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The Robot Ate Me speaks volumes


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Photo Courtesy of FANATIC PROMOTIONS
The Robot Ate Me - The Robot Ate Me brings their special weirdness to the Red Room tomorrow night. Show up and find out what exactly Jesus, Hitler and George W. Bush all have in common.
By Michael Petitti
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, March 3, 2005
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Ryland Bouchard, of San Diego's The Robot Ate Me, is playing it cool. Despite a year packed with enough releases, touring and recording sessions to last some musicians a lifetime, Bouchard doesn't seem fazed.

Bouchard's cool demeanor may be a response to his musical risk taking, including songs like "Hitler and Jesus" and "Our Bones Were Chalk." While the subject matter of his songs may be peculiar, their origins are more typical.

"I really try and make everything as personal as possible," Bouchard said. "I try and write music that deals with what's going on in my life."

This month, Kill Rock Stars/5 Rue Christine Records will re-release Bouchard's second album, On Vacation. The double album deals with everything from Christianity to the Holocaust in a very deliberate and interesting way.

"I was really just trying to address a lot of political things that were happening at the time," Bouchard said.

Despite addressing modern politics through such controversial topics, Bouchard reveled in the opportunity to present things in a new light.

"Part of the concept of it (On Vacation) was to address the issues in ways that would make people uncomfortable and present them with really poppy music that they would enjoy," Bouchard said.

Bouchard also found a variety of sources to draw upon when piecing together its eclectic sound.

"I was listening to a lot of '20s and '30s records, 78s, big band and just random stuff like children's records and things like that," Bouchard said.

The initial printings of On Vacation were a labor of love for the musician who painstakingly made each one himself.

"I probably made around 700 and I was hand-sewing all of them and printing them and putting everything together," Bouchard said. "It was great for the people purchasing it to feel in touch with the artist, but in terms of practicality and getting the music out there it really wasn't that practical."

Although Bouchard is forfeiting his career in album construction, he is anything but a slouch when it comes to making music.

In May, Kill Rock Stars/5 Rue Christine Records will release his new album, Carousel Waltz, but don't expect more of the same music and controversy because Bouchard changes his sound and subject matter with each release. On Carousel Waltz, Bouchard opted for a significantly sunnier slant thanks to a variety of influences including Cat Stevens and The Beach Boys.

"This album has a more '60s feel," Bouchard said. "More positive messages and a more hopeful kind of album."

Even with a busy year ahead, Bouchard already has future plans for The Robot Ate Me. And, as always, he's taking everything in stride.

"Right now I'm just going to be touring a lot and recording a new album in the summer," Bouchard said.

The Robot Ate Me will be performing at The Red Room at Grill,100 E. Congress St., on Friday at 9 p.m.



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