SITTING DOWN WITH ANDROID – AN INTERVIEW

Orlando is a weird place. It’s a land of sulfuric swamps and 15 foot alligators. Before the pandemic hit, I had found myself in the parking lot of a strip mall on the edge of those swamps looking for a punk show at an inconspicuous place called The Starlight Video and Cafe. As I edged closer to the doors, I checked the address to make sure I was at the right place. Peering through book shelves and arched doorways, I spotted A couple of dudes with studs on their vests looking quizically at a PA mixer.

It was definitely the spot.

Girls with the Souxie Souix look strolled past me. Orlando punk girls have a certain swagger – like the way they interject stories by rolling their eyes and emphasizing the word “man”. They started ordering the few punk boys in the room to push furniture out from the center. I edged along the walls, drink in hand, as the cafe quickly transformed into an open space. Tables and chairs formed a barricade away from the stage as the checkered black and red ground suddenly seemed less like  school cafeteria flooring and more like a slipping hazard once the first beer flew out of someones hand.

Android live at Stardust Coffee

This would be Android’s 6th show, which is surprising given the quality of a banger that their 1st release has come to be known. The line-up was stacked too; AOL and Red Rodeo rounded out the local support for Bad Example and Adderall, the touring bands. The show was sick: It was AOL’s first gig, some crazy kid obliterated a chair during the Android set, and it’s always a welcome experience to see both Bad Example and Adderall.

After the gig, in the cool, late winter breeze, I sat down with the Florida hardcore crew known as Android to pick their brains and find out what makes Android, well, Android. Javier (vocals), John (drums), John (guitar), and Dee (guitar) were more than happy to sit down and discuss what makes their cyborg project tick.

Tube Turner: So I don’t know anything about y’all, cause I’m not from Florida. Any past projects of note?

Dee: I sang for a band called Booger and I played guitar in a band called The Nightmare.

Javier: You should check out Booger.

John (D): I’ve been in a bunch of shit. I don’t know if it’s relevant, but I played guitar in a band called Hash Bag.

John (G): I have an electronic project called Mother Juno.

TT: How did Android come about? Is there a main person?

The band: It was Javi

Javier: ..which it’s my first band too.

John (D): Before they probably even met me they talked about it. But, I feel like we met each other and then I, like, kind of pushed it to happen because I sent a drum video, ’n’ shit.

Javier: So basically we tried doing this with another two homies but it wasn’t working out. Like, it just wasn’t the right sound and shit which kinda blows because I really wanted to do this shit. But, like, me and Dee agreed that we should fucking put it off. I wanted to do some political shit at first with me, John, and Grant (who’s the bassist) but then I just told Dee, “well, there’s these two other cats that want to do a band too.” So ever since then it’s been fucking… *snaps fingers*

John (D): John didn’t join until we played our first show. Individually he, like, walked up to each of us and was like, “hey, I wanna play in your band,” and all of us were like, “ya.”

TT: It just worked. That’s sick. So who writes the songs?

John (G): At this point everyone’s written one. But it’s mostly Dee.

Dee: I write most of the riffs. 

Javier: Dee wrote the riffs and together with John it just became… something.

John (D): A lot of it was just me and Dee jamming. Most of it was me and Dee jamming.

Dee: Ya, we would just get together and be like… we would jam and be like, “alright, like, this is a song. This is fucking sick.”

John (D): Some weird reason me and Dee are really good at jamming together. It’s cool but it’s weird.

TT: Do you write the lyrics, Javier? Or is it a collaborative effort?

The Band: He writes all the lyrics.

Javier: I have to write all the lyrics; I want to write all the lyrics.

John (G): …and we made the intro together.

Javier: Ya, we did that intro together.

John (D): All the weirdo noise shit? That’s, like, John…

Javier: And all the beeps are done with my mouth. When me and John (G) were working together I just used my mouth because I’m always beatboxing some random shit and that’s basically the intro.

John (G): Ya, he would kinda make the noises and then I have a pretty big, like, electronic set-up. So he – I don’t know, we were in my studio –  he just making sounds and I’m trying to emulate with machines that I have. It was really fun. 

Javier: It was fucking tight… and the other two we did the same way.

John (G): Ya, we’re gonna keep that and have little themes for everything we put out.

TT: Fuck ya. So what’s the theme of Chapter 001?

Javier: I just always thought it would be cool – because I’m a big sci-fi nerd, when it comes to cyber punk shit – and I always imagined it would be so cool for there to still be hardcore punk in the future. I just imagined a bladerunner just, like, looking for a fucking replicant in a punk show in the future. Or some shit like that. A lot of it is based off all my favorite sc-fi/cyber punk movies ’n’ shit: cyberpunk, cyborg, fucking AI, and shit like Starship Troopers.

Dee: To me it’s like the beginning of the apocalypse.

Javier: But it’s done by androids and shit.

TT: So I have to ask: AOL came out with their release around the same time. Was that a coincidence?

Javier: It was a coincidence! I was there when they were releasing it.

John (D): They’re homies though. They’re really close homies so it’s really funny.

Javier: …which both of them are, like, my favorite vocalists from Miami.

TT: Ya, I love that AOL release too.

Promoter: ARE YOU GUYS COMING WITH US?! No…?

The Band: What are you doing? 

Promoter: We’re gonna go to a party. Let’s go. NOW.

John (D): We’re in the middle of a fucking interview, FERNY.

Ferny, the Promoter: Oh, I am so sorry…

Javier: That’s Ferny. They book ALL the shows. They booked the show tonight.

TT: How do you spell ‘Ferny’?

Dee: F-E-R-N-Y

Javier: I thought it was an ‘i’.

John (D): I thought it was i-e.

Dee: Nah, it’s F-E-R-N-Y.

TT: Anyways, any plans for tours? East Coast? Midwest?

Javier: We will, we will…

John (D): Dee just moved to New York so…

John (G): It would be pretty cool to do some gigs up there.

Javier: Oh ya, for sure. For sure…better be writing some riffs while your up there!

Dee: I will, I will.

Javier: Fucking better…

Dee: I haven’t had my guitar but now I’m taking it back so…

TT: What are some good Orlando bands that y’all vibe with?

Javier: Fucking False Blank and Gross.

John (D): No Qualms – huge band. Fucking Republicorpse. Fucking… just, like, a bunch of old Orlando bands. It’s tight. Orlando is such a weird place because, like, every 3 years there’s a new scene here. It’s just really transitory; people don’t stay here very long, normally. Most of the band isn’t from here – I’m from here and the bassist is from here. 

John (G): I’m from here.

John (D): But Dee and Javier are from South Florida. What’s cool about Orlando is that it reinvents itself, like, every three years.

TT: Ya, a lot of people move out of Orlando and start bands in places like… Philly.

John (D): Ya: Daniel Cox, Jake Smith, Ryan Fromdeland…and all of them go really hard. That’s like the tradition.TT: That’s, like, the core of Philadelphia.

John (D): That’s so funny. They all left here and it was sad. It was dull for a while. But then things happened and all these kids moved up from South Florida and were just so down to play music. It’s just cool because you think, “Oh, the scene’s gone. All the homies went to Philly.”  Like, everyone that played music went to Philly and then all of a sudden a whole new crew of musicians show up and brought the same fire. 

TT: Florida is going really strong right now. I’m eating my words; last year I said, “I don’t know any good Florida bands,” and I’ve made myself a liar because they’re all coming up strong now.

Javier: Dude, hell ya.

John (D): Tallahassee is fucking killing it. Protocol, Armor…

Javier: Fucking Blazar too.

John (D): Orlando is not a big city but Tallahassee is so much smaller. The fact that they even have a scene, let alone a fucking really good one? That’s wild…

Javier: You could be in buttfuck nowhere and as long as there’s fucking, like, young-ass fucking that are fucking angry?

John (D): …That’s where the best punk is. That’s why the midwest so fucking good. There’s literally nothing else to do. 

TT: They will come out on a Monday night because there is not shit to do.

John (D): Orlando has a lot of those vibes too. 

TT: Ya, I loved the show tonight. It had a great vibe and everyone really showed out. It was great.

John (D): Orlando – no matter what – goes kind of hard.