It’s been four years since Robedoor released their previous LP on Hands in the Dark, Primal Sphere, but this spring Britt and Alex Brown return with a new odyssey of chaos and psychosis: New Age Sewage. Written and recorded across multiple seismic life events (moves, births, deaths), the album is centered on heavy visions of negative west coast mythology. Themes of poison, hallucination, conspiracy, and false messiahs weave within their sinkholes of mystic sludge.
The duo’s music has grown darker, denser, and more visceral with each album. There’s a sense of practiced ritual, of deepening meditation, portals opening against their will. New Age Sewage documents half a decade of the band’s hermetic focus, shaped by instinct, will, and apocalyptic realities.
1: We share a last name yet are not blood relatives.
2: We get together to jam/practice/record/bond once a week and have since the band began in 2005.
3: Robedoor is pronounced like it looks: “robe” + “door.”
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
BB: The pursuit of oblivion.
AB: Romancing the void.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
AB: I was a youth orchestra member (cello) and then quit. Tried to play bass and then quit. Was in a terrible “punk” band in high school and then quit. Britt asked me if I wanted to be in a noise project and I guess that was it.
BB: I made shitty camcorder action movies in high school and a few of them involved fake bands of electric guitar and Casio but I didn’t attempt making any actual music until I was about 22, when I bought a Tascam 4-track from an ex-girlfriend. We still use it to this day.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
BB: My brain is pretty inept at ranking but for Robedoor at least these are all albums or songs I feel a deep connection with:
-Skullflower “Form Destroyer”
-Ectoplasm Girls “TxN”
-Burzum “Rundgang Um Die Transzendentale Säule Der Singularität”
-Throbbing Gristle “Dream Machine”
AB: I’m a deep non-head when it comes to music and generally incapable of preference. But:
-Leonard Cohen “The Future”
-Swans “The Great Annihilator”
-“The Apocalypse Now” OST
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
AB: Forest Lawn – it’s a giant cemetery that was the biggest Southern California tourist attraction before they opened Disneyland.
BB: The rooftop of my ratty apartment building, looking out over the garbage grid of Hollywood.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
BB: Read and research and write, which I do anyway.
AB: Controlled decay of all my waste, which I also do anyway.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
AB: Russian Tsarlag “Unexplained Image”
BB: Forgotten Pathways “Shrouded In Mystery”
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
BB: Matthew Bower in 1991?
AB: Ectoplasm Girls for sure.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
BB: Our show at Urban Spree in 2013 was one of the most personally satisfying to play. The gear table they provided was a generous industrial slab and the sound was balanced and consuming. Later on that tour we caught Emptyset and Endon really late one night at a festival in Lausanne and it was exhilaratingly savage, kind of blew our minds.
AB: Last show of that same tour in 2013 we played the Bring To Light fest in Birmingham. After some travel calamity we arrived at the venue – likely one of the most un-scummy and legit places we’ve ever played – and sprinted to get set up after snagging tons of beers from the green room. There were all these union tech dudes on site to help us plug in who were simultaneously impressed and totally laughing that all we needed was 4 outs and nothing else. We ripped the set, the HUGE system sounded amazing, and afterwards a very normal, nice-looking woman in her 50’s came up to me and said that our performance was “beautiful.” Then Gnod played this relentless mind-bender and we drank real ale with Onito from Hands In The Dark until the pub closed. Perfect night.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
BB: Marginally. We wouldn’t exist without electricity but the current can be very crude.
AB: Our ceiling for technology has a bunch of stalactites.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
BB: A couple steps and a couple halfs – they are uniformly indifferent to it.
AB: I have a late sister – I’m sure she wouldn’t have been a Robedoor fan, but she would have been stoked at my persistence in being strange.