Discovering the synth rock tunes of roboteyes was the musical equivalent of seeing a hundred fireworks exploding in the night sky.
This three-piece band—made up of Kate LeDeuce, Ryan Ford, and Matt Servo—has created explosive, dramatic songs that bounce off of the walls with the liveliest bursts of energy.
Based in Peterborough, roboteyes has been together for three years. Their synthesized new-wave pop sounds echo a Devo sensibility, with a colourful splash of David Bowie.
The band wrote, recorded, and produced their self-titled EP entirely by themselves, shot a video for their popular song “You and Me,” have been featured on CBC Radio 1, and continue to play regularly on local stages downtown.
With a free show scheduled for February 28 at The Red Dog and a fresh new album set to come out in April, roboteyes is a band on the rise and one to watch out for.
LeDeuce kindly welcomed me into her home recording space to talk music and learn more about the band.
Hey Kate! Thanks so much for inviting me over. I’m really excited to chat about music with you. First off, I’m sure our readers will want to know how the name roboteyes arose. What’s the story?
Honestly, it came out of a really bad joke. We were trying to think of band names. I think I said something like, “Well, if Radiohead can call themselves Radiohead, why can’t we call ourselves roboteyes?” Then we stopped and looked at each other and thought, “Oh my gosh. That’s amazing!”
Can you describe your music?
We are synth rock, new wave, and pop. But we have gone through a few different stages. We’ve been heavier, we’ve been lighter, a duo, three-piece, four-piece and five-piece. Now we are officially a three-piece with Ryan, Matt, and myself. We’re very ‘80s-influenced with a pop sensitivity.
Do you play downtown a lot?
Not a ton. We try to keep it to around once a month. You don’t want to overplay your own town. The last show we played, we opened for July Talk at the Red Dog. That was an amazing show; it was very close to being sold out.
Who are your musical influences?
It’s hard to lock down. With the three of us, we all have our own influences, but always seem to have a common ground with older bands like Queen, Devo, and David Bowie. In terms of modern stuff, we’re leaning toward Chvrches, Purity Ring, Kelly Clarkson. But an influence doesn’t necessarily mean you sound like them. I’d say these are influences or inspiration.
Do you find there are any recurring themes or images in your music?
I love overly dramatic songs! I write the songs and like to tell stories in music. Way over the top, themes like heartbreak, isolation, devastation. I’m a huge fan of Queen, Foreigner, Night Ranger – basically bands that are so overly dramatic. I just love it.
What are the band dynamics like?
We are doing all of the taboo things you should never do. Never date within the band. Don’t play with anyone you are related to. Well, we are doing both! It’s interesting though because I have discovered you can get into much more ridiculous arguments playing music with your brother or the person you are dating! [laughs]
Can you talk about your goals? Musical goals, career goals, personal goals, or life goals?
At the end of February we are going into the studio and are going to be recording our new album. We’re doing it with Devon Lougheed of a band called Beekeeper, who we played our first show as roboteyes with. We will be recording it at The Verge. So as far as goals, we need to finish that!
Also, as of today, we received a Factor grant into our bank account to pay for a part, which is really nice. We are also working on a video for the single titled “Call My Name.” This all has to be out before April – so lots to do!
We are on two radio stations right now, which is pretty awesome, but we’d like to be on more. Honestly, making our livings as musicians would be the absolute ideal.
Absolutely. So how did you end up on a radio station?
The way we got on CBC was really interesting. Oddly enough, a man who works for CBC is from Peterborough, and he contacted us saying he really liked our stuff and wanted to know if it was okay to play it. Normally, you have to solicit and send out goodies, but we were lucky. So now we get $5 a year from that. [laughs]
That must have been wild to hear yourselves on the radio for the first time!
Yeah. It was about 7:30 in the morning and Ryan woke me up.
Are there any songs that you are particularly proud of? Or that have special meaning?
All of my stuff is very personal. I’m not somebody who shares everything on Facebook. I rarely talk about personal things. But in my music, it is the most personal thing.
One of my absolute favourite songs is “In Flames,” which we submitted to get our Factor grant. We recorded it and mixed and mastered it completely ourselves.
Good for you guys! To finish, I wanted to ask if there has been a best or really unforgettable moment for you all as a band.
So far, it has been when we played with a band called Protomen from Houston, Texas at The Hoxton in Toronto.
roboteyes will be playing a free show at 10pm on February 28 at The Red Dog along with Sue Newberry and the Law, and David Newberry.
Check out their music online at: robotey.es