Val Broeksmit is an American Rock Band composer who writes and records all his songs from his home studio. He prides himself as being one of the first rock and roll internet file sharing produced bands. He likes to incorporate what he finds is the best music of the 60’s thru the 90’s into up to date treasures.
I just had to ask, where did the name Bikini Robot Army come from?
There are three reasons behind the name Bikini Robot Army: First I,’m pretty sure we’re all some kind of biological robot; our brains the CPU, all identical with a few aberrations here and there that give us the illusion of individuality, a shared perception of the world around us. Since our brains are more or less wired identically, we could probably, in the future, actually predict, given the right kind of computing power (mimicing our own brain power), predict exacty what another would do or say at any given moment. Kinda like SkyNet from “terminator”, a robot aware of itself, but not completely. it seems we’re wired to only understand finality and logic, unable to comprehend infinity, our brains our wired to understand 1=1+2 and beginngs and ending, probably based on life and death (being born and dying) if you look at a human being from say the POV of a higher intellegence, i’m, pretty sure our similarities tremendously outweigh our differences.
So, the comedy of it all is, if you can imagine, a robot dressed up in a suit unaware of its nature, what its purpose is, and blindly losing its face in the crowd basing its identity on the other unaware neighbors in the group – its like the creator died and its robot creations are running rampant trying to understand what its built to NOT understand. Even funnier wearing a Bikini.
“Sugarcane” Feat The Burnside Bums:[youtube 2YS32nae_AA nolink]
Secondly, I watched Dr. Goldfoot and The Bikini Machine, a classic 60’s film where Vincent Price makes an robot army of bikini clad women to take over the world. Great Fiilm. Lastly, Bikini Robot Army sounds better than Val Broeksmit.
Who were your early influences?
I love all the old classic stuff that’s way before my time; The Rolling Stones, Bowie, I would listen to Zepplin over and over again, Blck Sabbath, and the Greatful Dead. I found great things in everything I heard, but genres like Country and Rap took me a while to get into, as a kid raised in suburbia.
Tell me about the band – a little history, who your band members are and share some experiences?
Right now I’m kind of a hermit musician who finds band members by chance. I write and record everything myself in my homemade studio. My old band The Good Time Charlies, formed in college with Brandon Geiger and Matt Goldsborough, two amaziing musicians that I was lucky to play with, disbanded due to geography, girlfriends, drugs and it all came to a head when our neighbor that shot and killed his family. (i moved out of the house we shared immediatly, and moved to New York City.)
In New York I formed the “The New Charlies” with Patrick Gorman, and who ever we could find to play with us; Pat, my childhood friend who, along with Daniel Ritts, would compete all through middle school and high school to see who could be the best guitar player. That competition made me focus on guitar, I worked hard everyday to play better and faster, I had to compete with Daniel who was born with perfect pitch and was playing Chopin at age 9. I was’nt born with that gift and had to work hard to play as well as I do now. I play everyday to keep up with everyone else.
Once I Played a John Lennon Tribute show at CBGB’s back when it was still at Bowery and 4th, I was one of 7 musicians picked to play this show, Gavin Degraw, and Shakira, were both on the bill with me; my set was right between them; Clive Davis was in the audience scouting, I bombed. and Clive Davis signed Gavin DeGraw on the spot, as I was leaving Clive Davis patted me on the back, and said, you’ll get ’em next time. that was in 2000.
Andrew Jarecki recently joined up. he’s the closest I’ve ever met to an actual genius. He invented Moviefone, sold it to AOL, then went on to win the Palm D’or at Cannes for his doc “Capturing the Friedmans”, and just made “All Good Things”, with Kristen Dunst Frank Langella, and Kristen Wiig. Andrew plays drums on our single “Joe Strummer’s House” and co-wrote, the theme song to Felicity with J.J. Abrahms.
I met Andrew Jaercki after he crashed a party I was throwing in New York City, I gave him the third degree, and learned he played drums, soon after he was over and put the drums on Joe Strummer’s House, plus a bunch of others that will be on the new album.
He left his drum kit over at my apartment, and that’s where I learned to play drums; practicing every day. David Bowie somehow found out about us and gave us a great promotion on Digivegas. Keith Richards uncredited, plays the solo at the end of “Pretty But Is It Art”
Lately I’ve been creating mash ups from various songs and putting my own lyrics on them, making a kind of aggregate into a new song probably due to laziness, this way i don’t have to spend too much time mastering and recording when i can just re-organize some of my favorite songs, and add my own vox and lyrics.
What CD’s do you have out and tell me about them. Any new projects your working on?
I have an Album called “old Soldiers” and a single “Joe Strummer’s house” thats been gaining momentum here in the UK with mass radio play, plus US airplay, mostly in New York.
What does your music say, what do you want us to get from it? Who would you compare your band with?
I’m not sure, I never really know what it means, it just comes out of me, lines here and there, lines I grab from literature and films, then I put them together lyrically; if I’m lucky, i find some meaning in the song a year later.
Ultimately I would like to make something great, something that people love, like the music that got me through all the shit I’ve been through. I’m not sure who to compare my band with, but people tell me, Beck, War, Steppenwolf, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones; mostly 70’s rock mixed with Nick Cave, Nick Drake, Jim Morrison, Leonard Cohen and Louden Wainwright II, lyrically.
Tell me about the interesting way your band gets music recorded using the internet?
Well I start off with a drum loop (using protools) then I put on a scratch track acoustic guitar and vocal melody, then I redo the guitar, add the bassline, when I get all that right I do the vocals. When its ready, I drop out the drum loop and record my own live drums,I’m not the best drummer, so that tends to take the most time. when i cant get it right on call on my friends; i send them the music files, and they put on a better drum track or guitar, or whatever.
What would you like to be doing 5 years from now?
I hope to be touring the US in a big bus, listening to Howard Stern between shows (im a Howard Stern addict, I listen to his show daily, even started calling in but they never seem to let me on the air- i probably have the largest collection of Howard Stern bootleg shows in the country)
I have 750+ songs recorded and counting. I hope to master protools and churn out 4 or 5 albums a year. Hopefully one of my songs hits, and I can afford to keep making music.
Diana Olson – firstname.lastname@example.org