The Bots are certainly one of the youngest and most unique acts to appear on the Vans Warped Tour this year. Consisting of two brothers who are vastly influences by all that is hardcore punk, The Bots performed at several of the early Warped dates this year. We caught up with Mikaiah and Anaiah at the Ventura stop to find out more about their dynamic music, how they wound up on Warped, the Agent Orange connection, and more! Check it out as we discover The Bots and their definitive future in punk…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Bots, how old you are, and how long the band has been together.
Mikaiah: Hello, my name is Mikaiah Lei, I’m 18 and I play guitar and sing.
Anaiah: I am Anaiah Lei, I’m 14 and the drummer of The Bots.
Where are you guys from and what is your local music scene like?
Anaiah: We’re from Glendale, California – the LA area. It’s cool over there. Most of the music scene is in Hollywood – that’s where everything is happening.
How did you guys end up meeting Kevin Lyman and winding up on the Warped Tour?
Anaiah: We’re on Afro-Punk and the owner of that knows Kevin. A couple of years back (in 09), he introduced us to Kevin Lyman and from there he looked us and asked us for the 2010 tour.
Mikaiah: He saw our set on the last day and asked us to come back this year for more dates.
Are you on the whole tour this summer?
Anaiah: Just about three weeks.
Describe your music to someone who has never heard it before.
Mikaiah: We’re a heavy two-piece punk rock band.
Anaiah: We go up and down with our music, but its very diverse.
Do you have any music out?
Anaiah: We have one LP that we recorded in 09 and then we recorded with the drummer of Agent Orange – that’s a two song single. And we have another single that we did. And July after Warped Tour, we’re going get down with our second full album.
What was it like working with the drummer of Agent Orange and how did you get a hold of him?
Anaiah: Agent Orange played last year at Warped Tour on the Legends Stage. I caught them in Pomona and it was amazing. And they saw us and said that we were a really good band. And Dave Klein – he’s the drummer – he messaged me on The Bots Myspace and said “You guys are awesome and I’d like to meet you” and he was really cool. He lives in LA too – just a couple of blocks down our street.
Mikaiah: We met him. He had a beautiful home studio. We got business going and we recorded our single there with him and we became friends with the entire band. Mike and all of them are really awesome.
Select a current song and what inspired you to write the lyrics.
Mikaiah: Vanity is a song about how kind of corrupted people are and how money and pretentious things like that run the world. We had the rhythm for the song a while back. We wrote the lyrics recently and recorded it with Agent Orange. It’s a long six-minute song. It’s a big jam session just recorded basically. There’s a punk section, some blues and some rock. It’s a wild, diverse song. And what inspired us to write it is just things that we see in the world and what we feel like we want to express for whoever wants to listen.
When you first decided you wanted to do a band, what did you parents think of the idea?
Mikaiah: Dad liked the idea. Mom didn’t like it so much.
Anaiah: Our dad actually is into music. Everything that we’re into, we got it because he grew up in the 80’s hardcore punk scene and that’s how we got our influences from – all of those bands.
Mikaiah: Our parents are really both supportive now. They want us to do the best we can. They’re always looking out for us. They pay for all the instruments and stuff. But my dad was more supportive at first because he was the rock and roll guy. My mom was more into heavy reggae.
Do you have any messages for people reading this who might want to check your music out?
Mikaiah: Hope you guys like what you hear.
Anaiah: Check us out. We’re on Facebook, Myspace, Youtube – just come and check us out.
(Interview and Photo by Kenneth Morton)