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Android hoping for breakout year

Citizen Staff Writer


Special to Metromix.com

American Android going commercial? Say it ain’t so!

Far from selling out, frontman Carlos Arzate in a recent interview explains the shift in their musical paradigm on the Tucson band’s upcoming (as of yet, untitled) record.

“This album has radio potential, and we’re taking our time on it. It definitely has a more commercial sound and we’re not making any apologies for that,” Arzate says. “We just want people to hear the music and think about what it has to say.”

Metromix caught up with Arzate and rhythm guitarist Sergio Mireles in the studio while they were laying down a track for the new CD.

With bare-bones approach and a ProTools setup and just enough gear to get the job done, Ultraviolet Studios is a study in minimalism. That’s fine with members of the band, though. As yet unsigned, they have high hopes for their first full-length album, which will be done by March.

“This is going to be our breakout year” proclaims Arzate, who, with his band performs Friday at The Hut during the Bands for Breasts concert, a benefit for breast cancer.

The group’s EP, “Silent Partner,” was well received and had a polished yet unmistakable, indie rock sound that’s been described (by us) as “Red Hot Chili Peppers meets Soundgarden singing lyrics penned by Rage Against the Machine.”

They’ve played just about everywhere in Tucson and Phoenix there is to play, and are ready to tour the U.S.

While never being preachy, American Android, formed in 2005, has always had a purpose. Arzate explains the meaning behind the band’s sometimes polarizing name.

“I was at a point in my life where I was beginning to buy into what I felt like I was supposed to be doing. You have a kid, you have a 9-to-5 job, and that’s all you do,” he says. “My body felt sick, I felt like I was turning into an android. I’m not saying that kind of life is wrong for everyone, it just wasn’t the right life for me, and that’s what this music is about. You don’t have to believe everything that the media tells you – you can make your own decisions.”

Mireles offers his own explanation of the band name: “An android is something that appears to be real, but it’s all an illusion. It’s just a cold, hard machine underneath with no real substance. American Android isn’t meant to be a critique of American society; it’s a call to arms.”

The band – Arzate, Mireles, Kenyon Hood (lead guitar), Matthew Shepherd (drums) and Alex Laetsch (bass) – has a strong local following. During the interview at Zachary’s Pizza (near the University of Arizona) a waitress happened to be wearing an American Android shirt. Everyone in the place seemed to know the guys in the band, which seemed on par for a group that alternatively lists love, life, family, injustice, liberty, progress, beauty and the pursuit of happiness as influences on their MySpace page.


What: American Android in concert

When: 10:30 p.m. Friday. The Bands for Breasts benefit concert for breast cancer kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday and continues at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave.

Price: $10 one night, $25 for all three

Info: 623-3200, www.myspace. com/thehuttucson

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