not a big deal.
But then he got bigger than Mark, and perhaps, during darker years, meaner and tougher: a chaotic good level ten paladin with white magic guitar chops. A period in the wilderness ensued, and these brothers…did not rock. They started careers and families, and saw each other around town as brothers do. Nowadays, they’re grown ups and, along with their childhood bud, Dave Handley, they have a power trio. Dylan makes Mark play bass. Dylan is bigger, so he gets to play guitar. (It’s a power trio, so the bass is just as important.) Just like the Kirkwoods birthed the Meat Puppets, and The Wright brothers invented both the airplane and their band NoMeansNo, the Hoffman brothers put together RobotMonkeyMadman.
The Kirkwood/Wright comparisons aren’t just brotherly. They speak to both the goofy stoner appeal of this band as well as their creative musculature. These two were Deadheads when it wasn’t cool for gradeschoolers to be Deadheads. And when it wasn’t cool to be punk rock and like–nay, LOVE–side two of Black Flag’s My War, they did that too. And while Mark and Dylan were punk rock Deadheads, their buddy Dave Handley was copping licks from—you guessed it—Rush albums.
Handley was that guy in school who was a total bad-ass because he actually committed to something whole hog and mastered it, rather than (messing) around for show. In this case, his goal was technically spot-on progressive rock drumming. Our man behind the skins was never spotted at the Outhouse at a Die Kreuzen show, even though he would have dug it. He was home playing along to 2112. And as far as anyone knows, he has been doing that ever since.
These hometown buds released their first full-length album in 2013. Time Machine was recorded by Matt Ristrom in DeSoto, KS. Their first release, 2011’s RobotMonkeyMadman EP, was recorded by Duane Trower of Weights and Measures Soundlab in KC, as was the 2011 live single “Come and Gone”.
RobotMonkeyMadman has been both pleased and proud to play shows with the likes of NoMeansNo, Roman Numerals, Atlantic Fadeout, Pescivito, Now Now Sleepyhead, Late Night Rendezvous, Nuthatch-47, and Dolls on Fire.