Animated web-series X-RL7 combines the worlds of cyberpunk and electronic-rock as it follows the adventures of fictional band ‘X-RL7’ as they try to make it in the music industry. Set apart by its retro-gaming inspired animation and host of real-world musician guest stars, X-RL7 is a cult hit in the online and electronic-rock spaces.
Each episode is roughly 5-10 minutes and charts the adventures of the band as they navigate the industry, their social lives, and their cyberpunk setting, as well as including a music video embedded into it. Sonically inspired by electronic, rock and metal influences like Celldweller, Linkin Park, and Nine Inch Nails, the show’s music has found popularity outside of the series, with the band’s Spotify garnering close to 14k monthly listeners and favourable reviews in the likes of Metal Injection, Regen Mag, and the WH Times.
X-RL7 features appearances by real world artists as voices and musical guest stars including Andy Cizek (Monuments), Daniel Graves (Aesthetic Perfection), Blue Stahli, Craig Owens (Chiodos/DRUGS), and Jimmy Urine [Mindless Self Indulgence] A full list of the artists featured in the series can be found here: http://www.x-rl7.com/.
While set in a sci-fi world, X-RL7 reflects upon the current industry landscape and wider society. Amongst the series episodes, its songs and episodes hit on themes recognisable to all audiences including the effects of social media, putting fabricated personas of celebrities on pedestals, and the battle between censorship and free speech.
X-RL7 is the brainchild of musician and animator Mike Evans. Originally conceived as a point and click adventure game, X-RL7 evolved into the web series as it exists now. “Work began on the project in late 2018 and after much time secretly prodding pixels and beats, it finally went live in July 2020” says Evans. “Working with so many amazing musical artists in X-RL7 is an incredible experience and certainly validating for myself as a songwriter. Cultivating a rich community of like-minded viewers and musicians through the project has been extremely humbling and rewarding.”
Back episodes of X-RL7 are available on the show’s YouTube channel with new episodes and bonus content coming regularly.