Andrew Hathaway of Robotic Pirate Monkey: "For any artist, a move is the next stage"
Robotic Pirate Monkey started as a trio in Boulder and has since built up a national presence as a touring duo, giving a fresh new face to dance music. Working through the kinks of no longer living in the same town, Andrew Hathaway and Matt Berryhill are preparing for the release of their next effort, the Booty Snatch EP, this summer, and hitting the road with Terravita. We spoke with Hathaway, who recently relocated to L.A., about what it's like to work remotely, what's happened with RPM in the past few months, and what the act is looking to do in the new year.
Westword: How are things with Robotic Pirate Monkey?
Andrew Hathaway: Great! We are about to go on tour with Terravita.
Congrats! How have things been going for you since you moved to West Hollywood?
I'm from Vermont, so it's way different. It's a little bit crazier out here. We are just moving along. I'm in Los Angeles, but there are some obstacles being apart from Berryhill. I'm meeting some new people, which has been cool and helps to get more traction in the industry. That's not to say those things are not in Denver.
Is it nice getting out of the bubble?
One-hundred percent nice! It's great moving on with things. I'm a morning person; Berryhill works totally late and stays up late. I'm an early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of guy. Working in the same location was tough. When there is one person there, and one person is not there.... We had an unspoken thing that just worked. There is a feeling that part of the team is working and part isn't, but you're stretching what you need personally to get it done.
How hard is it to work as a duo, being so far apart?
It's about balance. There's no doubt in my mind that if you're working with someone, you're going to create something different than if you were doing it alone. It's different. It's nice, because when we're on tour, we get a lot of time together and haven't missed a beat.
What kind of struggles have you found working apart?
So far, the only issues are contacting each other. There haven't been as many issues as you might think. We don't get together as regularly, and that makes some things difficult. This is why it's great having someone like Lulu. She's able to connect us when we need to be connected, and do things we can't.
Honestly, I think that our brand has gotten tighter as a crew now that we're in separate locations. We don't hang out every day. It was tough when he'd come over and we'd be working, because we'd just shut ourselves off to the world. We didn't think about the fact that we need to share this with our crew.
Do you think getting out of Boulder was a good thing? It seems like the Boulder EDM bubble exploded and created an exodus.
I was in Boulder for six years. When you live in a place for that long, you fall into a routine; we had habits where we'd wake up and be doing the same thing every day. When you get out of it, you're setting the stage for what you're trying to accomplish as a person. For any artist, a move is the next stage. I think Boulder is this amazing place, but once you get out of it, you realize there's so much more.
What's it like being able to connect with new people in the industry?
When you see someone on a face-to-face basis, you do build a better relationship. It's up to you where you take it from there. This move has been great. I don't need to go to a function for very long, and suddenly, I become a blip on the radar. The more you make yourself visible, the bigger the blip becomes.
What's this current tour all about?
It's called the Rituals tour. It's with Terravita, and it started in December, but those were some off dates. January is really when the tour kicks off. When we come through Colorado, we are the headliners. They were nice to let us do that. We got a bunch of Colorado dates from Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, Boulder, Aspen and Vail. It's all over the place.
What was going on between "Colors in Disguise" and "Booty Snatch?"
Between Colors In Disguise and Booty Snatch was when [former bandmate Matt] Flesher decided to go to graduate school. We always sort of wrote music on our own time, which was sort of evident in the amount of time Flesher had to contribute to the group because of his recent enrollment in grad school. He tried to help us out as much as he could for Booty Snatch, but as soon as the tour came around, it was looking like it was only going to be me and Berryhill for the traveling and playing.
What has been the biggest catalyst for RPM's success in the past year?
I think that the success over the last year could be measured in the amount of national touring we've done as a group. Getting out and meeting and interacting with fans really is the best way to build a following and a brand.
When can we expect another release?
We have a bundle of singles slated for release here at the beginning of 2014. We are really excited to finally get them see out of the live-set quiver and into everyone's Walkman.
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